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  1. #1
    mtb'er
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    After several years of hearing about the slabby, chunky, and uniquely fun trails in Pinecrest, CA, I finally made the effort to head there last weekend. The Trogs came out in force and kindly showed me the way on Saturday, and with some cryptic directions, suggestions and a few winks, I spent all day Sunday exploring solo. Woah! I only scratched the surface, but add me to the list of people who's life is better for having visited this Disneyland of mt. biking

    We started early Saturday with a hearty dirt climb from the Strawberry Store to the top of Pinecrest Peak. Along the way, I was led to the land of the Gargoyles, which was jaw dropping:



    The area had a little Kirkwood and Bear Valley feel to it:


    After 12 miles or so of climbing, we made it to the top of the mountain, and it was good:


    Eyeballing the valley below, some of the other trail options, and views of the peaks all the way to Tahoe... Dardanelles, Reba, Round Top, Friel, etc...:




    Slab city

    (photo by George da Trog)

    Can't beat the view either:

    (photo by Fred da Trog)

    The builders of Upper PCP did a nice job routing the trail to lots of fun granite:


    While waiting for a flat to be repaired, I got to play around a bit on a nice big chunk:

    (photo by Fred da Trog)

    Coming around a tight turn, I witnessed Fred da Trog make the most graceful wipeout I've ever seen. Didn't even clip out as he went down and pivoted off a rock!:


    We took a mandatory "soak in the view" rest, overlooking the canyon and river between Pinecrest Peak and Dodge Ridge:


    George da Trog was enjoying Lower PCP a great deal:


    Lower PCP ends with a slightly hairy river crossing. I was glad there was a rope to assist with balance:


    We finished the day with a fun, short loop downstream from Strawberry, on each side of the river. After parting ways with the Trogs, I set out for a camp spot and got ready for what would be an all day ride on Sunday.

    Before heading to the woods, I did manage to see Bigfoot strolling through town:


    As I was solo on Sunday, I didn't take many photos, but while riding all the suggested routes, all I could think of was "This is $#&! awesome!" It was adventure riding at its absolute finest... primitive but 99.9% rideable, through terrain most people wouldn't conceive of taking a bike (thank you trail fairies!). Below are a few shots of some of the neat stuff I saw.

    A nice, rocky water crossing:


    I liked this Yosemite-esqe bump of granite. (We were on top of the peak in the far background the day before):


    Getting into the backcountry, the slabs just kept getting better and better:



    Being surrounded by granite warms my heart (but my self timer was a little late getting the entry shot):


    Oh yeah!!!


    Yeah, there's a rideable line through there... route finding was actually part of the fun:


    This didn't suck at all:


    I decided to not ride down this cascading waterfall:


    I won't bore you with anymore photos or babble, but if you're looking for a world class, highly technical mtb adventure, get your wheels to Pinecrest! Thank you Trogs for your guiding and everyone who makes PC what it is. It's fantastic

    As Ahnold says:

  2. #2
    jms
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    Your pictures bring back memories for me. It's such a great area. First time I rode the Pinecrest Peak trail was in 1991. It's been one of my favorites ever since.
    My Favorite Peeps:

  3. #3
    OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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    Awesome. Been too long for me. Going up this weekend.

  4. #4
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    EB, glad you joined us and enjoyed our happiest place on earth.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  5. #5
    BIGME
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    I think you explored as much in 2 days as I have in the last 4 years. Great Pics.
    I might have amnesia, but at least I don't have amnesia!

  6. #6
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Looks fun. I'm heading up for a wedding next weekend. Going to try to get a ride in on Fri.

  7. #7
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    Sweet!

    How long does your self timer go for?, dang my pops off in about 10 seconds.

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    Nice outing. Great pix!

    Even more better'r now that the rest of the pix loaded for me to check out!
    Last edited by JMac47; 05-30-2013 at 09:27 AM. Reason: more info
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  9. #9
    Dirty by Nature
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Empty_Beer again."

    Thanks for sharing the stoke! Can't wait to get up there.
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk.

  10. #10
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    Awesome ride report, as always. Any route map? Did you do Pinecrest Peak Trail up and down?

  11. #11
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    Do you need a guide to get to the trails or is there a map / gps track I can get a hold of?

  12. #12
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    Great report/stoke!

  13. #13
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    Been too long...GOTTA get back. Pinecrest, when done right, is better than DVille in my OP and a much easier drive.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  14. #14
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    Nice Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    After several years of hearing about the slabby, chunky, and uniquely fun trails in Pinecrest, CA, I finally made the effort to head there last weekend. The Trogs came out in force and kindly showed me the way on Saturday, and with some cryptic directions, suggestions and a few winks, I spent all day Sunday exploring solo. Woah! I only scratched the surface, but add me to the list of people who's life is better for having visited this Disneyland of mt. biking
    Great Ride Report!
    Too bad our paths didn't cross on Saturday... and then I was surprised when you passed my daughter and I riding on Sunday! Funny because all along the ride Sunday my daughter kept saying, "dad... use the self timer on your phone's camera and get this shot..." which I didn't... I didn't think it would work from as far away as you did. I'm going to have to play around with my camera on those timer shots!

  15. #15
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    Great report!

  16. #16
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    Yes please gpx tracks/maps I have been trying to recon this place for years.

  17. #17
    mtb'er
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    Thanks for the nice feedback.

    Regarding camera self timer, the app on my iPhone that I use can be set for 60 seconds, but it will only take one photo. My old (broken) digital camera could be set for timer AND burst to take multiple shots, which was nice. So using an iPhone and trying to time one shot sucked. So I set it up to video and then did a screen capture of the frame I liked best

    I can't figure out how to embed FB video here... and iPhone to YouTube stutters during playback for some reason, but here's one of the "self timer" video's I grabbed a photo from (sorry non-FB people):

    Click "HD" and full screen: Along the creek
    Last edited by Empty_Beer; 05-30-2013 at 03:47 PM.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Frame grabs from a video sounds like a great option, thanks for the ideal!

  19. #19
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    Thank you for the write up and pics, I have never been to this section of the Sierras and I am going to have to go now. I love granite slabs!

  20. #20
    That makes me smart
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardway View Post
    Thank you for the write up and pics, I have never been to this section of the Sierras and I am going to have to go now. I love granite slabs!
    It's Sierra, singular, and it looks like a couple of rides.are happening fri and sat. **** wait.

  21. #21
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    REP +1 to you EB!!
    LOVE PINECREST!!
    Banned for showing Boobies.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    It's Sierra, singular, and it looks like a couple of rides.are happening fri and sat. **** wait.
    Thanks for the grammar correction d*****bag, I really appreciate it and I am sure that everyone else here does too. I see how you got to 8K+ posts.

  23. #23
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    Awesome report ,brings back fond memories. Years ago our family used to spend our summers there and I would get away in the afternoons and explore on my old Bontrager. Great place I need to go back!

  24. #24
    downward bound
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    EB, great running into you on Saturday. You cannot over-hype Pinecrest. I never get tired of doing the same trails over and over again and yet I have just scratched its surface and probably will always be there. I feel so lucky living right at its feet. Thanks very much must also be conveyed to you for your efforts on the Western States Trail on behalf of mountain biking access. Somehow, I think a good precedent is being set there. Happy Trails!

  25. #25
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardway View Post
    Thanks for the grammar correction d*****bag, I really appreciate it and I am sure that everyone else here does too. I see how you got to 8K+ posts.
    We all appreciate finch. I do believe there was a ride "heads up" in his post you know....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  26. #26
    downward bound
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    I use the plural form of Sierras almost exclusively but I am just a redneck from Oakie-dale!!!

  27. #27
    J-Flo
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    One of my favorite things about this area is the combination of high Sierra beauty (I call them the Sierras too) with the absence of people. (I love the reference to Strawberry "town." If you yawn in a car, you will miss it.) Once you get past Pinecrest you see hardly anyone and when on the trail you are indeed in the wild. I have been up the 108 to the Clark Fork area at least once per year for family camping, fishing, and backpacking (in Carson-Iceberg and Emigrant Wilderness) for over 15 years now, and beginning last year, now that the kids are old enough, some serious mountain biking. Last year we did a few serious trails for the first time but not the PCP -- yet. That is this year. Can't wait for our visit. I think the mountain biking will cut in to our fishing time.

  28. #28
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Pinecrest Fan Club

    It's great seeing the interest EB's report has generated. The trails are made to be ridden by bikes. The trails were not made to be ridden by horses and motos, thus the locations are kept cryptic on the internet. Please honor that as we gladly share ride dates publically at https://www.facebook.com/groups/4961...group_activity

    Specific trail info will also be, gladly, privately shared with known riders . If you are unknown, please join in on a ride. Between now and snowfall there will most likely someone to guide you most weekends. Trail fairies are also welcome, but that's a whole other story.

    As you can see, Pinecrest area is biking wonderland. Please ride it, but keep it a biking wonderland.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  29. #29
    rho
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog View Post
    It's great seeing the interest EB's report has generated. The trails are made to be ridden by bikes. The trails were not made to be ridden by horses and motos, thus the locations are kept cryptic on the internet. Please honor that as we gladly share ride dates publically at https://www.facebook.com/groups/4961...group_activity

    Specific trail info will also be, gladly, privately shared with known riders . If you are unknown, please join in on a ride. Between now and snowfall there will most likely someone to guide you most weekends. Trail fairies are also welcome, but that's a whole other story.

    As you can see, Pinecrest area is biking wonderland. Please ride it, but keep it a biking wonderland.
    I'll have to hit you up sometime. Not sure when... my options for traveling to ride are pretty limited these days, but it looks like it would be worth the effort.

  30. #30
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    @Fred -
    I'm going to be up there next Friday 5/7. Any chance I can get an intro to the trails?

  31. #31
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    @Fred -
    I'm going to be up there next Friday 5/7. Any chance I can get an intro to the trails?
    From me personally, sorry no. I have to work weekdays through June. Watch the FB site, someone else may be there. I will have the last three weeks in July off with a more flexible schedule
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  32. #32
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    too bad. I just joined the FB page so I'll post something there.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog View Post
    It's great seeing the interest EB's report has generated. The trails are made to be ridden by bikes. The trails were not made to be ridden by horses and motos, thus the locations are kept cryptic on the internet. Please honor that as we gladly share ride dates publically at https://www.facebook.com/groups/4961...group_activity

    Specific trail info will also be, gladly, privately shared with known riders . If you are unknown, please join in on a ride. Between now and snowfall there will most likely someone to guide you most weekends. Trail fairies are also welcome, but that's a whole other story.

    As you can see, Pinecrest area is biking wonderland. Please ride it, but keep it a biking wonderland.
    - WELL put Fred! I'll be giving you a shout this Summer for a Tour with some bro's...

  34. #34
    More Torque
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Just put in a request to join the FB page.

    Thanks,

    -D

  35. #35
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    thanks for adding to the list

  36. #36
    NedwannaB
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    Nice fb page fred.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  37. #37
    That makes me smart
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardway View Post
    Thanks for the grammar correction d*****bag, I really appreciate it and I am sure that everyone else here does too. I see how you got to 8K+ posts.
    Someone corrected me on this board to that very same error. I didn't take offense, I just learned. Are you always this thin-skinned?

  38. #38
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    So what is the trail network beyond the PCP trail? Are the trails all pretty easy to find/follow? It looks like a 6" AM bike would be the perfect weapon of choice.

  39. #39
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    I can't believe I happened across this!! I had no idea there was such great riding up there. I've been to Pinecrest about 10 times and the best riding I had ever found was the flume trail below the store. It just so happens I'm leaving for Pinecrest Monday and will be there all week, I hadn't planned on taking my good bike, but now I'm inspired to do so. Anyone else be around?? Thanks for posting!!!!
    -Robert

  40. #40
    mtb'er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post
    So what is the trail network beyond the PCP trail? Are the trails all pretty easy to find/follow? It looks like a 6" AM bike would be the perfect weapon of choice.
    HB - I'll say 6" AM bike is pretty darn good for the riding out there. As for the trails besides PCP, yes, they are good. You can't really find them without being in "the loop". Use da PM for more info. I'm a pretty good trail finder and trail follower, and I wouldn't have found any of the goods without help from the Trogs. Following the trails, for me, was a huge part of the fun.

    This "picture doesn't do it justice" spot wouldn't be known to ANYONE without the enthusiasm and dedication of one/some people that have vision in a world of people wearing bifocals or blinders.


  41. #41
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    Doesn't look like any of the Trogs will be able to help me out on Friday.
    I'm going to do a loop up from Strawberry to Gargoyles and up and up to PCP then down.

    Is the PCP itself easy to follow?

  42. #42
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    Ive never been, and I certainly can't help you on Friday, but maybe we can go together sometime.

    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club-kyburz.jpg

  43. #43
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    I'm game. Typically if I'm driving somewhere that far to ride I'll just do South Lake Tahoe.
    I really want to do the Echo-Silverfork shuttle ride as well.

  44. #44
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    mestapho and squareback, the picture has me a little confused. That's nowhere near Pinecrest.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  45. #45
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Doesn't look like any of the Trogs will be able to help me out on Friday.
    I'm going to do a loop up from Strawberry to Gargoyles and up and up to PCP then down.

    Is the PCP itself easy to follow?
    Believe it or not this old "drawn by a dog" map won't get you lost.

    http://tuolumnecountytransportationc...t_peak_map.pdf
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  46. #46
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog View Post
    Believe it or not this old "drawn by a dog" map won't get you lost.

    http://tuolumnecountytransportationc...t_peak_map.pdf
    Thanks!
    Yeah I'm confused by the pic as well.

  47. #47
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Is the "Bonus" section at the top of PCP easy to find/follow?

  48. #48
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Is the "Bonus" section at the top of PCP easy to find/follow?
    Bonus trails will not be televised.... or posted on Strava.

    ;-)

  49. #49
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    The top section I found on Strava and also from Ogre and another Trog's Strava routes. It's just a little section a little higher up that connects the pavement to PCP

  50. #50
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    New member of the Pinecrest Fan Club

    Yeah, know all about it. Some of us would just prefer that Pinecrest be a Strava Bermuda Triangle....

    Folks, if you love these trails, or if you are hoping soon to get that mind=blown experience in the upcountry chunklands, please keep the locations of routes other than PCP on the DL. Take it to the PM level, or preferably meet up with a trog or a local. It's worth it.

    Ever seen a favorite trail obliterated by horses, motos or "the man"? Teh suck.

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