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Trail Grading System 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:38 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Misson BC
Post Re: Trail Grading System
Thanks for your comments. The purpose of this Trail Grading System was to provide inclusion rather than exclusion. If there is a concern otherwise, then we should double our efforts to ensure the purpose of adopting a Trail Grading System is clearly understood to all membership, especially new comers. It is important to establish a baseline for how we calibrate this system. I proposed the target wheeler would be:- New turtle members who may not familiar with local runs

- Novice driving ability
- Low tolerance for trail damage
- Ideal weather and trail conditions.

Additional criteria can be added to better categories this baseline. The target audience for this guide is for those unfamiliar with a particular trail, or generally unfamiliar with off-roading in general. Those with more experience, or a more capable rig, this guide would not apply. These folks should already know what they’re getting into and better able to adapt as needed. They’d be contributors, rather than consumers.

I like your suggestion for: “trail descriptions, hazards and view points would be better so we as a club can make an educated suggestion to membership about the run.” This would be a natural progression to this guide as people contribute a write-up about the trail, explain the hazards and share points of view.

The purpose of this proposal stemmed from reading about “Group Runs” to places I knew nothing off. I have 15 years wheeling experience on the Coast and Okanagan, yet there a so many runs out there I haven’t been on. For some runs, I’ve email a long term member asking for details about a run before I can determine if this is something I wish to attend.

I have never heard of Road to Paradise viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2959 and although Wes gave a good description, I chose to seek out more information before deciding this run is not suitable for me. Skwellepil Creek is another run I am not familiar with. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3046 I was interested in this run but again needed more information.

As a means to support new members, and their sponsors, I am proposing this idea to collect the tribal knowledge held within this group, to share their knowledge, opinions and points of view. This is not an exercise for creating division or sub groups, but merely basic adult education. The entire purpose of this exercise is to contribute towards your comment “to be inclusive and educational and responsible within our club”. Fear of this result shouldn’t dissuade us from trying, rather if there are concerns to the contrary, we should use that insight to contribute to its success.

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:50 am
Posts: 1004
Location: Chilliwack
Post Re: Trail Grading System
Ken, I agree with you 100%. Ratings are not divisive, they are educational. This doesn't create cliques within the club, rather it lets all members decide whether a particular run is suitable to them based on experience, skill, and vehicle capabilities. Not all trails are suitable for all members. That is not to be exclusionary, it is simply accepting reality.

If we bring our runs to a "lowest common denominator", we might as well just go to Hale all the time since we know everyone can get there. Our club exists for the benefit of our members. We encourage our members to increase their driving skills. We encourage them to expand their off-road knowledge. We encourage them to modify their vehicles to increase capability off-road. This is positive and healthy for both the club and its members.

There are relatively few trails we run that would not allow all our members to participate. Certainly Skwellipil and Road to Paradise are two of them. However, for every time we run one of those, we run stock(ish) friendly trails 4 or 5 times.

Even for our big trips such as Moab and Tillamook, there are trail runs planned that include the possibility for everyone to participate. The information about the expected difficulty and choice of trails is posted well in advance (more than a year) so that members can choose to attend or not, and decide on the sort of trail they are comfortable with. Trail ratings make that decision much easier for all concerned.

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Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:02 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:18 pm
Posts: 181
Post Re: Trail Grading System
I found the following trail grading system regarding Moab, a bit more descriptive than most.

https://utah.com/atv/moab-offroad-trails

MOAB OFFROAD TRAILS
The same petrified sand dunes that erode so archly (get it?!) in the national parks up the road make Moab Mecca for rock crawlers (…and mountain bikers, and hikers, and rock climbers, and…). This sandstone “slickrock” is anything but, giving fat-tired jeeps the grip to creep cliffs and crevices they clearly oughtn’t. On the gnarliness scale, Moab has rides ranging from “weekend warrior” to “I put an extra $15K into my $18K CJ7.”

TOP 4 MOAB 4X4 TRAILS
FINS & THINGS | Requires Big Boy/Girl Pants
You can do this one in a stock jeep. There are two sections to the trail, both of which loop out from Sand Flats Road, and you’re actually on fins a majority of the time. There are some steep ascents so it’s not for beginners, but it’s generally common-sense driving.

POISON SPIDER MESA | At least one person in your party should have a neck tattoo
On this dirt/rock hybrid, keep an eye out for mountain bikers, petroglyphs and Pig Rock. Little Arch is a big payoff at the top. If you have all day, continue on to Golden Spike and then Gold Bar Rim for more technical driving.

STEEL BENDER | Don't take anyone you care deeply about on this trail
The toughest of the four by far. For experts who have lifts, lockers, big tires and a good attitude about body damage. Even the bypass routes are harrowing.

HELL'S REVENGE | Requires adult diapers
This is the trail in Moab. Everyone knows it, and not just because it has the best branding. Highlights: Hell’s Gate, Mickey’s Hot Tub, Escalator. More technical than Fins & Things.

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Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:00 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:38 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Misson BC
Post Re: Trail Grading System
BumpNSpin wrote:
as Dan commented eluded to already, trail ratings should go hand in hand with driver experience.


I agree to Dan's comment, which is why the scope of this Trail Grading System is targeting specifically to new, inexperienced drivers. Ones who wish to venture out with others, gain more experience and know before hand what sort of trail they are about to run. It is true they can, and should talk to other members, to determine their suitability for a run, but to also have a peer reviewed standard rating system of our local trails would also assist. This target group mostly does runs on their daily drivers.

I have read a few comments about how such a Trail Grading System would cause division, exclusion and generally be detrimental to the cohesiveness and inclusivity of our group. I do not understand how this could be the case and would ask anyone who feels this way to explain in more detail, other than an opinion or feeling, how this would happen. I'd also like to know why we as a group, would be unable to mitigate these negative affects through preventative or proactive actions. There are pros and cons to everything, but I see far more benefits than detriments. What am I missing here?

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:55 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:34 pm
Posts: 2961
Location: South Surrey, for now
Post Re: Trail Grading System
My feeling is that people should try harder trails, increasing experience and confidence. Our sport that we have chosen is known to be hard on vehicles and some parts will expire. I am not a fan of body damage or carnage, except in videos...A known harder trail should not exclude people all that much, but if we say body damage expected on unarmoured or stock height vehicles, that should serve as a warning. Maybe catch a ride with someone or if a bypass is available... This club is not about status quo...

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:08 pm
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