Monday, July 21, 2008

Continental Divide Trail

I headed up to Jones Pass on Saturday. I took one of my rc gliders but the wind wasn't good enough so I left it in the car and headed up the pass. The climb over the cornice was interesting but not as challenging as it has been in years past. I was planning on dropping into the valley to check out Bobtail Ck and a little more of the Williams Fork loop but I was just drawn to the CDT snaking it's way down the ridgeline. It was calling to me. I'd never ridden this section of trail but I knew it would be very technical. So I planned on doing it as an out-n-back, but the boy in me continuously asking the question, "What's around the next corner?" kept me going further down the trail. I saw a sign a couple of miles in that said Wood Creek was just a few miles. I thought I could drop down it and hook up with a trail/road that *I thought* connected Woods Gulch to Butler Gulch...Well...There's no trail from the CDT down into Woods Gulch...I had to bushwack back down below treeline before I saw a crushed beer can and I knew I was back near a road. A few minutes later, I found the singletrack that climbs up to Hassell Lake. It was tough...So steep in parts I could barely carry my bike (which, by the way, I did a lot that day). Once up to the lake the trail disappeared. I had been up here before but it was in the wintertime and we skinned back up and over the ridge into Butler Gulch. I knew there was a road that switchbacked up the trail but I was sure where it was. I totally missed it and ended up hiking almost straight up the hillside until I reached the top. Again, I thought there'd be a trail since this little saddle gets skied alot. But once again I was bushwacking back down the hillside to the trail.

Jones Pass 2008

It was definitely a technical day so the stats aren't that impressive (but the views and the difficulty level kinda made up for it)

Distance: 14.24 miles
Elevation: 5100 ft
Total Time: 5:31
Stopped Time: 0:54


Marshal said...

hey, I have done this type of ride a time or two, but never above timber line WOW

Jim said...

Hey Marshal! It felt more like a hike that I happened to be carrying my bike on. There were definitely times on the ridge that I wondered if I should really be trying to ride it. It could be a long tumble if you try to catch yourself on the downhill side of the trail. I'm actually surprised that this section of the CDT is even open to mtn biking.