The Evolution of a Trail

Posted by Oriel Morrison on

The year was 2008 and the world was ending. The financial crisis was whirling out of control and people began to learn what credit default swaps, tranches and sub prime mortgages really meant. The house of cards that we call our economy was on the brink of collapse.

In the sleepy burg of Pemberton, a few local trail builders within the local trails association saw an opportunity. As we have seen with the recent COVID pandemic, when there are global strains, there are usually federal stimulus funds being injected into local economies.

As a result, a tidy sum of dollars flowed into the PVTA coffers and kickstarted a rabid trail building effort. At that time the NIMBY trail was still in its development stages and it became the primary objective to complete. Once this was done there remained a pile of money still left to apportion. This is when dreams do become a reality.

A faint trail up what is now Middle Earth existed but the impetus was to make it rideable and create another asset in the networks uphill singletrack inventory. This was accomplished with stunning success and is a gem in the trail system today.

The other dream project was to build a trail from the paraglider launch down to the valley. A huge undertaking, the project was portioned into 3 sections and each section overseen by some of the most noted trail builders in the valley. The trail was named Stimulus, and it showcased all that Pemberton has to offer- rugged steep dirt chutes, rock slabs, fast janky rock sections and lots of vertical. A black diamond trail, Stimulus is a challenge and is a testament to the quality of rider that lives here.


The phone rang in the late afternoon of March 28 2018 and the world changed. The footing beneath you gives way and you fight to not believe what you are hearing. There has been an avalanche and one of your best friends is the victim. Reality spins out of control and the long road to some type of recovery begins. As the healing process initiates itself there is an impetus to create some type of memorial , a fitting remembrance to the soul that has perished. Naming a trail after a friend who has passed is a tradition in Pemberton that runs deep. Trails such as Lumpys and Rudys were named after pioneers gone too soon.

It seemed fitting to commemorate the memory of Lisa Korthals with a trail that her partner helped initiate and build during this flurry of trail building in 2008.

The trail called Stimulus thus became Live like Lisa. It was her favourite trail and it has become a fitting tribute to a life lived to its fullest and with passion and intensity.


Once the trail was renamed , an initiative was begun by a close group of her friends and family to purchase four chairs to be placed at the conclusion of the trail. Live like Lisa spits you out onto Raven Rock, a large chunk of rock that hangs above the serpentine, glacier fed Lillooet River and offers spectacular views to Mt. Currie. A fitting tribute and a place to reflect and remember what we have and what we have lost.



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