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  1. #1
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    Black Mountain solutions

    Let's move the part of that other discussion that has nothing to do with rain and race pro motors to over here.

    Obviously, lots of talk about Black Mountain Trail recently. Discussion centers around whether or not it can be salvaged in any way, and if yes developing a plan to do just that. I will confer with a few others on schedules over the weekend and then we will announce Phase 1, a meeting date to go look at this trail and develop a plan. Though there will need to be a few invitees present (namely the ones that the FS recognizes as crew leaders within Pisgah SORBA who will likely carry out the work when we plan it), I want to be open and transparent in this planning phase so we will be public with that date and invite all of you to join us.

    The main focus of that day will be educational in nature, and developing a plan of attack. From everything I am hearing BM is a full shitstorm of a trail right now (maybe a desired trail experience, but full on eroded nightmare and having high impact on natural resources).

    We will set up a shuttle and walk any or all of what we need to be looking at. I am thinking a Sat. in the next several weeks for this first phase site visit. After that day, we can set a date to begin what sounds like one hell of a challenge.

    More details early next week.

    Woody

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    Oh course we'll have to be on your schedule because we know you only consider that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Oh course we'll have to be on your schedule because we know you only consider that.
    Well yes, it would be hard for me to host this while I am in AZ for work Feb 20-25.

  4. #4
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    Not 2/15 please.

    We can talk about it all we want (and have already discussed it ad nauseam) but eventually what needs to happen is people need to go up there with shovels and rakes, pulaski and mcloeds, mattocks and pick axes and start moving dirt around.

    Drains need to be opened. More drains need to be installed. A 'line' for mountain bikes needs to be defined. The corridor needs to be narrowed to keep riders on that line.

    The trail's alignment is poor for long stretches. We cannot move that corridor and need to be willing to work within it, even if it doesn't fit our definition of what a trail should look like. Grade dips won't work on those grades in those alignments. More waterbars are going to need to be installed.

    It would be a lot of work.

    A note about the corridor: Last time I was up there - a few weeks ago - I noticed recent chain saw triming coming up from Pressley Gap. The trail had been made even wider giving mountain bikers even more room to leave the trail and increase the erosion. If you give mountain bikers a way to ride around any sort of obstacle they will take it. Riding around waterbars defeats their purpose and is a big part of the problem with Black mtn. trail.
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    Subbed this thread. Look forward to helping with this project and putting some faces to names.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Let's move the part of that other discussion that has nothing to do with rain and race pro motors to over here.

    Obviously, lots of talk about Black Mountain Trail recently. Discussion centers around whether or not it can be salvaged in any way, and if yes developing a plan to do just that. I will confer with a few others on schedules over the weekend and then we will announce Phase 1, a meeting date to go look at this trail and develop a plan. Though there will need to be a few invitees present (namely the ones that the FS recognizes as crew leaders within Pisgah SORBA who will likely carry out the work when we plan it), I want to be open and transparent in this planning phase so we will be public with that date and invite all of you to join us.

    The main focus of that day will be educational in nature, and developing a plan of attack. From everything I am hearing BM is a full shitstorm of a trail right now (maybe a desired trail experience, but full on eroded nightmare and having high impact on natural resources).

    We will set up a shuttle and walk any or all of what we need to be looking at. I am thinking a Sat. in the next several weeks for this first phase site visit. After that day, we can set a date to begin what sounds like one hell of a challenge.

    More details early next week.

    Woody

    Just wind 'em up and let him loose! You the man Woody!

    Thanks for getting this thread going. Looking forward to helping anyway I can.

  7. #7
    drunken pirate
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    I went up there today and took some pictures:

    you can view the whole set here
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    PLEASE LEAVE IT ALONE. IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE FUNNEST TRAILS IN PISGAH PROPER RIGHT NOW. there are plenty of other less "challenging" trails for people to enjoy.

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    Black Mountain solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post
    PLEASE LEAVE IT ALONE. IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE FUNNEST TRAILS IN PISGAH PROPER RIGHT NOW. there are plenty of other less "challenging" trails for people to enjoy.
    "Funnest"?

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    Please don't woody black mtn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post
    PLEASE LEAVE IT ALONE. IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE FUNNEST TRAILS IN PISGAH PROPER RIGHT NOW. there are plenty of other less "challenging" trails for people to enjoy.
    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty View Post
    Please don't woody black mtn
    It will be smoothed/buffed/dumbeddown in the name of progress!

  12. #12
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    Maybe instead of people b!tching and whining about trail sanitizing, you could actually show up and help make a plan and then come work it.

    Of course that might be too much work for you guys and God forbid you may actually learn something.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I went up there today and took some pictures:

    you can view the whole set here
    Whoooo doogie! No wonder that section of trail has be rumored to be erased from existence and re-routed. Would be a proud moment for the mountain bike community if that happened….NOT!

    Thanks for the pictures and the reality check!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post
    PLEASE LEAVE IT ALONE. IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE FUNNEST TRAILS IN PISGAH PROPER RIGHT NOW. there are plenty of other less "challenging" trails for people to enjoy.
    I agree. There are only a few trails in Pisgah that are of an "advanced" nature, and this is one of them.

    That being said I agree that something needs to be done up there, and Im more than willing to help out when I can.

    Im all for helping to narrow the trail corridor to force riders into the Gnar as opposed to letting folks go around it. Trail creep sucks, and if your skills aren't there to ride that level of trail you can always walk sections of it. No shame in that.

    Im also for giving my time to help divert water off the trail. Black is the way it is because of the massive amount of erosion that has been eating away the soil. While that has created some awesome trail to ride, I will agree that issue needs to be addressed to keep it from becoming un-ridable in the future.

    Its a thin line to walk between sustainability and fun.

    If any of the Trail Coordinators are available, I will be up there the week of Feb. 10-16th. to ride and whatnot if ya'll want to check it out.

  15. #15
    drunken pirate
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    lol.

    Unless the trail is relocated there is no way it is going to look like a flow trail.

    Relocation requires NEPA and that isn't happening anytime soon.

    Yesterday I actually thought the trail wasn't as bad as I'd remembered. There is hope for it yet. Lots of material needs to be moved but it seems doable. There are also a lot of rocks in the corridor to work with. And plenty of locust.

    However, if you look at my pictures it is very easy to see just how much damage is being caused by mountain bikes. There haven't been any races recently, either.

    This picture is at Black and Thrift. Look at those ruts mountain bikers are tearing into the tread:



    Also, if you look at the pictures you will see evidence that the trail is an historic foot path, in more ways than one. Any work done to the trail should have the historic users in mind as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Maybe instead of people b!tching and whining about trail sanitizing, you could actually show up and help make a plan and then come work it.

    Of course that might be too much work for you guys and God forbid you may actually learn something.
    I can't do any trail work until mid March according the e-mail I received.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    lol.

    Unless the trail is relocated there is no way it is going to look like a flow trail.

    Relocation requires NEPA and that isn't happening anytime soon.

    Yesterday I actually thought the trail wasn't as bad as I'd remembered. There is hope for it yet. Lots of material needs to be moved but it seems doable. There are also a lot of rocks in the corridor to work with. And plenty of locust.

    However, if you look at my pictures it is very easy to see just how much damage is being caused by mountain bikes. There haven't been any races recently, either.

    This picture is at Black and Thrift. Look at those ruts mountain bikers are tearing into the tread:



    Also, if you look at the pictures you will see evidence that the trail is an historic foot path, in more ways than one. Any work done to the trail should have the historic users in mind as well.
    This was and still is a classic weekend where the weather is perfect and everybody goes for a ride,but the trails are slop.Sure everyone will say some were fine but most look like Clay's pic.
    Bent Creek was packed yesterday.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    I can't do any trail work until mid March according the e-mail I received.
    Like I said in a previous thread, show up and I am sure somebody will put a tool in your hand.

    Or could just continue to be one. The choice is yours.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    I agree. There are only a few trails in Pisgah that are of an "advanced" nature, and this is one of them.

    That being said I agree that something needs to be done up there, and Im more than willing to help out when I can.

    Im all for helping to narrow the trail corridor to force riders into the Gnar as opposed to letting folks go around it. Trail creep sucks, and if your skills aren't there to ride that level of trail you can always walk sections of it. No shame in that.

    Im also for giving my time to help divert water off the trail. Black is the way it is because of the massive amount of erosion that has been eating away the soil. While that has created some awesome trail to ride, I will agree that issue needs to be addressed to keep it from becoming un-ridable in the future.

    Its a thin line to walk between sustainability and fun.

    If any of the Trail Coordinators are available, I will be up there the week of Feb. 10-16th. to ride and whatnot if ya'll want to check it out.
    Agreed. The intent of this planning day and future work is to accomplish the goals that you state here: make the trail more stable, control the serious (from what I am hearing) water based erosion, but keep the tech "Pisgah" feel of Black.

    Doing nothing is simply not an option, unless you want to do nothing for long enough (which will not be much longer) that the FS steps in and does something (and I doubt riders will be happy about those results). Black Mtn is very much on the radar screen of the USFS. Other non sustainable trails having large resource impacts are also on the radar screen of the FS and other environmental protection agencies and groups. NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (Land and Water Resources Division)
    Trout Unlimited, WNCA and others are all looking at recreation with a very critical eye. As folks here have pointed out, you need to look no further than all of the Tellico OHV trail system closure or the recent decision of Summey Cove trail closure as examples in which high impacts of trails forces the decision of full closure.

  20. #20
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    Several have communicated via email and phone and here is the plan for this first inspection and developing a plan site visit:

    Sat. Feb 8th meeting at 9:30 AM. Meet at the ranger station. No bikes, we will walk in and inspect as much of Black Mtn as possible. DW posted up some current conditions photos, and we will take lots more. This will be a long day and walk so bring food, water, and clothing layers. Maybe dinner and a beer after we get out of the woods, and/or join the Native eyewear party happening.

    Calling for rain right now, but way too early to really know what the weather is going to do. If the weather is no good, we will re-schedule for Feb 16th (which is the following Sunday). We may schedule that day as an additional day even if this Sat. works out for us.

    The goals of this site visit and overall effort are (but please add to this):
    -Develop and implement a plan for a more stable but technical “Pisgah worthy” trail experience.
    -Continue growing our level of respect with the USFS folks on the district but also regional level.
    -Identify, recruit, and train additional crew leaders who are passionate about Pisgah. Current crew leaders have their hands more than full. This is a good opportunity to rally some troops and finding the right people and then giving them the right tools to make a real difference in Pisgah.
    -Build respect for PAS within the greater mtn bike community.

    Now is the time to step out from behind your hidden identity of MTBR and come to be productive. I hear many folks say "I love Pisgah". If you really love Pisgah, you will step up to the plate in this process to help protect it: not just the riding experience it provides but also the natural resources that the trails run through. If you are not willing to help with trail maintenance of "your favorite trail" then you don't truly "love Pisgah" you simply "enjoy Pisgah".

    All are invited to this planing day on Sat. We want and welcome input and will listen if you show up.

    We will look at the trail (current conditions), discus options for solutions, and most importantly discus and set a date in the spring for a kick off workday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post

    Sat. Feb 8th meeting at 9:30 AM. Meet at the ranger station. No bikes, we will walk in and inspect as much of Black Mtn as possible. DW posted up some current conditions photos, and we will take lots more. This will be a long day and walk so bring food, water, and clothing layers. Maybe dinner and a beer after we get out of the woods, and/or join the Native eyewear party happening.
    Woody why not ride up there?

    I am sure you have your reasons but if inspecting is the goal, I don't see why we can't make a ride of it.

    I am sure you have your reasons, just curious to what they are.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  22. #22
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    Let's hold if on the whining and the Woodification crap until you know the actual plan and what will take place on the ground.

    On the work day there will be several different crews working at the same time, you can pick whatever section of Black you would like to work on with that sections crew leader.

    If you want it to reflect your riding style and preference, you better plan on showing up and making it happen.
    Should you do more trail work?

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    Many reasons:

    -I want folks to see the trail the way a hiker sees it. Maybe we even get to experience being buzzed by bikes while we are hiking the trail.

    -I don't want folks to focus on the ride experience, but instead look at the trail with a higher level of detail and critical eye that being on bikes will not allow.

    -If we are on foot, we can talk while we walk instead of having to stop every time a problem area is encountered.

    -We can look for and flag best places to build water management structures, hard to do that on bikes.

    -We can better see (cause we are going slower) what resources there are that we might be able to use for a solution (rock in the area available for harvesting and rock armoring work, locust trees that we can fell and use etc.).

    Developing a good plan will require some sacrifices, including going for a walk instead of a bike ride to develop a best plan of attack.

    Once we have a good detailed plan, we can schedule bike rides down the trail in the coming weeks to share/distribute our thoughts and ideas on solutions, and also recruit volunteers for the implementation phase to happen in spring.

    I plan to hike all of Black on Thur. with friends. That will be a preview for me, and give some targets for us to go look at on Sat. It will also help me deal with the logistics (which some of you may already understand) of going to look at this. I may come back and say "bring your bikes" if walking it on foot and developing a plan seems like it will be too much of a time investment.


    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Woody why not ride up there?

    I am sure you have your reasons but if inspecting is the goal, I don't see why we can't make a ride of it.

    I am sure you have your reasons, just curious to what they are.
    Last edited by Woodman; 02-02-2014 at 02:27 PM.

  24. #24
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    Thanks Woody
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Several have communicated via email and phone and here is the plan for this first inspection and developing a plan site visit:

    Sat. Feb 8th meeting at 9:30 AM. Meet at the ranger station. No bikes, we will walk in and inspect as much of Black Mtn as possible. DW posted up some current conditions photos, and we will take lots more. This will be a long day and walk so bring food, water, and clothing layers. Maybe dinner and a beer after we get out of the woods, and/or join the Native eyewear party happening.

    Calling for rain right now, but way too early to really know what the weather is going to do. If the weather is no good, we will re-schedule for Feb 16th (which is the following Sunday). We may schedule that day as an additional day even if this Sat. works out for us.

    The goals of this site visit and overall effort are (but please add to this):
    -Develop and implement a plan for a more stable but technical “Pisgah worthy” trail experience.
    -Continue growing our level of respect with the USFS folks on the district but also regional level.
    -Identify, recruit, and train additional crew leaders who are passionate about Pisgah. Current crew leaders have their hands more than full. This is a good opportunity to rally some troops and finding the right people and then giving them the right tools to make a real difference in Pisgah.
    -Build respect for PAS within the greater mtn bike community.

    Now is the time to step out from behind your hidden identity of MTBR and come to be productive. I hear many folks say "I love Pisgah". If you really love Pisgah, you will step up to the plate in this process to help protect it: not just the riding experience it provides but also the natural resources that the trails run through. If you are not willing to help with trail maintenance of "your favorite trail" then you don't truly "love Pisgah" you simply "enjoy Pisgah".

    All are invited to this planing day on Sat. We want and welcome input and will listen if you show up.

    We will look at the trail (current conditions), discus options for solutions, and most importantly discus and set a date in the spring for a kick off workday.
    Yeah Feb. 8th doesn't work for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Woody why not ride up there?

    I am sure you have your reasons but if inspecting is the goal, I don't see why we can't make a ride of it.

    I am sure you have your reasons, just curious to what they are.
    This is pretty one sided and selfish to want to ride up instead of hike up, we are going up there to access the trail not for your enjoyment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    This is pretty one sided and selfish to want to ride up instead of hike up, we are going up there to access the trail not for your enjoyment.
    You want to stop trolling and maybe contribute for once?

    All I hear from you is how you will show up then whenever a date is made, you say you can't make it.

    Remember, it isn't all about you.

    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Yeah Feb. 8th doesn't work for me.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Sorry to learn that. Needless to say, it would be impossible to pick a date that worked for all. How does Sunday Feb 16th look for you? Maybe we will repeat the process with a new set of folks. This was also our rain date set.

    The idea was jump right into this and strike while the iron is hot. Plus I am out of town later in month for some work in sunny AZ.

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    I had planned on the Sycamore/Native bike ride but if the trails are a mess Saturday I'll be there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jn35646 View Post
    I had planned on the Sycamore/Native bike ride but if the trails are a mess Saturday I'll be there.
    I plan to attend the party.

    Supposed to rain most of the week, and trails are already a mess.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman
    The goals of this site visit and overall effort are (but please add to this):
    -Develop and implement a plan for a more stable but technical “Pisgah worthy” trail experience.
    -Continue growing our level of respect with the USFS folks on the district but also regional level.
    -Identify, recruit, and train additional crew leaders who are passionate about Pisgah. Current crew leaders have their hands more than full. This is a good opportunity to rally some troops and finding the right people and then giving them the right tools to make a real difference in Pisgah.
    -Build respect for PAS within the greater mtn bike community.
    Those are some good goals, but I thought we were going to try and develop a plan for how to best repair and subsequently maintain the Black Mountain trail with an emphasis on the section between Pressley Cove and Buckhorn Gap.

    I'm interested in stopping the erosion on the trail, not politics. We can talk theory all we want but eventually someone is going to have to move some dirt.

    Black Mountain trail does not meet mountain bikers current sustainability standards. We cannot relocate the trail or leave the corridor. Either we are willing to work with what we have, or we can continue to say the trail is inherently flawed and not worth the effort. If it is the later there is no need to go up there.

    I would suggest hiking up Pressley Cove trail. It is the fastest way to the main problem area and also shows that a trail can have alignment problems and old technology like waterbars but yet does not have to be an eroded mess. That trail is in excellent shape and would provide a nice contrast to what will be seen on Black.
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  32. #32
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    I had a couple of minutes to kill and drew up a plan. I've never made a trail work plan before so I look forward to everyone's criticism as well as any better plans anyone has to share.

    Black Mountain Trail Maintenance Plan

    Goal:

    Stop erosion and repair tread damage on the trail while maintaining an user experience consistent with the trail's “most difficult” designation.

    Specifications:

    The trail will be divided into three segments:
    Section 1 - Ranger Station to Pressley Gap
    Section 2 – Pressley Gap to Buckhorn Gap
    Section 3 – Buckhorn Gap to Club Gap

    Natural materials will be used for construction whenever possible. Some foreign materials, such as rebar or bolts, may be used when needed.

    USFS TMO's will be followed.

    All trail work will stay within the existing trail corridor and no further widening of corridor to occur as part of the maintenance plan. In the event that any machinery is used as part of the work it will have to be able to go up the existing corridor.

    Whenever possible the original tread alignment will be maintained. In heavily eroded areas it may be necessary to build new tread to the side of the erosion as the corridor allows.

    Plan of action:

    Start maintenance at Pressley Gap heading North to focus initial efforts on the heavily eroded Section 2.

    All existing drains to be repaired and reopened.

    New drains to be built where needed. Knicks, grade dips and grade reversals to be built where possible. Wooden waterbars to be used when needed. Waterbars to be set at angles up to 45 and to span the entire width of trail corridor.

    Soil to be moved to fill in erosion where possible.

    Loose rocks within corridor to be used for armoring where appropriate.

    Gargoyles, plantings and other means to be used to help keep users on the trail.

    Check dams to be installed on the most heavily eroded areas.

    Tread to be sloughed and bermed where needed.

    Bench cut to be restored where needed.

    Areas where the corridor is significantly wider than the TMO states to be revegetated.

    On the section from the top of Clawhammer Mtn. To Buckhorn Gap efforts will be made to keep users on the trail stop users from cutting switchbacks and waterbars.

    Once trail crews complete the drainage work on Section 2 they will continue north to Section 3 continuing to restore drainage and repair damage. Work on Section 1 to start from Pressley Gap and work down the trail once other problem areas have been addressed.

    A yearly plan to maintain all drains and clear and brush the trail to be implemented.

    An effort to educate users on the importance to stay on the trail to be made.



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    What would a plan like this mean?

    A lot of work would have to be done. And chances are it will be just a handful of people doing it. It would realistically take a year, or more.

    Let's look at some pictures:



    In this one you can see where mountain bikers have created an alternate line around the pesky waterbar. The old line would need to be restored and the drain directed away from the tread. Erosion would lessen just below it.



    This drain needs a longer piece of locust to stop users from cutting it. A lot of dirt needs to be moved from the top to the bottom. Two guys could easily spend two or more hours digging here.



    This drain hasn't been full too long. But still a lot of digging to be done. And look at that long line of other drains above it.



    In some places like this it might make sense to move the center of the tread up to where Duma is standing, but even up there water still has to leave the trail.



    Pisgah District trails have a distinct flavor. There is no reason why this stretch of trail could not stay most difficult once these drains are operational again.



    Here you can see where mountain bikers have been widening the trail to avoid the rocks on the original tread. Notice the fresh ruts the bikes have torn into the new line. Unless this section is drained the new line will be just as eroded as the old.

    Thoughts?
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  33. #33
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    DW, I am glad you are excited about this. Your plan is a good starting point and can be altered as we go through the planning. Look forward to seeing you Saturday.
    Should you do more trail work?

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    Very impressive Clay, sounds like a good plan to me.Funny how it looks like everyone rides around the rocks/hard part but they say they want it to remain technical.I'm curious as to when the last scheduled work day was on this particular part of Black?

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    DW, I am so proud..... it is like..like.. you are all grown up now... sniff sniff, (wiping tear from corner of my eye)

    PS Your plan looks great! Your dedication to this trail along with Pisgah has always been respected and appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Very impressive Clay, sounds like a good plan to me.Funny how it looks like everyone rides around the rocks/hard part but they say they want it to remain technical.I'm curious as to when the last scheduled work day was on this particular part of Black?
    Yeah, it is really funny. Mountain bikers say they like and want hard trails but yet if there is any way to avoid and obstacle they take it. Look at all my pictures and you'll see evidence of it time and time again.

    The only work I know of being done to that stretch of trail in the past six years is triming and clearing. There is no such thing as a drain that can go six years without maintenance.

    Take a look at this picture:



    Notice how mountain bikers have created a line around the waterbar. Also notice the recently trimmed rhodo in the bottom left of the picture to make it easier for mtbs to leave the trail. It is going to take a long time for that bush to grow back and unless water is drained from the tread the new line is going to be just as eroded as the old one.

    Six thousand dollar bikes and we can't even ride over a log
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    I had noted that I have not been on middle or upper Black in many years. I am hiking the whole trail on Thur. to preview. You seem to be very familiar with where the worst sections are and your suggestion of hiking in on Pressley sounds like a good idea so let's plan on that. I may see other sections in dire need of some work during my hike on Thur. but also know the section you suggest is a great starting point.

    Pressley is not in bad shape due to very low traffic counts, and no bikes. Pretty simple answer to that non mystery. Trail users (all users) loosen soil, and that is available to be taken away in the next rain storm. Low traffic counts means little soil is being disturbed.

    For every photo of a water bar you can find that you think is working, I can provide 10 photos of failed waterbars, many of them causing severe erosion below them. It is not just the mountain bike trail building world that believes in rolling contour trail design, and rolling grade dips instead of waterbars, the rest of the trail building world believes the same. Go look at a modern built hiking only trail and you will see no water bars but instead grade reversals, and rolling dips as the water management structures.

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Those are some good goals, but I thought we were going to try and develop a plan for how to best repair and subsequently maintain the Black Mountain trail with an emphasis on the section between Pressley Cove and Buckhorn Gap.

    I'm interested in stopping the erosion on the trail, not politics. We can talk theory all we want but eventually someone is going to have to move some dirt.

    Black Mountain trail does not meet mountain bikers current sustainability standards. We cannot relocate the trail or leave the corridor. Either we are willing to work with what we have, or we can continue to say the trail is inherently flawed and not worth the effort. If it is the later there is no need to go up there.

    I would suggest hiking up Pressley Cove trail. It is the fastest way to the main problem area and also shows that a trail can have alignment problems and old technology like waterbars but yet does not have to be an eroded mess. That trail is in excellent shape and would provide a nice contrast to what will be seen on Black.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter View Post
    DW, I am so proud..... it is like..like.. you are all grown up now... sniff sniff, (wiping tear from corner of my eye)

    PS Your plan looks great! Your dedication to this trail along with Pisgah has always been respected and appreciated.
    I appreciate the sentiment. However, this isn't something I just thought of. I've tried for years to get a trail maintenance plan developed (for Black as well as all of the PRD).

    I look forward to hearing other's thoughts but for now have to remain skeptical that any action will actually occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    For every photo of a water bar you can find that you think is working, I can provide 10 photos of failed waterbars, many of them causing severe erosion below them. It is not just the mountain bike trail building world that believes in rolling contour trail design, and rolling grade dips instead of waterbars, the rest of the trail building world believes the same. Go look at a modern built hiking only trail and you will see no water bars but instead grade reversals, and rolling dips as the water management structures.
    I was on the recently relocated Greybeard trail in Montreat yesterday. It uses waterbars and is new, sustainable trail construction.

    The Florence Preserve has some brand new trails that use waterbars.

    GSMNP is full of functioning waterbars.

    Of course, none of those trails allow bikes.

    I don't see rolling grade dips working on the steep pitches on Black without leaving the corridor. If they can work there, great. If not, waterbars will be needed.

    Also, in keeping with the historic nature and experience the trail provides tearing out hundreds of waterbars does not make sense and fears of such work is what makes people say "Don't Woody Pisgah"
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Very impressive Clay, sounds like a good plan to me.Funny how it looks like everyone rides around the rocks/hard part but they say they want it to remain technical.I'm curious as to when the last scheduled work day was on this particular part of Black?
    Welcome to our world. "We want technical trails" is all you hear, but the photos don't lie do they.

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    Nice initiative!

    Theres alot of work to be done but I would caution against trying to do too much as far as correcting the grade and losing the "Most Difficult/Pisgah Feel" of the trail. This is a MAJOR undertaking and some riders will be upset if their favorite features are taken away. For example, those failed water bars are great drops and hitting them at high speed is alot of fun for me. They're not doing the job they were intended for(moving water off the trail) but are now as important as a technical feature. Would it be possible to keep the use down that section but, bring in the trail corrider to force use into the technical stuff and prevent trail widening?

    Alot of the trail has eroded to a point that its in a "trough" i.e. below grade. Im wondering if the plan will include re-routing to avoid those sections and try to force use onto new/more sustainable trail.

    What Im concerned about is dumbing down the trail in the name of sustainability. Theres a way to preserve the awesomeness that is Blackl, while keeping it from washing out completely. Controlling traffic onto the trail bed and preventing "go arounds" on the technical sections could go along way as far as keeping it sustainable.

    Its going to be interesting to see how the balance between Gnar and Sustainability is kept.

    Nice work though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Nice initiative!

    Theres alot of work to be done but I would caution against trying to do too much as far as correcting the grade and losing the "Most Difficult/Pisgah Feel" of the trail. This is a MAJOR undertaking and some riders will be upset if their favorite features are taken away. For example, those failed water bars are great drops and hitting them at high speed is alot of fun for me. They're not doing the job they were intended for(moving water off the trail) but are now as important as a technical feature. Would it be possible to keep the use down that section but, bring in the trail corrider to force use into the technical stuff and prevent trail widening?
    Absolutely. The trail is too wide. We need to get riders back on the trail. Those waterbars aren't going anywhere. If anything, more will be added.


    Alot of the trail has eroded to a point that its in a "trough" i.e. below grade. Im wondering if the plan will include re-routing to avoid those sections and try to force use onto new/more sustainable trail.
    Any new work cannot leave the existing corridor. Some of those places might see the tread moving up to the grade, like where my dog is in the one picture. Some of those places are going to require a lot of digging to get the water out of the troughs.

    What Im concerned about is dumbing down the trail in the name of sustainability. Theres a way to preserve the awesomeness that is Blackl, while keeping it from washing out completely. Controlling traffic onto the trail bed and preventing "go arounds" on the technical sections could go along way as far as keeping it sustainable.
    You aren't the only one concerned. We need to get the water off the trail but we don't need a flow trail up there.

    Once we get the water off we need to keep it off by doing regular, routine maintenance.
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    Many of the hiking only trails you refer to have installed waterbars for one of several reasons:
    -They think mtn bikes don't like them and they install them as a deterrent.
    -The hiking clubs building these trails are older folks and they just don't want to change their ways.
    -They don't know any better.

    For the record:
    I know the land manager for the Florance Preserve and he is frustrated with the CMC and their use of waterbars on trails there as he knows there is a better way. He has spoken to me at length about this. Hard to turn down the free labor however.
    I did a 3 day workshop for GSMNP a few years back and we dug out old failing waterbars and replaced them with rolling grade dips. I know the trails manager there and he reports the grade sips are working better with less need for cleaning.

    It is fine to have logs as drop offs when desired and we may install some additional ones serving as check dams or wood armored sections (if locust is more available than rock). That may be part of the plan.

    In referenced to the comments about "woody trail", go ride the steep drop on Burnt Mtn in DuPont. The land manager wanted to relocate that trail. I committed SORBA resources and organized all the workdays to rock amour that section instead of the relocation the land manager wanted. It is textured, has drop offs built with locust and is very stable (though we need to do more).

    I get that riders want to keep this trail "pisgah style". Those same riders need to get involved instead of just yakking away. You commented that mtn bikers are doing less work than other users. I don't believe that to be the case nationwide, in fact the opposite is true. There are tons of new trails and whole systems being built by mtn bikers in lots of places and the mtn bike community as a whole is working harder than other users groups. In Pisgah however, you are likely correct. But the current crew leaders have their hands full with other areas and other projects. As I noted in my goals, we need to identify and trail new crew leaders giving the tools to succeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I was on the recently relocated Greybeard trail in Montreat yesterday. It uses waterbars and is new, sustainable trail construction.

    The Florence Preserve has some brand new trails that use waterbars.

    GSMNP is full of functioning waterbars.

    Of course, none of those trails allow bikes.

    I don't see rolling grade dips working on the steep pitches on Black without leaving the corridor. If they can work there, great. If not, waterbars will be needed.

    Also, in keeping with the historic nature and experience the trail provides tearing out hundreds of waterbars does not make sense and fears of such work is what makes people say "Don't Woody Pisgah"

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    It is not as hard as you may think to get NEPA pushed through for relocation/re-alignments. FS can fast track any project they want to see happen. Trail relos happen via a CE (Categorical Exclusion) with a simple process of a biological review and culteral resources review of the flagline and then the District Rangers signs the CE. Thsi can happen in a few months if the FS sets it as a priority.

    All relo alignments (to better manage water) should include log or rock drop offs, rock armored sections and the like to keep the tech flavor. That is exactly why Pisgah SORBA is chasing grant money so when this is needed on trails we love, mtn biking community controls the process (from specifications to choosing the contractor) as opposed to the FS low bid and lowest common denominator contracts. The club up in Hburg VA has been doing just that for quite some time.

    That is the plan moving forward here and how we affect what Pisgah becomes in the future. If more folks get off thier collective asses and get to work, you control the end product though your hard work. When contractors are needed as the project needs are just too big (because mtn bikers have sat on their collective asses for way too long), the mtn bike comminity still has great influence due to controlling the contracting process.

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Absolutely. The trail is too wide. We need to get riders back on the trail. Those waterbars aren't going anywhere. If anything, more will be added.



    Any new work cannot leave the existing corridor. Some of those places might see the tread moving up to the grade, like where my dog is in the one picture. Some of those places are going to require a lot of digging to get the water out of the troughs.



    You aren't the only one concerned. We need to get the water off the trail but we don't need a flow trail up there.

    Once we get the water off we need to keep it off by doing regular, routine maintenance.

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    Looks good, thanks for putting this together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    It is not as hard as you may think to get NEPA pushed through for relocation/re-alignments. FS can fast track any project they want to see happen. Trail relos happen via a CE (Categorical Exclusion) with a simple process of a biological review and culteral resources review of the flagline and then the District Rangers signs the CE. Thsi can happen in a few months if the FS sets it as a priority.

    All relo alignments (to better manage water) should include log or rock drop offs, rock armored sections and the like to keep the tech flavor. That is exactly why Pisgah SORBA is chasing grant money so when this is needed on trails we love, mtn biking community controls the process (from specifications to choosing the contractor) as opposed to the FS low bid and lowest common denominator contracts. The club up in Hburg VA has been doing just that for quite some time.

    That is the plan moving forward here and how we affect what Pisgah becomes in the future. If more folks get off thier collective asses and get to work, you control the end product though your hard work. When contractors are needed as the project needs are just too big (because mtn bikers have sat on their collective asses for way too long), the mtn bike comminity still has great influence due to controlling the contracting process.
    What exactly are we trying to get done to Black Mtn. Trail? I'm getting confused here....

    Are we looking to maintain and repair what is there now or are we looking to relocate, realign, etc?

    Are we waiting for NEPA or are we looking to start digging and start making some improvements?

    Is PAS looking to spend their RTF money on Black instead of Spencer?

    Black mtn. is very low priority for the FS as most of the trail is nowhere near any water. Low priority for the FS does not mean it should be the same for mountain bikers.

    Snototter originally proposed trying to get out there and make some improvements to the trail asap. Now it is starting to sound a lot like "not worth the effort with the current alignment" again.
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    Black Mountain solutions

    I have yet to see a water bar in Pisgah that hasn't been ridden around.

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    The goal is to maintain what we can, where we can. Pretty simple. That involves using a range of techniques, some tried and tested and other others maybe new.

    The RTP (Recreational Trails Program) grant is for Spencer Relo work, but also basic maintenance of a large chuck of trail, this is not an either or situation but a both situation. It is a very large $ grant PAS has been awarded and not all of it will go to Spencer.

    You are correct, Black is not near water sources and thus lower on the priority scale. But you and others have been asking for this for some time (in your own words) and so we have now collectively made it a priority.

    It would be just plain stupid to get a group together soon and just go walk into the woods with tools and start digging away. The point of this planning phase is to do just that, plan. Yes, your document was a good "plan" but we need to take that off the paper and apply to the ground. Once we have looked at the site collectively, that combines with your notes, TMO for the trail, past knowledge if what works and what doesn't, and rider preferences for the trail to all come together and guide us moving forward.

    The FS has in fact talked about a parallel trail off the ridge and bench cut and keeping the current ridgeline trail for hiking only. I think it is a dumb idea on many levels.

    Will we look at some sections of Black and a small number of folks with hand tools will not be able to stabilize, I guess our hike on sat. will determine that. I say small numbers citing reports from Ryan who says in the past the average number for Lower Black workday is less than 5.

    We all are hoping many will step up in this new push and in fact we can really make a difference.




    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    What exactly are we trying to get done to Black Mtn. Trail? I'm getting confused here....

    Are we looking to maintain and repair what is there now or are we looking to relocate, realign, etc?

    Are we waiting for NEPA or are we looking to start digging and start making some improvements?

    Is PAS looking to spend their RTF money on Black instead of Spencer?

    Black mtn. is very low priority for the FS as most of the trail is nowhere near any water. Low priority for the FS does not mean it should be the same for mountain bikers.

    Snototter originally proposed trying to get out there and make some improvements to the trail asap. Now it is starting to sound a lot like "not worth the effort with the current alignment" again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    I have yet to see a water bar in Pisgah that hasn't been ridden around.
    Exactly. Even hikers avoid water bars if possible, I have lots of photos of that.
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    The FS is on board. They may even join us on Sat.


    I would love to figure out a way to keep the gully and get it stabilized and ridable. Should we heli in some more rock? JK
    Should you do more trail work?

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    This is gonna be a fine line to walk.Take out all the water bars and you've got............................................... ..... ←nothing but flow.
    The can of worms that has been opened may not close back.

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    I wish I could join this Saturday. Works has me on call this weekend otherwise I would be there. You can count on me helping out on work days once a plan and schedule is in place.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

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    Well, I can save everyone a long walk on Saturday.

    Long stretches of the trail do not meet mountain bikers current sustainability standards. This trail alignment is inherently doomed and any attempt at lessening the erosion and repairing the damage would be futile. There is no point in even trying.

    Alternate plan:

    Have the USFS go ahead and start NEPA on the trail.

    Use PAS RTF money to fund NEPA (if needed) as well as to hire professional trail builders to asses and then implement trail relocations from fall line ridgeline segments to more sustainable sidehill alignments.

    Maximize volunteer efforts by focusing on keeping the corridor clear and doing light drainage and tread work on the easy to access segments of trail.
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    Sat is still a go.
    Should you do more trail work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Many of the hiking only trails you refer to have installed waterbars for one of several reasons:
    -They think mtn bikes don't like them and they install them as a deterrent.
    -The hiking clubs building these trails are older folks and they just don't want to change their ways.
    -They don't know any better.
    Uh, I don't know about all that.... There is some quality sustainable trail being built by the CMLC, in the Florence Preserve as well as on Bearwallow Mtn. Waterbars are being used, both wooden and rock. The people building the trails are not all old hikers, some are very young and very smart.... Sometimes there are more than one way to solve a problem....

    I haven't ridden Burnt Mtn. in years but last time I was on it there was an alternate line that mountain bikers had created around that drop.
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    Yes, I know all about the CMLC trails, I know who designed them (mountain bikers-TD staff). There are also 6 miles of new mtn bike trail under construction now down in the same area (on town of Lake Lure land).

    Yes, the biggest drop on Burnt is one riders try and avoid. I have to replace guide structures on a regular basis for that and other rock armored sections.

    I have attached a few photos of a waterbar that is working. Special prize goes to the first who can identify why this one is working (getting water off the trail).

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Uh, I don't know about all that.... There is some quality sustainable trail being built by the CMLC, in the Florence Preserve as well as on Bearwallow Mtn. Waterbars are being used, both wooden and rock. The people building the trails are not all old hikers, some are very young and very smart.... Sometimes there are more than one way to solve a problem....

    I haven't ridden Burnt Mtn. in years but last time I was on it there was an alternate line that mountain bikers had created around that drop.
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    When I first mentioned organizing a work day on upper Black I was hoping to generate some interest in a trail we all know has problems, mainly caused by heavy mtb use, and rally people who up until now just griped on this forum about trail work, blah blah blah. I am super stoked at where this is heading and feel very good about the out come. I think we are all under no illusions that this would be easy. When I organized the first tread work day on Lower Trace I had my doubts when we started benching the first few feet in a rhodo tunnel. One of the hardest days to date. A year and some change later we have over .5 miles hand cut by volunteers and I feel this has been an amazing accomplishment.

    I certainly hope Black does not take that long and shouldn't if we have a bunch of serious like minded guys and gals pitch in when they can but it will definitely be that hard. I am ok with that and I sense everyone else is as well. If we don't get people amped about fixing it and fixing it right then yeah just leave it and lets see what happens to it. Guarantee folks will not like those end results. I don't want to go up there to labor and sweat only to have to do it again in a few years. If we have the chance to correct a majority of the issues right the first time then I say lets do it, whatever it takes.

    Developing this plan is showing that we are truly committed and completely serious about protecting one of our classic Pisgah trails. Whether we(volunteers) are capable or more importantly willing to do the work is yet to be seen.


    See folks on Sat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Welcome to our world. "We want technical trails" is all you hear, but the photos don't lie do they.
    Well the ones that are screaming about wanting technical trails might not be the ones who are riding around the technical sections.

    Honestly, if you you don't want this to continue, the solution is bail outs.
    Some great examples are ones like the drop on Pine Tree at DuPont where there is a rock armored bail out to the left. Also at DuPont if you go on Oak Tree there is a rock armored bail out on the right of the drops.

    I know it is a lot of work to do this, but in all honesty if you don't, this is just going to keep happening.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Very impressive Clay, sounds like a good plan to me.Funny how it looks like everyone rides around the rocks/hard part but they say they want it to remain technical.I'm curious as to when the last scheduled work day was on this particular part of Black?
    This is what I don't understand. All I read on here is whining about "sanitizing" trail but I go ride pisgah and there is a wimp line grooved down every trail. Seems many aren't as tough as they act...

    I'm not going to act like I have all the answers here and I know many don't want to see anything change, but I can say that I've spent all of January rehabbing a hiking trail in the Grandfather district (and all of October building grade dips and drains at brown mountain) so i think I know a thing or two about getting water off Pisgah trails. I can tell you 100% that a good operator could walk a mini-ex from Pressley to Turkeypen and back and make the trail 10x better in every way. It wouldn't be dumbed down, it would drain, and we'd probably be able to build some sick features and relocations along the way. Waterbars don't work. It needs grade dips with leadoff ditches. You don't have to alter the tread between the drains. The rut can stay, the roots can stay, the fun can stay. Machines don't dumb down trails...bad operators do.

    I have nothing against volunteer work and hand tools, but if you think you're gonna go up there and drain that 4 ft deep rut with a pulaski, you've had a few too many WNC high-gravs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    This is what I don't understand. All I read on here is whining about "sanitizing" trail but I go ride pisgah and there is a wimp line grooved down every trail. Seems many aren't as tough as they act...

    I'm not going to act like I have all the answers here and I know many don't want to see anything change, but I can say that I've spent all of January rehabbing a hiking trail in the Grandfather district (and all of October building grade dips and drains at brown mountain) so i think I know a thing or two about getting water off Pisgah trails. I can tell you 100% that a good operator could walk a mini-ex from Pressley to Turkeypen and back and make the trail 10x better in every way. It wouldn't be dumbed down, it would drain, and we'd probably be able to build some sick features and relocations along the way. Waterbars don't work. It needs grade dips with leadoff ditches. You don't have to alter the tread between the drains. The rut can stay, the roots can stay, the fun can stay. Machines don't dumb down trails...bad operators do.

    I have nothing against volunteer work and hand tools, but if you think you're gonna go up there and drain that 4 ft deep rut with a pulaski, you've had a few too many WNC high-gravs!
    Well said Andrew.But now I want a beer.

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    Is PAS looking to spend their RTF money on Black instead of Spencer?


    Snototter originally proposed trying to get out there and make some improvements to the trail asap. Now it is starting to sound a lot like "not worth the effort with the current alignment" again.
    Looks like Driftwood is getting aboard the reality boat! I agree totally. Finish Trace and Spencer and use the RTF $ you have wisely. Snottotters ego is larger than his intelligence! Sounds like he is slowly leaning to the side of.....is it worth it? NO!! Leave it to a professional trail builder, it's way above hand tools and egos.

    Snottoter-trail leader???? Get in touch man! Great leadership not knowing about Spencer, abandoning Trace, thinking you're a miracle man for Black Mountain. I wonder why people are hesitate to work along with you. You're a know it all-not. I wonder if SORBA main appreciates your style of "leadership"?

    Hold Woody's hand as you walk Black and try to learn. You can't engineer a bandaid big enough to fix Black! Get the NEPA done, stay away from black with your hand tools and hire a professional. Hate to say I told you so snottotter- says the man with 3 post!

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    My god, y'all who are bashing an honest effort to do some good are laugh-able. When was the last time you actually tried to part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem?

    That said...I plan to be there on Saturday. I'm a go if it's raining, what better time to see the trail at it's worse? My on-line .02 is this: Black Mountain trail is Difficult. In keeping with that rating, any trail work should focus on having one-line only- no ride arounds. Block where users would create ride-arounds. The only way the more challenging line will be attempted by most users is if it's the only option. Humans, like water, seek the path of least resistance.

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    In a perfect world, my new black mountain would have a mixture of old and new sections. Rehab the stuff that isn't too far gone/can be fixed, make some new realignments that would add a LOT of footage to that descent (and make it more rideable uphill), and I'd love to see at least one rutted section boxed in with locust and filled with rock and dirt. I think this would show people that making Black hold up better also made it more fun to ride. There's nothing fun about a big old ditch. I've been riding that trail since I was 12 years old and it's gotten worse in the last two years than the 10 before that.

    I believe I'll be working on Saturday, but if anything changes, I'll be there. Happy to make a date work to come give my input another time as well. This trail IS on the FS radar (heard it first hand from the USFS recreation program manager) and believe me, you WANT mountain bikers to handle Black Mountain. You won't like the USFS solution.

  64. #64
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    Neil, the new guy with a new name. Out trollin' again?

    I'll be happy to address these pissy posts with some answers biased on truth.

    In the mean time I'm working.
    Last edited by 2bfluid; 02-04-2014 at 10:21 AM.
    Should you do more trail work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    In a perfect world, my new black mountain would have a mixture of old and new sections. Rehab the stuff that isn't too far gone/can be fixed, make some new realignments that would add a LOT of footage to that descent (and make it more rideable uphill), and I'd love to see at least one rutted section boxed in with locust and filled with rock and dirt. I think this would show people that making Black hold up better also made it more fun to ride. There's nothing fun about a big old ditch. I've been riding that trail since I was 12 years old and it's gotten worse in the last two years than the 10 before that.

    I believe I'll be working on Saturday, but if anything changes, I'll be there. Happy to make a date work to come give my input another time as well. This trail IS on the FS radar (heard it first hand from the USFS recreation program manager) and believe me, you WANT mountain bikers to handle Black Mountain. You won't like the USFS solution.


    Yep I say rally the troops and do the best we can and get Black back off the radar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Upneater View Post
    Looks like Driftwood is getting aboard the reality boat! I agree totally. Finish Trace and Spencer and use the RTF $ you have wisely. Snottotters ego is larger than his intelligence! Sounds like he is slowly leaning to the side of.....is it worth it? NO!! Leave it to a professional trail builder, it's way above hand tools and egos.

    Snottoter-trail leader???? Get in touch man! Great leadership not knowing about Spencer, abandoning Trace, thinking you're a miracle man for Black Mountain. I wonder why people are hesitate to work along with you. You're a know it all-not. I wonder if SORBA main appreciates your style of "leadership"?

    Hold Woody's hand as you walk Black and try to learn. You can't engineer a bandaid big enough to fix Black! Get the NEPA done, stay away from black with your hand tools and hire a professional. Hate to say I told you so snottotter- says the man with 3 post!

    Yawn, is that all you got? Go ahead make it about me. I am pretty tough skinned and I assure you a troll on MTBR is not going to sway me one way or the other. Assh*t!

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    Can we get some redefined goals and a plan for Saturday? At this point I'm not at all sure what the point of Saturday is. I'd like to talk specifics about maintaining a specific stretch of trail - Black Mtn. from Pressley Gap to Turkey Pen Gap. I'm not interested in politics or trail work theory, RTF money and which contractor should get a cut or any other topics that would distract from the issue at hand.

    I have had some people contact me privately and ask that I lead a secondary group up Black to talk about how we can maintain the existing trail. I guess not everyone is down with the whole relocate thing... I don't think that is necessary but I also don't think a ten mile hike is necessary either. Most of us discussing this know Black Mtn. trail intimately. Snototter, MikeBrown, myself and many others know exactly what every inch of Black looks like. Let's go up, look at a two mile stretch and talk long term maintenance.

    I'm not going to waste too much of my free time but I'll meet a group at Pressley Gap.

    After further reflection I'm going to suggest that the main group go all the way up Black from the bottom. On the lower stretch be sure and observe the grade dips , reversals and knicks. They were done by a professional trail builder with the federal money several years ago and have since been redone several times. It looked to me like they have seen another machine recently. Incidentally, several of them are blown out and not operating correctly due to mountain bikers ripping ruts through them.

    I don't know of any trails in our region that are self sustaining. They all require maintenance. Relocating problem stretches of Black is not going to do any good if we are not willing to do regular maintenance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Exactly. Even hikers avoid water bars if possible, I have lots of photos of that.
    Maybe. But imagine this scene after some good rain, and maybe the waterbar isn't what they're avoiding:
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    I'm guilty of this from time to time, especially with kids.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbwnc View Post
    Maybe. But imagine this scene after some good rain, and maybe the waterbar isn't what they're avoiding:
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    I'm guilty of this from time to time, especially with kids.
    That waterbar is too short and is installed at an incorrect angle. Both are very common problems. The water could be going around the left side of it and that is what is causing the wear as well. Also, it looks like the outflow has not been cleaned out - the water has to leave the trail, that grass is going to keep it on the trail. That section of trail looks rather flat - not at all the 15+ percent fall line slopes like you find on Black.

    We'll look at waterbars, functioning as well as not, on Black on Saturday. Many are simply way too short. And none have been maintained.
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    I'm excited to see this whole project idea gaining traction, and thanks everyone - especially Woody and driftwood - for putting the work in to planning this and generating some reasoned discussion, and the knowledge and experience brought to the table. It's been a few years since I've ridden or hiked the stretch from Buckhorn Gap to Pressley Gap so thanks also for the photos - finally.

    Based on those, it's actually in better condition than I thought, judging by the talk on these forums and elsewhere over the last few years - really only slightly worse than the first times I rode it back in the late 90's. But...

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    This trail alignment is inherently doomed and any attempt at lessening the erosion and repairing the damage would be futile.
    I'm still wondering if this might be the case, especially from the Forest Service's point of view. Might we be expending tremendous resources trying to "prove" this trail is maintainable, only to be lost when the trail is formally closed, which could be better spent on maintaining the rest of the network that isn't in as bad shape?

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    On the lower stretch be sure and observe the grade dips , reversals and knicks...several of them are blown out and not operating correctly due to mountain bikers ripping ruts through them
    Exactly. Those are not a panacea where the overall grade is still too steep.

    My personal opinion is that the best approach would be re-routes around some of the worst areas, and all the NEPA-ing that implies. On some of those long fall-line stretches, I think grade dips would be doomed, and grade reversals are inherently out of the question if you want to stay within the corridor. I'm sure we're not collectively up to building and maintaining quarter-mile stretches of armoring, which is practically what it would take.

    The overall ridgeline route should be maintained (because that's the friggin point of this trail), open to bikes, with a firm commitment from PAS to fixing and maintaining the original portions that are left after reroutes.

    But...enough computer-chair trailbuilding. I do hope to make it Saturday, and I'll bring a GPS to map out notes/photos for the group's ideas. (If anyone has a high-accuracy unit that'd be awesome, but a consumer one should be fine for this stage of planning I think?)

  71. #71
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    Black Mountain solutions

    Mayonnaise a lot of drama up in here. I can't come Saturday, but I'm on the trail crew list. I'll be ready to help on future work days. Thanks to the folks spearheading all this.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    My god, y'all who are bashing an honest effort to do some good are laugh-able. When was the last time you actually tried to part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem?
    Well said.

    If you don't want to help, fine. Just don't crap on the efforts of others.
    If you don't help, you completely lose any right to ***** if you don't like the outcome.
    The time for input is in the beginning, not when it is time to put tools to the dirt.

    That being said, I doubt I will be coming this Saturday. Along with a couple other reasons, I don't have an entire day to spare. However I doubt I would be any help on this stage anyways but I am looking forward to put some tools to the dirt when the time comes. If something changes, this Saturday, I will be there.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  73. #73
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    Here's another thing to consider:

    Whatever is done to the Black Mountain Trail will set an important precedent.

    Right now Black is on everyone's radar but there are many other trails with similar problems that aren't too far behind Black. Turkey Pen Gap, Slate Rock/Pilot cove, Buckwheat Knob, Avery Creek, it doesn't matter, nothing is being properly maintained.

    We can wait for NEPA and funding for Black before we do anything. And then we'll just hire someone to do it for us.

    Or, we can get out there with pulaskis, shovels, mcloeds, breaker bars, chain saws, tweezers and all other sorts of implements of destruction and try and make some improvements and show that mountain bikers are capable of repairing our damage. And then we can start doing it to all the other trails as well.

    It is just like how we go around water bars. Do we take the cheater line or stay on the trail?
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Here's another thing to consider:

    Whatever is done to the Black Mountain Trail will set an important precedent.

    Right now Black is on everyone's radar but there are many other trails with similar problems that aren't too far behind Black. Turkey Pen Gap, Slate Rock/Pilot cove, Buckwheat Knob, Avery Creek, it doesn't matter, nothing is being properly maintained.

    We can wait for NEPA and funding for Black before we do anything. And then we'll just hire someone to do it for us.

    Or, we can get out there with pulaskis, shovels, mcloeds, breaker bars, chain saws, tweezers and all other sorts of implements of destruction and try and make some improvements and show that mountain bikers are capable of repairing our damage. And then we can start doing it to all the other trails as well.

    It is just like how we go around water bars. Do we take the cheater line or stay on the trail?
    We can't just do trail work where ever/when ever we want can we?

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    We can't just do trail work where ever/when ever we want can we?
    Well, in a way, yes we could. We don't have to wait for NEPA and relocations and funding. PAS could organize workdays as long as we follow the rules like staying in the corridor. Nobody except ourselves is stopping an attempt at making the Black Mountain Trail better.
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    Cheater Vs. Climbing line

    I am a tourist in your area, but do plenty trail work up here in Indiana.

    As someone who is a tourist when riding in Pisgah, my question is when you work on Black, are you looking at is as both a climb and a descent?

    Last time I was there was on my way home from the PTBA conference and I was time limited. So I rode/hike-a-biked as far up black as I could before turning around and racing the setting sun back down.

    Do local riders use Black as both a climb and a descent? Obviously it is more fun as a descent, but you have to get up there some how.

    One draw back to Pisgah for tourists is that it takes a lot of local knowledge to put together routes at Pisgah, as some trails are fun down but not so fun going up.

    I would suspect that most of the "riding around" happens when climbing.

    If you want to prevent trail widening, you may want to consider purpose building climbing lines on water bars that are unclearable. It's an expert level trail, so they don't have to be easy. But if you provide a path of lest resistance then you can control where riders go, instead of being at the mercy of where they will try to go to get around a big water bar. If you use rocks to build the climbing line, it will also be armored. And by picking the location of the climbing line, you can put it in a location that will not impact climbing.

    If placed right,the climbing lines can be off of the fast down hill line, so they will not impact the technical aspect of the descent.

    Paul

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    "Waterbars don't work. It needs grade dips with leadoff ditches. You don't have to alter the tread between the drains. The rut can stay, the roots can stay, the fun can stay. Machines don't dumb down trails...bad operators do."

    Waterbars work fine as a technical feature, but all of us professional builders (and the avid volunteers who have built a lot of trail) all agree that thy fail way more often that work as water management tools. Even the USFS now recognizes this, here is an excerpt from their Trail Construction and Maintenance handbook : "Waterbars are usually the most dysfunctional tread structures in all the trail world. Yet trail crews install them or re-install them by the thousands. We encourage the use of reinforced grade dips instead of waterbars at most locations where waterbars have been traditionally used".

    If we pull up old failing wood water bars on this Black Mountain effort and replace them with better water management structures, we can re-use the wood (if they are in sound condition) to create drops and wood armored sections. Form the sounds of things, there is also additional locust that could be harvested for the same application. Locust is a early succession tree and likes ridge tops where there is lots of sun, so my guess is the reports of the presence of good locust material are true. I will be looking for that during my walk through on Thur. and again on Sat.

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    We shuffled around some trail work for later this week, so count me in for Saturday. Also, Ed from TD will be in attendance. Looking forward to hearing some of these arguments for changing/not changing things (and if its even possible) in person on the trail.

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    Sounds like we have a ton of super experienced folks for out walk in the woods. This is exciting.



    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    We shuffled around some trail work for later this week, so count me in for Saturday. Also, Ed from TD will be in attendance. Looking forward to hearing some of these arguments for changing/not changing things (and if its even possible) in person on the trail.
    Last edited by Woodman; 02-05-2014 at 04:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indytrekracer View Post
    as some trails are fun down but not so fun going up.
    Paul
    ...to know Pisgah is to know fun whether going up or down
    many gears, some pies

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    Re: Black Mountain solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by indytrekracer View Post
    I am a tourist in your area, but do plenty trail work up here in Indiana.

    As someone who is a tourist when riding in Pisgah, my question is when you work on Black, are you looking at is as both a climb and a descent?

    Last time I was there was on my way home from the PTBA conference and I was time limited. So I rode/hike-a-biked as far up black as I could before turning around and racing the setting sun back down.

    Do local riders use Black as both a climb and a descent? Obviously it is more fun as a descent, but you have to get up there some how.

    One draw back to Pisgah for tourists is that it takes a lot of local knowledge to put together routes at Pisgah, as some trails are fun down but not so fun going up.

    I would suspect that most of the "riding around" happens when climbing.

    If you want to prevent trail widening, you may want to consider purpose building climbing lines on water bars that are unclearable. It's an expert level trail, so they don't have to be easy. But if you provide a path of lest resistance then you can control where riders go, instead of being at the mercy of where they will try to go to get around a big water bar. If you use rocks to build the climbing line, it will also be armored. And by picking the location of the climbing line, you can put it in a location that will not impact climbing.

    If placed right,the climbing lines can be off of the fast down hill line, so they will not impact the technical aspect of the descent.

    Paul
    Climbing lines are a good idea but a huge time investment. Then again small rock armored ramps into wooden water bars (sorry if wrong terminology) would be nice and still difficult.

    I think there is some truth to climbing causing some of the "cheater line" wear but I doubt it really comes close to descenders that avoid drops. I've been guilty in the past weeks when going up North Slope hitting the edges of water bars to try and clean the one difficult area (counter clockwise).

    I'd like to pick the brain of experienced builders to see if that sort of thing is sustainable. Could be the kind of trail work you could do solo for a change of pace on a ride like kicking drains open.

    *edit* When I say "climbing lines" I didn't mean a new tread somehow parallel to the actual trail (that's what I see in my mind when someone says "braiding"). Just a pile of rocks with a purpose to get folks up and over the drops created by the water bars when climbing. That might be a normal practice based on what Sasquatch mentioned about Kitsuma but I haven't seen it. Not to mention that sort of "feature" gives folks coming down an alternative to jumping the drops if they want to keep wheels on the ground. Folks that cry about losing the gnar wouldn't notice it anyway as their wheels would be flying over top as if it wasn't there.
    Last edited by jn35646; 02-06-2014 at 07:29 AM. Reason: clarifying comments

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    Quote Originally Posted by jn35646 View Post
    Climbing lines are a good idea but a huge time investment. Then again small rock armored ramps into wooden water bars (sorry if wrong terminology) would be nice and still difficult.

    I think there is some truth to climbing causing some of the "cheater line" wear but I doubt it really comes close to descenders that avoid drops. I've been guilty in the past weeks when going up North Slope hitting the edges of water bars to try and clean the one difficult area (counter clockwise).

    I'd like to pick the brain of experienced builders to see if that sort of thing is sustainable. Could be the kind of trail work you could do solo for a change of pace on a ride like kicking drains open.
    Wasn't the builders that did Kitsuma experienced?

  83. #83
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    I would doubt that much of the problems on Black have to do with climbing. I haven't read this whole thread,so I may be "stepping in it" but I think the problem is:
    A. historic amounts of rain in the last year
    B. races (i don't think mtbs damage trails...unless 100s use the same trail on the same day in slop weather most of them wouldn't normally go out in.)

    Anyhow, next time you visit, use these easy directions to avoid some hike-a-bike: From the Work Station, right on paved 276, right on gravel toward Horse Stable, right on Clawhammer road at the horse stable, right on Maxwell cove road (first possible right), then right on Black Mtn trail back to the Work Station.

  84. #84
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    Black is best enjoyed from the bottom up to Club Gap.

    But it doesn't matter which way you like it - either way the trail should not be braided. One line is enough.

    Most of the ride arounds on Black are from people descending. For almost all riders climbing Black means several different hike a bikes.

    Which brings us to another issue: Should most mountain bikers be able to stay on their bike while climbing a trail? Lots of people do not like hike a bike and feel that trail work should be done to eliminate it. lame.

    Any and all work done on Black should maintain the trail's Most Difficult designation. It doesn't matter if you are going up or down, the trail should be Most Difficult. Most riders should have to dismount multiple times, regardless of direction of travel. That is part of the trail's flow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Wasn't the builders that did Kitsuma experienced?
    Dunno, never been there. Newbie here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Black is best enjoyed from the bottom up to Club Gap.

    But it doesn't matter which way you like it - either way the trail should not be braided. One line is enough.

    Most of the ride arounds on Black are from people descending. For almost all riders climbing Black means several different hike a bikes.

    Which brings us to another issue: Should most mountain bikers be able to stay on their bike while climbing a trail? Lots of people do not like hike a bike and feel that trail work should be done to eliminate it. lame.
    In Pisgah, if you're not hiking, you're not mountain biking!

    As for the trail braiding, can you really blame people for attempting to ride around 2 foot deep holes in the center of the tread? It's kind of a matter of survival once a trail gets that eroded. Do nothing, and the trail will get wider every year as people try to find a rideable line down it.

    The plan should not be to choke people down onto the sh1t line, but to establish a line that is worth riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    The plan should not be to choke people down onto the sh1t line, but to establish a line that is worth riding.
    all depends on your perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftertom View Post
    all depends on your perspective.
    elaborate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    elaborate?
    ones sh1t line, as you put it, could be another guy's pisgah gold. i would make the argument that we don't have enough hard trails in pisgah. sustainability first, but some like it nasty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    In Pisgah, if you're not hiking, you're not mountain biking!

    As for the trail braiding, can you really blame people for attempting to ride around 2 foot deep holes in the center of the tread? It's kind of a matter of survival once a trail gets that eroded. Do nothing, and the trail will get wider every year as people try to find a rideable line down it.

    The plan should not be to choke people down onto the sh1t line, but to establish a line that is worth riding.
    The 2-3' deep holes are the reason i ride Black. There's only a few spots that i find "un-ridable". Im no superhero so i get off and walk 'em. I've been with folks who've cleaned it all without using a "go around" to avoid the drops. I know those folks would like to see hat level of difficulty to be maintained. It sounds like the goal is to maintain the gnar but focus on water/erosion control and trail creep. I climb Black from Maxwell every now and then and its tough but in a good way. I wouldn't want to lose that challenge. I hope to make it to a workday soon. USFS says i can't dig until March...

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftertom View Post
    ones sh1t line, as you put it, could be another guy's pisgah gold. i would make the argument that we don't have enough hard trails in pisgah. sustainability first, but some like it nasty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    The 2-3' deep holes are the reason i ride Black. There's only a few spots that i find "un-ridable". Im no superhero so i get off and walk 'em. I've been with folks who've cleaned it all without using a "go around" to avoid the drops. I know those folks would like to see hat level of difficulty to be maintained. It sounds like the goal is to maintain the gnar but focus on water/erosion control and trail creep. I climb Black from Maxwell every now and then and its tough but in a good way. I wouldn't want to lose that challenge. I hope to make it to a workday soon. USFS says i can't dig until March...
    Y'all are both right about riders wanting rougher trails.Go down Long Branch down to Cat Gap, talk about some fun water bars!

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftertom View Post
    ones sh1t line, as you put it, could be another guy's pisgah gold. i would make the argument that we don't have enough hard trails in pisgah. sustainability first, but some like it nasty.
    I struggle to see how you could possibly think there aren't enough hard trails in WNC. 90% of our trails are steep and eroded and not even close to "sustainable" (fine by me, it's a big enough forest for lots of types of trail). Are you stuck in Dupont and Bent Creek?

    I get that you enjoy the 2-3 foot deep holes, but next year they will be 3-4 feet deep. Then 5 feet deep. Then the trail shifts to the left or right, then there's a hole over there. Then the forest service shuts the trail down and you have to go dig a 3 foot hole in your yard to ride.

    Anyone who thinks I want to pave black mountain doesn't know me. At all. It doesn't really matter to me if Black Mountain changes or not, I know where to look to find the goods I like...but if work is happening, I want to be involved to make sure it's done right.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    I struggle to see how you could possibly think there aren't enough hard trails in WNC. 90% of our trails are steep and eroded and not even close to "sustainable" (fine by me, it's a big enough forest for lots of types of trail). Are you stuck in Dupont and Bent Creek?

    I get that you enjoy the 2-3 foot deep holes, but next year they will be 3-4 feet deep. Then 5 feet deep. Then the trail shifts to the left or right, then there's a hole over there. Then the forest service shuts the trail down and you have to go dig a 3 foot hole in your yard to ride.

    Anyone who thinks I want to pave black mountain doesn't know me. At all. It doesn't really matter to me if Black Mountain changes or not, I know where to look to find the goods I like...but if work is happening, I want to be involved to make sure it's done right.
    And who knows maybe they'll award your business the contract to fix it.And I know exactly what kind of person you are.You didn't have to apologize in your rep you gave me.I have heard you like to hide behind your keyboard.

  94. #94
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    Re: Black Mountain solutions

    I decided to leave out most of the adjectives concerning the troll posts, but a few points need to be clarified.

    NEPA reroutes can be achieved in about two months if they are set up for success from the beginning. Before you argue check your facts.

    No announcements have been made concerning Spencer, so no one really knows outside of the PAS BOD and the FS. If you hear something other than from a PAS BOD member, its probably crap. So don't buy into assumptions, go spouting, and look like a fool. When PAS gets contract in hand from the state, an announcement will be made concerning the 2013 RTP grant and then you will know. Its never a done deal until you have a contract. The last thing we want is to say "Here is the big plan!", and it falls through before it ever gets started.

    If you want the inside scoop and want to influence these decisions, join the board. It easy to do, because its a volunteer organization who is asking for your help and support. They need professionals and folks that just want to dig.

    RTP grants are not fluffy things that you get to change around to use the money at will as some suggest. They are uber specific contracts based on line items. Its a long laborious process.

    Lower Trace is doing just fine. Welcome to the pace of hand built trail, great isn't it. If you don't know the plan, what is happening, and where it goes from here, don't pretend too. Using words like abandoned is disinformation. And taking cheap shots at the crew leader is less than classy, negates the great work and effort done thus far, and shreds your credibility. More is getting done than you know. But the funny thing is that no one has even asked about the plan or how the logging closures will affect the progress, or a estimated finish date.

    DW's heart is in the right place and boy is he passionate, but to think he is a trail builder or has a vast trail building resume, is a mistake. He is one of the biggest voices fracturing the local MTB community, period. So let's not get too caught up with what he proclaims as the only way to define and fix Black.



    There will be an all-star cast of real world trail professionals coming on Saturday, most of whom have dedicated their lives to working on trails. Most of these folks also work on trails more than they ride them. And they are showing up because they love Black, they love Pisgah, they are a huge part of local MTB community, and want to help unify riders in the Pisgah area.

    This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some really knowledgeable people.

    I vote this Saturday planning session goes rain or shine.
    Last edited by 2bfluid; 02-07-2014 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Consideration- removed what should have been a PM
    Should you do more trail work?

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    I decided to leave out most of the adjectives concerning the troll posts, but a few points need to be clarified.

    NEPA reroutes can be achieved in about two months if they are set up for success from the beginning. Before you argue check your facts.

    No announcements have been made concerning Spencer, so no one really knows outside of the PAS BOD and the FS. If you hear something other than from a PAS BOD member, its probably crap. So don't buy into assumptions, go spouting, and look like a fool. When PAS gets contract in hand from the state, an announcement will be made concerning the 2013 RTP grant and then you will know. Its never a done deal until you have a contract. The last thing we want is to say "Here is the big plan!", and it falls through before it ever gets started.

    If you want the inside scoop and want to influence these decisions, join the board. It easy to do, because its a volunteer organization who is asking for your help and support. They need professionals and folks that just want to dig.

    RTP grants are not fluffy things that you get to change around to use the money at will as some suggest. They are uber specific contracts based on line items. Its a long laborious process.

    Lower Trace is doing just fine. Welcome to the pace of hand built trail, great isn't it. If you don't know the plan, what is happening, and where it goes from here, don't pretend too. Using words like abandoned is disinformation. And taking cheap shots at the crew leader is less than classy, negates the great work and effort done thus far, and shreds your credibility. More is getting done than you know. But the funny thing is that no one has even asked about the plan or how the logging closures will affect the progress, or a estimated finish date.

    DW's heart is in the right place and boy is he passionate, but to think he is a trail builder or has a vast trail building resume, is a mistake. No one that I know of from professional trail builders to PAS to the USFS, respect his opinions concerning trail design and technics. He is one of the biggest voices fracturing the local MTB community, period.

    I am glad he has taken interest in this project, but he is just another user with a lot of talk and little to no action when it comes to fixing trails. We all kick out drains and toss sticks from the tread. Maybe he pulls a lot of volunteer days with other trail volunteer groups? He speaks as the all knowing voice of Pisgah, when he is really just another trail user who is short on trail science and experience and long on posting up rhetoric. So let's not get too caught up with what he proclaims as the only way to define and fix Black.

    Remember him ranting about irrelevant PAS was just a short time ago? Yet they gain more respect and credibility every day despite what he says. They aren't perfect, but they are fighting the good fight.

    If he wants to lead another group trying to tackle Black so be it. But that might be a waste of time.


    There will be an all-star cast of real world trail professionals coming on Saturday, most of whom have dedicated their lives to working on trails. Most of these folks also work on trails more than they ride them. And they are showing up because they love Black, they love Pisgah, they are a huge part of local MTB community, and want to help unify riders in the Pisgah area.

    I hope that DW and less qualified folks involved on Saturday listen more than they talk, because this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some really knowledgeable people.

    I vote this Saturday planning session goes rain or shine.
    Wow this gonna be a real dick measuring session.

  96. #96
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    Re: Black Mountain solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Wow this gonna be a real dick measuring session.
    Nah
    Should you do more trail work?

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    I decided to leave out most of the adjectives concerning the troll posts, but a few points need to be clarified.

    NEPA reroutes can be achieved in about two months if they are set up for success from the beginning. Before you argue check your facts.

    No announcements have been made concerning Spencer, so no one really knows outside of the PAS BOD and the FS. If you hear something other than from a PAS BOD member, its probably crap. So don't buy into assumptions, go spouting, and look like a fool. When PAS gets contract in hand from the state, an announcement will be made concerning the 2013 RTP grant and then you will know. Its never a done deal until you have a contract. The last thing we want is to say "Here is the big plan!", and it falls through before it ever gets started.

    If you want the inside scoop and want to influence these decisions, join the board. It easy to do, because its a volunteer organization who is asking for your help and support. They need professionals and folks that just want to dig.

    RTP grants are not fluffy things that you get to change around to use the money at will as some suggest. They are uber specific contracts based on line items. Its a long laborious process.

    Lower Trace is doing just fine. Welcome to the pace of hand built trail, great isn't it. If you don't know the plan, what is happening, and where it goes from here, don't pretend too. Using words like abandoned is disinformation. And taking cheap shots at the crew leader is less than classy, negates the great work and effort done thus far, and shreds your credibility. More is getting done than you know. But the funny thing is that no one has even asked about the plan or how the logging closures will affect the progress, or a estimated finish date.

    DW's heart is in the right place and boy is he passionate, but to think he is a trail builder or has a vast trail building resume, is a mistake. No one that I know of from professional trail builders to PAS to the USFS, respect his opinions concerning trail design and technics. He is one of the biggest voices fracturing the local MTB community, period.

    I am glad he has taken interest in this project, but he is just another user with a lot of talk and little to no action when it comes to fixing trails. We all kick out drains and toss sticks from the tread. Maybe he pulls a lot of volunteer days with other trail volunteer groups? He speaks as the all knowing voice of Pisgah, when he is really just another trail user who is short on trail science and experience and long on posting up rhetoric. So let's not get too caught up with what he proclaims as the only way to define and fix Black.

    Remember him ranting about irrelevant PAS was just a short time ago? Yet they gain more respect and credibility every day despite what he says. They aren't perfect, but they are fighting the good fight.

    If he wants to lead another group trying to tackle Black so be it. But that might be a waste of time.


    There will be an all-star cast of real world trail professionals coming on Saturday, most of whom have dedicated their lives to working on trails. Most of these folks also work on trails more than they ride them. And they are showing up because they love Black, they love Pisgah, they are a huge part of local MTB community, and want to help unify riders in the Pisgah area.

    I hope that DW and less qualified folks involved on Saturday listen more than they talk, because this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some really knowledgeable people.

    I vote this Saturday planning session goes rain or shine.
    Okay Rodney, since you as always feel the need to get personal answer the following questions:

    1 - Whatever happened to the promised follow up from the Trail Work meetings Chris Strout held a year and half ago? Many people participated in that last round of trail planning and PAS never followed through. We discussed Black at those meetings, the answer was not to do anything and to fix Lower Trace for the forest service instead.

    2 - Is Black Mountain trail being considered for PAS's RTF money? Is that what this is all about?

    3 - Why not finish Lower Trace or Spencer before moving on to yet another project?

    4 - What is PAS's take on conflicts of interest? If so many professional trail builders are going to be there this Saturday perhaps there should be some real transparency with what is going on. Woodman, Ed from TD, Mueller and plenty of others have business interests at stake. They would be foolish to propose anything less than complete reroutes. Anyone with a conflict of interest should excuse themselves from the planning stages.

    5 - What are you so afraid of? I clearly know much more about trails, especially Black mountain, than you.

    I am going to talk plenty on Saturday. I do not need a trail work lesson - believe it or not I know the theories. I want to talk about how we can fix the trail not listen to someone tell me once again that it isn't worth doing anything until we hire a professional trail builder.

    This trail has been discussed many times. It is time for some changes.

    If you don't want to hear me talk on Saturday you better not come.
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Mueller- View Post
    I get that you enjoy the 2-3 foot deep holes, but next year they will be 3-4 feet deep. Then 5 feet deep. Then the trail shifts to the left or right, then there's a hole over there. Then the forest service shuts the trail down and you have to go dig a 3 foot hole in your yard to ride.
    I agree with ya man. The trail eventually will fail and end up being a bombed out creek bed down the mountain. Thats probably great trail for some folks but like you said, its unsustainable and could lead to the trail being closed. I support making it sustainable but not at the cost of keeping it "most difficult". Some of those drops and holes are just dumb and need to be altered to shed water and prevent go arounds.

    From what Woodman, Snototter, and others have said it sounds like they want to keep the gnar but make it sustainable as well. I think this is possible with ALOT of hard work. Theres no solution to make everyone happy but theres definitely room to strike a good balance between fun and sustainble.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    And who knows maybe they'll award your business the contract to fix it.
    Excellent point.

    I'm sure whatever professional trail builders show up would all take the contract.

    Some people might consider that a conflict of interest.
    More Trails, Not Less

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