Timberline Mountain Bike Trails -
November 13, 2008
Timberline has been putting some time into improving the mountain bike trail network at the resort. This is refreshing news as the old network - as good as it was - had been pretty much obliterated by ATVs, horses, and Winterhaven. The plan has been to work with the ATV race promoter and the equestrian concessionaire to lay out a sustainable multi-use network that everyone can enjoy. I have not seen the new trails, but I spoke with Tline's new MTB director, JR Nolan, back in April and he has some great ideas for the place. Developing this trail network will provide better access to maintain Tline's official and unofficial gladed terrain. I'm eager to get over there soon to check things out. Here's the event notice just posted on Tline's website:
May 31st - June 1st Timberline will host an invitational weekend of riding. Members of Mid-Atlantic race organizations, professionals riders, clubs, shop owners/employees and locals are all invited to attend. The format of the vent will feature a variety of attractions. There will be guided sessions at 10 am and 2 pm led by the people who built Timberline's system of trails and riding areas. J.R. Nolan, who is in charge of the mountain bike operation, believes that this will be, "...a unique opportunity and the best way to discover the wealth of riding that is Timberline." Nolan adds taht the allure of the biking terrain is evident, "...based on the successful past events held at Timberline." Call 1-800-766-9464 for more information,
sounds sweet. anyone know if the season pass you use for skiing is also good for summer bike lift service also?
It's about time that biking came back as a mainstay of mountain recreation in the valley. It has been suffering of late with the growing population of atv, dirtbikes, etc... I hope JR can turn some things around. Too bad they sold so much to F&W a few years back. There had been some mighty fine single track prior to that.
...knowing JR and his knowledge and talent if the powers to be at the line let him have his way and allocate him some help (fundage) timberline could be a mecca for mountain bike riding, and actually make that place a multiple season resort...
This "invitational" planned for the last weekend in May sounds like a really good deal. Have the riders who built the trails show you how to ride the trails. The pump track should be something real fun. If you don't know what one is - check this out.
Pretty fun eh?
Tom, does the invitational mean by invitation only or is it open to the general public?
Kim: The invitational is open to the general public. I know they are still working to get trails open in time. I don't believe all the planned features (e.g., the pump track) will be ready in 2 weeks.
I'm really excited about this - if it takes off it will definitely add some business to the other seasons in the Valley and that will be good for everyone. Plus, it will give me an excuse to go down and see Roger at BWB to plunk down some more cash on a big bike!
The Valley may be known for its snow and skiing - but I believe the mountain biking in the area is even better.
There's decent revenue in this type of operation. In addition to lift tickets (including MTB season passes - no your ski season pass won't cover your MTB) - they can offer equipment rentals (big-hit bikes, fullface helmets, body armor, on site urgent care
), and instruction. Snowshoe hosts regular freeride and downhill camps, plus offers regular onsite instruction.
Tline has even entered the wired age - taking its outreach online - here's a thread from Tline's MTB manager JR Nolan on a local Freeride forum: Ridemonkey - Virginia & Surrounding Areas http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201953
JR - if you're out there reading here are some more great sites that will reach DC DH and Freeride enthusiastsMid-Atlantic Offroad Enthusiasts - Freeride Forum
or RideDC MTBR Forum - Virginia, WV, Maryland, DC, Delaware
I know a bunch of riders who regularly troop out to Snowshoe, Wisp, Massanutten, and Diablo (in NJ) every weekend to experience this type of riding. Posting announcements and details to local club and community websites like these and establishing contact with DC area riders will only help build up a regular customer base. Getting some sanctioned races in there will help too.
Sounds good, Tom. I think JR is one of the best things that could have happened to t-line. Hope they don't treat him like CV did. Evidently Tom and Doc are listening and that's a good thing. All too often in the past they would get someone who has good ideas and making positive changes and they do something to alienate them. Hope this engagement is a long one.
I think JR may understand Doc better than some others. He sensed Doc was receptive and is trying to structure this project in a way that Doc will be comfortable with. I spoke with Doc myself about the mountain bike program on the last day of the season. He is hopeful something worthwhile can become of it - he really just didn't know much about the existing trail network or its potential.
By the way - JR's posted some additional info on MTBR Timberline Davis WV OPEN AGAIN
and pictures Timberline Downhill
Wow, those were some awesome pictures. I love the Valley in the Summer time. I have plans for Memorial Weekend that are looking to have the potential to fall through. If they do I will almost definitely be up there that Saturday. Looks like an awesome time!!
wow that pump track looks like fun...it's kinda like moguls for mountain bikes...it's a good thing those groomers don't work on dirt or they'd flatten those things out quicker then you could make a turn in some fresh pow...
This weekend, come on over!
Welcome, J.R! I didn't know that you were lurking out there. I was up in the valley this past weekend and saw some of your work. Looks sweet. A couple of (ahem) "locals" were pushing some dirt around by the storage building below the rope tow shack. I assume that is the area where the pump track will live.
This weekend @ Timberline will be a great time to visit, free lifts, guided tours (@ 10 and 2) and a complimentary bit to eat. It is very important for people to show up, letting Doc (the owner) know that there is interest.
A friend and I went over to Timberline on Sunday to check out the new trails. JR and the crew have 2 main downhill runs open at Timberline, both are considered Expert DH runs. -
Doc's Revenge is the "easier" of the two runs. It starts at the headwall of the Drop, then switchbacks and drops through the woods between the Drop and OTW then back across the base of the Drop through the woods again and out onto the bottom of Whiteout.
Twister's Sister starts behind the ski patrol hut at the top and heads down Crash and Burn (a very gnarly rock and boulder garden) then snakes back and forth across the ski slopes into the woods between Twister and Dew Drop before dropping through Pearly Glades to the lift.
Just like skiing at Timberline though, there are numerous alternative runs down and ways to connect these trails with existing ski slopes, fireroads, and cat-tracks to add a lot of variety to the riding.
The weather in the Valley was not kind to the Invitational event this weekend. Saturday was stormy with buckets of rain and lots of thunder & lightning. Result - shut down lifts, no runs. We made it over Sunday morning, and had a nice guided tour down Doc's Revenge with Scott Young - one of the trail-builders and someone who knows the old trails on that mountain better than anyone.
Doc's Revenge starts with a nice little slalom course along the top of the Drop before following a wide bermed turn into the woods at rider's right. It then follows a series of steep rocky ATV paths with bermed switchbacks down through the trees before dropping even more steeply down a short stretch of single track down to the fireroad that traverses Timberline about 1/3 of the way up the mountain. The trail dives back into the woods over more rocky singletrack between Easy Does It and White out then Lower Silver Streak before popping out into the open for the run down to the lift.
I thought the trail was steep, technical, and challenging. The rain plus the newness of much of the trail made for some pretty sketchy riding in many sections. By my third run down I was starting to get the flow and could carry better speed - though I never felt good letting my bike run given the wet and slick conditions.
We were ready to head over and try Twisters Sister when a severe thunderstorm with hail blew in and shut down mountain operations again. I didn't have time to wait out the storm, so we thanked JR and Scott and headed home.
As with all things Timberline - there is great potential here. Doc's Revenge has the makings of a really fun DH trail once it dries out and gets ridden in and packed down some more. The idea of connecting existing trails and cutting some new ones to create a unique network of cross-country trails intermixed with DH trails makes for some very cool riding. Timberline has some MTB and DH races planned for this summer and fall that should attract some riders who normally hit Snowshoe or Wisp. That's good news - races will help get the place noticed by more of its intended customer base than any other marketing they do.
Timberline is not close to offering what Wisp or Snowshoe have yet. For one thing, they need a rental fleet. We did OK on our 4" travel full suspension XC bikes. But part of the appeal of trying this kind of riding is the opportunity to throw your leg over a 40lb all-out DH rig with 8-10" of travel that will devour steep technical terrain with contempt. If I get hooked on this type of riding, I'll have to buy one of these monster bikes for myself. Still, I believe they've already got a great product considering they've only been cutting trails there for less than 2 months. JR and Scott have some great ideas that if they get turned into trails will really add a lot of fun to summer in the Valley. I for sure will be back for more fun next trip up.
The lower part of Doc's revenge below the fire road sounds like it's using part of the 24 hr prologue course which, depending on the weather, could be quite tricky. Twister's sister is definetly using parts of the Crash and Burn, a chainring eating rock garden. Can't tell you how many broken frames and forks I've seen carried out of that part of the mountain during the 24 hour race.
Kim: You are correct - it is the old Prologue Downhill - and it is a bit tricky. There's a fall line downhill just above it that I did not ride on Sunday (stuck to the steep switchbacks instead). That looked REALLY steep and slick - but probably lots of fun in good conditions. That line was part of the old Timber Crit race. Crash and Burn should be a little more hospitable for newer generation bikes than the 90's front suspension or rigid rides from the old 24 hour days. It's still very gnarly though.
Do you need to buy a pass to ride at Tline? Or is it just to use the lift?
You only need a pass to ride the lift. Trail access is otherwise free.
Did a few quick laps at Tline on Wednesday afternoon. I met two people in the parking lot and they were nice enough to let me do a lap with them. First time down we did the White trail. Having skied across or down this trail in the past, it seemed a lot wider on a bike than on skis. Maybe the ATV's had made it wider? The trail was screaming fast. The second time down I did the yellow trail, which is a single track trail that basically follows the fall line and crosses over the white trail a number of times. This was a blast, pretty steep in places, luckily I was on my fully rigid bike.
Never wrecked, but my rear tire did try to pass me a couple of times. Having skied this section of woods on many occasions, it looks so much different with all the leaves on the trees and the forest floor covered with ferns.
The best part was being able to rehydrate myself with a WVBC Oatmeal Stout at the Pub.
Why is the mountain biking beneficial?
Well, here's something I would love to share with you:
Timberline has mega biking possibilities.
5+ months of Trail maintenance equates brand new mountain biking trails.
Tree skiing at this best is the result - with totally new lines.
Want to get a glimps?
Tray this www.damaps.net/wv/bike/trail-1631
Marker numbers for trial photos.
Double Arrows for action shots.
Bring your tele skis for the 2008-09 season.