Searle Pass, Kokomo Pass, Ptarmigan Pass

This past weekends ride just proves to me what I have always thought; the East Coast can produce some bad ass riders. My good friend Beefcake along with his fiance, Cissy and his Dad came to Breckenridge this past weekend after two weeks in the RV exploring Glacier National Park and the West. Beefcake was celebrating a fresh win in the Clydesdale Class of the Wilderness 101 while Cissy, took 6th place in Woman's Elite.

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Beefcake called earlier in the week to see if I wanted to meet and ride. Always wanting to ride and more importantly always wanting to see a good friend I thought of a route that I heard of, ridden part of, and have always wanted to complete; Searle Pass, Kokomo Pass, Ptarmigan Pass.

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Sunday we met, chatted a bit and I learned that Beefcake and Cissy had ridden the Peaks Trail and the Miners Creek portion of the Colorado Trail over to Copper Mtn and back on Saturday. I've yet to ride Miners yet myself, but I have heard it was a beast of a ride and Beefcake and Cissy confirmed this saying they hike a biked for about an hour and a half after reaching a certain point on Miners.

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Knowing Beefcake and Cissy would be needing a chiller pace after Saturday's adventure gave me opportunity to ride ahead, snap some pics and hop right back on for the ride up to Searle Pass.

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Just before we hit Searle Pass we ran into a lone hiker who was through hiking the entire Colorado Trail and we later realized was a speedy goat and then a group of about 14 hikers coming up from Janet's Cabin. Not wanting to get caught in the herd we made a hard push for Searle Pass and beyond.

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This was my own 1st time beyond Searle Pass and as Colorado high alpine singletrack always does, it wowed beyond words so we just rode on in awe.

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Beefcake and Cissy taking a moment to enjoy 12,000 + feet

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a few miles of contouring singletrack led us to a short hike a bike and a fast steep descent down to Kokomo Pass

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Cissy and Beefcake at Kokomo Pass

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Its been two years since I've seen or ridden with Beefcake. At that time he could kick my ass in endurance and climbing but I always had him on the descents. Back then he was riding a Steve Potts Ti 26er hardtail and was a fast fella but one who couldn't hold my wheel. Now the student has become the master, Beefcake is now riding a full suspension 29er and has mastered the art of descending with a deadly proficiency. It took everything I had to hold his wheel and a few times I just had to let him go.

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At the bottom of descent and many fist pumps and giggling fits later of the awesomeness of the descent we ran into a good ol fashioned east coast style waterfall. Hidden off the trail just far enough that it might be easy to miss but close enough to be heard, we found it easily and enjoyed the cooling waters for a few minutes.

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Then it came...the climb up Resolution Road. The bottom few miles were a steady 3-6 percent and I started to wonder where so many claimed this climb was like having your teeth pulled in so many ways. A group of 4 wheelers saw us and invited us over to their camp for water and then proceeded to tell us how steep it got. I still laughed it off, though a little more nervously and when we finally hit that wall, I hit the wall. Beefcake and Cissy started to pull away and all of the sudden I had then urge to walk. Seeing these two, who live at 1800 ft above sea level at most, climb away while I walked chipped away at my will but true to the name of the road my resolution held fast and I did a steady ride and walk, ride and walk all the way to Ptarmigan Pass.

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From Ptarmigan Pass we descended to Wilder Gulch and descended to the bike path near Vail Pass and continued on to Copper Mtn.

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5 comments:

  Richard

August 17, 2010 at 5:49 AM

Great pics!

  Bill

August 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Your photos are some of the best we've seen; thanks for posting! Glad you like The Colorado Trail. Gratifying to those of us who work on it to keep it nice. Let us know if you'd like to help us preserve the CT. We can always use another volunteer or donor ... or even photos (we need 'em for our publications). Enjoy the Trail - thanks!

Bill Manning, CTF Mg Dir
The Colorado Trail Foundation
http://www.coloradotrail.org/

  Cissy

August 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Thanks for the amazing route and the good time, Jeremy. The Colorado Trail is spectacular and certainly worthy of protection. Thanks for your efforts, Bill. Wish I were there now.

  Cissy

August 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.
  Pablo

August 20, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Now that you've had your teeth pulled, i highly recommend taking the highway from camp hale down to red cliff and riding shrine pass instead. There are a couple of benefits, first of which is the store stocked with all kinds of high calorie goodies and beer if you have enough people in your group to drink a sixer. Second, you don't have to ride Ptarmigan. Shrine is a much more enjoyable climb, and imo, wilder isn't good enough to warrant the climb up Ptarmigan. You might also consider hanging a left and knocking off bowman's and the commando run.