GORC Vacation 2012 - Crested Butte - Last Day

Day 7 

On the last day, several groups split up and did their own thing. Some hit Mount Crested Butte, others did another backcountry ride and a few did both! Matt and Lisa ended up taking the day off the bikes and checking out Judd Falls just above the tiny town of Gothic.

The falls are named after the last local to live in Gothic until his death.
He never gave up and moved back down to town when the mining boom ended.

Judd Falls are beautiful and never stop flowing.

To get to the Falls, you come within 100 feet of the Maroon Bells Wilderness. Fun looking gravel road. Um, yeah, no bikes.

And what's a vacation recap without any lodging photos?
Here is our view from the deck. Not Missouri. Definitely not Illinois.

The post-ride recovery room. Olympics on TV, food, beer,
Ipads, Iphones, hammocks, hot tubs, BBQ pits, and foam rollers.
Don't forget the foam rollers... We're all gettin' a wee bit older.

Our bikes made friends with the homeowner's bikes.
Except theirs were heavier. And they had 5 or something.

Tune up shed. Ride, clean, Repeat. 

GORC Vacation 2012 - Crested Butte - Hartman Rocks


On the second to last day, GORC piled into our respective vehicles and arrived in Gunnison, Colorado about forty minutes later. Today was a treat... Hartman Rocks!

This stacked trail network has been on many GORCers must-ride list for years and now they were getting to finally ride it. And it didn't let anyone down! While the individual trails are short, they are all inter-connected totaling over 40 miles in length. A popular race, Rage in the Sage, is held here in the high-desert wonderland - an anomaly surrounded by alpine mountain tops.

The group getting set up. Sunscreen? Grease 'em up.

Per Colorado trail code, all great rides begin with a climb
from where the cars are parked. Ugh! Get it!

These are most likely some of the rocks that
put the Rocks in Hartman Rocks ... what?

Panel of the terrain. 

Climbing up mid-way through the ride to hit more Awesome trail.

Steve and Lisa steadily climbing the loose and sandy desert grit.

Rob beefing up the climb.

Everyone playing on the Rocks. Several people attempted the clean
a particularly tricky section. The grippy rock is not like
what we have back in Missouri.
I'd have to give us a 93% success rating as Bryan Adams
and Jason Orin Boyd came closest to cleaning the feature.

More map reading and rock stunts. With so many intersections and
having only one ride to hit the best stuff, the pressure was on to string the
A-Trails into one heavenly ride. 

Team Seagal on the drop in

And sealing the deal.

Kirby on the groove

Frank preparing for the next plunge

Lisa threading the features

The impending storm of doom forced us down the
Rattlesnake trail at a breakneck pace. As the local gal said while passing,
"Lightning is on its way and ya don't wanna be where you're at"
(that would be the high point of Hartman Rocks - go figure - timing!)

I don't have any photos of the last day - Downhilling at Mount Crested Butte but I'm sure they are floating on the Internet somewhere.

Frank Schuman has some photos uploaded here

GORC Vacation 2012 - Crested Butte - Rest Day? Nah, RACE DAY!


On what was the traditional GORC rest day - Wednesday - someone came up with the idea of attending the free Pinnacle Race Series held at Mount Crested Butte. Featuring both a cross-country and downhill event, costing no money, and get this, free beer and food at the finish, it was a no-brainer for the race kids....

Rest? Why? Let's Race.

But first, some half-rest-day photos from around Marble, Colorado.

The geological formation known as the Dyke.
This is where the Dyke Trail gets it name from.
Trillions of years ago lava flowed up and out of a volcano
here down the mountainside.
The much harder minerals in the lava flow
eroded much slower than the surrounding mountains and
therefore is the lasting feature - a thin rocky outcropping
that is immense once you get up close to it.

The town of Marble gets its name from the rock mined here.
You can see the white marble cast-offs behind an original
1880's miner's cabin - that just so happens to be for sale.
I'm sure it's only a couple million.

Resting on the Rest Day... just before the RACE.
We are all in the Sport category of the Cross-country event.

The 7.5 mile course climbed 1,100+ feet before briefly
leveling off and then descending all the way back to the ski lodge.
The massive berms were killer. The amount of little groms killing
it was refreshing. There's was a 12-14 year old holding his own
in front of me most of the way up the climb. He wasn't
even breathing. He was kind enough to not show off and text at the same time.

The spectators were treated to a concert while
the participants scraped lung juice off their bars and stems.

Damn, how you do so good, man?
Proper eyewear, sukka. Meow nah

Photo finish - John D, Jason Z, Jens, Jon A, Matt H, and Bryan A.

The informative sign letting us all know why we
couldn't breathe very deeply

GORC Vacation 2012 - Crested Butte - Trail 401


On this day, the GORC vacationers opted to ride from GORC HQ at Mount Crested Butte up Gothic Road to the 401 Trail. We rode the sweet downhill back to the house and never stopped smiling. Matt and Lisa headed out earlier than the group so I don't have any group shots in this photo set.

Lisa heading up Gothic Road to Schofield Pass.
Emerald Lake is just ahead on the left.

Beautiful Emerald Lake as seen from the road.

Schofield Pass, right at the 401 trailhead

The final ascent just before the epic downhill.

The mighty Maroon Bells tower over the lands. The Maroon Bells Wilderness
is just a bit up more up (literally) the mountain. After that, no bikes allowed.

Where we've just ridden. The descent hugs a mountainside
with a view of the valley everyone climbed off to the right.

Some of the wildflowers in bloom on the mountainsides.

Lisa heading into a patch of skunk weed. The drought
conditions had prematurely burned out the wildflowers for the season.

Ridiculously beautiful view of the valley. That tiny scratch in the image?
That's the road you have to climb from Mount Crested Butte to get to this vantage point.

Nothing to fear here... except the exposure and bobbling your
front wheel at 20mph. Lean left...

Matt heading into the Aspen themed level of the 401 reality game.
Way better than a video game! 

GORC Vacation 2012 - Crested Butte - Doctor Park


GORC reunited with an old friend from St. Louis, Ken Keister, and we all headed out for a long ride in the backcountry - this time the famed Doctor Park Loop. This 20+ mile ride consisted of a steady gravel road climb and turned to a steeper pitched jeep road before leveling out in the Black Forest.

Then the fun began. The next 12 or so mile consisted of every type of downhill imaginable - jacked up rocky lines, buff decomposed granite dips and berms, creek crossings, severe-consequence exposure and a final hair-raising, brake-smoking, bar-bending, fork-seal-blowing, spoke-torquer of a descent - something like 10 switchbacks dropping down what appeared to be a sheer rock face all the way down to the cars.

Thank goodness it all ended with some local suds ... and no one got killed.

The big group readies for the big ride.

Rob on the gravel road up to the sky.

The big kinda deep creek crossing had everyone walking

The crew paused at the split onto the jeep road before
it really headed uphill

Ross and Jason SSing for the hell of it

Camera photos never really capture the depth or
grade. Here, everyone is suffering.

The last push before entering the Dark Forest. It always
seems wet in the Black Forest.

Bryan and Ken examine ride options. Of course, the lengthier
option was selected!

Panorama of the guys taking a break

1x1 Crush Train riding the extra 3 miles of mountain top grasslands.

Stopping to breathe before the Descent of descents.

Brakes smoked?
Here, drink this.
OK, but I'm also jumping in the river.