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  1. #1
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    Our Mt Elwell experience...

    If you saw my other post asking about your favorite Downieville area trails, you know that this is our groups 1st trip up here. I had read and seen so much good stuff about Mt Elwell that I *really* wanted to get up there. We went out there today via the Round Lake & Silver Lake ascent after being shuttled up to Gold Lake Lodge by John from the Howling Dog bike shop in Graegle. Overall the ride kicked my ass more than any ride in quite a while....several years probably. That HAB is no joke and the hardest part was how many times I kicked my pedals on the climb up. My shins are thrashed. The snow up top was 1/2 mile wide so we had to hunt for the trail. Thank goodness for Trail Forks!! Then the hydraulics on my seatpost went out little by little. Admittedly (and knowingly), I pushed the limits by raising my post past the limit line. 

    As we kept descending, I leaned back too far/hard as I went down a snow bank and the carbon at my seat collar gave way. The seatpost hydraulic line was ripped and my seat collar went flying 20 ft. I was able to put it back together (other than the hydraulic line which was already toast) and ride the rest of the way full BMX style. Crazy day that I don't plan on repeating anytime soon.

    Now to go frame shopping 螺

    fc....I know you said it's your favorite trail up there but there are way too many awesome trails on this planet to spend that much time and effort on a HAB. I'd have to say that there wasn't a single ride we did this weekend that I didn't like better than the Mt Elwell ride. Just goes to show, we all have different tastes.
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  2. #2
    fc
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    #toosoon

    That's a rugged ride and have to wait for the locals to clear and dial in that trail.

    My worst Downieville ride is there (cause my guide got us lost for two hours HAB). The best two have been there too cause everything went perfectly.

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  3. #3
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    What an adventure. I live so close and I still haven't done that ride.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    If you saw my other post asking about your favorite Downieville area trails, you know that this is our groups 1st trip up here. I had read and seen so much good stuff about Mt Elwell that I *really* wanted to get up there. We went out there today via the Round Lake & Silver Lake ascent after being shuttled up to Gold Lake Lodge by John from the Howling Dog bike shop in Graegle. Overall the ride kicked my ass more than any ride in quite a while....several years probably. That HAB is no joke and the hardest part was how many times I kicked my pedals on the climb up. My shins are thrashed. The snow up top was 1/2 mile wide so we had to hunt for the trail. Thank goodness for Trail Forks!! Then the hydraulics on my seatpost went out little by little. Admittedly (and knowingly), I pushed the limits by raising my post past the limit line. 

    As we kept descending, I leaned back too far/hard as I went down a snow bank and the carbon at my seat collar gave way. The seatpost hydraulic line was ripped and my seat collar went flying 20 ft. I was able to put it back together (other than the hydraulic line which was already toast) and ride the rest of the way full BMX style. Crazy day that I don't plan on repeating anytime soon.

    Now to go frame shopping 螺

    fc....I know you said it's your favorite trail up there but there are way too many awesome trails on this planet to spend that much time and effort on a HAB. I'd have to say that there wasn't a single ride we did this weekend that I didn't like better than the Mt Elwell ride. Just goes to show, we all have different tastes.
    I've got to agree with you...Mt Elwell is an ok adventure...there are better in my opinion. Mills Peak is only ok too; I think once the trail is built for Mills Peak, that trail will be much better. Lakes Basin is my go to area...there are a few hike-a-bikes involved with some of my rides.

  5. #5
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    How would that ride be on an ebike?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    If you saw my other post asking about your favorite Downieville area trails, you know that this is our groups 1st trip up here. I had read and seen so much good stuff about Mt Elwell that I *really* wanted to get up there. We went out there today via the Round Lake & Silver Lake ascent after being shuttled up to Gold Lake Lodge by John from the Howling Dog bike shop in Graegle. Overall the ride kicked my ass more than any ride in quite a while....several years probably. That HAB is no joke and the hardest part was how many times I kicked my pedals on the climb up. My shins are thrashed. The snow up top was 1/2 mile wide so we had to hunt for the trail. Thank goodness for Trail Forks!! Then the hydraulics on my seatpost went out little by little. Admittedly (and knowingly), I pushed the limits by raising my post past the limit line. 

    As we kept descending, I leaned back too far/hard as I went down a snow bank and the carbon at my seat collar gave way. The seatpost hydraulic line was ripped and my seat collar went flying 20 ft. I was able to put it back together (other than the hydraulic line which was already toast) and ride the rest of the way full BMX style. Crazy day that I don't plan on repeating anytime soon.

    Now to go frame shopping 螺

    fc....I know you said it's your favorite trail up there but there are way too many awesome trails on this planet to spend that much time and effort on a HAB. I'd have to say that there wasn't a single ride we did this weekend that I didn't like better than the Mt Elwell ride. Just goes to show, we all have different tastes.
    Its unfortunate that you had a few tough brakes on this ride. Not sure who you got the beta from, but any honest depiction of this ride should not have been less than an adventure and still a tough even shuttling. If you knew the route (s) and ended back in Graeagle, your experience would have been much different. Give it a second try and get beta from a good source.

    Lakes Basin trails in general force the rider to focus the entire ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Chasm View Post
    How would that ride be on an ebike?
    Not allowed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    I've got to agree with you...Mt Elwell is an ok adventure...there are better in my opinion. Mills Peak is only ok too; I think once the trail is built for Mills Peak, that trail will be much better. Lakes Basin is my go to area...there are a few hike-a-bikes involved with some of my rides.
    Did you check out Ronski's post concerning the Mills re-route?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Chasm View Post
    How would that ride be on an ebike?
    Great!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Schril View Post
    Not allowed.
    Not true.

    Elwell is one of the best rides EVAR in the Lakes basin!!

    Our Mt Elwell experience...-will-mt.-elwell-peak.jpg
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  10. #10
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    Dude, everything went perfectly because you did not ride Jamison Creek and climb out of that hole to Smith Lake. ;p
    Again, I apologize for nearly spoiling the Lakes Basin for you.

  11. #11
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout View Post
    Dude, everything went perfectly because you did not ride Jamison Creek and climb out of that hole to Smith Lake. ;p
    Again, I apologize for nearly spoiling the Lakes Basin for you.
    Ha, ha...

    The ride was awful but the company was A+.

    It' always about the adventure.
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  12. #12
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    I did that ride about 15 years ago with my brother on a whim...we were up doing the typical Downieville riding and asked a local for something 'off the beaten path.' It was quite a slog and my strongest memory from that day was the (seemingly) interminable ride along the highway back to the car (somewhere near packers saddle if memory serves).

    We nick-named that place Mount Hellwell. Great ride but an absolute ball-buster.
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  13. #13
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    Elwell's a different animal, that's for sure. Some amazing views, some super chunky rock, a little bit of flow. Fun, but not the smoothness of Skeggs or the roller coaster of the demo flow trail.

    Mills Peak is going to be one of my favorite rides ever, once the jeep road interlude is replaced. Couple that with climbing back to the snag lake area via the trails on the north side of the highway and it's an epic down-and-up-and-jump-in-a-lake day.

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    Sounds like everyone should stay down in the bay and stick to the flow trail

  15. #15
    AKD
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    Nah, we bay area folk will not rest until we've blogged about every off-the-beaten-path place to ride, camp, and drink beer.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateArnold View Post
    Sounds like everyone should stay down in the bay and stick to the flow trail
    Because Elwell has no Flow.
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  17. #17
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Because Elwell has no Flow.
    It's hella Flow. Hustle and Flow.
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  18. #18
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    The other thing is if you've done Butcher 30+ times in the last 10!years, then you're looking for something grand and exciting.

    If it's your first time, definitely do Butcher.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    If you saw my other post asking about your favorite Downieville area trails, you know that this is our groups 1st trip up here. I had read and seen so much good stuff about Mt Elwell that I *really* wanted to get up there. We went out there today via the Round Lake & Silver Lake ascent after being shuttled up to Gold Lake Lodge by John from the Howling Dog bike shop in Graegle. Overall the ride kicked my ass more than any ride in quite a while....several years probably. That HAB is no joke and the hardest part was how many times I kicked my pedals on the climb up. My shins are thrashed. The snow up top was 1/2 mile wide so we had to hunt for the trail. Thank goodness for Trail Forks!! Then the hydraulics on my seatpost went out little by little. Admittedly (and knowingly), I pushed the limits by raising my post past the limit line. 

    As we kept descending, I leaned back too far/hard as I went down a snow bank and the carbon at my seat collar gave way. The seatpost hydraulic line was ripped and my seat collar went flying 20 ft. I was able to put it back together (other than the hydraulic line which was already toast) and ride the rest of the way full BMX style. Crazy day that I don't plan on repeating anytime soon.

    Now to go frame shopping 螺

    fc....I know you said it's your favorite trail up there but there are way too many awesome trails on this planet to spend that much time and effort on a HAB. I'd have to say that there wasn't a single ride we did this weekend that I didn't like better than the Mt Elwell ride. Just goes to show, we all have different tastes.
    Sounds like the perfect Lakes Basin adventure to me?
    You should try Chimney Rock next!




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  20. #20
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Sounds like the perfect Lakes Basin adventure to me?
    You should try Chimney Rock next!




    Sent from somewhere out there.
    Chimney Rock. That's just a 'do once' kind of trail. #neveragain.

    Although, when Angry Singlespeedster lives there, he likes to do that on occasion. He started doing it with an ebike too and the payoff became much better.
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  21. #21
    fc
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    What would Downieville be with ZERO shuttles??

    Pretty gnarly.
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  22. #22
    NRP
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    I'm really wanting to do Downieville this year. I need to rally my lazy ass riding buddies. So far only one has committed.

    I need DH casing tires, right? I think I remember that from one of Griz's threads.

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    You don't "need" DH casings, but it'll help you avoid a long walk out, particularly if your riding style is to go fast and take chances.

    I ran Maxxis minions, front in DH casing, rear in standard casing, didn't get a sidewall tear or flat on either (tubeless, of course).

    About 10% of the riders we passed were stopped to change flats. Since you're shuttling and don't have to worry about weight as much, I'd bring two spare tubes, a patch kit, and something to boot your sidewall in an emergency. But you're probably fine running regular casing tires.

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    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRP View Post
    I'm really wanting to do Downieville this year. I need to rally my lazy ass riding buddies. So far only one has committed.

    I need DH casing tires, right? I think I remember that from one of Griz's threads.
    What you need is tubeless tires with good sealant and reinforced casing tires. Also a couple tubes in the pack just in case.

    DH casing can work but are a burden for all the pedally segments. Also, needs to be tubeless.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Chimney Rock. That's just a 'do once' kind of trail. #neveragain.

    Although, when Angry Singlespeedster lives there, he likes to do that on occasion. He started doing it with an ebike too and the payoff became much better.
    Thats what I'm talkin about!!
    DVO rents em!
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  26. #26
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Thats what I'm talkin about!!
    DVO rents em!
    Inneresting. Since when?

    Angry Singlespeeder was a shuttle driver there and polled shuttle passengers what they thought of e-bikes 2 years ago. 8 out of 10 of them said it was cheating and destroys trails.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    What would Downieville be with ZERO shuttles??

    Pretty gnarly.
    Devoid of mountain bikes? lol
    Every trails a flow trail ifya would just learn how to ride-stop dumbing down the planet

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Thats what I'm talkin about!!
    DVO rents em!
    He had one in the shop and said it rarely gets rented so he may end up selling it.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRP View Post
    I'm really wanting to do Downieville this year. I need to rally my lazy ass riding buddies. So far only one has committed.

    I need DH casing tires, right? I think I remember that from one of Griz's threads.
    I agree with the others, no DH casing needed. I had a Maxxis DHR 2.4 up front and and E13 TRS in the back. Killer combo that worked awesome up there. I don't know what the trails are like after the race is held but I was pretty impressed with how great the trails were (as far as not being blown out in every corner) on our trip.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Inneresting. Since when?

    Angry Singlespeeder was a shuttle driver there and polled shuttle passengers what they thought of e-bikes 2 years ago. 8 out of 10 of them said it was cheating and destroys trails.
    Since this year.
    Greg's trying not to make a big deal out of it since everybody's panties get in a bunch when you mention eBikes.🤡
    And I don't care what eight out of 10 people said, the bikes are not tearing up the trails more, the motos do waaaaay more damage, it's legal, and they are way fun!
    I've already ridden UP the divides !
    So rad!
    Next up, Big Boulder
    Go on, haters gonna hate.





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  31. #31
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Since this year.
    Greg's trying not to make a big deal out of it since everybody's panties get in a bunch when you mention eBikes.嵐
    And I don't care what eight out of 10 people said, the bikes are not tearing up the trails more, the motos do waaaaay more damage, it's legal, and they are way fun!
    I've already ridden UP the divides !
    So rad!
    Next up, Big Boulder
    Go on, haters gonna hate.





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    That's cool Gordo. What kind are you using? I've been wanting to take ebikes there in Downy for the last couple years but they weren't quite ready. Could barely make it to the top and they rattle a lot and have weak suspension (Haibikes and Treks). But they're getting better.

    The 8 out of 10 example is just a depiction of the angst against them.
    Angry Singlespeeder: "But it's legal here. And you're in shuttle..."
    Shuttle ride: "Don't care. They're cheaters!!!!!!!"
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    Our Mt Elwell experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    That's cool Gordo. What kind are you using? I've been wanting to take ebikes there in Downy for the last couple years but they weren't quite ready. Could barely make it to the top and they rattle a lot and have weak suspension (Haibikes and Treks). But they're getting better.

    The 8 out of 10 example is just a depiction of the angst against them.
    Angry Singlespeeder: "But it's legal here. And you're in shuttle..."
    Shuttle ride: "Don't care. They're cheaters!!!!!!!"
    Levo.
    Shuttle riders are lazy so Wat evs.
    BBRRRRRAAAAAPPPP!


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