photo: Eric Palmer / Monster Energy
The second week of building at DarkFEST has come to a close and I thought they made good progress in the first week, but it looks like the guys were just getting warmed up!
Nico and Clemens are almost as amazing to watch in the diggers as they are on the bikes! Methodical and precise at all times. You can’t afford not to be with jumps this size. To start week 2 off Nico got to work on a “small” jump after the first big landing, a more long and low style jump, but it’s probably still bigger than anything at your local bike park. A little bit hipped to the right to set you up for the big hip, which Clemens was polishing. Watching a pile of dirt turn into a lip so smooth you can almost see your reflection in is a thing of beauty. The more he progressed, the more excitement built up. The dirt that he was getting from the side of a cliff was some of the most perfect clay you could wish for. No stones and a bit moist, so it was holding together well and looked like a pleasure to work with.
The hip landing is a lily pad style, short and straight to a road gap which drops you down into a super steep run in for the DarkFEST style monstrocious step up. You turn your back for a few minutes and next thing the whole run in is cleared and by the end of the week there is one of the biggest step up’s you’ve seen at the end of it. Nico piling the massive landing and Clemens sculpting the lip. They made good use of a hill on the opposite side of the little valley and like the rest of the course are using the already existing natural features and turning them into works of art that you can fly over.
You can see that they have quite a few digger miles and know how to get the most out of the landscape with as little digging as possible. This has helped them make amazing progress and the line is very nearly complete! Because of this, the idea of using an FMX style steel kicker to find out the sweet spot for the first gap’s lip has been scrapped. They have enough time to build a dirt lip and change it if need be.
Another bonus of being fast and efficient is that they have been able to go for a surf and have some sessions on the dirt jumps that Justin Novella from The Trails Crew has spent the last year building.
So things are looking as good as can be at the end of week 2 and we even have some rain forecast next week, so the spades will come out to make the most of it & get the final touches smoothed out and hopefully get some testing in.