PVTA lends trail building hands to Lil’wat Nation

Rubble Creek Classic record broken

The Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA), in conjunction with the Lil’wat Nation and the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program (AYMBP), is hosting a trail day this Sunday (Oct. 4) for a new mountain bike recreation project in Xit’olacw Village.

“It’s great to get these groups together and do something for the community,” said Patrick Lucas, director of the AYMBP. “For two years it’s been an ongoing conversation. I’m super excited it’s coming together.”

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The project began to build momentum after local youth were paying regular visits to Lil’wat councillor Alphonse Wallace and enquiring about the possibility of building a proper bike skills centre, beginning with a line of
dirt jumps.

“I drove up and met with a bunch of the community members and did a presentation and we talked about what they want to do,” said Lucas. “When you’re working with communities, things can sit for a while and all of a sudden it takes one little spark for it all to come together.”

The line of dirt jumps is the first step in what will hopefully blossom into a more established mini-bike park for the youth in Xit’olacw Village, with the long-term goal to build a flow trail that parallels the access road to the reserve. Sunday will also see Whistler trail builder Seb Kemp and Joyride’s Paddy Kaye lending their expertise to the construction, training the youth on how they can continue work on both jumps and trails into the future.

“I think from a trail user’s perspective, we need to acknowledge that any time we are out riding on terrain surrounding Pemberton that we are riding on Lil’wat land,” said Ian Kruger, director of trails at the PVTA. “We need to be respectful of that, but also try to give back. I’m hoping this is a gateway to whatever the kids want next.”

The project is also aimed at being a long term, sustainable endeavour for the Lil’wat Nation, with plans to keep youth engaged beyond the current user group.

“The thing is keeping the momentum, I think that’s what everyone is concerned about,” said Lucas. “Some of the kids involved are 17 and some will leave the community in the next few years. What we’re aiming to do next year is get slightly younger kids involved and make sure the facilities serve their needs as well.”

Those wishing to contribute to the trail day can meet at the site on the corner of Xit’olacw Road and Xstream Road this Sunday. Work begins at 8 a.m.

New course record for Rubble Creek Classic

One of the Sea to Sky’s longest running trail races, the Rubble Creek Classic, took place on Sunday morning (Sept. 27) under sunny skies with 69 runners tackling the scenic 24.5-km course from Cheakamus Lake to Rubble Creek.

The 1,338m climb and 1,593m descent did not phase Squamish’s Nick Elson, who set a new course record of just one hour, 47 minutes, 27 seconds (1:47:27), beating the previous record (1:50:51) set by Edward McCarthy in 2012. Second place on the day went to Maxwell Ferguson (1:59:18) from Washington, followed by Eric Carter (2:02:24), also from Squamish. Fastest lady of the day went to Whistler local Claire Daniels (2:18:04), followed by Corri Longridge (2:23:46) and Laura O’Driscoll (2:26:49).

For full results head to escaperoute.ca/rubblecreekclassic.

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