FOSS undertook a major upgrade to Race Classic in the summer of 2023 in order to facilitate access for FOSS crews and equipment to trails on the western side of Myra Bellevue Provincial Park. Previously, access had been difficult to impossible because of the trail configuration, making travel there dangerous for volunteer crews.
The project initially involved modification to the trail bed for safe passage of large pieces of FOSS equipment used in trail maintenance. This was followed by a rebuild of the trailbed from Flamingo Flats to the junction with Crawford Downhill using IMBA mountain bike standards planned, supervised and completed by Contour Trails of Vernon with the assistance of numerous FOSS volunteers.
An additional component of this project was the construction of new climb trail from the junction of Race Classic and Crawford Downhill. This trail, Earring Connect, allows the hiker, mountain biker and equestrian to reconnect to Earring eliminating the lower end of Crawford Downhill which trespassed into the Arthon Pit, an active mine site.
This was coupled with the construction of a new easy-out down trail below the existing Earring trail, thereby avoiding the very difficult section of Earring immediately below the end of Hillbilly Trail.
FOSS now will have safe access to the western side of the park for ongoing trail maintenance. COSAR will also have improved and safer access to this area of the park when called to perform a rescue. Furthermore, park users will enjoy the use of a redesigned and reconstructed Race Classic, preserving virtually all of the pre-existing challenges of the OLD Race Classic, as well as NEW trails, Earring Connect climb trail and Earring easy out, to allow for safe travel back to the main parking lot.
Major thanks go to Sara Bunge, BC Parks Ranger, for her support and input prior to and during this project, Cameron Sorenson and Blair Hindle from Contour Trails for their expertise and skill in making this project a huge success and lastly, to our crew of dedicated volunteers without whom none of this would have happened.