Cheakamus Challenge organizer joins S2S Trail Society 

Grant Lamont, the race director for the Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic and the current president of the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association, will wear another hat this year as he returns to the executive committee of the Sea to Sky Trail Society.

Lamont will replace Grant Logan, a long-time director who recently relocated to the Interior, and will serve on the society’s executive committee, along with Mike Manheim and Ross Kirkwood.

"I’d been on the board before years ago, and now we’re ready and fired up to get this thing built, it’s important to have the people in place who know the history and what’s going on," said Lamont. "It’s exciting, and I think we’re going to see a lot of these plans moving forward. We’re going to see some funding, and what I’d like to see is that funding go right into dirt, into building the trail."

The Sea to Sky Trail is an ambitious project to link Squamish to Whistler and Whistler to D’Arcy entirely by trail. Many of the sections already exist, and routes are being planned in areas to link up these sections to accommodate hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers and other users.

The Sea to Sky Trail project was officially begun in 1991. The Cheakamus Challenge has contributed funds, labour and advice to the project year after year. As the current president of WORCA, Lamont says he would have been involved in this phase of the project anyway as a representative of Whistler’s mountain biking community.

Some problem areas do remain, including conflicts with private landowners in some areas, and the proposed routing of the Sea to Sky highway upgrade.

"Grant came on just as we were entering our winter season, which is where we attempt to put together a work plan for the following year, and we always try to keep our focus on anything that relates to actual activity on the ground," said Manheim.

"The passage of the highway construction project through the corridor has created a number of spot-fires we may have to attend to, as we come to the resolution of routing options."

One spot fire is the impact of the highway construction on the trail section near Godfrey’s lookout, where Sea to Sky Trail hikers and bikers have to cover a section of the highway. Manheim and the other directors would like to ensure that the shoulder is wide enough to accommodate trail users as well as cars.

The society is also working to secure new funding to help with trail construction and planning, and hopes to make an announcement in the next few months.

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