Saturday, May 16, 2009
There has been talk of changes to the course for the last several months and a decision was finally made. The first change is a good one in my mind. It avoids the Lost Creek Wilderness and last year we took the Taryall detour. It's 75ish or so miles of mostly fire roads and I really don't like it. I'm very happy with the fact that we will now be heading into the town of Bailey instead. There's plenty of options for food there and then we'll head up 285 to Kenosha Pass and then get back on the trail and start the climb up Georgia Pass. The second change will put us on some steep singletrack that I don't expect will be rideable for most of the way from Breckenridge (over the 10 Mile Range) and down into Copper Mountain. The last change and the one that will be the most difficult is that we will ride the high altitude sections of the trail through segments 22 and 23. Last year the detour was on fire roads and this year the vote was to keep us on as much trail as possible. This will add about 30 miles of singletrack and the majority of that will be above treeline. Most will be 12,ooo' with a substantial portion of it being above 13,000'. For those that know the area, this is Coney Summit and Cataract Ridge. It's a very dangerous place. Storms are completely unpredicatable. Lightning can be deadly and I know people that have had to deal with horizontal hail, rain, and snow throughout the summer. I know of 2 guys that hunkered down for 18 hours there just waiting for weather to clear. The other major concern is that it's going to make food much more of a strategy this year. If you time it right, you can catch a store at Mount Princeton hot springs and load up on some pretty decent stuff. It's definitely gonna be interesting if weather becomes a factor and riders have to hide out and eat valuable food that could mean a hungry ride into Silverton. I'm pretty sure that Lake City is not an option this year for food so getting to Silverton is a must.