The little mountain that could continues to build a giant reputation within the mountain biking industry.
Silver Star Mountain Resort’s bike park was recently awarded Silver Ride Centre Status by the International Mountain Biking Association.
The IMBA Ride Centre designation represents the group’s trail recognition for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider.
In order to gain the recognition, IMBA is looking for bike destinations that allow riders to bring a full arsenal of bikes to visit any Ride Centre location. From back-country adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only to family friendly.
Silver Star bike park summer business manager Ian Galbraith and bike park director Cam Sorensen travelled to the IMBA World Summit in Steamboat Springs, Colo. to pick up the award.
“We’re unbelievably excited to receive this award from IMBA,” said Galbraith.
“To be recognized internationally for the work that we have put into our bike park over the years is especially satisfying for our hardworking trail crew that has built the network from the ground up.”
Sorensen, says the bike park has been working for more than a decade building trails in hopes of gaining this type of recognition.
“This isn’t something that just happens overnight,” said Sorensen.
“This type of recognition is shared with so many people who have made the bike park what it is.”
Sorensen believes the commitment by the resort to invest more than $250,000 over the next two years into the cross-country mountain biking expansion also helped Silver Star gain the designation from IMBA.
“This award embodies everything we’ve set out to do with our park in terms of offering trails for every level of rider,” he said.
“We have trails for experts who want to rip big jumps on Pro Star all the way down to Challenger, a perfect start for the first-time rider. The goal was to build a park where everyone can enjoy both downhill and cross-country, no matter how long they’ve been riding and you can progress from beginner trails up to intermediate and advanced.”
IMBA describes the Ride Centre status as the “riding destinations that should go on everyone’s short-list” for places to bike.
These are the trails worth traveling to; the best places to introduce someone to the sport we all love and are the facilities builders and advocates should look to for inspiration.
They vary from adventures in the back-country to trail systems located a midst population centres.
Silver Star was one of two locations in Canada to receive Ride Centre status and the only silver level located north of the border.
“We are also one of only a few bike parks to have been bestowed with the status and we are incredibly proud of that,” said Sorensen.
Sorensen said as far as building and expansion, it’s been another busy season at the bike park.
So far Sorensen and his trail crew have added more than 10 kilometres to the cross-country network, which now sits at 37-plus kilometres.
He said the biggest task facing the resort is the completion Beowulf, an epic cross-country trail ride that will be close to 30 kilometres when it’s finished.
So far they completed two kilometres of the trail, with more expected to be roughed in once this fall.
While cross-country expansion garners most of the attention, the bike park is also focused on adding more downhill trails. Silver Star just opened the upper section of Jedi Mind Trick, which is roughly two kilometres of flawy trail that will connect to what was opened last summer lower down the mountain.
Galbraith said the addition of cross-country trails, along with on-mountain camping, and disc golf have made the resort a growing summer destination for the busy highway traffic coming through the region.
“The addition of cross-country has brought a whole new clientele to the mountain that normally wouldn’t come up because downhill biking wasn’t their style.
“Plus with on-mountain camping, we’re seeing more traffic from Vancouver, Calgary and the Pacific Northwest who’ve decided to spend three or four days riding because it’s more economical.”
The Silver Star bike park is open for downhill riding today and again Sept. 13 and 14 before closing for the season.
Silver Star Mountain Resort is scheduled to open for nordic skiing Nov. 7 and alpine skiing Nov. 27.