Carey and Debbie above Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring

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Ye Olde Crusty Butt

Back for our third summer in a row, for a couple more glorious weeks in mountain biking paradise.

July 25 - August 7, 2014

Crested Butte, CO

The following was originally posted (see page 13) as part of a mega stoke thread on mtbr called "Do you like to get HIGH, man? (post your high country riding photos)"


Hey folks! Long time no see. Great to be back in your thin-aired state after spending the previous six months acclimating to sea level in SoCal.

Also great to see this mighty thread revived and going strong as ever in 2014! Endlessly inspiring pics and amazing riding in this one.

Here's a few scenes from our first week in the Butte, remembering how to get high again...


Friday: A lucky cool and overcast day had let me sneak in an unexpected but sweeeeet mid-summer 30-miler in Fruita the day before. That meant we had to really hustle the big RV around from Grand Junkyard on Friday, but we made it to CB just in time to take advantage of the free twilight lift riding deal at CB Mountain Resort Evolution Bike Park.

An early rain shower scared off half the crowd and gave way to a magnificent rainbow up top and a delightful clear evening. We literally caught the last chair and ended up with 5 rides up and almost 5000 ft descending in <3 hours, wheeee!

Saturday: Rode up Tony's from town, out and back on Upper Upper (including brand new flow section), out and back Whetstone Vista, out and back Upper to Mt CB, down Tony's to town. Finally made it to all the ends of all the Uppers! Really loving the tacky dirt after 6 months riding super-dry ball-bearing-like surfaces in Southern California.

Sunday: Lower Lower and Upper Lower lolipop with MsFoldsInHalf, followed by Sweet Corn Raspberry and Pineapple Upside Down Cake ice cream from the Third Bowl. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Monday: Joined a group ride led by multi-time Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens and CB local hero Dave Ochs, that MsFoldsInHalf had spotted in the paper. 'Twas a gnarly beatdown adventure on some lesser-known trails (or more accurately, well known, but shunned!), including the Carbon Trail (aka. Para Mi Para Ti and Don Cook) and Green Lake Trail that we'd skipped on our "non-Super" version of the Scarp Ridge loop last year. I barely survived the nasty ups, being just a few days off sea level, but relished the nasty stuff on the descents, with my decidedly non-folding Ibis thoroughly in its element.

Gotta love a town where mountain bikers appear in the paper more often than politicians.

Tuesday: Rainy day, got a little work done indoors.

Wednesday: Teocalli Ridge: Tried out the newly rebuilt classic, after 2 years closed. Still a wicked little climb, but positively bursting with wildflowers this year, and now featuring a strangely smooth and flowy finish. Way fun, but isn't Teocalli supposed to try and kill you? Oh well, that's progress I guess.

Thursday: Did THE classic CB ride with visiting friends from Texas, Ron and Bob (on rigid singlespeed--ouch!). From Mt. CB up Gothic Rd to Schofield Pass, up and down the full 401, and back to condo. Wildflowers were off-the-hook this year and the trail was riding sweet as ever.

Friday: Rode a pretty juicy little loop around town with Bob and his 3 sons, featuring geared squishy 27.5er rental bikes for Bob and 2 of the kids. Got caught in a downpour at the end of Lupine but everyone hammered on and generally had a muddy ball on Upper Lower to Budd to Lower Lower. Enjoyed a mid-ride lunch stop at Mikey's in town as the skies cleared, then by popular vote, took the Tony's and Upper Loop singletrack option back up to Mt CB instead of the paved bikepath. Yea team!

We arrived just in time to catch the free lifts starting at 4:30, and MsFoldsInHalf, Klucks, and Ron joined in, to swell our crew to 8 riders. We got in 4 runs downhill and would have made 5 except for one rogue lightning bolt that closed the lifts 5 minutes early, boo!

(Coming soon: our second week in paradise... heading higher, ever higher...)



Saturday: First of three days riding with Klucks was the familiar and always-great Doctor Park loop. Got some decent GoPro footage of the hot downhill action, and we happened to chat up a hiker on the Doctor Park Bonus loop who claimed to be the son (grandson?) of one of the guys who built many of the original roads (and now trails) in this area way back in the early 1900s. Pretty interesting.

Sunday: Explored a burly but stunningly beautiful new route, as seen on the 14erskiers website (thanks for another great idea, cbmtbr) . The long grind up Crystal Peak trail 583 was almost all a slow push for wheezing me, but the young, acclimated, and paleo-diet-enhanced Klucks pedalled up more of it than anyone should. Up high, Klucks found an enormous field of Columbines that I had blazed right past, being focused on the narrow trail, and we had to walk back a bit. But it was worth it--by far the most Columbines I've ever seen in one place. Amazing views from Star Pass and some actual cool motorbikers from Aspen to chat with too. Then after a couple of downs and ups so steep they had to be lined with cinder blocks, we hit the Hunter Creek descent which was super but as usual, way too short.

Monday: Another ride exploring more of Crested Butte's gnarlier side, featuring the infamous 409.5 descent and the previously-unknown-to-me but very tricky, wild, and fun Brush Creek Connector descent, both of which made for some exciting GoPro footage, especially coated with a little slimy mud. A hairy traverse of Death Pass high above the creek near the end was an unexpected highlight too.

Wednesday: Checked out a relatively easy loop ridden right from the door of our RV. Up Kebler and Splain's Gulch to the aptly-named Lily Lake, then down to Kebler Pass and back down the Wagon Trail. A lovely spot to see, but the riding was pretty tame. A welcome relief from the recent gnarfest, frankly.

Thursday: For our last day in the Butte, I'd intended to do a ride described as 'retardedly stupendous', but sort-of in reverse, grunting/pushing up Walrod and taking the supposedly sweet Waterfall Cutoff Trail down and back up. But somehow I missed the turn for Waterfall Cutoff and stubbornly just kept pushing all the way to Double Top. Stupid move, but found some downright stupendous views up there, and some pretty crazy bike riding conditions.

Double Top Trail is normally considered a motorcycle trail and now I know why firsthand, ha! Just silly steep pitches, up and down, one after another. I made my way to the new Point Lookout Trail which was much more fun going down than it was going up on Monday, and will be a real hoot in a few years after it gets bedded in better by more riders. But for now it's still just a little "soft"... so go ride it! 409 to Walrod Gulch Cutoff was an unexpectedly excellent descent which almost made up for all the pain getting to the top.

Best Rainbow Ever!

Bye Bye Butte, we'll be back!

(but wait, there's more... coming soon: some hills and creeks near Sargents... then, assuming all goes well for Klucks and me on Saturday, some fresh pixels from as high as it gets 'round here... 14440 anyone? )


VIDEO: "Crested Butte - Chunky Style"

Music by Little Walter, Lightnin' Hopkins, Stevie Vaughan, and James Cotton.

A positively scrumptious mountain biking sampler platter, linking several lesser-ridden technical treasures just outside Crested Butte, Colorado.  If you've ridden all the CB classics like Doctor Park, Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadmans, 403+401, Teocalli, etc. and crave something just a little bit chunkier... well... this loop featuring 409, 409.5, and 402 may be for you!


VIDEO: "Crested Butte - Doctor Visit"

Music by Dr. John, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters.

Super fun mountain biking on the classic Doctor Park loop near Crested Butte, Colorado.

We included the singletrack "Bonus" section, which adds some sweeping views to a ride that's otherwise mostly about the riding itself... meaning, excellent, swoopy, somewhat technical blasting down through the trees, and a famously chunky switchback finale.

Note that this was our shakedown ride with the GoPro and we learned a few things to improve in the future, for sure. But I've decided the cracked lens and sometimes-shaky video just add "flavor", and think this one still came out reasonably entertaining, and hope you enjoy it also.  :)



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