Pole Canyon is the closest trail to my house but I rarely ride it because it is relentlessly steep and typically littered with baseball-sized loose rocks. The canyon itself is gorgeous and this trail is begging to be Victor's flagship mountain bike trail. The Forest Service is considering a re-route that would bring the trail out of the creek bed AND reduce the grade in places...and it cannot happen soon enough as far as I am concerned. This is where patience comes in. I see the progress on the Jackson side of Teton Pass where new trails are being built at a rapid pace and I am jealous. I want instant gratification and I am ready to swing my Pulaski right now.
A short re-route was just completed in Pole Canyon and the FS trail crew has spent some time this season and building a few drainage features. It seemed like the perfect time to give it a go and see if the recent changes made a noticeable improvement.
Can you say relentless? Even though a thundershower left the trail nice and tight, it took a solid effort to ride the whole enchilada without stopping. However, the trail is dramatically better than it was late last summer. The section of 20-24% grade just plain sucks and no amount of buffing will make climbing 24% suck any less. The trail needs, say it with me people, switchbacks! (or climbing turns if you are more of the IMBA type). I know that we are in the state of Idaho and the norm is to grab some throttle and rip straight up the face of the friggin' mountain but let's try something new in Pole Canyon shall we? Let's see if we can keep the average grade below 10% so that we can use our middle chainrings some of the time. Let's build a trail that tourists AND hardcore riders alike will enjoy.
LATE EDIT: I should have mentioned that Pole Canyon has received more FS Trail Crew work than any other Teton Valley trail so far this summer and for this I am extremely grateful.