Lightning screeches bikers to a halt

Mother Nature's strike shuts down fist day of Silver Star bike park's bonus weekend

Mountain bikers had to abandon the chairlift after a thunder storm moved into Silver Star Mountain Resort Saturday.

Mountain bikers had to abandon the chairlift after a thunder storm moved into Silver Star Mountain Resort Saturday.

Early morning it looked like Mother Nature would be kind on the first day of Silver Star’s 2012 bonus weekend. However it didn’t last long.

At 10:45 a.m. Saturday, the first lightning crack was spotted and the resort had to clear and shut down the Comet Six-Pack lift until the storm ended.

“Lightning closures are nothing new to the bike park in summer time but for all of the keen mountain bikers chomping at the bit to get out and ride lift access downhill, it was an exercise in patience,” said Ian Galbraith, summer business manager.

Most lightning strikes average two to three kilometers long and carry a current of 10,000 amps at 100 million volts.

“This explains why the chairlifts were cleared and shut down as quickly as possible. Guests were transported from the bottom of the lift back to the village via bus,” said Galbraith.

Almost all the trails were open for the bonus weekend with a few exceptions where the ground was too soft for biking.

Luckily, with the resort closed this week, it gives crews time to get the trails open and ready for full operations opening Friday.

The Silver Star Bike Park will be open seven days a week until Sept. 9 and then reopen for an end-of-season bonus weekend Sept. 15 and 16.

There will also be the B.C. Cup Race July 21 and 22 and the Freeride Festival Aug. 25 and 26.  As well, Silver Star has started new non-mountain bike activities like Frisbee golf and geocaching.