Last Bike Of The Season…

It was December 5th when I decided to get on the mountain bike again. It had been a long time since I last biked the Upper Loop Trail. I had heard from some people that it was riding well, with just a few snow patches. With snow on its way thanks to a changing weather pattern, this could be my final mountain bike ride up in Crested Butte until April. It was another beautiful day with temperatures in the 40’s but the clouds started to weave in and the winds had picked up.

I started from town and headed to Tony’s Trail. It was funny to look at Mount Crested Butte in December and not see any snow. This is the South-West side of the mountain.

A view up Paradise Divide. A bit more snow but still very shallow.
The Town of Crested Butte is shadowed by Red Lady Bowl (Mt. Emmons). Very little snow on a mountain that gets a lot of snow.

North Facing Slopes holding much more snow then South facing.

Including Whetstone Mountain

Ok… on to singletrack. I was shocked and amazing how good the riding was, very tacky with minimal snow patches in the sun.

It is winter, time to grow the beard?

Great riding through leaf-less aspens

A recent fallen tree blocking the trail.

More south facing exposed trail = more fun!

the pond in Skyland is partially frozen.

This was the extend of the snow on the trail, very rideable and really fun!

I was surprised with the bikes capability to accelerate in the snow.

I decided to take Whetstone Vista Trail down. I thought about the Upper Upper Loop Trail, but considering how rocky it is I opted to take the safe way down.

Snow stuck to my Maxxis Icon tires, but did not affect the tires performance that much.

Beginning of Whetstone Vista looked somewhat clear of snow.

After the initial steep downhill of Whetsotne Vista Trail, the trail flattens out, here is where I noticed the most snow. I wouldn’t mind riding a fat bike in these conditions.

A look at my newish Specialized Stumjumper Comp Carbon, what a fun bike.

After the final decent, I reached Brush Creek Road.

Heading back into town, you can see the clouds starting to build.

I hopped on the Upper Loop Spur Trail to get me back to Tony’s Trail and eventually back to town.

Storms building, my hope of skiing powder within the next few storms was on my mind!

Upper Loop junction with Tonys Trail.

This mountain biking season has been one for the memory books. I have to thank mother nature for doing her part, even with a horrible drought year, as we escaped many serious forest fires. Although the trails were very dusty and dry at times, the rain came and our worry of forest fires soon diminished. I write to you now with over 40 inches of new snow since December 7th! Cheers to the longest mountain bike season this area may have ever seen, it has been real!
Check out 2pedal.com for all your mountain biking trail maps and guide books.

Lupine Trail, Crested Butte, December 1st

Once again, the weather has been absolutely beautiful if you love mountain biking. Don’t get me wrong, I love skiing and have yet to miss a day since Crested Butte Mountain Resort opened. It is tough to keep in shape in the winter. You have less motivation, the days are shorter, and you have fewer options. So when biking is still an option in the valley, I’m going to take advantage of it. I decided to ride the Lupine Trail, as the motivation factor was very low. So I started from the mountain where my bike was since my last time on the saddle, which happened to be on CBMR Trails. I made my way to the Saddle Ridge Road and up to the Lupine Trailhead. 

Once I made my way to the trail I was delighted to see nothing but beautiful singletrack. The Lupine Trail is very exposed to the sun keeping it ride able in times like these.
Peanut Lake is all frozen over, and Axtel Mountain looks snow filled.  I can only assume the ice and snow are very thin.
 
Whetstone Mountain looks over the Town of Crested Butte.
 This says it well, dead grass, leaf-less trees, and snow-less hills. There is some sort of beauty to it though.
Looking back at the first part of the Lupine Trail, the downhill is very short but very fun. There was one berm filled with snow, but that was it.
The new(ish) part of the Lupine starts the assent up double track, a short little climb before it brings you back to sweet singletrack.
More grass
 Happy Chutes. Usually a popular backcountry ski option close to town, not quiet ready yet.
This was the extent of the snow on the trail, life is so tough.
The beginning of the second section of singletrack, full of some amazing, twisty, burmy sweetness!
Not much snow has melted off East and North-East facing slopes.
On to Slate River Road where my short ride would soon end. 
Looking back up Slate River Road
Mount CB in the distance, just looks like a regular fall day. Soon enough it will be a snow covered Butte (no pun intended.)
A look down valley, I could not ask for a more beautiful day upper 40s and mostly sunny!
Soon enough this will be un-rideable, so why not take advantage of it while you can! 
Check out 2pedal.com for all your mountain biking trail maps and guide books.

Oh, and Pray for snow! 

Bike and Ski on CBMR in the same afternoon!

It was Tuesday, November 27th and I had an itch to get on the mountain bike again. After a week of no snow, 40 degree temps, and no new terrain opening, it was a no brainier. It has been since November 18th since we have seen any snow, and it was a measly little inch. Columbine Hill trail had caught my eye every ride up the Red Lady Express Lift. What caught the eye, was the lack of snow although I couldn’t know for certain, it seemed as if the trail was snow free. Even though I had heard other trails were ride able such as Lupine, and Upper Loop, I wanted to bike and ski on CBMR trails/runs in the same day, so I made that my goal.

I started at my house and took the rec path from the town of Crested Butte to the mountain. I made my way up to the resort and over to Prospect Road. My initial plan was to ride The Prospector trail and I started to, but quickly had to turn back as the snow was too deep on North facing slopes. My back up plan was to ride the Prospect Road all the way to the top where it enters the Crested Butte Mountain roads. I continued until I got to Painter Boy hill.

The Mountain Looks snowy on the North facing slopes, but its still very shallow. They were blowing snow up Paradise Bowl. From here I went down some double track to Columbine Trail.

Once i got to the top of the Columbine ridge it was smooth sailing, a few snow patches but mostly super tacky single track. Here is the fork for Painter Boy and Columbine Trails.

Here you can see the beginner run of Houston, a tiny little strip of snow!

 Here is where Houston meets up with lower Keystone.

Yet another spring skiing type of day, Lower Keystone was the only option until they opened the Teocalli Lift.

The jib park, it seems like the busiest part of the mountain as of late.

A whole lot of grass, and bush. Columbine trail was in spectacular shape!

And on to the ski hill to get a few runs in. This was a small goal of mine but it is tough because I’m  ready for ski season. I guess I have to take what I’ve got!

check out 2pedal.com for all your mountain biking trail maps and guide books.

Oh, and Pray for snow!