Wednesday, January 11, 2017

San Juan 2016 Tour Day 3

The greenery, the waterfalls, the snow....if you have followed this blog enough, you know that I am love my native state of Arizona; yet, every year when I go to Colorado, my mind is blown away. If you live here in CO, I assume you have the same moment when you venture out here into the wild. Waking up to it will never get old.

Tent-less Scott

We started pedaling over to some "singletrack" that Scott found on the map that would lead us off Bear Pass Road.

The singletrack looked promising!

A *little* HAB? Yes please!

We passed a weather station on the top of a saddle and continued on riding 50% of the time, pushing the bike the other 50%.

Lunch time!


And another false summit. I thought this was going to be the top but we still need about 1500 feet elevation to climb.

We stumbled on this old, mining cabin as we neared Ptarmigan Lake. The next section turned from 50/50 to 100% hike-a-bike. This lasted a good hour or so of HAB. But hey, if you are going to push your bike, this is the area that you want to be pushing it. We said that numerous times. It is a "pick your poison" route with both clockwise and counter clockwise having its advantages/disadvantages. It would be interesting for people that have ridden from Telluride to Imogene to chime in about its difficulty and HAB scale.

Time to ride!

Ptarmigan Lake

The route had two options to get to the pass: head down to the cabin (shown above at right) or swing around to the left (shown above at left, peak in background). Guess which one we decided?

The snow level looked easier if we went higher, so we chose to "ride" to the left of the lake.

Get it!

Not a bad, late afternoon view of Telluride from above the pass, no jeeps.

Last section of HAB!

We stopped for a late lunch at this shelter. We also watched some skiers head down one of the east facing sides. It was incredible to see them skin up the mountain only to launch off and down in less than a few seconds. Mountain bikers do a similar feat, although we can tend to take a little longer on the way up...or at least we did today.

Would I recommend this route for anyone else? If you do not like HAB, stay away from this part of the route.

Now the fun part, we bombed down to Imogene Pass....

....passing the flowers...

....and mines.

Bear Pass

...stopping to take a shower...
before eating at the Brown Dog! Beeeeeer and pizzaaaaaaaaaaa!

After loading up on food and supplies (my fuel was gone) we rolled out on the Galloping Goose to get out of town. Telluride was very, very busy because Pearl Jam was coming to town the next day. 

We set up the tents that night (trying to escape the mosquitos) and took another bath in a nearby creek.

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