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.
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.
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!