Monday, August 31, 2009

Left of center recon mission

Big Fall Ride 4 is coming up (Sept 27, Sunday). To prepare, I went off today to do a little recognizance for a potential addition to the route. I mean, last year was tough all but not what I had dreamed of. Although some folks bailed early and the ones that didn't were plenty tired, no one was abolutely wasted and hating life. My goal today was to do some on the ground research to see about adding another 1200' or so of climbing, much of it hike a bike. Left Hand Canyon OHV was in my sites. Although I had originally planned to ride there via Heil Ranch, the plan was changed to driving to LHOHV due to time constraints.
I had thougth about adding the Castle Gulch climb out of James Canyon to the route. From there, we'd be at the top of LHOHV and would be able do descend some sweet singletrack back to the highway. I did find some additional singletrack, but even to climb up to hit it would be downright dastardly to add on after 5+ hours of riding. It would have some hella descending
and some fine narrow and ledgy singletrack
But I'm not sure it would work in very well. We'll see. Perhaps we'll include it on another ride for which I had an idea today. I think we'll keep that one in check til Oct or Nov...

Here's the route down that I intended to take. This would take me back down to James Canyon and the bottom of Castle Gulch, all jeep road.

Don't fall in the straight down for ever open mineshaft. Must be some kind of bird or something living in there. I heard some strange noises coming from the shaft. Maybe it was the ghosts of all the miners that died in this area.

I got to the bottom of Castle Gulch and wanted to explore the opportunity to get down onto the pavement. Looks like the USFS has been doing some creative signing down here. Looks like we'll have to contact the BRD to find out exactly what's up.
From there, the climb was steep and loose but tolerable for quite a bit. Then it turned rocky. Really, really rocky. This was the Castle Gulch that I remembered. I had never been up it before, though. It was quite a hike.

The USFS is a mountain bikers friend.

From the top, there was some crazy steep jeep road descending before the sweet, sweet singletrack.

The singletrack was a bit trenched out in spots, but other than that, was it's normal beautiful Left Hand self. Love it.

So far a good match :) On the steep and fast, the Tomac Snyper 140 did not dissapoint. The Snyper is proving itself to be a super good handling and capable bike.


debaser said...

I've wanted to head down that way lately, i think the only other time down that was with you how many years ago?

redstone said...

Yeah, same here. Not entirely worth it, really. No, not really worth it at all. If I had it to do over again, I'd have gone down Castle Gulch and up 287b, then more st towards 5 points.