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Expresso Rebuild: Year Two

Going for Gold Again

Words by Cam McRae. Photos by Jerry Willows and Morgan Taylor.
April 16th, 2013

Despite the name we knew Expresso wasn’t going to be a quick fix. It had descended into unkempt nastiness and our goal was a ribbon of  bermy, golden bliss. With Digger at the helm we had no choice but to build to his lofty standard. Last year’s re-routes were a little busted up by fallen trees but most of our labour, and that of our MEC partners, survived the winter unscathed. It was time to rejoin the old line and rehab the creek bed it had become.

So it was a day of hauling rock, sinking culverts and tamping down golden soil. A solid turnout helped raise our weather-dampened spirits and by lunch the old trail was looking a lot like new trail. Expresso is beginning to resemble a downhill pump track – but if that’s not your cuppa the old line is, aside from some deadfall, intact.

After a lunch of expertly grilled bacon burgers (thanks to Trevor Hansen for the flipping and Cristina Piccone for the shopping) we gave out enough prizes from Rock Shox, nsmb.com and Dissent Labs to satisfy everyone in attendance, without even a patch kit left over. Thanks to the great crew who joined us (including three trail runners who wanted to contribute) for killing it.

We’ll be announcing our next trail day soon; it’d be great to see you out!

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Last year’s gold up top is sticking around nicely with few drainage issues. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

The root mass on the side of the trail was a tree that came down during winter storms, taking the trail bed with it. Digger did a great job of fixing up the section. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Woodwork after a winter.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Smooth lines from Digger’s imagination. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Retrievers gonna retrieve. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Idyllic. Wallpaper-worthy. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

More nicely aged trail bed. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

To those who have come before us. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Choose your own old school adventure! Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Water dispersal in this section proved tricky. Rocks, culverts, and gold, gold, gold. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Mining for nugs. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

A solid crew of 20+ out for the day. Thanks so much to our loyal volunteers, and the fresh faces that also made it out this time. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Here come the waterworks. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Digger tries his best not to be animated on camera, so you have to shoot him through a crowd. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Making sure the gold and the drainage stay separated with the hammer of Thor. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

The younger generation learns the Digger Dance. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Our trail boss, Jerry Willows. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

A stoic Digger tries not to laugh while Cam McRae gives in. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

NSMB Team captain and grillmaster, Trevor Hansen. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

About to make sweet love to a pulaski. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Moving on down trail. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

And installing another culvert. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Those who make cookies also make friends. Thanks Ms. Mallett! Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Morgan 2.0 on the other side of the lens. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Another gold mine. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Grill’s on! And we’ve got bacon! Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

T-Bone was flipping burgers like mad on two grills. He will be assigned this job again in the future… Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Cameron’s been showing up to our trail days since 2011 on Dales. His choice of headwear was suitable for the occasion. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Looking good! Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

NSMBA Program Manager Mark Wood stopped by for a couple hours – thanks boss! Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Plenty of gold here. It was a bit soupy, but will dry out as the weather gets warmer. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Finishing up for the day, two Cams and a Digger all in good spirits. Photo Jerry Willows.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Unfortunately the ramp leading on to the iconic Expresso Smooth didn’t survive the winter. We’re lucky to have Digger on our team for this one. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Something conspicuously missing. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Carnage. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Still ominous from the bottom. And it will be resurrected. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

And, as is the TAP mandate, ground work takes precedence and this eroded mess just won’t do. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Expresso NSMB.com NSMBA TAP trail day Fromme RockShox MEC Morgan Taylor Jerry Willows

Next trail day we will likely be down as far as this odd piece of history. Photo Morgan Taylor.


We’re making big progress on Expresso and we’d love to have you out to our next trail day. Keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for updates.

  • tundra

    so glad to have these types of efforts being put forth, thanks to all! Once my kids grow up a lil bit more we’ll be out there in force.

    Amazing how fast and aggressive the erosion process is.

  • nvrsmmr

    Oh, I really like riding that funky rollercoaster in the last picture. Hope it stays! This trail is awesome! Thank you!

  • thaaad

    So sad I had to be at work that day, really wanted to come out :(

  • Lalena

    Great photo essay! I love seeing all the people putting in the work. I am working in Calgary for a year, and was on Expresso the weekend before the trail day. I wish I could have been there to help out. Hopefully next Expresso trail day, I’ll be back in Vancouver for good. Awesome work everyone!