We know that isn’t the sentence you were hoping to see, and it hurts us just as much to write it as it does for you to read it. After two years of planning an amazing event and looking forward to welcoming you to Mt. Shasta, we’re gutted to have to make this decision and not bring the Grinduro family together in California this year. Sadly, we know that cancelling now is the only option and the responsible thing to do for everybody involved. Between forest closures, wildfires, unsafe air quality, and the Delta variant of COVID, the situation has simply stacked-up too many barriers for us to ensure everyone's well being and provide the good times that this event has to deliver to you and the Mt. Shasta community.
On Friday, August 20, the USDA Forest Service announced a temporary closure of nine National Forests in Northern California due to extreme fire conditions and strained firefighting resources. The entirety of the new Grinduro California course in Mt. Shasta is located within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, which is included in this closure. The Forests will be reevaluated on September 6 to determine whether or not they can be reopened. However, based on precedent and dialogue with the Mt. Shasta community, we accept that it is highly unlikely for the forest to reopen in time for Grinduro. Last fall, a similar closure lasted through the end of October, and we anticipate that this closure could be on a similar timeframe. Without access to the wonderful trails and dirt roads in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, we simply cannot put together a route worthy of Grinduro.
In addition to forest closures, the Mt. Shasta community continues to face unhealthy or possibly hazardous air quality. Over the past few weeks, the AQI in Mt. Shasta has been over 150 (“unhealthy for all groups,” and our threshold for cancelling the event due to bad air quality) far more often than it has been at safer levels.
The Forest closures and air quality issues are on top of an already challenging COVID-19 situation and the worsening spread of the Delta variant.
Given all this, we were left with two options:
As a reminder, our refund policy has always stated that Grinduro California may be cancelled without refund in the event of extreme weather or natural disaster, including wildfire and related forest closures. Despite this policy, we would like to instead give you a 20% refund on all Grinduro and Grindurito registration fees, plus a 100% refund on any purchased meal and/or camping packages (minus processing fees).
This is consistent with our COVID refund policy, which states that participants would receive a 20% refund should the event be cancelled between 1 and 29 days before its scheduled date due to State Guidelines related to COVID. Although we are forced to cancel because of forest closures, not COVID, we still would like to give 20% back to you. It’s our way of thanking you for understanding and accepting this unfortunate and disappointing situation.
We realize you might be disappointed that we aren’t refunding a larger portion of your registration fee. The reason why we cannot issue full refunds is because so much money has already been spent on Grinduro California—nearly $100,000. Some of the largest expenses come months before an event, including non-refundable deposits for venue, catering, live music, tent rentals, porta potties, photographers, timing services, and other event service providers, plus contractor fees, merchandise and equipment purchases, and more.
These expenses are incurred by Grinduro California’s regional organizer, the Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance (SORA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. SORA is responsible for all event finances, and Grinduro California revenue then goes to SORA to support their important work. If additional registration fees were to be refunded, SORA would lose many tens of thousands of dollars, which would be detrimental for the organization.
We ask you to please understand that by issuing 20% refunds, we are doing what we can to support you, while also ensuring that SORA is in a great position to host Grinduro California in 2022.
The reality is that late summer and fall events may not be feasible now. We were not able to host Grinduro earlier this calendar year due to COVID, but we have already started the work to move Grinduro to an earlier date on the calendar in 2022. Imagine blue skies, fresh air and how good the dirt will be in the Spring…
If you’re wondering whether deferring to 2022 is possible, unfortunately that is not an option. There are a number of significant logistical challenges deferrals create, and deferrals would put SORA in a challenging financial situation for yet another year. If we deferred this year’s registration fees to 2022, SORA would still be out the nearly $100,000 already spent on this year. After two years of cancellations, we need a fresh start in order to deliver an incredible Grinduro in 2022. Thank you for your understanding.
If you’d like to support the work of SORA — specifically the Siskiyou Stewardship Fund, which is dedicated to improving recreation infrastructure and funding trail maintenance in the Mt. Shasta area — please consider making a donation to SORA by clicking here.
We are so grateful to everybody who has been involved with Grinduro California so far this year. We had such an amazing event planned for you: incredible artists, prestigious frame builders, a ripping fun course, delicious food, a whole lotta beer, awesome live music, a party with the mayor, and even a 100-foot long slip ‘n’ slide. So many people have poured their heart into this event already, and while we’re crushed not to bring it all to life this year, we’re even more excited for 2022. Three years of Grinduro partying crammed into one awesome weekend?!? After the tears from this year’s bad news, you better get right back to dialing in that party-to-race ratio.
We’d love your help spreading some Grinduro California love. If you’re up for it, post your favorite Grinduro California memory to Instagram and tag #grinduro so we can check it out and relive the fun. We could all use a few extra good vibes these days.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com
Until next time, take good care of yourself, stay loose, and let the good times roll.
- The Grinduro CA Event Team