Spikefest 2009: 3 Passes and some old Flumes

This past weekend Ol Spike set up a one of a kind route along with some camping to celebrate camaraderie and riding bikes for the 1st Annual Spikefest. Spike and his crew were throwing down 85 miles adding an additional 35 miles I didn't think my legs were ready for. So I met up with Lubes and PBR at 4:30am for approx 53 miles from Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge to Como

We got a car dropped in Como and were on the Colorado Trail by 6:20


PBR being chased by the morning sun


Me on the Colorado Trail, photo by PBR

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Lubes full of smiles


PBR taking a serious approach to the views


Still a few small snow drifts on the east side of Georgia Pass at treeline


Me, photo by PBR

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Lubes cranking up to Georgia Pass


PBR almost to Georgia Pass


On over to the Breck side of Georgia Pass



Where probably two dozen snow drifts awaited our tracks


Watch your step, photo by PBR

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A good ol death march isn't quite right without a little drinkin involved


A few marshes were to be hiked


and lots of route finding


Sometimes we even hung our bikes out to dry


and rode tons of old flume like this


and this


Might be getting familiar now for those of you who have been training on the Fire Cracker Course


We started running into all sorts of folks at this point including Kerkove, Sonya, DJ Birtch, Rebecca Toma wiki wiki, and several others who I didn't recognize.


PBR at Little French Gulch


Sally Barber Mine


Shot of Sally Barber Mine by PBR

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going down




down into Breckenridge for some refreshments from the local convenient mart


Then a climb back up Boreas Pass, course we took all the singletrack options to go up


Baker's Tank


A rest stop at the top of the pass


We finished the day on an awesome singletrack descent off the pass.

3 passes

GPS died on the last miles of the ride..show 7,800 ft of climbing with 97% of the route being over 10,000 ft and our high point for the day being 11,870. PBR's cpu shows around 55.5 miles. Sweet!

I plan on coming back for some retribution though. Somehow I only drank 2 liters of fluids and and one liter of that was in the last 20 miles. What was I thinking? No wonder I started bonking out on Boreas!

Sunrise rides are the Bomb!

I was never good at 24 hour racing. The laps being to monotonous, to much familiarity, spinning the wheel in the hamster cage.

Everyone can agree though, even those who minds can't take the stale numbness of turning laps over and over again. The Sunrise lap is the Bomb!

Wannabe FIFO's

rider: me photo: Andy Chrysler

TITS/COMBA ride this evening on the Three Sisters....I'll be near the back of the group as I plan on saving it for the 50 miler this weekend. Did I mention 97% of this ride will be over 10,000 ft and prolly 90% singletrack?

A Skipping Goat

Got out at 5am this morning for a little Green Mountain before work. Threw down 20 miles with 2500 ft of climbing in two hours. Green Mtn is hopping with activity. All kinds of vegetation making the East side trails barely 5 inches wide and flowers blooming every where.

I found out a Goat in a Turtle shell skips like a flat smooth rock thrown across a pond. I was riding around the lower traverse of Green mountain hitting somewhere in the 15-20 mph range and saw something in my peripheral to my left. I glanced over my shoulder, saw nothing and as soon as my eyes fixed on the trail again a blue culvert jumped in my way along with a 4 ft wide ditch. I hopped it but caught my front tire and I must have bounced a good 50 yards before I finally slid to a stop. Another random rider was right behind me and saw it all…

“Dude, you ok?”

Me laughing, “Yeah, I’m good. Did you see that?”

Random Rider, “Scary, but it was awesome! Your Bike ok”

“It’s good.”

I stood there for a moment collecting myself and then finished my ride ending with the heavily overgrown but always fun Jeremy’s Gulch.

Splorin the Southwest side of Guanella Pass

Glad I finally got that out of my system. Once I get a route stuck in my mind, it nags me until I go do it. I had meant to add in Burning Bear and the Southern Section of South Park Trail #600 but I had to be home by 1pm and between route finding and hike a biking the 22 miles I rode took a little over 5 hours.

actual ride time was 4 hrs 8 minutes.
accumulated Elevation: 4,450 ft

Start/finish Elevation (ft): 9,640
Min. Elevation (ft): 9,640
Max. Elevation (ft): 12,271

No headless ghost chased me this time but I did play in the clouds a bit on a trail that wasn't a trail but more a random piling of cairns in the sky. There were times when my visibility was cut down to about 10 meters and for most of the trek across the arctic tundra visibility was down to 50 meters. I knew the trail followed a basic southernly route so just watched the compass any time I was in doubt as the land features I was looking for by the topo were hidden in a murky soup.

Also got lost and turned around in some swamp bogs not even 100 yards from the road. I walked in circles twice trying to find the trail, finally backtracked, headed a little further west and made a scramble through thigh deep mud that tried to vacuum my shoes off before finally finding my path.

I've got some ideas of a route that will make this area even better. Less hike a bike but still some hike a bike because we know every legendary route needs some, more downhill rocky singletrack, more climbing of rocky old jeep beds and descending above treeline.

Looking toward Guanella Pass from the Burning Bear Trailhead..
Looking North towards Guanella Pass

One of the old Geneva Basin ski Trails
Old Geneva Basin Ski Run

Duck Lake
Duck Lake

Guanella Pass
Guanella Pass

South Park Trail #600 looking back towards Guanella Pass
Looking back towards Guanella Pass

Flowers at 12,000 ft
Flowers on Trail

Lower Square Top Lake
Lower Square Top Lake

Snowline right at the trail 12,250 ft above sea level
Snowline right at the trail...12,250 ft

From one Cairn to the next
From one cairn to the next

hiking across snow fields, this picture is looking back the way I came...I'm the first hiker or rider across this year.
walking across snow fields

I'm sure the trail goes this way
I'm sure the trail goes this way

Mid morning snack just above treeline
Mid morning snack above treeline

South Park Trail gettin alot of use
South Park Trail getting alot of use

crossing Geneva Creek
Geneva Creek

Kirby Gulch
Kirby Gulch

back to route finding
South Park Trail Route Finding

South Park Trail near Bruno Gulch
South Park Trail near Bruno Gulch

Bruno Gulch
Bruno Gulch

Came across some hikers on Bruno Gulch.
Fellow said are we gettin close to Square Top Lakes.
I asked, your kidding?
No, the lakes not close by.
Um, well they're about 9 miles north across some rough terrain that requires route finding. Let me show you on the map.
As I'm showing him the Lakes and the best route for him to get close to them, via car on the map...the hiker says, Man I need to get me one of those maps, I thought we were close.

I think I saved these two a long night in the woods.

Today is Father's Day and we are headed to Glenwood Springs to hike Hanging Lake and go see Doc Holiday's grave. Happy Father's day to all you fathers out there.