You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘MTB’ tag.

Saturday, August 24, 2013 – Mountain Biking

This was our second time riding the Crystal Mountain Trail #1163, to the top of the Crystal Mountain ski resort.

The first time we rode there was July 31, 2010.  That was one of those picture-perfect days!  The views of Mt Rainier are not to be missed!

Despite having a summer strung together with days and days of clear skies, the weather on this particular Saturday was not so cooperative.  It was raining when we left the house.  At the trailhead it was dry, but cloudy.  We saw initial glimmers of blue sky as we climbed the forest, but by the time we arrived at the top, the fog was thick!  And, Brrrr!!– it was not warm!  Our fingers got cold on the descent.

We drive here via Enumclaw, WA and Hwy 410 (Chinook Pass Hwy), which follows the White River.  Turn off Hwy 410 at Rd #7190 (Crystal Mountain Blvd) and find the trailhead for Crystal Mountain Trail #1163 adjacent to Sand Flat Horse Camp.  It is located about 2 miles short of the the ski resort itself.

This trip is a relatively short, “out-and-back” ride for us.  We turn around at the top of the Mt Rainier Gondola/Summit House.  Note that Trail #1163 does continue down from that highpoint (6872 ft) to intersect with other trails.

In a nutshell, this trail simply goes up and up and up for about 3000 ft.  Consider this climb “interval training” because you won’t stay in your Zone 2.  The tread is basically smooth, with some sections of jagged rocks (not too many) and some sandy patches.  It’s quite rideable throughout.  The descent is screamin’ fast!

CLIMBING THE FOREST–>  Switchbacks through trees and open slide paths of huckleberry bushes.

Ascending forest - August 24, 2013

Ascending forest – August 24, 2013

Ascending forest - August 24, 2013

Ascending forest – August 24, 2013

Forest - July 31, 2010

Blue skies on July 31, 2010

CLIMBING CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RIDGE–>  At times, the trail hugs a steep sidehill.  It’s not too “airy,” but you do need to focus in couple places.  The trail up the ridge also traverses a wide wildflower meadow.

From the ridge, the BIG view is Mt Rainier.  The White River is quite impressive as well.

Ridge climb - July 31, 2010

Ridge climb – July 31, 2010

Meadow - July 31,2010

Meadow – July 31, 2010

Mt Rainier from Crystal Mountain Ridge - July 31, 2010

Mt Rainier from Crystal Mountain Ridge – July 31, 2010

Eric - July 31, 2010

Eric – July 31, 2010

White River & clouds hiding Mt Rainier - August 24, 2013

White River & clouds hiding Mt Rainier – August 24, 2013

White River & Mt Rainier - July 31, 2010

White River & Mt Rainier – July 31, 2010

Looking east - July 31, 2010

Looking east – July 31, 2010

Elisa - July 31, 2010

Elisa – July 31, 2010

Elisa - July 31, 2010

Elisa – July 31, 2010

ENTERING THE CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN SKI AREA–>  Singletrack trail is replaced by a rocky road on the final uphill traverse to the top of the Mt Rainier Gondola and Summit House.

Chairlift visible - August 24, 2013

Headed toward the Northway Chairlift – August 24, 2013

Aster & Fireweed - August 24, 2013

Aster & Fireweed – August 24, 2013

Eric wearing his #NSNG technical tee - August 24, 2013

Eric wearing his #NSNG technical tee – August 24, 2013

Looking into the ski area - August 24, 2013

Looking into the ski area – August 24, 2013

Crystal Mountain ski area map - August 24, 2013

Crystal Mountain ski area map – August 24, 2013

THE TOP–> Views of fog!

Mt Rainier Gondola & the top of the Rainier Express chair - August 24, 2013

Mt Rainier Gondola & the top of the Rainier Express chair – August 24, 2013

You can pay $20 to ride the gondola.  It was crowded!

If you don’t want to power yourself to the top, you can pay $20 to ride the gondola.

Here is a link to the Crystal Mountain Summer Map.  Note that this map calls the north section of the Crystal Mountain Trail #1163, “Northway Trail.”

—————————————

TRIP STATS:  (Using the Bike Tracks App for iPhone)

  • Total Distance = 11.6 miles
  • Total Vertical = 5991 ft (climb 3053 ft, descend 2938 ft)
  • Elevation = 6849 ft highest, 3818 ft lowest
  • Time = 3 hrs, 39 min (start 11:10 AM, finish 2:46 PM)

MAPS USED:

FOOD CONSUMED ON TRAIL:

  • Water + 1 SaltStick
  • We didn’t even eat one huckleberry although the bushes were packed!

Saturday, July 27, 2013 – Mountain Biking

We actually planned to ride here last year, but the trails were temporarily closed on the day we picked (due to forest fires in the area.)  We rode Alder Ridge trail instead.  (Check out the trip report here. It includes images of the fires and a map showing where Minnow Ridge/Chikamin Tie is.)

This time we were good to go.  Our friend joined us and even purchased the après ride beverages!

Minnow Ridge Trail #1524 and Chikamin Tie Trail #1561 are located near Lake Wenatchee, WA.

To get here, turn off Highway 2 onto Highway 207, then take the Chiwawa River Road.  After passing the trailhead for Alder Ridge, turn onto road #6210.

In less than half mile, the trailhead for Chikamin Tie is on the right.  (Road #6210 continues for several miles.  Minnow Ridge trail basically parallels the road.  Eventually, we crossed the road’s end to access the upper segment of the Chikamin Tie trail.)

The trailhead for Minnow Ridge Trail #1524 is also the trailhead for Chikamin Creek Trail #1534.  We did not take that trail, but we talked to 2 motorcyclists who did.  They said it has plenty of exposure (no, thanks!), as it contours a steep side hill– but it does offer a loop option for those interested.

This is not the trail we took, but this trail shares a trailhead with Minnow Ridge Trail.

This is not the trail we took, but this trail shares a trailhead with Minnow Ridge Trail.

Our trip was an “out and back.”  Let’s begin!

SEGMENT 1

Minnow Ridge Trail #1524 starts at 2600 ft.  After 3.5 miles and 900 ft net elevation gain of rolling ups and downs, you come to the intersection with Minnow Creek Trail #1539.

Eric consults the map at the first intersection.

Eric consults the map at the first intersection.

SEGMENT 2

From the intersection, the last 2.3 miles of Minnow Ridge Trail continues up and down to meet up with Chikamin Creek.  (The upper end of the Chikamin Creek Trail #1534 is located here.)

Stream crossing

Stream crossing

Chikamin Creek

Chikamin Creek

SEGMENT 3

This marks the start of Chikamin Tie Trail #1561.  No more ups and down.  The trail climbs steadily another 900 ft in 2 miles while it parallels the creek.

Stopping for a snack.  If you look closely, you can see evidence of recent fire.

Stopping for a snack. If you look closely, you can see evidence of recent fire.

SEGMENT 4

After being in shady forest all morning, we popped into the open sun to cross Road #6210 on our final climb above Chikamin Ridge.

Eric pops onto Road #6210, into the bright sun.

Here’s where we talked to the 2 motorcyclists.  One ended up being a WA State Representative from the 12th District, Cary Condotta (R – East Wenatchee).  I took his picture as he started up the upper Chikamin Tie trail.

We saw these 2 guys, plus one more small group of motorcyclists on the trail.

We saw these 2 guys, plus one more small group of motorcyclists on the trail.

Cary Condotta - IMG_2696

Cary Condotta

From here, I started feeling really strong.

It wasn’t because of sleep, because I slept like crap the night before.  Maybe it was my “power breakfast” of a green smoothie (with avocado), non-dairy milk latte, and a spoon of peanut butter.

What I started thinking about, though, was an Endurance Planet podcast I heard this week (the episode with Dr. Jason Karp, co-author of Running For Women).  In the podcast, I learned that a woman’s athletic performance can be best during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle- in particular, when estrogen levels reach their peak.

I should be near that peak.  Estrogen power!?  Could it be?  I was leaving the boys behind!

Before crossing a couple granite boulder fields, the trail surface became a bit rutted by motorcycle tires.  It wasn’t really that bad, though (for me).  It does require good core strength and bike handling to keep the front tire tracking straight.

The granite did require walking the bikes.  That was the only real section of “hike-a-bike” during the whole trip.

First of 2 granite boulder   fields to cross.

First of 2 granite boulder fields to cross.

Our friend wanted to take some pictures here. We’re still on our way up, although Eric is posing for the “down.”

Onward and upward...

Onward and upward…

Part of Chikamin Ridge

Part of Chikamin Ridge

Crossing the 2nd granite boulder field, below Chikamin Ridge.

Crossing the 2nd granite boulder field, below Chikamin Ridge.

Surrounding hills.

Surrounding hills.

I'm pretty sure that's Clark Mountain with the snow on it.

I’m pretty sure that’s Clark Mountain with the snow on it.

Above Chikamin Ridge, the upper Chikamin Tie Trail ended after 4.1 miles at a 3-way intersection (6200 ft).

I asked Eric to take my picture with this sign, and this is what I got. Super close-up!

I asked Eric to take my picture with this sign, and this is what I got. Super close-up!

SEGMENT 5

We were hoping for a spectacular view once we climbed above Chikamin Ridge, but we didn’t get it at the intersection.  We’d basically arrived at our turnaround point, but now we were on a quest for views.

We continued onto Pond Camp Tie Trail #1409.2 toward a highpoint on the map at 6500 ft.  (After that, the trail would drop down to Pond Meadow.)

Here are the views we got.  Okay, but anticlimactic…

Left side of our "view" from the 6500 ft highpoint.

Left side of our “view” from the 6500 ft highpoint.

Middle section views from 6500 ft highpoint.

Middle section views from 6500 ft highpoint.

The best was yet to come.  The ride back to the car!

While screaming down the trail on the descent, I unofficially named both segments of the Minnow Ridge Trail “Superfun Forest.”  The forest floor is basically smooth, with not too many of those switchbacks with the pesky waffle-pattern cement blocks (for the motorcycles.)

This trip is definitely one to repeat.  I’d also like to explore a little further, toward Mad Lake/Meadow.  This will require getting an earlier start.

The beer at the car really hit the spot.  Good times!

Cheers!

Cheers!

————————————

TRIP STATS:  (Using the Bike Tracks App for iPhone)

  • Total Distance = 24.9 miles
  • Total Vertical = 9349 ft (climb 4627 ft, descend 4722 ft)
  • Elevation = 6462 ft highest, 2536 ft lowest
  • Time = 8 hrs, 7 min (start 9:45 AM, finish 5:45 PM)

MAP USED:

FOOD CONSUMED ON TRAIL:

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,924 other followers

"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

Categories

My Last 50 Blog Posts

Archives

August 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Blog Stats

  • 153,683 hits
%d bloggers like this: