Pemberton Trails Expand

Pemberton’s Trail Network just keeps getting sweeter!

The late fall and early spring has been an active one for the Pemberton Valley Trail Association (PVTA) and for local builders; they’ve been busy building, expanding and improving on the already significant trail network. A mild winter in the Sea to Sky corridor meant there was plenty of time to ride and dig. And dig they did in Pemberton. Here’s the skinny on the new dirt.

Rudy's
Rudy’s

Mackenzie Area

A new intermediate (blue) trail built to commemorate Rudy Rozsypalek opened last week. For now the trail is referred to as the Rudy Rozsypalek Memorial Trail, or as Rudy’s. A contest on the PVTA Facebook page is currently underway to name the trail, built in honor of a man that had a tremendously positive impact on the local community and who tragically lost his life in a gliding accident when his powered glider collided with a Cessna in 2013.

Rudy’s is accessed via Middle Earth and rides like a dream. In my mind, it’s the first true “blue” descent in the area, next to Back Pains, and is an incredibly long and rewarding run. The trail is found about ¾ of the way up Middle Earth at the end of one of the longest switchbacks on route. It’s easily spotted, to your right when climbing up. The trail begins with a cruisy start down an undulating singletrack, before reaching an incredibly scenic rock crop. From there it descends a ridge lined with a few short technical moves, ride arounds for the stiffer options exist, before it opens up and really starts to flow; getting fast and flowy near the last 2/3 of the trail. The full length of the trail is just over 3 km and it spits out above Overnight Sensation (right) and Rusty Trombone (left). Thanks to the PVTA for leading the charge to get this one completed by hiring local builders Pete O’loughlin and Seb Kemp who worked tirelessly on this trail and to Ian Kruger from the PVTA who in Seb’s words “slaved as much as us” on this new gem.

Hawaii was once a forgotten trail that recently received some major love with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd sections being reworked. The original entrance and short start to the trail remains the same, but once you near Nimby, which crosses Hawaii, a new line providing a ride around to the original and very committing rock roll is now in place. Hawaii still claims some steep and loose sections along its route, but the overall flavour has changed from “old school” (steeps and wooden structures) to new flow, making this the Half Nelson of Pemberton according to my friend Jon. Hawaii now boasts incredibly wide and swooping bermed corners, fun poppers/jumps to air and ends with a bypass to the gnarly triple hump rock roll that ended on flat ground and has claimed many riders. It’s becoming all the rage in Pemberton, with riders hitting it up regularly.

Upper Mackenzie is said to be getting some love by Dan Raymond. Dan has been working on the trail for the last little while to give it some more flow and realign some of the gnarlier options. I’ve not had the pleasure yet to give this one a rip, but rest assured if Dan has been working on it, the trail is definitely worth a look. But remember, the trail remains an expert (doubleblack) run that will continue to challenge experienced riders.

Overnight Sensation and Rusty Trombone will have an alternate exit put in shortly. The PVTA and Seb Kemp have been working to get rid of the nasty loose gully ride out onto the dirt road below and replacing it with a mellower ending. Both trails currently funnel into a nasty gully that spits out onto an access road. The new exit will mitigate the risk of running into a vehicle when exiting these trails.

Rusty Trombone has received some recent touch-ups, the most notable near the bottom where an optional ride around the crux of the trail has been introduced. The scary line down into a well bermed corner has been raked and manicured; but don’t be fooled as getting down the crux still requires plenty of skills and maybe a bit of luck, hence the ride around option.

Rusty Trombone
Rusty Trombone

One Mile Lake Area

Thuja Plicata is a new flow trail built specifically for kids with 20” trail bikes or run bikes. It’s a blast to ride and has been shaped similar to a pump track. Loop Thuja Plicata using the Sea to Sky trail or descend down it right from the upper parking lot at One Mile Lake. The trail opened recently and was built by Pat Podolski  of Golden Dirt Trails.

Murse Maid is a relatively new climb circumventing the very steep, rocky and loose section found on Overhill, taking the rider to the K2/Overhill connector. Another great section of trail built by Ian Kruger a nurse, PVTA board member, and local volunteer trail builder; hence the name of the trail.

It’s also rumoured that 306 is supposed to get some love this spring/summer which will open up yet another option in this zone.

Benchlands Area

Fat Tug has been around for about a year now, with plenty of riders raving about this sweet new trail. A flowy descent located at the back of the Benchlands neighbourhood and accessed via Smoky Tickler, Fat Tug is a super fun roller coaster ride. There are plenty of small built up jumps along this route, with lots of options to get some nice lofty air. All jumps do have ride around options, but there is nothing too big a skilled intermediate to advanced rider won’t enjoy. The trail crosses the Smoky Tickler climb part way down, using a well-built ladder bridge, and continues to descent all the way to Fernwood Street.

 

With so much goodness to explore, I recommend getting up to Pemberton for a rip soon. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed when you do.

Happy trails!

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Pick up a copy of our Pemberton Valley Mountain Bike Trail Guide with over 80+ trails listed and plenty of suggested loops highlighted to help you find your way around Pemberton. It’s available online, at Bike Co and the Pemberton Valley Supermarket or you can download our Android/Apple app today.

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