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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    between here and there
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    6,244

    TR: Monarch Crest

    Saturday afternoon three of us packed into my buddies truck with 3 dogs, 3 tents, and 3 bikes. We took a nice roll down to Salida picked up some pizzas and headed up Monarch Pass to nice spot of Forrest Service land right next to Monarch ski resort for a little free camping.

    Nate, who had secured the campsite earlier that day, was happy to see the pizza and beer we were armed with. The 4 of us settled down into a toxic haze of campfire smoke and beer. We were patiently waiting the rise of the full moon for a little night ride.

    Around 11pm the moon showed itself, torching the landscape with its light. Three of us saddled up the fire road with 3 dogs in tow. Night lights were charged and mounted, but there was no need for them as we were slowed by the food and beer from earlier in the night. Three miles and 900 vertical feet later we arrived at the top of Monarch ski resort, via fire roads. We dropped the bikes, gave the dogs a chance to catch their breath and poached a few chairs in August.



    After some wandering around the resort in the dark we turned the lights on and launched downhill. The fire roads offered some sweet drifting airs, provided by the natural water bars. Jumping is fun, but jumping fast downhill at night is a whole new ball game. Back to the campsite, all dogs and riders in once piece and accounted for we hit the sack with anticipation of the epic we were about to partake in tomorrow.

    The smells conjured up by a French Press woke me from my slumber, as well as the whines of my dog Onyx, he was as hungry as I. A little bit of bike maintenance and some food, followed by the drop off of our shuttle vehicle and we were ready to go by.....10am. Luckily, Nate and Aron took a local check on the weather while in town, word had it that there was little chance of rain.

    Our sweet campsite was only a mile downhill from the summit of Monarch Pass. We took the start of this ride as a nice warm up, knowing of at least 30 miles ahead of us. Up to the top, past the Visitor center and up to the Colorado trail.




    After the up, we settled into some sweet singletrack, rolling along at 11500 feet for a little while, eventually into our first descent of the day. I was told by another maggot that this was his favorite ride and I can see why. It had everything, tons of descents, moderate amount of climbing, talas surfing, lots and lots of rolly, fast singletrack.



    Our path took us along the Colorado Trail to the Silver Creek trail and instead of taking the cutout to the road, we took the Rainbow trail. The Rainbow trail was very rolly with some fun switchbacks, too many that turned up into climbs.



    4 hours later, exhausted and just out of water we were dumped onto 285 by the Rainbow trail. From this junction we got to make a high speed run, hitting 50 mph, running down 285 towards Salida in a aerodynamic tuck. All in all, a great ride, a great trail shared with some good friends. Total stats for the ride was 39 miles from our camp to car, 3700 ft of climbing (acrrued) and 6500ft+ of descent. What a day. Just a note, that this ride can very well be done on a freeride bike if you are able to climb it, but probably not on a DH. One of our riders was on a AS-X, the rest of us were riding XC bikes.

    as Jimmy Walker says "Dyno-mite"
    Last edited by Crinkle; 08-01-2006 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Central Valley
    Posts
    2,994

    Thumbs up

    Sweet pics man. It is hard to get any better than high alpine singletrack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Powpow New Guinea
    Posts
    2,982
    BEST

    RIDE

    EVER

    great pics.


    was there any water in the creek section?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    between here and there
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    6,244
    Originally posted by homerjay
    was there any water in the creek section?
    yeah, but no more than 4-6 inches of creek, there was some water crossings up the Rainbow too. I only remember picking my bike up and across one stream.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    high and dry
    Posts
    2,258

    Thumbs up

    sweet TR crinkle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Northern Utah
    Posts
    906

    Thumbs up

    Great TR!!

    With that long of a ride, I would guess there was a lot of "monkey butt" after.
    I want a 6" travel 20lb MTB. I found the 20lb MTB, but only good for riders under 87 pounds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    422
    Yeah, that is a sweet ride. Great TR and pics! I never seem to want to stop to take the pics, so glad someone did. I have spot we like to camp at that is at the bottom of the pass but if you have a good spot nearer to the top, I'd be interested in knowing more about it. Can you post some more specifcs or pm me with details?
    I think I'm going mad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Leysin, Switzerland
    Posts
    1,262
    Yup.....
    Ski, Bike, Climb.
    Resistence is futile.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    between here and there
    Posts
    6,244
    bump, holy crap its been 2 years, pumped to go back to Salida.

    edit: fixed pics
    More fucked up than a cricket in a hubcap

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    207
    Def one of my favorite rides. How did you manage the shuttle, it sounded like you only had one car. Do you mean someone drove down and then took the pay per ride van?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    between here and there
    Posts
    6,244
    no, we had 2 cars, left one at an intersection just in town and we were camped up near the pass, so to start the ride, we just rode out of our campsite. If i remember the cost of the shuttle outweighed the inconvience of doing it ourselves (20+ per person, i think, 4 people was too much IMO)
    More fucked up than a cricket in a hubcap

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Mile High Club
    Posts
    173
    Rode the Crest Trail on Saturday, such a great ride. I second the notion of nothing better than high alpine exposed single track.

    Unforturnately near the beginning of the ride, right before Greens Creek, there was a group of like 20 beaters on rental bikes. I think we scared the shit out of them by how fast we were going downhill.

    Antoher recommended ride is Canyon Creek, starts near Whitepine, on the west side of Monarch Pass. Camp at the Snowblind campground, never anyone there. It is a tough two hour climb on a rough 4 wheel jeep road toward the top of Tomichi Pass. Then a 30-45 minute hike a bike, tops out near 13,000; but then it is all downhill. Sweet!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    706
    way to go.... That ride is sweet!
    We hold daggers in the side of the Moon...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    12,739
    I put some trip beta with links in my ride report from last fall. We self-shuttled. Here's the graph of the ride too.

    http://www.leelau.net/2005/Utah2005/...05/monarch.htm






  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    in your second home, doing heroin
    Posts
    14,736
    SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

    Me so jealous.

    Last time I was out there, a buddy of mine from boulder and I rode from monarch down to 285 on the rainbow trail, turned around and climbed back to green creek. It was painful but fun. No choice but to be loose on green creek.......no muscles left.

    I can't beleive that's three grand of climbing going that route. Scenery must be a nice distraction.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Slummit County, CO
    Posts
    891
    thx for bumping this crinkle. Such a sweet ride. I might need to do it this weekend.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,340
    Love the night ride story! That's great! Looks like you guys had a great time! I hope to hit the Crest in late Aug or early Sept. Thanks for the stoke!!!!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,103
    going to ride this next week. Can I get by bringing a filter for water?
    off your knees Louie

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,484
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    going to ride this next week. Can I get by bringing a filter for water?
    I'm riding it tomorrow, I'll let you know what the water situation is like.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,103
    thank's curious about crowds but will ride weekday
    off your knees Louie

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,650
    Shouldn't be too many people even on a weekend. Once the shuttles drop off there might be a few individual riders and thru hikers.

    Not far beyond Agate Creek turnoff there is a spring on the upside of the trail that comes out through a pipe. That should be running. Not sure about any small streams crossing the Crest. But there are streams along pretty much all the descents that you could filter from.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,692
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    thank's curious about crowds but will ride weekday
    Unless there’s an event up there, the crowds are almost always non-existent.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,484
    Did Silver Creek--> upper rainbow today, definitely a decent bit of people but we got spread out pretty quickly. Had to play a lot of leapfrog with a moto crew that had a fucking 530lb dual sport on the trail lol.

    As far as filterable water goes, there wasn't anything viable for the first 10 miles, then there was a trickle of a stream. Plenty of water running down low on Silver Creek, other drainages are probably similar.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,103
    thanks that is good looking trail.
    off your knees Louie

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    7,200
    I've done Silver, Starvation, and Fooses. snowaddict is correct, no water for along the crest, plenty of water after the initial drop-ins on all of the descents I've done. I'm sure Greens and Agate are the same.

    Rainbow is only worth doing once to just say you did it, otherwise fuck that trail.

    IMO of the descents I've done, Fooses is the best, followed by Starvation, then Silver. Lots of people say Greens is up there with Fooses. Word on the street is that Fooses is getting rebuilt next year, so ride it now before they fuck it up.

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