Introductory Downhill Mountain Biking Trail Debuts at Mount Snow

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New, user-friendly trail is expected to open up the sport of lift serviced downhill mountain biking to a whole other population of riders that may not have tried it before

Trail crew leader Elia Hamilton saws through the "ribbon" at the grand opening of Mount Snow's new intro to downhill mountain biking trail, Gateway

Now, anyone that is comfortable on a bike can enjoy a gravity-propelled ride down a big mountain at their own pace.

The grand opening for Mount Snow’s new introductory downhill mountain biking trail was just like any other grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting, a thank you speech and invited guests in attendance. But what made the event on Friday, July 20 special is the ribbon was a tree log propped between two bike frames, the scissors a chainsaw and the thank you speech was given by a man dressed in full mountain bike padding to a crowd of invited guests perched upon bicycles.

That was the scene this past Friday at the top of Gateway (aka, Trail 7); Mount Snow’s brand new, 2.5-mile long lift serviced introductory downhill mountain biking trail which was ceremoniously opened to the public following many months of planning and construction, dating back to spring of 2011. Designed to be user-friendly for all abilities, Gateway is at least five-feet wide and follows a number of switchbacks with smooth banked turns while traveling through both open field and wooded areas with no more than a comfortable 12 percent grade the entire way down.

“The goal since we started building Gateway was to open up the sport of downhill mountain biking to folks that may have thought the chairlift only brought them to gnarly, steep, single track courses,” says Mount Snow’s Elia Hamilton. “Now, anyone that is comfortable on a bike can enjoy a gravity-propelled ride down a big mountain at their own pace. It really is a game-changer.”

Tickets for lift and trail access are available at Mount Snow Sports and the bike shop offers a comprehensive rental fleet ranging from full-suspension downhill bikes to casual beach cruisers. Lift service is offered every Friday thru Sunday until mid-October providing access to more than 15 miles of well-maintained trails for all ability levels.    

Starting in 1986, Mount Snow Resort, located in the southern Vermont village of West Dover, was one of the first resorts in the United States to offer lift serviced downhill mountain biking and has since hosted a number of World Cup events and USA Cycling National Championships, most recently in 2007.

To learn more about mountain biking at Mount Snow, visit http://www.mountsnow.com

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Dave Meeker
Vermont Ski Areas Association
802.464.4174
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