Video: Course Preview for the Monster Pro Downhill Series Round 1

Apr 6, 2024
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesHop onboard a lap down the first Monster Pro DH National at Rock Creek with Nik Nestoroff Nik Nestoroff

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,035 articles

  • 12 1
 ... off topic but that is some crazy landscape, no under growth just dirt and trees.
  • 23 1
 The undergrowth is there it's just not greened up yet for the season
  • 10 0
 I've seen this landscape before... in Fallout 4.
  • 7 0
 @boozed: "you merely adopted this landscape, I was born into it " hshaha
  • 2 0
 @jimmyricard: how do you like them apples
  • 2 1
 The North Carolina mountains just got some late-season snow. Give it a couple weeks and it will green up.
  • 17 0
 @GraphSol - The only exposed dirt @ Rock Creek is just the trails - the rest is almost entirely leaf litter. The forest type at Rock Creek is almost entirely "Acidic Oak-HIckory Forest' which is (today) not a very diverse forest type in western NC. Oak-Hickory forests require regular ground-level fire, but even with that, they're not a super productive forest vs. those in higher pH areas. Rock Creek would have to burn on 2 / 5 / 7 year (or so) intervals to recover ground-level plants which would hugely improve soils & help lock the place down but - I doubt they'd bother. Even in season it's almost 95% leaf litter everywhere at Rock Creek and ground-level (wildflower / fern) growth - and then anywhere that has dense rhododendron or mountain laurel thickets naturally has nothing on the ground under it and that's probably 1/2 of the park.

@BagelMan - no snow at RC during this last dump, just cold. The high country got this one Even then Zirconia / Rock Creek is just about in the "isothermal belt" in our area and snow was never much a thing there, just occassional snow & freezes. Plants have already been popping big and lush in this greater for weeks - in spite of how rich & lush much of the mountains is, this is just not one of those particular spots for killer veg.
  • 3 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Fair enough. I didn’t mean to imply that RC specifically got snow this week, just that it still does get cold up there this time of year.
Surprising that it stays so barren during spring/summer, though. I’d really like to get out there this year (from the Raleigh area).
  • 4 0
 @BagelMan: No worries... oddly there a massive range of temps / rainfall etc in the Blue Ridge w/ Asheville getting the least rainfall in the state (true, 35-40 inches rain/year) and Highlands Plateau & some high country places getting 80-120 inches rain/year. Between my house at 2,750 ft elevation to Rock Creek it's 15-20 degrees hotter there in summer so - yeah... no. Gimme Sugar & Beech Mtn trails all summer in 60-70 degrees max. Also having low elevations from 900-1200 ft around Hot Springs / low zones to 6600-ft high peaks means huge climate differences

Everything here rides on geology & elevation: rich bedrock = rich soils (dry or not) and acidic bedrock (like what's all around Brevard / Pisgah proper) = acidic soils and poor growth conditions in spite of high rainfall. Brevard is great but for plants on the ground - mostly a snoozer & acidic vs rich areas elsewhere. Rock Creeks habitat is fine but not that interesting - its typical dime-a-dozen habitat under the canopy that is seen in many places, while but just north of Rock Creek near Pinnacle Mountain its ultra lush w/ carpets of wild plants already. Luckily R-Creek ain't cutting into all of that because that kinda impact sucks for wild areas... I'd rather have trails in trashed / poor quality areas. They would've had to do lots of T&E inventories if they were jsut 1/2 mile north. I do stuff like that.

That being said I hiked in 6" snow this morning just up the road from my house, 30 mins from Asheville - highly, highly variable conditions everywhere b/c of the mountains.
  • 6 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: off topic; Killer Veg would be a great band name. Cheers.
  • 2 0
 @dorkbike: especially for an Asheville based brand too
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: from grandad's in edneyville to Hendersonville to Fletcher, they are absolutely delicious!
  • 2 0
 @dorkbike: On that off topic, I searched and got this -
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: The Ashville NC. rain station is located at the airport in Arden, with historic rain fall gauged from an outdated chart ending in 2010. The date change to 2020 is about to replace the old, to compare totals to; 2018 was a recorded setting year.and 2024 is already well on it's way to overtake that record. Many areas in WNC are deemed.... a Sub Tropical or Temperate Rain Forest. Storms that roll in from Highlands / Toxaway towards Brevard are then split up by the higher Pisgah Range mtns, preventing the steady / heavier rains to reach downtown Avl.
  • 3 0
 @jimmyricard: Its the pesticides that give them that sweetness
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: just drove past the organic one "wicked apples". They closed.
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: There's zero subtropical anything in the Blue Ridge and at best and the tiny coverage of areas *mosty Brevard & west through Highlands) barely get 80" inches rain, which is the base # here to be a temperate rainforest. Asheville airport is the locatl gauge and most years it's 35-40 inches. The greater Asheville Basin (which is huge) receives the least rainfall anywhere in the state based on its distance from the spine of the Blue Ridge (NC/TN) line because most of the rain falls out before it hits Asheville. I've been doing this for 25+ years - its baked in to the ecology & its' a longstanding trend, so while one gauge may be doing well every now and then (awesome), the average is the average... which is low there.Humans have mostly effed that up via deforestation & changing the local rainfall / local climes - and soils & wetlands (which were formerly the rainmaker).

Even then - 80+ inches (which is erratic in most places) does not automaticaly = lush and rich (biologically). There are endemic plants / wildlife everywhere, and mega-acidic geology (like Brevard / Pisgah proper) may look like pretty forests but botanically: it's mostly a bore with a few highlights here & there - the high elevations being the main thing. In that area, rainfall moslty runs off out fast due to the granite, which is capped with rotting granite saprolite over which a teeny skim of topsoil sits. That teeny skim that's left from logging doesn't hold water long (hence all the waterfalls. I.E - The Cradle of Deforestation foresters (well, and everyone) took every possible marketable stem they could in the name of forestry and as pretty & wild as it looks now, the volume of trees is about 1/20th of what it was when they took it all even 100 years later.

Rain does not equal lush plant cover - it can. And lush areas can result from rainfall elsewhere via rivers & groundwater retention like the French Broad river floodplain that get less direct rain but has deep water storage from the massive watershed above it. I'm only 25 mins from downtown Asheville & we get 3x the rain and 10 degrees cooler temps than Asheville...and even then, we rarely get 80'' a year. The rainforest term gets thrown around a lot here, but truth is - most areas don't get 80'' rain a year... its a local legend, and it used to be case, but the loss of so much forest (ongoing dilemma with everyone moving here) means less & less local water retention, cycling & rain.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Hot n humid with heavy rains, mosquitos and all kinds of critters n crawlies = "SubTropical climate", which WNC has plenty of. Subtropical is not defined by just lots of rain, there are other climate and environmental factors that dictate what creates such an environment.
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: W/ all due respect that is not at all what subtropical is. It is the biome that surrounds the tropics - which the Blue Ridge does not. Think Antilles, Florida, Gulf Coast - where subtropical plants dominate, temps are nearly tropical & winter is minimal. The Blue Ridge 1000% and entirely a Temperate region - some (not all) of it having actual temperate rainforests.

If the Blue Ridge was "subtropical", then the Pactific NW - which is an "arcto-tertiary" relict and relative & directly precisely a split of the southern / central Blue Ridge (and most of southeast Asia which all used to be part of the same mega forest before continents split) would be "subtropical" - and it is are not. PNW is temperate. The Blue Ridge is temperate. Neither is subtropical.

What is subtropical is drug lords & coke, and it sounds like you may be enjoying some of that...
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: And for your additional enjoyment, here's the NOAA map of average rainfall in NC.

Here you can see the AVL basin gets about 38'' (average) year. In only a tiny county-sized zone (western Transylvania / southern Jackson Co / eastern Macon can you see average (which means some years way higher and some years way lower) rainfall of 80-90 inches...barely just over "temperate rainforest" base (80 inches). Only around the Mitchell & Grandfather ranges does it get close to that again, arouind 75-ish...still not by definition a temperate rainforest, though high elevation zones are typically bathed includes (>3500 ft elevation) so while not precipitation sometimes, getting a wet cloud-bath.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Well you just had to go and be a dick about it. Sorry i'm not nerding out like that about climate by the way; you won the prize now shove it up your ass!
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: Chill grandma - being a didn't isn't presenting facts to someone, its literally whining about those facts. You wanna cry foul to facts & logic, be my guest. Note that I didn't attack or name-call you whatsoever, just presented you with information. Cry & wet yr pants if you want - that only says who you are, not me or science.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: You are an idiot in your false logic, saying i was "whining about your so called facts", when clearly i was interjecting what are technically terms that are actually used by studied / educated people on the areas of WNC being deemed a Temperate or SubTropical Rainforest; with the addition of what are some determining factors that give to those terms in definition.
Where in your erroneous logic do you see whining within my statements of discussion and how the hell do you somehow think insultingly saying...."What is subtropical is drug lords & coke, and it sounds like you may be enjoying some of that..." is somehow not attacking or name calling??? You are a fkn moron that thinks writing paragraph after paragraph of statistics on a subject somehow makes you deserving of the Echo Systems Excellence Award and all should yield to your blabbering facts!
  • 8 1
 And it looks right to have a track between tapes and not the WC sticks
  • 3 6
 Looks like one of those “Try The New Jeep Wrangler” fake off-road courses that spring up with the new year model colors
  • 6 0
 He doesn't talk as much as Jackson
  • 1 0
 That's what I was hoping for when I clicked on it. A little commentary.
  • 4 0
 Track has some big “how’s ya spine” compressions in that top section.
  • 3 0
 Course builder: *builds berms for berming *
Racers: *nah, straight line that shiii*
  • 3 0
 4:3 ain't dead!
  • 2 0
 Can this race be watched somewhere???
  • 6 1
 YouTube a few days after the race
  • 2 2
 @Roost66: sorry, down voted by mistake.
  • 1 0
 @Roost66: thanks!!!
  • 2 0
 A a Ron wants to make this a wc stop. I bet it becomes one
  • 2 0
 It’s a nice track, looks like it would be good for fan and camera access but it seems a bit short eh?
  • 9 0
 I would think he wants a WC at his place (Windrock). This is Rock Creek.
  • 1 6
flag ace9 (Apr 6, 2024 at 8:51) (Below Threshold)
 @BagelMan: right right all the same
  • 1 0
 Them boys put on a good event
  • 1 0
 @BagelMan: “Placed Rock Creek”
  • 3 0
 Gwindrock and Rock Creek are not the same.
  • 2 0
 That track looks sick!
  • 1 0
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