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  1. #1
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    Stevens Pass Bike Park summer 2013

    Opening day today June 22!

    We were late to arrive (3 pm) and with a beginner friend so only did a few laps on RC and then on to Leavenworth but still such a fun time and the trail was very nice!

    Also glad to see the main lodge area open vs. the smaller side last year.

    We didn't have time for photos but I hope others did - post them up!

  2. #2
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    It was a great opening day! Slingshot Wookie was a blast as always and nice and greasy up top in the trees to really keep you on your toes. The new reshaped tables on the final straight away just past the big berms were a very nice surprise and a lot of fun. Rock Crusher was good except for a few spots that seemed to have quick sand in the trail just like early last season. Just lost all speed. Having the newer lodge being open is a great addition too. Its going to be a great season

  3. #3
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    Could you guys see how the new trail build is progressing?

  4. #4
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    No new jump line trail until mid August according to one of the builders I talked to. They hope to have Lichen It all dug out by this Saturday.

  5. #5
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    Any additional trails opening this weekend: 5, 6, and 7 of July?
    Jester

  6. #6
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    Maybe all of Lichen It will be open, in addition to Rock Crusher and Wookie, but I doubt anything else. You can see progress on the jump line from the chair, and as of last week it didn't look much farther along than last season. I've no idea about the beginner line though.

  7. #7
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    I can't wait for the beginner trail! Our 16yo daughter should be fine going slow on RC, but the 9yo will be serioously over her head. Plus, I expect it will be a very nice warm up for me

  8. #8
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    This might be a dumb question, but at Stevens can you ride up the dirt roads and then ride down the bike park trails for free? On the map it looks like there are roads accessing all of the trails.

  9. #9
    Just roll it......
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    Short answer: No.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike03cf View Post
    This might be a dumb question, but at Stevens can you ride up the dirt roads and then ride down the bike park trails for free? On the map it looks like there are roads accessing all of the trails.

  10. #10
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    Went up today for the first time this season, and overall the trails are in great shape. The recent work on Lichen It is great, totally dry now all the way down, including the new lower sections. Huge improvement over last year, I actually had fun this time on that one. Wookie was dry as well, but much rougher than I remember it being last year. Seems like a lot of dirt eroded over the summer and it's much rockier now (and it was ROCKY before). Rock Crusher was more or less the same as last year, though like the comment above there are definitely places where you feel like you are going slower than you should be. Hard to clear some of the jumps, no matter how fast I went. Glad someone else mentioned that, I thought I was making it up that there's some unexpected slow spots.

    Talked to some of the builders and lift guys, and it sounds like work on the newer trails has GREATLY slowed down. The beginner trail is only flagged, they haven't even started on it it looks like. The new advanced line had an excavator near it, but didn't look like really anything new had been done this season.

    Two very bad crashes out there today that I saw, one guy broke his femur and a lady knocked herself out on RC and had to be air lifted. Both crashes shut down RC for quite a long time, which left a lot of the beginners with nowhere to ride. Stevens REALLY needs to get that beginner line open, talked to so many people on the chair who came to ride and then realized even RC was pretty technical for the gear they had (lots of people with old school hard tails and road helmets). A lot of people were upset Stevens didn't do more to state that there are NO beginner trails up there at all right now.

    Too many close calls I saw from people who just didn't have the skills to be doing even an intermediate trails like RC. Or worse, they tried to do one of the other lines and just ended up putzing down or stopping at the WORST time making it dangerous for everyone. There's so much potential there, and some really fun trails, but I think Stevens is trying to cater to a family crowd and doesn't have the terrain for that kind of thing. The three current trails are either very technical (SW), or get too full of people going super slow obviously over their heads (RC and LI).

    Really hoped this year would be better than last, but so far it's more or less the same thing. I might go up again later in the season, but for now I'm leaning towards just saving my bike park money for Whistler so I dont have to worry about these issues and feel like I'm getting my drive's worth.
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  11. #11
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    Sucks to hear about the crashes and unprepared people. Agree there is a need for better communication and also a beginner trail!

  12. #12
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    Reviving this older thread. I don't think Stevens Pass is going to make it. It's sad but true. 3 trails in 3 years? 1 fun trail and 2 mediocre trails at that?

    It's the ol' chicken and the egg argument. No one will come unless more trails are built. And management won't make the investment until revenue is consistent and sustainable. Unfortunately, if you look at most successful bike parks, they have one thing in common: resort town. Steven's doesn't have this. With the cost of each of these new trails, it makes sense why management would hold back after looking at the (I'm guessing) lousy revenue numbers these past few years.

    They also need to get people out there with some trail building experience. Not saying I can build better personally, but I know a safe, fun trail when I ride one. Rock Crusher is a mediocre trail with terrible jumps and blind spots with high consequence. Lichen' it follows a terrible line down the mountain and is far too flat and pedally for a bike park. Slingshot Wookie is fun up until the step ups under the lift, where it just kind of fizzles out.

    Sorry for being a negative nelly... I really am a supporter of the park and a season pass holder. I want it to succeed as anyone else, but at this rate I just don't see it happening.

    Thoughts?

  13. #13
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    I was up there Saturday and had an incredible time. We rotated all 3 trails and enjoyed them all. The group I was with have all rode Whistler this year and even though Stevens doesnt compare, we all still had a lot of fun. They do need to get that jumpline open (why wasnt it being worked on this weekend?). It is one thing really missing besides a good beginner trail.

    Saturday there were no lift lines at all. I mean we rode up and got on the lift with zero waiting. While this was great for us, it made me think how long they can stick around with minimal attendance. It was low 70s and the trails were in great shape due to the rain earlier in the week. Pretty much idea riding conditions and still the place was empty.

    I rode Stevens a few times last year and they really improved "Lichen it" alot. It feels a little more like an intermediate DH trail than the intermediate XC trail feel it had last year. It has only been open for a year, so I expect it to get better.

    I really hope they stick it out over the next few years, expand the trail network and make it a legit weekend destination. I'd stay in Levenworth and ride all weekend if they had more to offer.
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  14. #14
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    I do enjoy stevens, but only having three trails is seriously limiting to my enjoyment. I need some variety, even a green just to warm up on... I really enjoy every trail, even though some of the jumps have issues. Still its way better than last year. I've gone once last year, and once this year. I'll probably go one more time this year, but hell, I'd rather just pedal up Galbraith...or lap Xanadu if I'm gonna drive somewhere that far from the city. My main concern is that the lack of new trails is gonna kill the buzz, I mean why would people go back week after week?

  15. #15
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    I've been over Stevens twice in the past few weeks and based on what I didn't see in the parking lot thought it was closed. Still think Snoqualmie would be better. Less vert but closer to Seattle. I bet fun trails could be made with what vert they have, look what we did with limited vert at Duthie.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  16. #16
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    Can't say I'm happy to see where this thread went. However, I'm really relieved to see I'm not the only one who feels this way. I mean, I wanted to believe. I wanted Stevens to be awesome. But it simply isn't. They need more trail. I'd volunteer to help build for free or even discounted lift tickets. I went up a month or so ago with a few friends and we were bored halfway through the day. Lichen It was a disaster zone at that point, and it wasn't fun being stuck behind people on Rock Crusher (although it was pretty neat seeing all the people getting out there on their bikes to ride a park for the first time!).

    In the end I think they need to sell the high speed quad to the good folks over in Port Angeles.

  17. #17
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    The buzz certainly seems to be way down from 1yr ago. Part of it has got to be a result of it being year 2. Call it a Sophomore Slump? Hopefully that's the case.

    Anyways, does anyone know what their 5 Year Plan was regarding trails? They had part of 2 trails for the Soft Opening in 2011, finished the 2 trails and most of Lichen It in 2012, and have finished Licken It in 2013. Did they intend to have the jump line and a beginner Single Track completed in 2013? As far as I remember I think those were the stated # of trails they planned isn't I'm just not positive on the time-line.

    Now as far as communication goes??? A post on facebook from last week said there would be an update on the jumpline early next (this) week.

  18. #18
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    I think it's just the fact that not much progress has really been made compared to last year, especially based on the time-table the bike park guys were laying out last year.

    Though I don't really think it's the bike park staff's fault, everyone I've talked to who works there says a lot of people were laid off this year after Steven's was bought out. Doesn't seem like the new management really is interested in pushing forward as fast as they were.
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  19. #19
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    Huh, was Stevens sold by the company that bought it in 2011? The link below was the latest press release I could find. Looks to me like they're focused on spending capital - just spending it on their bread & butter.

    Stevens Pass Announces Over $4 Million in Resort Improvements

  20. #20
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    Due to living 20 minutes from the border with easy access to Whistler (my 10th year with a season's pass) and very good shuttle trails, I opted out of the 5 year trail pass from Stevens. I was HONESTLY hoping I'd be kicking myself for not doing that.....thinking the park would be so good, it would make me look like an idiot for not snatching up that deal. Sadly, it seems like the right call.

    A bike park is a business that relies on two things:
    1. Solid infrastructure - lifts, terrain/vert and, most importantly, good trails and lots of them.
    2. Solid personnel - lifties, rental shop folks, park patrollers, guides/instructors and, most importantly, passionate and dedicated trail builders.

    You see my theme here. Trails that allow riders to progress (at all levels) are what make people want to come back again and again and it's the secret sauce in lift access riding. Also, a good variety and quantity of trails is important as most people will lap a few trails over and over for a day or two, but most aren't going to pay to do those very often.

    I've not been up this season due to injury and other obligations, but from people I trust, they've not been stoked. They weren't stoked to see patrollers wearing tennis shoes and soccer shinguards and they definitely weren't stoked on trail progress or lack of trailbuilding during the weekends.

    All that said: Whistler wasn't built in a year and they are a resort community with the pull from a major metro, but in the first few years, they did have a handful of blues....stuff like Ho Chi Minh and Fantastic and then added more tech with Schleyer and Joyride. Hell even the first few years of A-Line, it wasn't like it is today....a lot of the jumps were more Crank it Up sized and that and DM (or should I say Rutabega?) are constantly evolving. However, every time I'm in Whistler, there's always something new in the works that keeps the riders excited. I don't know if Steven's parent company hasn't budgeted enough to hire additional builders or if their buildout plan is really conservative, but something sounds amiss and I truly hope they're in it for the long haul.

    EB

  21. #21
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    I spoke with one of the trail-builders on the lift a couple weeks ago. According to him there are 6-8 full time trail-builders during any given week.

    Apparently there has been a decent amount of controversy between employees and management, as far as being to working overtime and not being compensated. Which is allowed because of something to do with it being on a National Forrest???

    I got the impression from the builder that they were working pretty hard, but the fact that they are on national forrest land makes building anything a large challenge (approvals and such?). As a person who does a lot of government contracting it is to be sucked into the machine and let the bureaucratic red tape take over and just coast on projects...you can only push the system for so long and so hard until the system beats you into submission.

    I think it is a combination of lack of support from upper management and the bureaucratic monster NFS that is really keeping the park from progressing.

    just some hearsay and opinion to share...

  22. #22
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    Hey eb thanks for chiming in. I remember your review from last year. It provided some good perspective with relation to what the Whistler bike park was like when it first began. Of course Stevens isn't anything like the Whistler monster as it is not a destination resort with overnight accommodations, restaurants, etc. It's a day use resort which factors in heavily to the capital investment the company will choose to make. Doesn't mean the park won't eventually be a great place to visit and ride fun trails (which I personally think it already is).

    Once they finish the jump the trail and the beginner single track they'll have a full inventory of trails. Then they can start on fun projects that get people excited. I just hope they have the wherewithall to get to that point. I read up on Joel Martinez their V.P. of Operations and it sounds like he's fully invested and stoked on the bike park program.

    Kind of thinking about getting a bunch of stickers made that read "BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME" and plaster them all over the mtn on my next visit ; )

  23. #23
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    I agree that lodging and a couple of new trails will change the game a bit. It's got to be frustrating as hell to have the people, equipment, terrain, and vision, but be running up against the NF constantly. I think the trails are a blast and not being one that can take off to Whistler easily ("I could if it weren't for those meddling kids"), if at all, I'm always stoked to be sitting on a chair traveling through space.

    A big improvement by opening the newer, nicer lodge this year with proper menu. Frisbee golf is now happening, I hear that ziplines are in the future.

    As far as the advanced jump line, they are taking that one pretty serious. They sent the crew up to Whistler I believe to ensure that it is built properly and I believe it will be sick.

    I think we are still in the stage where we need to support them and appreciate what is there rather than fret about what's not. The overall plan for the mountain is awesome and will definitely have plenty for everyone. The people up there are awesome and doing as much as they are allowed to do at this point. Joel is a totally committed dude who is also realistic and patient.

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  24. #24
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    Advanced Jump Trail 8-22-13 - YouTube

    Talk about timing. Advanced jump trail under way. I too hope they can stick it out long enough to get a great trail system built. This new trail is a huge step in the path toward success. Look at Whistler, so much traffic just on Crank it Up, Dirt Merch and A-Line.
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  25. #25
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    WOW! SO rocky. I'm not surprised why its taking so long! Props to the park crew!

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