Announcement: Stevens Pass Bike Park has won final approval from the Forest Service. Concerns of all appealing parties have been addressed. Finances are in place and if La Nina doesn’t overstay her welcome next summer, construction on Phase One trails will begin.
That’s all according to an interview that KOHO 101.1 FM did with Joel Martinez, director of operations, and Chris Rudolph, director of marketing, for Stevens Pass last week.
For the past five years, planning, environmental reviews and federal permitting have been churning through their respectable redtape processes. And now the Forest Service has finally approved the bike park’s construction after reviewing appellants’ concerns about wolverines and local tribes. All concerns have been wholly addressed and shovels can break soil.
Obviously though, winter will be here before you can “deeiiiialed.” So you’ll have to stick to your usual shredding haunts for now; construction won’t start until 2011. Martinez told KOHO: “We’re just now starting to see the colors turn up here and with the La Nina forecast on the horizon, it’s time to batten down the hatches and get ready for an epic snow season.”
Fine by me. As I see it, it’ll be an amazing winter, deep pow, we’ll get our fix. You know—face shots, all the goods we’re still hunkering for after last “season.” And then, we get to witness the beginnings of our own backyard lift-accessed bike park. Who… wants cake??
Still, the crew is hedging, just in case: “We’re going to take the winter as it comes and if La Nina does what it does, it’ll give us quite a bit of snow, and we’ll get started next summer depending on how much snow is on the ground,” Martinez said.
Whenever the ribbon is finally cut, expect to see five trails initially. Phase One will consist of three machine-excavated jump lines (a green circle, blue square and black diamond), as well as two hand-cut singletracks, according to Martinez. Bike rentals will be available and food operations, open.
Duthie marked a huge success for the local riding community; it’s something you can mention when you’re away from home. Now, a lift-accessed bike park will only bolster Washington’s reputation as serious riding region. Plus, it’ll provide a certain homebase for the locals. A beacon in the drizzle, if you will. As Rudolph says: “It’s really going to make Stevens Pass a year-round anchor for our community.”
Here’s to the mountains. Here’s to five years of hard work, and a dedicated crew.