Nov. 19, Nisqually Chutes. Mt. Rainier

Kevin, Nisqually Chutes


Met Greg in Four Corners, Maple Valley at 8:15.   Greg was driving his newer Audi wagon, so he insisted on driving.   The benfit of absolutely no new snow, meant that we could take the back way to Paradise.   We went out through Greenwater on 410, then took the Stevens Canyon road up to Paradise.   Due to the cold temps we have been having there was quite a bit of frozen waterfalls and plenty of ice falling on to the roadway, especially near the tunnel entrances.  Ski approach from Paradise parking lot, was much longer than year's past.   We kept our sneakers on until above Pebble Creek.   Finally stuck our skis on about 7,400.   Traversed up and over to 8,200 feet and the Nisqually chute entrance.   Chute was smooth and steep.   We made the mistake of transitioning from skinning to downhill mode, far to close to the chute entrance.  The snow was very firm and a fall here, would have put a person sliding through the rocks adjacent to the chute proper.  Luckily I had a small rock, jutting out of the snow to perch on.   I am not quite sure how Greg maintained his balance during his transition.  Chute skied firm but well.   2000 feet of descent.   A whole day of travel and hiking for only 2k of skiing.   Oh well, weather was super pleasant, and good to get out with Greg.   Day NUMERO Uno for new season!
Greg with Pan point to the right


Finally skis on at 7,400"


Greg  -  smooth





Hiking again,  booted out of drainage,  back to below Pan Point


Nov. 10, Sage Hills, Wenatchee

Wenatchee Day 2.  Rain up near Mission Ridge Ski area meant we couldn't ride up by Marion/Clara Lakes and the top of the Mission Ridge/Devils Gulch loops, so we stayed low and made our way to the Sage Hills System.  Parked at the bottom by Sage Hills Road.  We were hoping to make the climb all the way to the Apricot Crisp Trail so we could descend the Lightning Trail back into the Sage Hills trail system, but we were turned around by extreme wind and rain.  Of course we didn't know that the system would blow over.  14.5 miles.  3,796 feet of total elevation.

Climbing "Lone Fir" trail

Climbing "Lone Fir" trail thru the Hoodoos

Ascending "Homestead Trail" before wind/rain turned us back.

Descending "Jackhammer" Trail, near the bottom

Nov. 9, Stairway to Heaven, Canyon #2, Wenatchee, Wa.

Weekend in Wenatchee - trails were great.  Day 1
Climbed "Stairway to Heaven" to road.  Climbed road to descend in "Road Rage".  Climbed road and descended "Waterslide".  Climbed road again to then descend on "Stairway to Heaven".  11.7 miles.  total elev. gain 3,015 feet.


Descending "Stairway to Heaven"

Descending "Road Rage"

Oct 26, Mansion Trails, Ellensburg



Rain, rain and more rain.   We looked east, as usual, and it still looked wet.  It did seem to be a slight possibility of getting a dry stretch down around Thorp and Ellensburg.   We hadn't done Joe Watt canyon in a long time, so we headed there.   Francine mentioned hunting season, as we drove down I90.   Joe Watt parking area is closed in the winter due to elk feeding.   Today, I guess is the opposite.  As we rolled up to the gate, we could see campers/trailers all over the place.  I guess this is hunting in the modern age.  You and a thousand of your friends camped in the same valley.   We quickly turned tail and ran away.   Next stop, Mansion trails in Ellensburg.   We had originally been hesitant of riding here due to fearing the ground would be too wet to ride without doing trail damage.   Lucklily the trails were perfect, and we only suffered a light drizzle.   We rode  to the top of the ridge on Chest Pains, then turned around and hit the other short loops, off of chest pains.   Needing a little more exercise we headed up the boy scout trail, for another out and back.  We didn't make it to the top of BST, but got enough to wear out the legs.  Still dialing in the loop possibilities out here and will hopefully make it back before the snow shuts down the top of the ridge.









Oct 17, Roslyn Area ride

Francine, Don, and I headed to Roslyn to ride the trails above town.   With the vegetation dying back, and damp trails, the riding was about as good as it gets.  

Mount Stuart, with a dusting of new snow.

Don, makes the final push to the ridge top.

Oct 5, Sport Climbing Exit 38

Big brother, Kelly wanted to get out with his daughter Hillary for a little rock climbing.  I pulled out my climbing book for Exit 38.   I decided to head to Interstate Park, Headlight Point climbing wall.   Several 5.7 and 5.8 sport pitches.   I guess it's been a while since I have climbed that area.   We managed to go the wrong way several times until we found another climber going to the same place.   Turned out to be a perfect day, and Hillary even finished with a jump in the river, brrr.

Kelly sporting his harness from the eighties.

Hillary makes the 5.8 pitch looks easy
 
Jen Curd gets in in the action
 

Sept 27, Whistler Phat Weekend Enduro Race

Race participant ride/push up to the starting gate, below the summit of Whistler's peak chair.
I have always thought it would be interesting to do an enduro race.  Enduro is the latest mountain bike racing format.  It's popularity has been surging, due to it being very much like regular mountain biking.  Typically it is a multiple stage race, with only the downhill sections timed.  The difference from a regular downhill race is that the rider is expected to ride to the top of each stage.  This requires a bike that not only excels at the downhill, but that the rider is willing to ride to the top of the course.  This being held in the Whistler Bike Park we did get to ride the Gondola to start the day.   From the top of the gondola we rode out of the clouds and up towards the top of the Peak Chair.   In the winter, the access road is called Pika's Traverse

Riding past the top of Harmony chair

Upward

Not a bad spot for a start gate
First racer gets ready to attack the course

Dropping in - Top of the World Trail

Kevin enjoys the view, before getting geared up to race.
Slightly below the summit and after about a half hour of pedal/pushing we reached the start of the Top of the World trail.   We had a fairly small race group of only 32 riders.  Riders were sent through the race gate with approximately a 1 minute gap.   The first stage took 13-16 minutes, and my legs were burning.  Unfortunately, I had a flat tire about two thirds of the way down.    I started running with the bike, hoping the first stage finish was close, but soon gave up and got to work fixing my flat tire.  I had recently purchased a new mountain bike with 29" wheels.  I had not purchased any extra tubes.  Luckily I was able to stretch a 26 inch tube around the rim, and with much cursing, levered the extremely tight tire back on the rim.  Stage one:  31minutes.  I was definitely bringing up the back of the pack.   The first stage was quite rocky and quite technical.  Just as I got my flat tire, the trail was finally turning into nice smooth dirt.  The next stage was started from the Ravens Roost lodge, generally downhill from the first stage finish.

Stage 2 was all on technical black diamond trails.  I had actually ridden a couple of these trails back in August, but I certainly was at a disadvantage throughout the race, due to the fact that most of the trails I was seeing for the first time, and did not always take the correct line.  On stage 2, I was riding a rock slab, on Up In Deep, when I clipped a small stump on the side of the slab, sending me in a flip over the handlebars.  I think my helmet took the brunt of the fall.   I quickly got back on the bike and continued on.   Stage 2 time was 4;40.  I actually beat a few people on this section.  After this stage it was a 1.2km pedal up an access road to the last stage.  I finally caught up with the end of the field of riders.   Stage 3 was more techy, rocky sections that were nice and slick from the overnight rain.  I managed to slide through without any more wipe-outs and made it to the finish.  Stage 3 time of  5:13.  Total time:  41:16.  The winning time was 19:09.   Even if I took out the 16 minutes that the flat tire cost me, I was still near the back of the pack.   All in all it was a good adventure, and I got to ride some new trails.   It's not every day that you get to ride Whistler from the Peak chair all the way to the village.


Race started out pretty steep, Top of the World Trail


Race course:  Stage1 - Top of the World trail - finish gate at access road.  Stage 2 - Start Raven's nest, No Joke, Up in Deep, Little Alder.  Stage 3 -  Duffman to Golden Triangle.

Phat Weekend Enduro Results

Phat Weekend Enduro Results

Sept. 25 Bike Park - Whistler

Paid the money for a lift ticket, and rode the lifts with Scott and Jason.

Jason drops into Dirt Merchant Trail

Scott

Sept 24, Whistler Valley

Rode out the paved system to access Piece of Cake and A La Mode, to Lower Sproat then Beaver Pond and out Danimal.

Beaver Pond

Tom Davies on Danimal

Kevin 

Sept 23 - Pemberton - One Mile Lake area

Francine rides Lumpy's Epic in Pemberton BC

Last night we had some rain, so we thought we should head to Pemberton.  When we checked the online weather forecast at 7:30am, they were already at 53, while Whistler was only 46.  Also, Whistler was expecting rain at noon, while Pemberton, at a lower elevation, was predicting showers at noon, with rain at 1pm.  So, we hustled to get out the door.

 We parked at the One Mile Lake trailhead.  We rode out the lake trail to a right hand turn toward the direction of Lumpy's trail on the "Sea to Sky Trail".  Went left on "Overland Trail" to "Overhill-K2 Trail".  We continued the steep climb on "Newsflash" to a right turn on "Break-Away".  We took this to the intersection of K2 and Pioneer.  "Pioneer" was our intended descent, but after a couple of steep switchbacks, we realized that Francine would be walking too much, so we turned around and retraced our steps.  At the top of Pioneer, we went back to the intersection of  Newsflash and Break-Away, where we went straight on Break-Away.  We started feeling a few sprinkles, but the sunshine kept trying to shine through.  This trail descended to Lumpy's Epic, where we went left, and descended to the river.  Went left on the Horse Trail, and made our way back to  One Mile Lake .  Sprinkles started to get more persistent.  Short, 6 mile day, but some sturdy climbing to keep our legs tired.

We went into town for lunch and powered up with some good burgers at the Pony.  On our way home, we pulled into Nairn Falls Provincial park, and hiked the 1.5 km (.9 mile) trail to the falls.  So, we added almost a 2
mile hike to our day.

Sept. 22 - Whistler

We have lots of space in our nice 4 bedroom condo on 4 levels.  There are lots of stairs.  I'm sure our legs will be feeling it by the end of the week.

The Snowbird condos are higher up on the hill, so when we left the condo for the day, we climbed up.  We didn't really have a plan but ended up climbing up some steep fireroads, and made it to the top of "Golden Boner".  Now, we know that Francine has a hard time with Black Diamond rated trails in Whistler, but we thought we would try Golden Boner.  Unfortunately, Francine walked down most of it.  It was a relief when the trail ended and we went left on "Roam in the Loam", which is a Blue Square rated trail.  Then we descended to the base of Blackcomb, on a trail under the Magic Chair.

Francine actually on her bike on "Golden Boner"

Kevin on rock move on Golden Boner



We made our way to Whistler Village where we stopped for a snack to regroup.  Our next plan was to find an easier trail for Francine.  We heard that they had done some work on the "Blueberry Hill" trail, so we made our way there on the Valley Trail.  After that we made our way to the "Emerald Forest" area, where we rode most of the trails.  Then, we took the Valley Trail (paved) back to the condo.

Sept 21, Squamish - Crumpit Woods area

We are on our way to Whistler for a week.  Thank you to Pat & Larry for the use of their "points" for a week at The Snowbird condo at Whistler.  We  picked up a 4 bedroom for the week.

Squamish is a big town about 1 hour before Whistler.  We spent 3 days riding here in July,  but missed the Crumpit Woods area.  We decided to explore Crumpit Woods on out way to Whistler.  11.6 mile day with some interesting route-finding.

One of the F...side trails.


Climbed "Endo" which popped us out on a boardwalk area to "S&M connector" to "Frthr-side" to "Fartherside" to an accidental descent down "Farside".  Climbed back up "Farside" to "5 point Hill".  We were expecting a connector trail to the Lost Loop area.  So we went exploring out a barely used trail, bushwacking our way to the gravel pit, where the trail basically disappeared in the slide alder.  We ended up bushwacking/dragging our bikes down a hillside to a road in the gravel pit.  We rode around looking for where we thought the connector trail might be.  We never found it, as it seems the connector had been abandonded for a while.  so, we started descending an unused road, passing a sign that read "Private Property.  Gravel pit road is alarmed. RCMP (cops) will be called."  We descended more, until Francine finally got Kevin to turn around and retrace our steps.

Once we made it back to the "5 point Hill trail", we climbed to the top and descended.  Next, we flew down "Fartherside" and descended more on "Frthr-side" to "S&M Connector".  Here we ran into a friendly girl out for a ride with her dog.  She was basically going our way, so she told us where to go at the intersections, which was real nice, because we didn't have to keep pulling out our map.  Here, we went right on "Sweeter the Berry".  Climbed and descended "Spencer's Big Gay Ride".  Went left on "Three Virgins" and left on "The Graduate" to the boardwalk area and back to the car.

Sept 18, Moto Ride from Ronald, Wa

Got back to our favorite riding location for some dusty but fun motorcycle riding.

Vic

Vic

Scott

Scott

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