New Grant for DH trail at Hatcher needs your help! (xpost from AKspokes)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Grant for DH trail at Hatcher needs your help! (xpost from AKspokes)

    Livetoride posted this over on AKspokes about a week ago and I thought some people here might like to see it. Here you go.


    Mark Gronewald, trail builder for State Parks at Hatcher Pass asked that I pass this on to folks. They are working on a grant to fund trail building through the 16 mile area. Gravity Logic came out and did a sight survey, and according to Mark, the results were very very encouraging!

    Here is the info:

    Project title: 16 mile Trails Plan and Bike and Ski Trails

    This grant would create a trails plan and two new trails for the 16 mile ski run area in Hatcher Pass.

    A 1.25 mile summer mountain bike and winter ski and snowboard access trail would parallel Hatcher Pass Road connecting Archangel and 16 Mile Parking Lots. The trail would alleviate winter traffic safety problems by providing off-road access to all the popular sledding and ski runs from the 16 mile parking lot.

    A second trail would be a summer 2.25 mile, 950 vertical feet, professionally designed intermediate-level downhill mountain bike course that would descend the 16 mile ski run from top to bottom.

    Please send comments to Ranger Kymberly Miller, Alaska State Parks, 907-745-8936. Email: [email protected]

    Comments are due by November 10, 2010.

    Thanks everyone! Spread the word!

  2. #2
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    Is this essentially the road run where the road makes the big hairpin above mint trailhead?

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    Any good news thus far? I'm liking the idea of multiple down hill options. I can't justify flying my bike up to Anchorage just for the weekend riding in Alyeska.

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    yeah, flying to anchorage just to go to alyeska is not worth it. not until they improve the trail system greatly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed
    Is this essentially the road run where the road makes the big hairpin above mint trailhead?

    not sure which hairpin you are talking about, sorry. it is the where everyone shuttles in the winter. the bottom of the tail is a couple miles before the motherload lodge and the top is just below the snow machine upper parking lot. that help? would be pretty B.A, there is a trail you can ride in the summer but it pretty much goes straight down the hill. definitely not using the amount of vertical it offers to its ability. hopefully something comes of it. time will tell.

    pv

  6. #6
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    Bump

    Any new info about this?

  7. #7
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    Per Backcountry Bicycles/Ptarmigan Trails in Palmer. In other news, there will be no completed 16-Mile Downhill trail this summer for those of you who were super stoked (including us). Please feel free to voice your opinions to State Parks and their lack of hiring a trail crew that has ANY knowledge of building trails, especially MTB/Downhill specific trails. Feel free to contact Wayne Biessel with DNR State Parks at [email protected].

  8. #8
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    what i have heard through the rumor mill is that gravity logic did a sight survey, buy was not awarded the contract.
    litespeed's break

  9. #9
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    I also heard they wanted a rather large amount of money to build the trail and considering the scope of the project. My guess is the state didn't want to pay that high of price for such a tiny user group. I wouldn't blame them for putting it on hold. There's plenty of other trails around that need $$$ rubbed on them to keep them open and keep everybody happy.

    Kincader:

    Kinda crude opinion of the states trail crew. Maybe you should volunteer or go apply for a trail crew position and go show them how exactly its done.

  10. #10
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    Akpirate: I just copied and pasted that from Backcountrys Cycles info page on trails in the valley. That was Erin's Kesslers opinion of the quality of the trail crew hired to work on the Hatchers trail. Since her Husband is one of the owners of Ptarmigan trails that ran the trail work on the Kincaid STA's i figure she can evaluate the quality of the trail crew. That is why it said per Backcountry/Ptarmigan Trails. As far as my level of commitment on trail work and volunteering most people on this forum know who I am and how much work I have put in on the Kincaid STA's. I have not done any trail work in the valley so you got me there. I have no opinion of the state trail crew. Sounds like you are a F**King expert though so maybe you are the one to show us how it is done. P.S. The way I heard it Gravity Logic wanted $300K to build the trail. Ptarmigan trails said they would do it for less than a quarter of that and they weren't interested.

  11. #11
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    If and whenever this trail gets built I hope whomever is in charge and digging doesn't waste the prime real estate at hand. I hope they at least have someone or know someone who has done a decent amount of DH riding on a dual crown or Freeride bike with a decent vision for lines.

    It would be nice to have some lines that resembled jumps/drops like you would find at Whistler's A-Line, Dirt Merchant, Freight Train, even crank it up and B line. If you haven't ridden bike park style lines or terrain with 30-40ft tables and big drops on a dual crown or freeride bike then you have no clue what Im talking about. You have to experience it 1st hand to truly appreciate it.

    It would be ashamed if a bunch of small tabletops like the ones at Kincaid (no pun to STA builders) were built in on a true DH trail. I foresee this happening if someone isnt involved that doesn't have a vision that hasn't evolved past what local trails we have now.

    As far as the user base, just because you dont see dual crown and 6-8" bikes on the local Kincaid and Hillside STA it doesnt mean the culture isnt out there. When they did the inaugural Alyeska downhill in 2010 there were more dual crown and 6-8" bikes on the property than you would of ever imagined.

    Progression of biking in the local area isnt limited to small singletrack projects, to think so would be selfish and rude.


    10 year of progression of biking @ Whistler, no reason we cant follow suite, the terrain is there, down south, and up north.

    AMPLITUDE - YouTube
    Last edited by nojoke; 06-28-2012 at 07:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    Whooooa!

    That was sarcasm there, not an order. Jeez chill.

    Reguardless still kinda a crude comment to make about hired help. Given how the state does budgeting be glad we even have a paid trail crew to do the work IMO.

    I wouldn't want to be the one to tell them they've done a shitty job of trail building after an entire season of working on what they do. Volunteering on weekends is one thing. Working 40 hrs a week all summer long maintaining and building trails for $13/ hour is another.

    Even a quarter of the 300K that GL wanted probably exceeded the seasonal allowance the state committed to budget for trail work for the entire Mat-Su area. So one 2.25 mile trail for a very niche group of users or a wide variety of work done that keeps an array of user groups happy. Seems kinda like a no brainer to me. IDK

  13. #13
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    Clarification

    Seems like there's a lot of misinformation floating around out there about this project.

    I was the Hatcher Pass Trail Crew foreman for Alaska State Parks for four seasons. I was the one who dreamed this up and wrote the Recreational Trails Program grant for the Mile 16 project. The total budget for this project was only about $60K which pretty much precluded hiring a contractor for construction.

    Since building a DH bike trail is a totally new concept for Alaska State Parks we wanted to make sure it was professionally designed and laid out to be enjoyable for users yet sustainable (due to a small trail maintenance budget), so we decided to solicit bids for design and layout services with an experienced private contractor and construct the trail in-house. Due to the very limited experience base in similar projects by Alaskan trail contractors, it was decided to allow lower 48 and Canadian companies to bid. Gravity Logic ended up being awarded the design and layout contract and did the trail layout last fall. The entire trail is now center-flagged, the trail crew is brushing out the corridor now, and construction is scheduled for this summer. I'm sure they would welcome volunteer help.

    I just want to emphasize that this trail is designed for intermediate-level mountain bikers and will be more of a flow trail with an 8% average grade rather than a rad-dude big air course with 40 foot jumps, so if you are expecting Alaska State Parks to build that for you, you are likely to be disappointed. It will have some smaller jumps and tech sections, lots of bermed turns, and should be a very enjoyable ride for most. If this trail proves to be popular and problem-free, there is plenty of adjacent terrain which could be used for more advanced trails in the future.

    There's an unfortunate adage in the trail world: If you build it, they will complain. If this turns into a huge headache for State Parks, the chances of them building more trails for you in the future are much slimmer. It's a drag to see the negativity and squabbling erupting around this project. BTW, while it's true that the new trail crew boss doesn't have much trail experience, she does have lots of experience managing crews and has been making an effort to learn about trail building as quickly as she can. Most of the trail crew members have at least one season of Alaskan trail experience under their belt, one has three seasons. Not sure where the "Zero experience" comment came from. It's not an easy job, comments like this can be very demoralizing.

    If you truly support this project, let State Parks know, their contact info is listed on a previous post. And volunteer help is always appreciated, the crew is working up there Monday through Thursday so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and earn your turns. At least let them know you appreciate their hard work if you drive by and see them up there.

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    Apologies to AKpirate if I miss-interpreted the tone of your post. If there was some type of info on how and where to volunteer for work on the new trail I would defiantly like to help work.

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    Thanks for clearing things up Wildfire, I will definitely be throwing in a hand as my schedule allows.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Seems like there's a lot of misinformation floating around out there about this project.

    I was the Hatcher Pass Trail Crew foreman for Alaska State Parks for four seasons. I was the one who dreamed this up and wrote the Recreational Trails Program grant for the Mile 16 project. The total budget for this project was only about $60K which pretty much precluded hiring a contractor for construction.

    Since building a DH bike trail is a totally new concept for Alaska State Parks we wanted to make sure it was professionally designed and laid out to be enjoyable for users yet sustainable (due to a small trail maintenance budget), so we decided to solicit bids for design and layout services with an experienced private contractor and construct the trail in-house. Due to the very limited experience base in similar projects by Alaskan trail contractors, it was decided to allow lower 48 and Canadian companies to bid. Gravity Logic ended up being awarded the design and layout contract and did the trail layout last fall. The entire trail is now center-flagged, the trail crew is brushing out the corridor now, and construction is scheduled for this summer. I'm sure they would welcome volunteer help.

    I just want to emphasize that this trail is designed for intermediate-level mountain bikers and will be more of a flow trail with an 8% average grade rather than a rad-dude big air course with 40 foot jumps, so if you are expecting Alaska State Parks to build that for you, you are likely to be disappointed. It will have some smaller jumps and tech sections, lots of bermed turns, and should be a very enjoyable ride for most. If this trail proves to be popular and problem-free, there is plenty of adjacent terrain which could be used for more advanced trails in the future.

    There's an unfortunate adage in the trail world: If you build it, they will complain. If this turns into a huge headache for State Parks, the chances of them building more trails for you in the future are much slimmer. It's a drag to see the negativity and squabbling erupting around this project. BTW, while it's true that the new trail crew boss doesn't have much trail experience, she does have lots of experience managing crews and has been making an effort to learn about trail building as quickly as she can. Most of the trail crew members have at least one season of Alaskan trail experience under their belt, one has three seasons. Not sure where the "Zero experience" comment came from. It's not an easy job, comments like this can be very demoralizing.

    If you truly support this project, let State Parks know, their contact info is listed on a previous post. And volunteer help is always appreciated, the crew is working up there Monday through Thursday so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and earn your turns. At least let them know you appreciate their hard work if you drive by and see them up there.
    two thumbs up bud

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Kincaider;9458179]Apologies to AKpirate if I miss-interpreted the tone of your post. If there was some type of info on how and w


    Yeah,thats what the emoticon is for duffus

    No offense taken though.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=akpirate;9458931]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kincaider View Post
    Apologies to AKpirate if I miss-interpreted the tone of your post. If there was some type of info on how and w


    Yeah,thats what the emoticon is for duffus

    No offense taken though.
    dude, your just a dick. you obviously are either ignorant or are pushing your own agenda. probably both. let me guess, you think anything other than a hard tail 29er and spandex isn't real mountain biking and beneath you?? oh, and please fell free to take offense, b/c if there was any question remaining, it is intended. while your at it, you can take your thumbsup and rolleyes and shove 'em where the sun don't shire. maybe that will help you find the stick you clearly have lodged in the same place.

    kinkaider, you didn't say anything wrong and had no reason to apologize, akpirate was just being a ass. (and continues to be with this post).

    pv
    Last edited by ak pura vida; 07-01-2012 at 12:14 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Seems like there's a lot of misinformation floating around out there about this project.
    yeah..., i disagree. i don't think there is a lot of misinformation floating around. a DH specific trail was proposed and now that the cost is on the table and other users who are pushing their own agenda are influencing the decisions being made. from your own description it sounds like the hatcher trail will end up just like everything else that is available (hillside, kinkaid). not that those are bad trail but they are not DH trails by any stretch of the imagination. what you DON'T do is exactly what you (or the ones making the decisions) are going to end up doing. you DO NOT build an "intermediate" trail designed to be ridden by a 4" XC bike. you build an advanced trail with RIDE AROUNDS for beginner and intermediate riders. why not build 20, 30, 40 foot tables, drops, step ups, gaps, booters, hits, hips or whatever the hell you want to call them?? put in a simple ride around and then have something that all riders of any level can enjoy and grow into. that is how people get better and the sport grows. NOT by building the same old thing. i don't want a trail that i can master in one day of riding, why would anyone?? push me and i will have years of enjoyment. and even more when my kids grow and are introduced. and one year of trail building experience? the most anyone has is three years? plus the lead has ZERO experience? sorry, that will not turn out well. on top of that, i would wager a large sum of money NONE of them have any DH specific trail building experience. if you have limited experienced XC trail builders, building a DH trail then you will end up with a XC trail that goes downhill. if it isn't going to be done correctly don't do it at all. you'll just end up wasting your money and the majority of comments will be "gee this had/has so much potential if they just would have done x,y,&z..." if it is just a money thing, then save your pennies until you can do it right or build it right until you run out of money, then worry about finding more. once something is started then it is much easier to continue to get funding for. or even better yet, USERS are much more likely to donate both their time and money to see it progress and continue to improve.

    don't get me wrong, the thought to even put in something gravity orientated is greatly appreciated, but i just want to see it done right. for the benefit of everyone. and, so i am perfectly clear, i am not a trail builder, don't know the first thing about trail building, and would just screw it up if i tried. but..., that's why i'm not building DH trails. i'm aware of my limitations and have no problem admitting the things i don't know... insisting on doing something wrong out of stubbornness or bravado is not only ignorant, it's just stupid.

    pv
    Last edited by ak pura vida; 06-30-2012 at 11:51 PM.

  20. #20
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    oh, and could you define "rad dude big air" for me?? i think the eighties call and would like their verbiage back! (sorry, couldn't help it. too much of a softball to be left hanging in the air that long!! )

    pv

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    Just go bike it in the winter after all the snow boarders have graded the snow into ice

    Seriously that would be a lot of fun and way more convenient than going into to Anchorage to ride.

  22. #22
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    I did mention this trail was designed and laid out by Whistler Gravity Logic, didn't I? The same guys who designed and built the Whistler DH trails? The reason being, as previously admitted, that there is a very limited experience base building DH trails in AK. There are really not hoards of experienced DH trail builders in this state looking for employment. And yes, it would be great to see some bigger features for advanced riders, but just who is going to maintain all those features when the lips get broken down and landings rutted? I did mention the limited trail maintenance budget? The Recreational Trails Program that funded this has since dried up. This is an area with no admission fee. Your idea about ride-arounds is a good, one, though. Maybe that could be accommodated as long as it doesn't break the flow. I think I also mentioned that there is lots of adjacent terrain for more advanced runs available should someone be able to come up with funding.

    Anyway, there's no way to please everyone. Feel free to ride this run or not as you see fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by ak pura vida View Post
    yeah..., i disagree. i don't think there is a lot of misinformation floating around. a DH specific trail was proposed and now that the cost is on the table and other users who are pushing their own agenda are influencing the decisions being made. from your own description it sounds like the hatcher trail will end up just like everything else that is available (hillside, kinkaid). not that those are bad trail but they are not DH trails by any stretch of the imagination. what you DON'T do is exactly what you (or the ones making the decisions) are going to end up doing. you DO NOT build an "intermediate" trail designed to be ridden by a 4" XC bike. you build an advanced trail with RIDE AROUNDS for beginner and intermediate riders. why not build 20, 30, 40 foot tables, drops, step ups, gaps, booters, hits, hips or whatever the hell you want to call them?? put in a simple ride around and then have something that all riders of any level can enjoy and grow into. that is how people get better and the sport grows. NOT by building the same old thing. i don't want a trail that i can master in one day of riding, why would anyone?? push me and i will have years of enjoyment. and even more when my kids grow and are introduced. and one year of trail building experience? the most anyone has is three years? plus the lead has ZERO experience? sorry, that will not turn out well. on top of that, i would wager a large sum of money NONE of them have any DH specific trail building experience. if you have limited experienced XC trail builders, building a DH trail then you will end up with a XC trail that goes downhill. if it isn't going to be done correctly don't do it at all. you'll just end up wasting your money and the majority of comments will be "gee this had/has so much potential if they just would have done x,y,&z..." if it is just a money thing, then save your pennies until you can do it right or build it right until you run out of money, then worry about finding more. once something is started then it is much easier to continue to get funding for. or even better yet, USERS are much more likely to donate both their time and money to see it progress and continue to improve.

    don't get me wrong, the thought to even put in something gravity orientated is greatly appreciated, but i just want to see it done right. for the benefit of everyone. and, so i am perfectly clear, i am not a trail builder, don't know the first thing about trail building, and would just screw it up if i tried. but..., that's why i'm not building DH trails. i'm aware of my limitations and have no problem admitting the things i don't know... insisting on doing something wrong out of stubbornness or bravado is not only ignorant, it's just stupid.

    pv

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=ak pura vida;9460783]
    Quote Originally Posted by akpirate View Post

    dude, your just a dick. you obviously are either ignorant or are pushing your own agenda. probably both. let me guess, you think anything other than a hard tail 29er and spandex isn't real mountain biking and beneath you?? oh, and please fell free to take offense, b/c if there was any question remaining, it is intended. while your at it, you can take your thumbsup and rolleyes and shove 'em where the sun don't shire. maybe that will help you find the stick you clearly have lodged in the same place.

    kinkaider, you didn't say anything wrong and had no reason to apologize, akpirate was just being a ass. (and continues to be with this post).

    pv
    Wait? I'm suppose to wear spandex now too? DAMNIT! why didn't I get that meme sooner?

    Throughout all of MTBR sub-forums sarcasm and light banter is common place, but NOoooo not in the Alaska sub- forum. Its all serious talk all the time. This is what killed akspokes IMO. Who wants to participate in a forum were people just get completely ripped up for voicing a difference of opinion or want to interject some light sarcasm to a topic.

    / lighten up francis.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    I did mention this trail was designed and laid out by Whistler Gravity Logic, didn't I? The same guys who designed and built the Whistler DH trails? Being designed and being built is two different things. As i said, you started out in the right direction, but is not being followed up well The reason being, as previously admitted, that there is a very limited experience base building DH trails in AK. There are really not hoards of experienced DH trail builders in this state looking for employment. Hence my point, build it correctly or don't build it at all And yes, it would be great to see some bigger features for advanced riders, but just who is going to maintain all those features when the lips get broken down and landings rutted? I did mention the limited trail maintenance budget? The Recreational Trails Program that funded this has since dried up. This is an area with no admission fee. THIS is where the local users would come to play and would be more than happy to do. yes there will be some that use and don't contribute but the vast majority of users would be more than happy to pitch in when needed. Your idea about ride-arounds is a good, one, though. Thank you. and really highlights the need for experienced DH trail builders if that is a new concept Maybe that could be accommodated as long as it doesn't break the flow. absolutely, and again, experience pays dividends I think I also mentioned that there is lots of adjacent terrain for more advanced runs available should someone be able to come up with funding. agreed, but again, i go back to doing it right the first time...

    Anyway, there's no way to please everyone. Feel free to ride this run or not as you see fit. Don't worry, i will.
    response/comments in bold

  25. #25
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    Bump

    What is the status of this trail. I heard that it will be completed by the end of 2013. True?

  26. #26
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    It's been hogged in but is far from finished. End of 2013 seems reasonable.

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