I got together today with a couple of friends to ride a backcountry route that I've been eyeballing for several years. The plan was to ride/hike/crawl from 7000' up to a 10,200' pass, 2000' down the other side, loop back around, then back down our original route. I've been up to the top of the pass several times, but never down the back side. There's a 4 way junction at the top, but I always ran out of time. Today did not dissapoint. 9+ hours in the back country was all good. Hard to say if it was xc or all mountain or what. The climbing was heinous and the descending was ass behind the saddle steep and technical. Good stuff. I had a Tracer VP, ssperl had a Spider 29er and bstiff was on his Voodoo hardtail. The ride did not dissapoint.
The climb started off nice and sweet. It sucked us in with beautiful trail and great views before the hiking started.
The view back down the drainage from which we climbed.
3 hours to the top! Finally, and we made our self imposed noon cutoff time. That meant it was time for lunch.
Lunch was up and it was time to descend. None of us knew what we were in for. I miss exploring. Kids and bike shop leave little time these days for all day getting lost affairs. The initial descent was great. Super loose, tech, and steep. Of course, pics don't do it justice.
Finally at the bottom (40 minute descent, nice) and no idea where exactly we were. Thank god, we found some elaborate trail signage to show exactly where we were. About 5 hours in at this point.
It was time again for more climbing. This was a grunt from 8000' or so up to 10,500'. It was a nice road.
Lots of hiking was involved. We were on hour 6? I was tired and starting to lose track of time. At least it hadn't rained on us yet.
My legs were cramping up something fierce by this time. More descending then. That seemed to do the trick for legs that were tired from turning over the granny gear slowly.
and finally more descending
9 hours and 10 minutes later we were back at the car. That's what I call a ride. It ended up being 5,600' of climbing in 28 miles. Most of it (up and down) was rocky, loose, technical and tough. Glad I got that one crossed off the list. It's going to take me another year or so to forget about the pain. Then, I will return.
Thanks for coming Jesper and Brian, the ride was fantastic!