Montane Improvements - Fall 2020

Montane Improvements - Fall 2020


September 29, 2020

In cooperation with Alberta Parks and the Canmore Trail Alliance, CAMBA is excited to be taking part in some much needed maintenance to the Montane Traverse trail this Fall. Throughout October, and as long as the weather permits, we’ll be running weekly trail nights. We’re looking for volunteers to help out so be sure to check out the Event Calendar for the latest info on build nights. Email volunteer@camba.ca to sign up.

Over the past year a working group facilitated by the Canmore Trail Alliance consisting of representatives from CAMBA and other recreational user groups have been working with Alberta Parks to create a short list of priority projects for maintenance and improvements to trails on Parks land. One of the projects identified was long overdue maintenance on the Montane Traverse.

The majority of the work will focus on a realignment of 125 meters in the middle of the “golf course climb” along some of the steeper segments. Over time these steep corners have shifted downward from the original line as riders and other users have created flatter paths through these corners. This shifting of those corners has led to widening and breakdown of the trail. The motivation of this project is to first and foremost address these trail braiding issues.

Original line is high to the right by the tree and has shifted meters down to the left
Original line is high to the right by the tree and has shifted meters down to the left

A secondary motivation is to make the golf course climb more consistent with the rest of the blue rated Montane trail. Currently the average grade of this section sits at approximately 20% which is unusually high for a multi user blue trail. IMBA standards recommend an average of 10% grade for a blue rated trail. The steepest part of this section actually sits at about 28% which has led to the sustainability and braiding issues. Trail crews will be adding approximately 75m of new trail in order to regrade the climb from 20% to approximately 12.5%.

In addition to working on the golf course climb we’ll also be addressing some safety concerns such as the blind rock and root drop into the third creek crossing heading westbound. This section presents a danger to riders who don’t know the trail well. The ride-around on the uphill will be improved and made more obvious to westbound traffic, while at the same time made more rideable for eastbound riders. The original path over the root and rocks will be maintained and serve as an “A” line.

Blind rock/root drop heading into the 3rd creek crossing
Blind rock/root drop heading into the 3rd creek crossing

And finally we’ll be improving drainage in areas of low point in the tread that remain wet long after the majority of the trail has dried out.

Low points in the tread that dry slowly will be raised or drainage improved
Low points in the tread that dry slowly will be raised or drainage improved

The Montane Traverse is a classic Rocky Mountain singletrack that we are proud of. The riding experience it offers is something that we feel is becoming rare and the work is not designed to change the personality of the trail in any way, but to catch up on decades of wear and tear on what is a busy trail.

CAMBA’s role in the project is to assist with construction and apply the mountain biking trail expertise we possess to ensure that this trail remains an enjoyable and rewarding experience for mountain bikers along with the other trail user groups. We would love to see you out there helping us out so be sure to email us at volunteer@camba.ca if you’re interested.

Until then Happy Trails!