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03 September 2019

Trans-Cascadia Build Party – Ultimate Backcountry Experience

Trans-Cascadia is back for another year of trail building in the infamous PNW. Home to some of the most remote areas in Washington, 30 enthusiasts volunteered to help sustain old trails and prepare for this year’s event.

Having Fun on Bikes

 

Trans-Cascadia is back in 2019 for its second year in Mt. Adams Wilderness. For those unfamiliar with Trans-Cascadia, it’s a four-day long backcountry mountain bike race in the Pacific North West. Trans-Cascadia is capped at 100 riders, hosts 5-star catering, has no cell service and provides all with an opportunity of a lifetime to “race” some of the best trails in the PNW, blind.

 

Looking at a map Planning

 

Each year leading up to the race, Trans-Cascadia holds three work parties. These parties are designed around taking old trails and giving them new life; this includes a mix of brushing, removing fallen trees, reworking the terrain to better suit bikes to name a few. The most difficult part is the getting to these remote trails. Often, volunteers are hiking their bikes 2-3 hours before the trail work even begins. Thanks to a full fleet of Shimano powered e-bikes, eight volunteers were lucky enough to experience the assistance of STEPS to access these trails and arrive to their destination in half the time. 

 

Mount Rainier

 

To stay fueled for long, taxing days on the trails, volunteers were fed a gourmet breakfast each morning. This ranged from salmon breakfast burritos to local coffee and everything in-between. From there, all volunteers were assigned a designated work location. The typical format consisted of be e-bikes covering the upper sections of trail (5-10 miles up from trailhead) and hikers working on the lower pieces of trail. Volunteers with e-bikes were given heavier tools like chainsaws and brushers since they had the assistance of the STEPS motor. Often, the users would carry upwards of 30 pounds on their backs.

 

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One of the greatest parts of Trans-Cascadia, is the variety of attendees that come, both for the race and build parties. Racers in the past have traveled from overseas and volunteers come from all over the Western States. What makes this event special isn’t just the blind stages each participant takes part in, but the friendships made over the week. From no cell service to being around each other at the fire pit each night, deep bonds are made. 

 

For the second build party, pictured here, 12 miles of single-track was reworked and given new life. These sections of trail will be used for the race in September, but also by any future visitors. With the amount of trail work completed, you can expect these trails to be in good conditions for at least three years. For more information about Trans-Cascadia, visit trans-cascadia.com

 

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