Rode some familiar trails today. Took the Valley Trail (paved) to Cut Your Bars, Emerald Forest, Barts Dark Trail, to River Runs Thru It.
Saw our first real wildlife - a Black Bear munching on grass in the neighbor hood at the bottom of
Cut Your Bars.
Looks like River Runs Thru It had some flooding as a good portion of the section before the famous bridge has been rerouted and a new bridge across the river is in a different spot. But the newly added extension that ends at Rainbow Park is much nicer and ridden in, compared to our last time when it was a freshly cut, new trail. The entire trail was quite smooth and fast, as we normally ride this trail in June, when it is real muddy and the wood bridges are all wet. Hung out at Rainbow Park enjoying Alta Lake for a bit, before heading to the village for coffees. 13 miles.
Went back to the unit for lunch and a nap for Kevin. Then, we headed back to the Zappa trails for another 5 miles. Rode thru Blackcomb to Lost Lake. Climbed Molly Hogan to climb Pinocchio's Furniture. Basically descended on Fountain of Love, The Torture Never Stops, Dinah Moe Humm, and finally Peaches en Regalia.
All the trails in Whistler are in prime shape. They have done tons of trailwork.
The real reason we didn't want to hike Mailbox Peak last Friday, was because we had a 4 day trip to Whistler planned. We are still feeling our quads from the straight up and straight down hike going around Guye Peak. Got a great rate on a 2-bedroom at the Gables. We've stayed at this complex, located directly between Blackcomb & Whistler. It's an older complex, which means the rooms and living space are big. We should have invited someone to join us.
No stairs, so we roll out the unit to start our ride. Rolled around Blackcomb base before heading out to Lost Lake Trails. They have some fun singletrack named after Frank Zappa's songs. We climbed Peaches en Regalia, Dinah Moe Humm, Disco Boy, The Torture Never Stops, Fountain of Love, started a general descent on Pinocchio's Furniture, Dwarf Nebula, Zoot Allure, Toads of the Short Forest, Gee I like Your Pants, Son of Mr Green Genes, to Jellyroll Gum Drop. At the bottom, we rolled to the Float Plane dock at Green Lake to eat some bars.
Back to the Trail system to head up Hooktender and Tommy Moore. Went left on Central Schnitzer?? to Comfortably Numb, Packard Goose, I'm not Satisfied, Why Johnny Can't read and Grand Wazoo to the bottom at Lost Lake. This last set of trails were completed in 2009, and were in excellent shape. Perfect difficulty for us, and a great option off the "crushed gravel" trails like Hooktender and Tommy Moore. They have done tons of trail work out here. Then headed back on the valley trail to the unit for some lunch. 11 miles.
Brave cougars have been prowling Squamish. They should run from humans on the trails, but have been hanging around too long and not running away. Trails in our usual loop off Perth Drive to Alice Lake Provincial Park are closed: Jacks, Mikes Loop, Credit Line (new to us) and Wonderland (new to us). So we headed slightly east to a new area to try a brand new trail, Half Nelson. We rarely ride on busy weekends, so with Cougar warnings, it was nice to see tons of bikers out and about, with all the parking lots full as we biked up the road to the top of Half Nelson. Half Nelson is a machine built downhill, bmx style, with bermed tight corners and all rollable features. Since we don't jump, this meant breaking hard before each jump. Not my first choice for a trail, so next time, we would head down Recycle, which branches "right" at the top of Half Nelson. After finishing Half Nelson, we climbed back up the the road. Francine descended Psuedo-Tuga (blue) and took that to the bottom thru P-T3. Kevin wanted a harder trail, and descended Home Brew (black) & Low Down (double black), and climbed back up the road to meet Francine to descend P-T3. 10 miles.
With my niece, Madeline, home from college, there had been talk of getting out and hiking Mailbox Peak. Since Francine and I have done no hiking this summer, we were pretty scared of the 4,000 feet of elevation gain on Mailbox. Not so much scared of Mailbox, but of what our legs would feel like for the following week. Luckily, we were able to convince my sister that a circumnavigation of Guye Peak would be a nice alternative. Turned out to be a great hike, with most of the flowers in bloom, and the surrounding mountains in full glory. The ascent up from Alpental was in great shape. The descent, down into the Commonwealth valley looked to have received very little traffic this year. We had a few fallen trees to negotiate as we wound down, but we made it out alive.
|Francine and Kris climb up, with Alpental valley below.|
|Jim and Maddie|
|Lunchbreak at Guye/Snoqualmie saddle.|
|Dropping into Commonwealth Valley|
Inspired by mountain bike reports of smooth singletrack, we loaded up our motorcycles and went exploring at the L.T. Murray wildlife area. Just South of I-90 at Thorp. Very nice area. Will have to come back with the mountain bikes in the shoulder season.
|Francine, with Mt. Stuart in the distance|