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  1. #26
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    As we start this section I will note that I'm an adequate - but not particularly great - rider on a 147mm bike. The trails below are at the upper level of my abilities, so my feelings might be different, especially if you're a very good rider on a slack, squishy bike. I also just don't ride them as frequently a it takes a while for me to pedal up to the very top, so I don't often do so on weekday mornings when I get a lot of my rides in pre-work.

    15. Cam's - This has some really tight switchbacks as it was built partially for trail runners, but aside from that it's not that challenging and would have been below Inner Caldera had I remembered. That being said, there's a little alternate section that's marked as a black with a trail sign to descenders left that is great fun and ups the level of difficulty a good bit. This is my favorite way to bike commute to my office.

    16. Ernie's Epic - Also maybe not more challenging than the first part of Inner Caldera - it is steep, tight, and techy in sections and you're tired by the time you clear the descent and climb out. I usually ride it from Mother in a clockwise loop.

    16.5. Sidewinder - (edited in) - It's a physical climb up to the start of the DH trails. It's not really a double black (I assume it's rated that way so people don't accidentally find themselves at the top), but there are a few sections that are a bit tricky if you come down it, particularly the last pitch to the parking lot. Looking at Trailforks now, it seems that Sidewinder might include the first pitch of the descent across this weird patch of jaggedy rock. I always assumed it was part of Snakeback.

    17. Coyote Canyon - a short but fun loop off of Mother that feels really different. Riding counter clockwise you climb up a set of relatively smooth switchbacks (smooth at least compared to Mother), then descend down a fairly steep, loose, somewhat rutted track back down to Mother. It kind of reminds me of a mini version of the bottom of some of the face DH trails.

    18. - Mother - This one is physically exhausting and with some real exposure at points. It's super techy in some points, super loose at others, and among the least flowy trails I've ever ridden. Fun though if you're in shape for it.
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    19. Power Pole - The ordering really depends on whether you count the entry as part of the trail. If you do, it's trickier than the next couple. Absent the entry, this is the upgraded version of East Leg. It's physical at points and has some tight tech at the top, but it also has relatively good flow once you get used to it and remember the direction you need to go on blind corners. There are some tight switchbacks at one point. Just walk round the gate that says no trespassing.

    20. Skyline - It doesn't have any features nearly as big as the Snake Back waterfall, but it's really chunky, there are some little droplets/rolls in some exposed places, and it's just really tough to carry flow on. I don't ride it much, so I might rate it as more difficult as I haven't had time to get much familiarity.

    20.5 (edit) - Diva - tighter and techier than Reaper and the entry is a little sketchy. There is a particularly nice spine section that isn't hard, but feels cool. The bottom is pretty loose as it is basically through a giant rut/small gully, you can get up on the walls for the turns though, so traction isn't really an issue. I was able to ride the whole thing without stopping to scope anything, so I'd rate it as a bit easier than Reaper simply for the latter's first section, but I'm more comfortable with tech than steep loose stuff where it's best to just let off the brakes and plow, so experiences might differ.

    21. Reaper - Another super fun trail. The toughest section is maybe 100 yards after the Snakeback split where you get a steep, loose rocky section. It leads into a straightaway that is sometimes rocky and has a few little droplets, but if you are willing to hold your nerve, it isn't that bad. I'm generally not, so I'm always trying to awkwardly manage speed on the top section. There's a bunch of smaller tech features as you go further down. The last is the biggest, and while it's rollable, you won't be rolling it if you come in really hot, though again there is a fairly straight runout.

    22. The Shit - Just ridiculously rocky in parts. It's almost all downhill and I still often felt like I couldn't carry momentum. Some parts are fairly exposed. Let's check in on the trail surface. And note, this was at the bottom where I remembered to take a picture, not necessarily the worst and here with no exposure:
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    23. Snake Back - I'm still working on the line through the Waterfall section at the beginning, but the rest of this trail isn't that crazy, at least by BC downhill standards. It's loose and physical at times like you'd expect, but overall it's a fun ride. Looking at the map now, I'm not sure I've ever ridden the whole way down Snake Back. I usually cut over to Reaper or back to the trailhead on BC, which I until this moment believed was lower Snake Back.

    **Below this area, take my opinion with a grain of salt**

    24. Elevator Shaft - this is where things start to get above my paygrade. Some really steep tech. Some really steep loose ruts, some off camber tech. I've only ridden this once and there was some substantial walking.

    25. Armageddon - It's only rated as a black on Trailforks, but the left into the chunky roll/drop scares me and I'm still working my way up to it. It's pretty brutally chunky throughout.

    26. G String - the only time I've been on it I made a navigation error on my way to Reaper. Also steep around the same area as Reaper, but much techier. I don't remember it that well though. It's on my list after I master Reaper's top section.

    NA - Diva, Poop Chute, and Kevorkian - I've never ridden them.

    Last: Ginger - I plan to ride every trail at Bootleg before we'd move out of Boulder City. My wife suggests I take my son's bike for Ginger as it will be easier to carry as I downclimb the whole thing.
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    Last edited by MarcusBrody; 03-23-2023 at 08:14 PM.

  2. #27
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    Marcus do you know the name of the super steep rocky chute that comes down off the up trail to the road near the bottom? Definitely did not have the nerve for that one, prolly never will.

    edit: This one
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  3. #28
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    Good God Marcus Brody has found his time to shine. That's the most thorough and well thought out breakdown of a riding area I've seen. Nice work!

  4. #29
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    I concur. He even conveys the ‘sketch-as-fuck, you will break something on your bike or you if you fail’ nature of some of those trails.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    Marcus do you know the name of the super steep rocky chute that comes down off the up trail to the road near the bottom? Definitely did not have the nerve for that one, prolly never will.

    edit: This one
    I've heard it called Keyhole, but I'm not sure how widely it's called that.

    I walked down it a little while back. It seems doable to me, especially if you cleared some of the loose stuff on the entry, but I also doubt I'll ever have the guts. You could control your speed pretty well on the entry and I think I would give up on looking fluid and come in more from riders right, slow down, and then turn a bit more to line things up so I didn't have to deal with the sketchy bump back on line.

  6. #31
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    Another trail I forgot: Spine Tingler -it's in the easy intermediate category despite the name. It comes off Imba midway and goes down some of the lower dirt spines like a kids version of Reaper. I think I was a bit disappointed when I first rode it as I expected more given the name, but I've grown to like it as it adds another option for a quick morning loop starting at Pow. There are a few other semi-official trails and segments in that area. One that I don't know the name of comes off of Pow as that trail crosses one of the bigger washes and makes a right turn. Go straight and pop back up on top a bit and you get a fun, sketchy little extension.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    I've heard it called Keyhole, but I'm not sure how widely it's called that.

    I walked down it a little while back. It seems doable to me, especially if you cleared some of the loose stuff on the entry, but I also doubt I'll ever have the guts. You could control your speed pretty well on the entry and I think I would give up on looking fluid and come in more from riders right, slow down, and then turn a bit more to line things up so I didn't have to deal with the sketchy bump back on line.
    Yeah it seemed pretty doable to me, but also super exposed. I would have done it five years ago for sure but now probably never, haha. I think that dude might call it "hourglass".

    When I went I was a with a new lady and our plan was to left to right and ride as much as we could. So first trail we dropped into was... GINGER! Talk about rude awakening!

    Excellent write up Man, thanks!
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  8. #33
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    Marcus - that's awesome!

    It's been a few years since I've ridden bootleg and I can't remember what's what. Still TBD if we're gonna make it down there, but sooner or later I'll be using this reference.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    the ‘sketch-as-fuck, you will break something on your bike or you if you fail’ nature of some of those trails.
    Yeah that's the thing with Bootleg. There are a lot of trails that aren't THAT difficult, but you really don't want to fall. I think it kind of limits its audience as its less crowded than you would expect for an amazing trail system adjacent to a 2 million person metro area. On one hand I'm not complaining as unless there is an event its literally never crowded, but it does limit my ability you get my wife out (we go to Sloan Canyon trails in Henderson for family riding). And I wouldn't mind if Boulder City was a bit more infused with outdoor/mtb culture.

    I would recommend full elbow/knee pads for anyone riding at Bootleg. Half my "oh shit" moments have come in sandy corners of relatively easy trails and there is plenty of hard or sharp stuff to fall on. I try to wear a light weight full face pretty much all the time. Riding the higher level trails, I'll often put on a lightweight protective shirt with shoulder and spine protection, esp if I'm trying trails/lines for the first time, but I'm not as consistent with that.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    Yeah it seemed pretty doable to me, but also super exposed. I would have done it five years ago for sure but now probably never, haha. I think that dude might call it "hourglass".

    When I went I was a with a new lady and our plan was to left to right and ride as much as we could. So first trail we dropped into was... GINGER! Talk about rude awakening!

    Excellent write up Man, thanks!
    It actually may be Hourglass bow that you mention it.

    And man, I'm amazed anyone was down for anymore after warming up with the comparatively friendly sounding Ginger and then seeing what it was like.

  11. #36
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    FTR, I purposely used the word ‘fail’ there, and not ‘fall’.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  12. #37
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    Strictly in service of this thread, I knocked off work slightly early today and went out and rode Diva.

    It also reminded me that I forgot about Sidewinder, the climbing trail that goes up to the downhill trails. It's a pretty taxing climb, or at least it seems so to me, but that might be due to me being tired after getting to that point. If you happen to ride it down, it's not entirely trivial, but the only time I've done it is when I found myself at the DH start with a soft rear brake, so I might overestimate it. I was huffing and puffing pushing my bike up a sections when I saw this guy judging my effort:
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    This catches a bit of Sidewinder:
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    I got to the to and as I was standing on the little starting platform it starts to snowball/hail. Exactly what I wanted to see. Thankfully it wasn't too bad. I rode Snakeback pretty terribly though. The waterfall still flummoxes me even though two apparently doable lines. I blame the precipitation.

    Diva was great though. It's tighter and techier than Reaper and the entry is a little sketchy. There is a particularly nice spine section that isn't hard, but feels cool. The bottom is pretty loose as it is basically through a giant rut/small gully, you can get up on the walls for the turns though, so traction isn't really an issue. I was able to ride the whole thing without stopping to scope anything, so I'd rate it as a bit easier than Reaper simply for the latter's first section, but I'm more comfortable with tech than steep loose stuff where it's best to just let off the brakes and plow, so experiences might differ.

  13. #38
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    Sounds like an amazing area. Most places Iíve been have 3-5 trails worth commenting on.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    However many are in a shit ton.

  14. #39
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    Hey Marcus - we're at bootleg! I sent you a PM.

  15. #40
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    Spent a few days at bootleg earlier this week. Huge thanks to MarcusBrody for a bunch of good intel, both about the riding and about ways to keep toddlers entertained in the area. Unfortunately didn't get to ride with him, but he swung by camp to say hi (great to meet you!).

    Other tidbits for posterity: a handful of people were parked in the main trailhead parking lot, but we camped a little below that in an area that was a bit more out of the way / less visible and more sheltered from the wind. If you're camping there, poke around a bit. Saw a few official looking vehicles and no one said a word to us.

    Also, the showers not only worked, but they had hot water (takes a bit to warm up). That was a very welcome discovery.

    And yeah, tons of great riding. I'd been there before, but had a little more time to explore on this trip. Marcus's write ups are spot on. Had a good time scaring myself on some cheese greater gnar, and also some pretty fun pedally stuff with just enough tech to keep it consistently interesting.

    Didn't get any riding pics, so a "keeping two year olds entertained" pic will have to do:


  16. #41
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    Good to see you and the kids had a good time! I had thought that I was going to have a light-ish work week, and instead didn't get a ride in all week. Oh well, such is adult life. This weeks is my break, so we'll see if I can't catch up.

    How were Cowboy Trails? I've only been once and last time when I went with the intention to explore the more exciting stuff, I got there to found I'd brought all my pads but no helmet. Oh well.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Good to see you and the kids had a good time! I had thought that I was going to have a light-ish work week, and instead didn't get a ride in all week. Oh well, such is adult life. This weeks is my break, so we'll see if I can't catch up.

    How were Cowboy Trails? I've only been once and last time when I went with the intention to explore the more exciting stuff, I got there to found I'd brought all my pads but no helmet. Oh well.
    We didn't end up making it over to the cowboy trails. Everyone was a little under the weather, so we did a mellower day and went into downtown. Container park was closed down because of rain, but it looked cool there. The kids still had fun watching the ceiling in Fremont street.

  18. #43
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    Bookmarked, great write-up Markus.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    It actually may be Hourglass bow that you mention it.

    And man, I'm amazed anyone was down for anymore after warming up with the comparatively friendly sounding Ginger and then seeing what it was like.
    I was especially impressed with that lady-friend's attitude and her ability on the bike. Alas, it wasn't meant to be but it was a fun few months.

    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    ..................................

    Also, the showers not only worked, but they had hot water (takes a bit to warm up). That was a very welcome discovery.

    ...................................
    This is amazing and really good to know. It was pretty chilly when we were there at Thanksgiving and we didn't even try.

    Excited to get down there again some time.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

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