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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,706

    St Helen's and area rides

    It's been years since we roadtripped for alpine and subalpine in WA state and we forgot how good it is

    https://youtu.be/gpCgnN233uU?si=Sv1SoSjS2rqNJ126

    - A Washington State Road Trip

    Road-tripping in the Gifford-Pinchot and Cowlitz US National Forest
    - Ste Helens via Ape Canyon and the Plains of Abraham
    - Strawberry Ridge
    - Goat Mountain - Vanson - Green River
    - Ranger Creek - Palisades

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,706
    Mont Ste Helené via Ape Canyon and the Plains of Abraham. Simply put, a ride you must do before you die.

    Sublimely unique with the devastation of the volcanoes eruption contrasting with the joyful weeping of recrystallized angel's tears quintuple overhead blower pine needled brown pow and big big trees perched on a ridgeline surrounded by Luxembourg sized pumice fields and lahar flows. Heck of a place to put some condos and a golf course

    Side note that Smith Creek is now clear and open! We just found that out today as we were riding back.... too late for us to try againClick image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,706
    The next day was a half day as we broke camp from our spot at Cougar and drove via Randle to the Cispus River to ride Strawberry Ridge. I found a freedom massive cinnamon bun at Papa's Restaurant at the junction of I5 and the road heading east to Randle. Fed 2 for 3 breakfasts and is so worth it

    Strawberry Ridge North via 2516

    Today we hit up the sick enduro specific trail of Strawberry Ridge N. Ben met us to help set up the shuttle with a vehicle drop at the end of the Strawberry trail then sallying forth via FS 26 - 25 - 2516 and parking at 1520m at the 3.1 km mark of Strawberry Ridge.

    The trail climbs in civilized fashion heading N towards Strawberry Mtn (1749m) with the trail itself contouring W of the peak holding a 1650m contour before dropping to valley floor at 700m. Skies were overcast or we'd have had the holy quartet of Adams, Rainier, St Helen's and Hood views.

    Unfortunately the last 2km and 200m of trail are now logged. However that still leaves 650m of descending over 5.5 km if you're counting.

    And descents of passable quality. The top part was less steep at approx 8% grade of pine-needled sextuple overhead brown pow of joyful orgasmic . Think stacked loam berms and the sound and feeling of DHRs cutting into turns side knobs holding on for life.

    The bottom steepens to 10-12%. Still narrow, but the stumps, trees and foliage flash past. You know you should back off but hey, if you're going to tomahawk and bite it ..... well what a way to go..Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,706
    32km, 1400m.. Counter clockwise from Green River Horse camp.

    If you don't like subalpine ridgelines, sublime sinuous, speedy singletrack and old- growth riverine valley forest-bathing trails then you should definitely give this loop a miss.

    Climb starts out of Green River Horse camp mellow then gets into steep, hang on to your saddle nose (but climbable) all the way to the Goat Mtn E-W ridgeline from 880m to 1580m. Sets the tone beautifully.

    If you don't fall off the side of the bench cut gaping at the Adams and Ste Hélène views ( which fortunately were covered by cloud) then you'll get into loamy zoom zoom singletrack mach-ripping down to Deadmans Lake. Then a series of very climbable trails followed by equally fast downhills follows till you get to Vanson Peak.

    But wait! There's more. You then have to put up with the sheer unadulterated BS of 7.4km of 740m of ohmygod my eyeballs are going to fall off and my face is getting coated with quadruple blower over the head loam down Vanson Ridge. How long must this continue!?

    Forest-bathe the 12.5km of rolling old growth singletrack to the Horse camp to end a day of acceptability and passable trail qualityName:  IMG_20230915_082430_020.jpeg
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,706
    Dalles - Ranger - Palisades. A burnt forest, a mountain named after a beer, cliff edge riding, suitably fun trails of average quality, jankalicious jankity jank sublime ending with 29 switchbacks (got 22 of them!). Tree clear even in the burnt forest

    AcceptableClick image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    N side, Terrace, BC
    Posts
    4,936
    Holy shit Lee, that looks amazing. Thanks for sharing, love to do at least some of that shit one day.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    10,464
    Nice TR/ beta Lee. Added to the hit list.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,172
    Gifford is a magical place

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