Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crested Butte Lupine-403-401-Tony's Loop

[Previously posted on Facebook 6-September-2016]

Woke up to temperamental weather. Spotty sprinkles in Gunnison, radar showing snow in the San Juans and where I rode yesterday. It was only 31F in Crested Butte!
I lingered in hopes it would warm some and the showers would continue trend of staying south. The CB forecast looked pretty good at least.
I've ridden most of these trails before, especially Trail 401. It is one of the most revered MTB trails in the world. I may have ridden Trail 403 only once before. Nasty climb to get up there, then insanely steep switchbacks down into the next gulch.
Near the bottom of the switchbacks, both brakes faded simultaneously. There was near zero warning. The levers went right to the bar with ZERO braking power. I've had the rear fade on me a couple times on sustained descents, but never both at once. Had I not perceived this was about to happen based on prior history, it could have been a disaster. I could see the trailhead yet had to wait 5-10min for the brakes to cool down and start working again.
Being a weekday after Labor day, there was near zero traffic on the forest service roads. I didn't see any riders until hitting Trail 401 mid ride. It warmed up nicely and used long sleeves for just the first 45min.
No hike-a-bike in this loop, although a few techy bits forced dismounts in interest of keeping all my members intact.
Another big photo dump. ColoRADo has no shortage of grand views. If I lived here, I would be home now...
Strava decided to use my sensor distance this time. 43.3mi in 5.4hrs with nearly 6000ft of climbing. That's about 16,000ft in 2.5 days. Beat. I think Wednesday is going to be a hike into a wilderness area.

Village of Crested Butte after getting on Lupine Trail.

Lupine Trail, right from town!

Morning rush hour on Lupine. I pretty much had to bully my way through. They would not budge.

Slate River Rd en route to Trail 403

Where the climbing becomes real. FS road #734 on left, taken to pick up Trail 403.

FS 734. Was a treat to climb on well maintained jeep road.

View into the Raggeds Wilderness

FS 734 looking down the Slate River drainage

Mt Crested Butte now a wee bump just left of center

Trail 403. Mmmmm, yes, more please.

Outlook from high point above 11,000ft on Trail 403.

Panoram of the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness. Would like to do a hike in there.

Probably Washington Gulch from Trail 403

Upper portion of Trail 403 was designed completely unsustainable. Lots of fall-line trail that is now severely eroded and braided. Almost had to slide on my ass down this bit.

Gothic Rd heading through Schofield Pass.

Emerald Lake

Schofield Pass

High point of Trail 401. The fun begins. Sign post says no bikes. That trail goes into wilderness.

Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness from a few steps into the Wilderness off Trail 401

Looking back up 401 north

Looking down Trail 401 south with Mt Crested Butte in distance

401 with wilderness in background

Looking across the serpentine East River into Maroon Bells Wilderness.

Mt Crested Butte from Tony's Trail on outskirts of town.

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