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SAVE THE HAGEN STAIRCASE!



The Forest Service is taking public comment about their desire to reroute and close the beloved Hagen Staircase.

Public Comments Due tomorrow April 30th!

Send yours to lmerigliano@fs.fed.us

Here’s Mine:

I want to thank the Jackson Ranger District for all the hard work put into our local trail network since I moved to the area in 1998.  We are truly lucky to have such a proactive group of individuals representing the Forest Service here.  I am in favor of all the projects proposed for the Summer of 2010 with one exception.  I would not like to see the Hagen staircase closed and rehabilitated.  I agree this section of trail in its current form is unsustainable and that there is no easy solution to bring this section of trail to an acceptable level of service.  However, I think it is well worth the effort.

As we all know, the number of technical trail features on Teton Pass is growing.  I can speak from experience at the bike shop that there are also a growing number of riders looking to learn how to ride more technical trails.  Unfortunately, there are very few areas that are condusive to learning how to ride in this way.  But there is the Hagen staircase.  Over time, the Hagen staircase has been the local Mt Bikers’ test piece.  A place that is easily accessible, challenging, relatively safe and repeatable.  A place where a rider can gauge their abilities and decide if they are ready for the next step.  Now with the proposed reconstruction of Philips Canyon, the Hagen staircase would be an extremely unique and necessary part of our entire trial system.  Without the staircase, I’m afraid there will be no safe place for someone to decide if they are ready to attempt a trail like Lithium.  Instead, riders will be forced to ride Lithium and potentially hurt themselves in a very remote area before learning where their abilities lie.  Currently when a rider asks me, “Do you think I can handle Lithium?” I respond, “Can you ride the Hagen stairs?”

I want to finish with a personal anecdote.  When I first met my wife, she was terrified of riding downhill what so ever.  When I brought up the idea of riding down the Hagen stairs, her response was a very loud, “Never in a million years, don’t even ask me that again.”  Well, I did keep asking, and after a lot of convincing she was able to ride very slowly down the staircase with flat pedals and her saddle lowered all the way.  After a summer of practice like this, she decided that clipping into pedals and riding the staircase would be ok as long as she kept lowering her saddle and I was right there with her.  Every time she made it to the bottom without stepping off the bike, she would hoot and holler all the way back to the trail head!  Another summer of this practice and one day she was out riding by herself and decided to just go for it.  She didn’t stop at the top to lower her saddle, she didn’t get off and walk, but instead she rolled right into the staircase and greased it!  I’ve never seen her smile more than when she came back and bragged to me about her accomplishment.  Fast forward 6 years.  Jannine has now ridden, raced, and mentored other women on some of North America’s most challenging downhill trail networks including Whistler, BC, Boulder City, NV, Keystone, CO, the North Shore of Vancouver, and of course Teton Pass, WY.  I am now absolutely convinced of two things.  1. The Hagen Staircase was instrumental in her development as a Mt Biker. & 2. This is not a unique story.

Maintaining the Hagen staircase in a sustainable way will not be easy.  It will take a lot of resources to make this a successful project.  But I think it is worth it and I think the Mt Bike community would rally behind the effort so the burden does not fall solely on the Forest Service.  I for one would be glad to help save the Hagen Stairs in any way I can.

Putt – Putt & Cahce Sidewalk Update 4-25-10



Cache Creek Sidewalk:
Dry and Good to Go! Cache Creek itself is still pretty muddy – stay up on the sidewalk

Putt-Putt:
Dry and riding good from Nelson Drive to the high point above the Sidewalk.
Still extremely muddy and CLOSED beyond the first mud spot you encounter. Don’t believe the hype, Putt-Putt is still largely unrideable as of this weekend!

Wyoming Business Council Awards Trails Grant for JH Trails Project! $750k for trails to be spent this summer!



This is the biggest news that hasn’t been made big news!
Representatives from Friends of Pathways, JHMR, Snow King, Teton County, and the Town of Jackson successfully lobbied State Legislators to convince them that trails = economic growth.
Obvious to you right? Well now our leaders feel the same way. Wow! What times we are living in!
Get ready for some serious trail action this summer. Click on this link to see all the details:

Wyoming Business Council Grant Details

Here are the highlights:
The total JH Trails Project value is $751,430.
The grant award from BRC funds is $375,715.
The project partners will provide a 50% match, and will carry out the work starting in early spring 2010 with completion by fall 2011.

What’s it mean to us?
Miles of new hiking and biking trail – 27 miles
New facilities – 2 bike parks, 1 restroom, visitor signing
Job creation during construction – 12 jobs + 1 new business
Job creation after construction – 6 new jobs, 5 jobs saved, indirect jobs
Trails‐derived sales tax – improve Teton County’s sale tax revenue
New visitors attracted to area – generate 1000‐2000 destination visits

Greater SnowKing / Cache Creek Update 4-13-10



Yes, as you might assume, everything is still covered in snow and/or mud… stay tuned…

Snow Biking up Cache Creek is on!



In the past few weeks I’ve ridden Cache Sidewalk, Putt – Putt, and Hagen on my Surly Pugsley Snowbike.  The walkers, skiers, and bikers have kept the trails well packed down and the lack of heavy snow means that you can even drift off trail and not immediately eat it.  I would have to say that the snow biking conditions in Cache Creek are almost as good as it gets.  Of course a specific Snowbike like the Pugsley is ideal, but I hear that people are still riding their regular Mt Bikes with studded tires and doing pretty ok.  I went out with Chris E last week for a Sidewalk / Hagen loop and he shot a bunch of video.  Hopefully he can figure out the wonders of video editing and get me some footage soon!

posted 12/19/09

GSKA and Teton Pass Trails Coordinator Weekly Update – Sept 26th



Submitted by Erik Jacobsen
GSKA and Teton Pass Trails Coordinator
Hello everyone. What a week! After winter, of course, this is my favorite time of year out here. The trails are in excellent shape, the temperatures are cool, and the colors are vibrant. I had the pleasure of touring much of the Greater Snow King Area logging sign locations and what they say. We will be putting up fresh signs next year on all the directional posts. Some were a little confusing and I’m trying to clear that up. Also Linda and I are looking to rename a few things to avoid confusion, namely the whole Hagen complex. We looked at Galen’s new worker map and noticed that Sink or Swim now continuously travels from Josie’s to Hagen proper. It is my intention to call that all Sink or Swim eliminating “High Hagen” and calling that Sink or Swim as well. Instead of calling Hagen Highway what it is now, I want to call that the Hagen trail; since it also runs continuously all the way to the Cache Creek trail and Putt Putt. Also, I want to call the Hagen River Trail simply the River trail. Now when folks ask us how to get to the Hagen trail, we won’t have to say “which one”.

The Jackson Trail Crew and Galen continued on the switchbacks this week. There are just two left! Unfortunately the shear pins broke late in the day on Tuesday while gripping out a large stump shutting down operations. I express ordered 30 new pins from Bitchin’ Bob of Ramussen Equipment in Salt Lake City. Switchback operations recommenced on Friday. Chris Owen and I set up a 2 to 1 mechanical advantage and got that sucker out.

With the grip hoist temporally out of service Galen took the crew into the lower Ridge section and did some more clearing this week. We had quite a few new blow downs and a couple of adjustments to make. They also cleared a tree on Hagen and Josie’s Ridge for me.

I met with Scott Neison this week, and he brought to my attention a little battle that has been going on in the KC, Sink or Swim, and Josie’s area. There is a very ambitious “Stick Man” up there. He has good intentions. He is closing a lot of the multi-braided side trails in that area with sticks. Unfortunately he is just going a little overboard with it and laying down just about every stick he can find. He also places some sticks in dangerous locations. Some are too small and very pointy causing the infamous “pungy stick” danger. Scott and I walked with his dog, and I saw what is going on. The dogs like to grab the sticks and inevitably some of them fall in the trail. This can be very dangerous when encountered on a bike. Scott has been pulling a lot of the more dangerous ones all summer, but more a more reappear and so the battle goes. I will be taking the crew up there this Fall and work on a solution. My plan is to plant rocks and sage in the spurs. These will stay and not fall into the trail. I thank Scott for bringing this problem to my attention.

Teton Pass / Snow King Update from USFS



Hello everyone. I missed the St.Anthony’s crew this week. It is amazing what you can get done with a twenty person crew. We didn’t get as much done this week (like a new mile of world-class trail per week), but a lot of good work was done. I can’t emphasize how helpful Tim Farris’s Trail Crew has been this year. In previous e-mails I have called them the Wilderness Trail Crew. From now on I’m calling them the Jackson Trail Crew. In years past the trail crew would often almost disappear into the Wilderness during the height of the summer and the height of the trail season. Those days are over. It is a new trail world. Tim Farris expressed early in the season that he and the crew want to be more involved in the front-country operations during the whole season. Every week this season they have done some great work in the GSKA and the TPA. They are still doing good work in the Wilderness and Snake River Canyon Areas, but in-between hitches they have found time to give me lots of great help. This week Chris Owens and Sarah Newcolm fixed the wet section at the end of the Hagen Trail. Remember the little bridge that really didn’t work at the end of the Hagen. It’s gone, and a great turnpike with a 12″ culvert with big ditches is in its place. Chris and Sarah also helped Galen and I buff out the last three climbing turns at the end of the Ridge Trail on Tuesday. They came out real nice, and are now very rideable in both directions. Also the whole Jackson Trail Crew along with Galen came out on Thursday and helped Tim Brown finish his re-route on the Hagen Trail. They brought the grip-hoist and built a beautiful climbing turn with large rock cribbing on a difficult climbing turn. I thank them very much for all their help.

It was Christmas in the Hoback shop this week. Linda and Susan Marsh found us some more money! It is amazing how they continue to find this money this year. Usually at this time of year we have no money to buy tools and materials, but not this year. Tim Farris and I bought a new chain saw, chop saw, sawzal, wheelbarrow, and De-Walt drill. We also bought more culverts, geo-textile, rebar, post and rail material to fix the Cache Creek trailed fence, and sign posts for the GSKA and TPA. We are also looking at new clinometers and a nice new scribe for our copes on the log switchbacks.

This week Galen spent a lot of time buffing out a few sections on the Ridge Trail with. After last week’s discussion we have decided not to have fill dumptrucked up to the Ridge. I got some good advice from Fitzy and Lloyd Wiser. They suggest to let the trail ride in and winter. We can look at reaccess from there. Fitzy also feels that the techy sections of the Ridge South offers a little variety to the trail system on the TPA.

Erik Jacobsen
Trail Coordinator
USFS

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