Thursday, October 1, 2015

Crested Butte Day 1: Dykes rock

For our first day in Crested Butte (CB for short), we chose the Dyke Trail, west of town up toward Kebler Pass.  The reason for choosing this trail; clouds threatened and I wanted to save blue skies (and epic rides and pictures) for a longer day. 
First stop: Lake Irwin, an impounded lake that is an apparently great fishing spot judging by the number of fisherpeople up at 10,000 ft on an iffy weather day.
2015CrestedButte 009 (640x426)
Drew at the fancy reservoir outlet.
After about 45 minutes of climbing, singletrack commenced.
2015CrestedButte 013 (640x426)
It seemed like miles of flow-y singletrack ahead.
2015CrestedButte 016 (640x426)
However, due to 7 days of rain and what we would come to know as typical CB under-maintained remote trail, we ended up hike-a-biking quite a bit as thunder warned us to keep off the ridge line.
2015CrestedButte 020 (426x640)
During a previous bike vacation in Sun Valley, we had the unpleasant experience of encountering serious sheep dogs protecting their flocks. Today, we came upon sheep, and heard barking.  We were wary.

But we managed to ring our bells and ride as fast as we could between ridges and thus avoided any canine encounters. We did not, however, manage to avoid rain.  We had showers; the trails, on the other hand, had deluges earlier in the day.  Muddiness. Still, the trails took the rain fairly well and we were able to ride some pretty wild sections.
2015CrestedButte 024 (640x426)
Maybe we should have headed the “can be muddy when wet” advice on, but it’s all part of the adventure. 
2015CrestedButte 026 (426x640)
Hiding out in the only shelter around at the end of the singletrack.
The trail proved to have miles of fun, remote singletrack, many streamlet crossings, open landscapes interspersed with beautiful and healthy aspen forests, and very, very few people.  Not a bad choice for day one. 
2015CrestedButte 028 (640x426)
Post singletrack, we suffered through a long road climb back up and over Kebler Pass. At least there were good views.
2015CrestedButte 031 (640x426)
The rain had subsided and our map showed a singletrack up and over the top of Kebler Pass that was a more direct and supposedly more off-road route than the road. The heavy equipment at the turn off to the singletrack should have signaled us that the trail was being turned into a road via an interim mud bog.
2015CrestedButte 033 (640x426)
Back to the pavement and finally down to our happily waiting van.
2015CrestedButte 035 (640x426)
Hooray for muddy bikes.
2015CrestedButte 039 (640x426)

And post-ride snacks.
2015CrestedButte 040 (426x640)

Snacks held us until we could properly re-hydrate at Brick Oven Pizzeria. 30 beers on tap! 
2015CrestedButte 048 (640x426)
We were so not in Utah anymore. The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable and the pizza was great. Perfect.

Beautiful sunset on Mount Crested Butte and down the valley to our campground.
2015CrestedButte 050 (640x302)
2015CrestedButte 053 (640x364)

The day's stats: 3 hrs 2 min ride time.  14.2 miles. 2415 feet of climbing. 

Day 1 in the books. Epic? Not yet, but there is potential.

No comments:

Post a Comment