The Point of No Return

Safety is one of the key drivers of the ATV Club. We all share a love of the backcountry and want to ensure everyone makes it home safely after every ride.

This past weekend a Saturday evening ride started out perfectly with the small group enjoying the clear skies and warm evening temperatures. As the ride ventured up Bardolph Road it turned onto an old logging road that was new to the group. It was a postcard trail, the old roadbed was smooth and in great condition and followed a creek draw at a moderate incline through the cedar forest.

Enjoyment quickly turned to apprehension however because shortly after crossing the creek the trail narrowed and became steep and rutted. This section of trail was still passable though which encouraged riders to continue up the steep slope. The point of no return appeared after riders committed to continue upslope where a large exposed tree root created a 12″ vertical ledge on the already steep trail.

The side x sides and 2 up quads cautiously navigated the vertical ledge but the front end on single seater quad wouldn’t stay down without help from other riders in the group. This group was fortunate because the other riders were experienced, spotted the hazard and held the single seater quad to prevent it from flipping backward down the hill.

Inexperienced riders or someone riding by themselves would have been forced to make a split-second decision to try climbing the ledge or get stopped on the steep incline then somehow back down.

Identifying & Reporting Hazards
In the example above the ATV Club is going to place a sign warning riders of the steep hillclimb ahead so they have the opportunity to turn around in a safe area rather than being stuck in a dangerous situation on the steep hillside.

We want your assistance identifying potentially dangerous trails and hazards so they can be assessed and mitigated through signage, trail work and education.

Please share what you see while out riding by taking photos and providing a description of the location or send a GPS waypoint (if possible) to the Vernon ATV Club by email [email protected]via our website or Facebook.

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