Grasshopper Update Fall 2014

January 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Here we are, back in the trail building season and working on year two of the Grasshopper rebuild on Galbraith Mountain. After two months of work, I think it’s a good time to put together an update on what we’ve done so far and share my plans are for the rest of the season.

The freshly packed dirt on the Alexis Step-Up landing and exit berm. This is what the rider sees upon landing the Step-Up. (There's just something about freshly packed dirt that makes me feel all giddy inside.)

The freshly packed dirt on the Alexis Step-Up landing and exit berm. This is what the rider sees upon landing the Step-Up. (There’s just something about freshly packed dirt that makes me feel all giddy inside.)

 

The crew from December 13th from left to right: Daniel Koo, Alex Lewis, Kory Bisset, Alexis Neuman, Tadeusz Pforte, Henning Pforte, Brian Brant and Devin Wright.

The crew from December 13th from left to right: Daniel Koo, Alex Lewis, Kory Bisset, Alexis Neuman, Tadeusz Pforte, Henning Pforte, Brian Brant and Devin Wright.

 

So far, we’ve been working on an improved landing for the Alexis Step-Up, plus a new step-down and long berm that will feed into a new sequence of jumps (more on this later). Though we’ve done a lot of work already, there’s not much to see yet. But trust me, we’ve made tons of progress that will suddenly be apparent by the end of the month!

 

Kory Bisset assisting Alexis Neuman with shaping her namesake trail feature.

Kory Bisset assisting Alexis Neuman with shaping her namesake trail feature.

In addition to the new jumps and berms on Grasshopper, we’ve also started working on a secondary trail that will allow riders to choose to bypass the jumps while still carrying similar speed to riders on Grasshopper proper. This new trail (dubbed Ladybug by my wife) will eventually be a completely separate trail that parallels Grasshopper on the right hand side. It will consist of pump rollers and berms and will connect with Grasshopper before and after each feature that can’t be rolled over (jumps, drops, etc). My goal with this is to allow riders to pick and choose features that they want to ride by switching back and forth between the two trails. This will also make it possible for two riders of different skill levels to ride together without getting in each other’s way. The experienced rider can shred the jumps on Grasshopper, while the less confident, or more jump averse, rider can play on the pump rollers and berms on Ladybug. Ladybug should be completed – up to just past the step-down – by the end of March.

 

Newly built bypass trail merging into landing for Alexis Step-Up and step-down jump take-off.

Newly built bypass trail merging into landing for Alexis Step-Up and step-down jump take-off.

 

Another project planned for completion this season is building the tightly spaced sequence of jumps that I mentioned earlier. Picture a grouping of 3 or 4 doubles jumps in rapid succession, with smooth faces, mellow curves and big case pads on the landings — and you get the idea. The jumps will be closely spaced so you have to hit each jump one after another, without stopping, as you would a dirt jump line. You will have to do them all or go around them all. It should be fun to ride and visually stunning. In other words, it’s gonna be sweet! Work on the Rhythm Method (that’s what we’re calling it) will start this month and should be done by end of March.

 

Raf Torres and Jacob Givens cutting in Bypass Trail around Alexis Step-Up.

Raf Torres and Jacob Givens cutting in Bypass Trail around Alexis Step-Up.

Another project that we’ll be working on, will be reconnecting lower Grasshopper with Cedar Dust. This section of trail is currently on the WMBC Galbraith Mountain Map, but is overgrown and not currently useable. We’ll get it cleaned up and maybe even build a sender jump, if time allows. This should help with the connectivity at the bottom and give riders a place to go at the end. Cedar Dust? SST anyone? Anyway, it should make the trail as a whole much more enticing to ride all the way to the bottom.

 

 

 

Terry Lewis working his dirt buffing magic on Alexis Step-Up landing. Angus and Sonni Campbell supervising.

Terry Lewis working his dirt buffing magic on Alexis Step-Up landing. Angus and Sonni Campbell supervising.

 

I would like to say thanks to all the people that came out to help with building so far this season. I couldn’t do this without you. It’s a beautiful thing to see so many enthusiastic and motivated people show up to help. Thanks everyone!

For anyone interested in helping out, you can check my website for upcoming scheduled trail days and other info. Regardless of previous experience, I need and appreciate your help! See “Trail Work Schedule” for info on how to volunteer.

Thanks!

 

- Mike