Trail dedication planned for Comfortably Numb 

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Markle did most of the work on Comfortably Numb himself, working on his creation almost every weekend during the summer months. From start to finish the project took him close to six years, although he took one summer off to work on other trails.

Work sped up significantly this summer with the help of a work crew from Mt. Currie hired by the municipality, and several volunteer days co-ordinated through WORCA. Workers built seven kilometres of trail in the past five weeks, said Markle. The final stages of trail construction were completed this week.

Comfortably Numb is only the second Whistler area trail to receive Section 102 status – official recognition from the provincial government. The other trail is the Flank Trail.

"It is a big deal for us, more because it’s the first big partnership with WORCA, the trail builder, the municipality, developers and other interests," said Keith Bennett, the manager of parks operations for the RMOW. Markle already builds his trails to the highest environmental standards, said Bennett.

The developers of the B.C. Rail Lands off of Alta Lake Road contributed $10,000 to the project to compensate mountain bikers for the interruption of several trails on Whistler’s west side. WORCA has also contributed some money, as well as about 800 volunteer hours. The RMOW contributed the bridge, signage, paid for a Mt. Currie Work crew for a week and a half this summer, and handled all of the research and paperwork for the Section 102 accreditation.

Still, most of the work and planning was Markle’s.

"It’s pretty gratifying to see it all come together after so many years," said Markle. "The mountain bike community is amazing here, and I sincerely hope that people like it. It’s really open to everybody and anybody.

"I started this trail because I thought there was a need for an epic singletrack trail in Whistler – we have lots of trails, but nothing this long," he said.

"I wanted a cross-country trail that you have to commit to for a whole afternoon of riding."

Faster riders have done the trail in about four hours. Other groups have taken as long as six hours to complete the trail. The middle section is still pretty soft, but should move faster once it has been worked in.

Still, Markle hopes that people take the time while riding the trail to enjoy the views, including a panorama view of Whistler Valley, and Wedge Creek, and sections of old growth forest.

"On a lot of trails you’re so focused on riding that you never get to look around. I honestly believe it’s one of the most beautiful trails in Whistler, so my advice is to take your time," said Markle.

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