April 25, 2017 - Klamath Falls, Or. - Spence Mountain

Tom getting a little air beneath his tires on Hooligan.

Spence Mountain is only about 10 miles north of the Running Y Resort.  We rode 13 miles of fun, Mountain Bike built trails, that were constructed within the last couple of years by the bike club, Klamath Trails Alliance.  They still have what looks like 20+ more miles to build in the "proposed state".  We started biking around 10:30am, with temperatures at the trail head at a chilly 41 degrees at 4200 feet elevation.  Kevin's normal outside low temperature parameter is that it has to be above 40 degrees for a fun mountain bike ride.  Even so, we encountered snow as we perserved uphill.

Kevin climbing in snow up South Ridge Trail

We climbed a beautifully built trail for about 5.5 miles to the top of Spence Mountain via the Spence Mountain South Ridge trail.  They wound the trail thru nice manaznita, trees, and rock outcroppings.  Even though the area was logged a few years ago, they left enough standing trees and Juniper, along with the manzanita, to make the area pretty to ride thru.
Kevin, Val and Tom at the top of Spence Mountain
Francine and Val navigating our only snow on the trail.

At the top (5849 feet), the north side of the mountain had a considerable amount of snow, calling for an out and back.  Once off the summit, and only 1/2 mile of trail lower, we peeked around the corner towards Upper Hooligan, but found too much snow as well.  So, we continued backtracking down a couple of miles to the road crossing on South Ridge trail, and turned right onto the dirt road for a mile or so to the intersection of the Hooligan trail.  We were still able to ride the bottom two thirds of Hooligan.  We loved the downhill on their directional, down-hill trail (blue square) for a super fun, flowy, user built flow-trail.  Trail conditions were perfect, and the sun even came out for most of the descent.  We all couldn't believe how well constructed the berms and corners were.  These guys gave serious thought to all aspects of construction.  Even the jumps were built so you didn't have to kill all your speed if you weren't getting air.

April 23,Klamath Falls, Or. - Moore Park

First ride from the Running Y Ranch.  Again, we can thank Pat and Larry for access to our 2 bedroom unit for the week at The Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Just a couple of miles south of where we were staying, you can tie into the Klamath Ridgeview trail.   We managed a 19 mile ride by the time we rode to the far side of Moore Park and back.    Lava rocks intterupted smooth dirt to add some technicality to the ride.  Some of the hill climbs got our attention.

Val on -TBag

Francine and Val on Southie

Francine on 5 Gallon

Val descending 5 Gallon

Don heading towards home (Running Y) on Klamath Ridgeview Trail

April 21, Ski Mt. Shasta

Wendy Hecker (Ewing)  ready to ski Mt. Shasta

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Wendy enjoying the ski down


Val and Francine rode Clickaputi trail by Shasta Dam

April 20, Mule Mountain Loop

Hooked up with Val's brother, Brad, who lives in Redding.  He has been doing the Redding Mayor's Challenge.  They have set up a collection of mtb rides to encourage the town to get out and ride.   The website is a great resource for the available trail options and loop ideas.  Brad had completed almost all the rides and only had a couple of the advanced rides left.  We hooked up with Brad at the end of his work day, hitting the trail about 4:00.   We were also joined by Val's daughter Wendy.  Trails were in great shape, and despite some solid climbs, we had a great time.   The trail to the summit was in excellent shape and we were glad we made the push to the top.

Francine on Mule Mt. Loop


Brad makes the summit

Don and Brad check the views from the
top of Mule Mt.

Brad coming down the summit trail

Don on Terminater Trail

Brad gets wet feet near the end of our ride

April 19, Mrs Piggy and the Westside Trail

Going with a bicycle shop recomendation, we went to check out the Westside trails.  We parked at the Upper Cold Springs trailhead and headed up, up steeply on the Westside trail to the Top of the World.  From there we descended down Mrs Piggy, intending on connecting a larger loop.  Unfortunately Mrs. Piggy dead ended on private property, where the owner had blocked the trail with several toppled trees.   We retreated back to the Westside trail and down to the car.  We then ran out the Cold Springs trail as an out and back.   Not a bad ride, but definitely not as good as some of the other trails we have ridden this week.

Don leads Francine up Mrs. Piggy

April 18, Trail 58 to French Fry Loop

Francine riding up Trail 58

Val on Kevin's Trail

Cruising on French Fry

Steeper than it looks

April 16, Mule Ridge Trail

Francine cranks up the Mule Ridge Trail

Don on Cosmic trail



Val descending on Princess Ditch Trail

April 15, Hornbeck to Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail

For our first ride, the Heckers wanted to see if we had gotten our asses in shape.  Day 1, 26 miles roundtrip from Quartz Hill trailhead to the Lake Shasta Dam.  Trail gradually gained elevation as we climbed up to the dam.   Nothing too technical, just lots of smooth trail.

Shasta Lake Dam

Riding on up.

Full dam. Upper spillway gates were opened in February
for the first time in twenty years

Val and Francine

Don enjoying the descent


Spring Break 2017

Ready for sunnier weather, we packed the car and headed south to California!  Our friends, the Heckers had been visiting their daughter in Redding for the last eight years or so, and keep telling us how nice the mountain biking is in the spring.  This year we finally are going to check out their favorite trails in Redding.
Mt. Shasta

We took the leisure drive and spent the first night in Bend, Or..  We tried to get in a quick ride, but a hail storm forced us to retreat to happy hour at the hotel bar.  The next morning we got an early start and made the drive down 97 to California.

Friday, March 17 - ski Tour Buffalo Mountain

Last day to ski in Colorado and our group is looking pretty sad.   We have had some great spring skiing at Copper, Breckenridge, and Aspen, but our group is falling apart.  Francine fighting a cold and sore feet, Rick fighting his cold and a pulled groin muscle.   Greg Mejleander's ankle and knees were not happy.   With the group, falling apart, I was excited to get out and do a ski tour.  I had thrown climbing skins in my bag, just in case I had the opportunity for a tour near our house in Silverthorne.   With Buffalo Mountain looking good, I had Rick drop me off at the top of Ryan Gulch road.

Buffalo Mt. at 12,777 feet looms above the town of Silverthorne Colorado elev. 9,000 feet.  I ascended through the trees on the left side of photo, then up to the summit.   I explored the option of skiing Silver Couloir, the prominent Y shaped run in the picture.  I lined up on the looker's right side of the line, but the terrain was so steep I could not get a good look at the skiing.   The top section was visibly wind effected, and skiing solo I decided to ski the more easterly descent, where I could see what I was dropping into.

Eagles Nest Wilderness

Start of the trip skinning, in shorts, through the lower trees

Above treeline, good travel conditions
Mountain Goat greeted me at the Summit ridgeline.

View off the summit

I dropped below the left ridge to get a little firmer snow

Good skiing below the upper bowl

Route of the day.  Glad to have my gps coming back through the trees

Stats:   3,500 elevation gain.  6.2 miles roundtrip.  3 hours 45 minutes.  Spent some time up top, to the North, exploring the Silver Couloir option.  Also looked at following tracks into the center bowl area.  Luckily I did not follow as looked like a rope may have been necessary to get over a rock band below upper bowl.  Descent route is the lower line (south)