The weather was scorching hot, the river was perfectly refreshing, and the party was one for the books at this year’s Downieville Classic. In addition to two days of intense mountain bike racing, event-goers were treated to a bustling expo, great food, plentiful New Belgium beer, two nights of great music, and a movie premiere.
On the racing side of things, Giant Bicycles were the weekend’s big winners with Carl Decker taking the men’s All-Mountain overall for the 5th time (based on a 3rd place in the XC and a blistering fast win in the DH), and Kelli Emmett dominating the women’s All-Mountain with emphatic victories in both the XC and DH. Course conditions were tough this year, with the rocky and dusty nature of the trails being heightened due to a lack of rain, making for a number crop of flat tires. Fortunately, most riders kept the rubber side down (if not entirely inflated the whole time), and the injury tally for this tough race was low and mostly minor.
Off the bike, attendees were treated to mechanical bull riding Thursday night, and the modern folk stylings of The Easy Leaves. Friday featured bike demos, and Friday evening saw the premiere of Trail Stewards of The Lost Sierra, a documentary by Hunter Sykes about us, and why we do what we do. We may be a bit biased, but we thought it was pretty darn good, and would love for you to watch it: Read More »
Tamarack Lakes Trail, near Packer Lake Day use area
Join the SBTS crew for a volunteer trail workday on one of the most spec trails at the foot of the Sierra Buttes. TNT Plumbing Co. is sponsoring this special trail day and we think you won't want to miss it. Work will focus on brushing and light trail maintenance. The hike is approx. 3 miles out and back. See you then!
Our good friend Hunter Sykes (Coldstream Creative) premiered his documentary about the Stewardship during the Downieville Classic race weekend, at the Yuba Theater in Downieville. We want to say a lot more about this, for a lot of reasons. But for now, thanks everyone, for everything that has helped us get to here. And please, take a peek at this film and share it around.
To say that REI understands what the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is about is an understatement. For several years now, the outdoor company has been a solid supporter of SBTS and our goal of trail and restoration and enhancement for all users. REI understands the value of the great outdoors as a recreational resource, realizes the importance of access for all use groups, and believes in conscientious stewardship of that resource so that future generations can continue to enjoy the natural world.
REI has graciously awarded the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship a $10,000 grant for 2014. With this funding, SBTS will be able to feed and motivate our crew of several hundred volunteers. Those volunteers have put in tens of thousands of hours of work over the years, and will be digging trail at 12 workdays this year, from Auburn to South Lake Tahoe to Quincy. They will also be keeping things running smoothly at our banner events; The Downieville Classic, The Lost Sierra Trail Run, and The Lost And Found Bike Ride. Our volunteers are our backbone – because of them, we have been able to rejuvenate the Downieville and Lakes Basin trail systems, and because of them we are able to put on the world class events that showcase this gem of an area we are privileged to call our home. Read More »
Formed in 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is a volunteer driven 501c3 non-profit whose primary goal is the maintenance and enhancement of trails throughout the Sierra. SBTS employs as many as 15 full-time employees, most of which are Plumas and Sierra County residents, with an annual payroll of right around $425,000. In addition to a paid trail crew, SBTS has donated over 40,000 hours of volunteer labor to National Forests and State Parks, maintaining over 150 miles of shared use trails, including the creation of 50+ miles of new trails. While these trails see over 200,000 users per year, they continue to maintain a level “A” standing, due in large part to all the hard work of SBTS staff and volunteers. This organization is not only a shining example of what a small group of dedicated, passionate people can do for an area, it is a demonstration of economic efficiency when no alternatives exist.
The Pack Saddle Loop trail came about after the privately held property at the top of Packer Saddle was acquired by the Sierra County Land Trust who had a desire for more trails on the property. SBTS was eager to help make this a reality and began exploring options for routes. Our initial motives were for multi-use trails that would allow hikers to explore the top of the saddle and it's amazing views, and give mountain bikers the option to ride loops.
Routes were flagged from the PCT trailhead along the southern side of Packer Saddle and around to Sunrise trail before it begins to drop off the top of Packer Saddle. Also chosen was a route across the road from the PCT trailhead and dropping down through the canyon to the Four Corners area before again connecting to Sunrise trail. Finally, a line for a "flow style" mountain bike trail was chosen that would roughly parallel Sunrise trail down to the Four Corners area which would allow for the completion of the loop trail concept from either the flow trail, or Sunrise trail, and back up via the canyon section of the Pack Saddle Loop trail.
The actual construction was funded by REI with their generous grant to SBTS for 2013. Much additional assistance was given by Patagonia when they sent intern Nick Ogden to work with SBTS for six weeks. Along with SBTS crew member Erik Johnson and numerous volunteers, Nick worked on the Pack Saddle Loop trail and was essential to it's timely completion in October of 2013.
The Pack Saddle Flow Trail was constructed in the early summer of 2014 by the SBTS Pro Trail Crew. Read More »
The SBTS crew has been working on a three-log stringer bridge on the Smith Creek Trail. We have been following the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service standard plans for log stringer trail-bridge. The plans we are going off of are generic for the type of bridge we are building, so we have been plugging in numbers to accommodate for our location and desired use. The gap over the creek where we are placing the bridge is 18 feet long. We are using three 38-foot logs as the main stringers so we have ten feet of overlap on both sides. The stringers are from a Douglas fir tree, 14 inches in diameter on the large end and 10 inches on the small end. We are also milling Douglas fir decking on site that is going to be five feet long. The railings are also being milled on site out of cedar, the railing post were purchased and are pressure treated 4x6. The posts are going to be mounted to the decking and stringers with 1/4 inch galvanized plate steel. We designed the bridge so that no water-bearing abutments will be needed, however we will finish it with a riprap wall to protect the banks from further erosion. The bridge is being tied into the ground with 12”x12” cedar dead-man anchors with five feet of galvanized all-thread that will also go through a 12”x 12” cedar mud sill and the stringers.
We had a great turnout Saturday June 14th, for the grand reopening of Corral Trail in S Lake Tahoe with the fine folks of Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Associationand over 70 trail loving volunteers. Special thanks to Garrett Villanueva and Jacob Quinn from the Forest Service for your dedication and vision and for allowing our two groups to join forces and make dirt magic happen.