August 1, 2005 – The Squamish GearJammer, presented by the Test of Metal, has finalized the race course in preparation for the event on August 20th, 2005. The course is flagged for pre-riding, and a map is available for downloading at www.gearjammer.ca.
The GearJammer is organized by the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA), under the auspices of Cycling BC. It is a single-event provincial championship race, modeled after the Canadian National Championships. Unlike the nationals, however, the GearJammer provides “citizen” categories, so that unlicensed racers can also take part, and compare their times to the best in the province.
In a nod to established Squamish tradition, the GearJammer organizers have incorporated the original 1995 Brodie Test of Metal race course into the 47 km point-to point cross-country event. The course becomes longer than last year’s, and a little more exhilarating with the addition of Ed’s Bypass, Dead End Loop, and the Bob McIntosh trail.
The race is put on using strictly volunteer effort. Net proceeds from the race are split between SORCA and Squamish Search and Rescue, both of which are non-profit volunteer organizations. SORCA builds and maintains mountain biking trails in the Squamish area, and the Squamish Emergency Program (SAR) provides back-country rescue and first aid. As Curtis Roberts, the GearJammer race director said, “SORCA builds the trails, and SAR hauls us off them when we ride over-optimistically”.
Organizers expect 500 racers to take part. The race is half sold-out as of July 25th, with entries coming in steadily. Participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible, to ensure a spot on the starting line. As was the case last year, the start is at 11:00 am at Alice Lake and Hwy 99, and the finish line is at a park in downtown Squamish. Shuttles are available for racers and participants between the downtown parking area and the start line.
More race information and registration can be found at www.gearjammer.ca
Course Description The 2005 GearJammer course follows most of the 2004 course, with the addition of one new loop and a short section of new trail (Lower Pseudo Tsuga). From the mass start chute near Alice Lake Provincial Park, racers will do a quick sprint up the blacktop to a forest services gravel road. A fast gentle uphill ride on the FSR takes you through the park area and up to the SORCA shelter by Cliff’s Corners. Continue on past the shelter keeping left, into a rocky lane, past three water bars, and then left onto Ed’s Bypass.
Cruise down Ed’s , then out, right, and on to the top of ‘Rock n’ Roll’. Surf down Rock n’ Roll, then turn right on to Dead End Loop past the bottom of Made in the Shade. Ride down both sections of Dead End Loop, and turn right on to the Bob McIntosh trail. A big-ring rip down Bob McIntosh takes you back to the forest services road. Cross the forest services road and continue on past Edith lake. Turn right to Mikes Loop, and climb to the top of the hill. A quick left takes racers down Mice and Men hill (careful!). From there, ride Tracks from Hell (newly upgraded), out onto Mashiter. Left, up Ray’s Cafe, Up Cliff’s Corners, right at the top of Cliff’s past the same SORCA shelter as before, and out onto the gravel road over the Mashiter Creek bridge, with lots of short ups and short downs. A sharp left off the main road onto a steep climb up a decommissioned logging road takes you to the bottom of Squamish’s premier single-track climb, Skookum. Up through the trees, with some passing opportunities for those with the strength to commit, to the top of Middle Power Smart. A left down into Middle Power Smart, great cross country technical downhill through switchbacks and roots, and across a couple of log bridges to go down the IMBA Smart section.
At the bottom of IMBA Smart, racers enter an area where the course overlaps. The lower part of Skookumis next, now a wide logging road, down to George’s Crossing. Off the bike and across the log to the top of Pseudo Tsuga. Down the first section of Pseudo Tsuga, across the road, down the second section, cross the road and down our new section, Lower Pseudo Tsuga – a sweeping new section of single track with some interesting steep areas (also know as Snakes and Ladders) to the Garibaldi Park road.
Once on the Garibaldi gravel road, racers do the short (and gentle) climb up to the ‘The Hell With Darwin’ log bridge across Ring Creek. A steep (but mercifully short) climb up the bottom of the Ring Creek Rip and a little level single-track takes you to the Powerhouse Plunge; some of the finest cross-country technical downhill Squamish has to offer. Racers will be grinning all the way down, if they can spare the energy.
At the bottom of the Plunge, racers cross the Powerhouse Bridge and climb up through a feed station before entering the Crumpit Woods area. At the top of the feed station area, turn right, and dive back into the woods, onto the Far Side. This section of the course is lots of classic single track – no big climbs or descents, but lots of speed through the rocks and roots with small obstacles to keep your attention.
From the Far Side, go right onto Lost Loop, and then out to S&M Connector down to the gas cut. Turn right and climb up the cut to Three Virgins. At the top of the hill, hang left onto Seven Stitches. Ride all the way down Seven Stitches to Summer’s Eve, turn left and ride Endo ‘backwards’. Out into Raven’s Plateau, in the Valleycliffe area of Squamish, then right on Plateau Drive.
Along Plateau, following the Test of Metal ride-out, down the Climber’s Trail to the Climber’s parking lot, turn LEFT on Logger’s Lane. Ride a trail along the Blind Channel, through a highway underpass, and a final blacktop sprint to the finish line in downtown Squamish.
For more information, please contact Curtis Roberts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 892-9296