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FATMAP difficulty grade
Piper Down is a brilliant shuttle run that's easily accessible via the road up to Hudson Bay Mountain.
This 2-mile trail is a rowdy downhill romp that's gained regional renown, even if you might not have heard of it before. The trail gets its name from a downed Piper bush plane that crash-landed on the mountainside.
The plane has been incorporated into the trail, and expert mountain bikers can hit a massive wooden gap jump and fly their mountain bikes straight over the plane crash! Be warned that this optional gap is a mandatory air, but there is also an easy ride around. The Piper Down trail begins near the bottom of the lift in the ski area at the very end of the dirt road.
From the lift, pedal up past a few houses to a stunning overlook of the valley.
Then, head to the trail sign, and get ready to rip! The top section of the trail is fast, natural, and fairly loamy, with fast turns over slick roots and some rocks.
As the trail progresses, it gets consistently steeper until you reach an optional series of rock slabs that form one of the most photogenic lines on the mountainside.
This series of slabs is pretty technical and is quite exposed, leading some to consider it a "pro line." While the slabs definitely are NOT a "pro line", this line does warrant an "extreme" rating, above and beyond the "severe" FATMAP difficulty rating assigned to this trail.
However, there is an easy ride-around option that bypasses these slabs. Soon, you'll come to a split in the trail.
Piper Cross continues straight/left and is an easier option that will still wind up at the same place.
The main Piper Down trail continues straight down the mountain via a fainter line, which this route follows. The straight-line trail is anchored by a massive mandatory rock slab ride that rolls straight down the mountain.
Roll in slow to the top because you'll never be able to slow your speed beyond that which you begin the slab! The slab begins fairly mellow, but it soon steepens as it rolls and gets rougher and chunky.
It can also be quite wet and slippery at times, so when you can spot your run out, you can start easing off the brakes to avoid sliding out on the near-vertical descent. The rest of the trail finishes steep, loamy, and fast, blasting through a series of root-laced turns.
Finally, it pops out into a mellow jumpy trail to finish, with one massive wooden wall ride near the bottom. Are you ready for round two?!