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  1. #1
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    Cannel plunge questions.

    I am planning a trip to finally go ride the Cannel plunge. We are doing the 2-day ride offered by Mtn and River Adventures. So we can take or time and get a good feel for the area. My biggest question is what type of gear setup would you guys recommend? I have a Nomad, my buddies ride Spec Enduros and Mongoose teocali. i would rate us as moderat/advanced down hillers, but not crazy hucking psychos.

    From most of the vids i've seen it looks like we won't need any body armor of full faces. But i am not sure if we should bring it just in case, like for the second day?

    Any help and info would be great.
    Click click, BLOODY CLICK WAFFLES!

  2. #2
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    Cannell

    I have seen almost every type of bike and rider on this trail. Ridgid SS to full DH and all spandex to all armor. I ride a Gemini ( 7" of travel) and it is more bike then the trail needs. The bikes you mentioned would work great. I don't wear any armor either. Some of my freinds will carry knee pads on their packs and put then on at certain times. The ride is divided up between climbing and decending so you only have to change pads a few times. If you are going to start at Sherman Pass there is one good downhill section that you will do the first day. The downhills are not very tech but can have a lot of loose rocks. There are a lot of long, fast sections where you can push the speed as much as you want. Some pads might be a good idea there. If you are advanced downhillers I would guess that you will find the climbs much more difficult than the decents. It all depends on what you are looking for.

  3. #3
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    Check with Mt River adventures first. I wanted to do the plunge around thanksgiving and they were already closed for the winter before it had snowed, they said they would open sometime in spring when the snow melts. There is still a bit of snow up there I think.

  4. #4
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    Your fine with bike choices.You dont really need any armor.There is plenty of peddeling and climbing before you get to the plunge.The downhill sections are fun but not technical.There are a couple of tricky switchbacks towards the end.
    I wouldnt do the plunge on a 2 day trip,it is a good one day ride.Do the plunge one day and do another trail the next or do the plunge twice.Dont do the layover at Big Meadow its not enough riding.It should be prime early season.

  5. #5
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    Good job! Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmomma
    Your fine with bike choices.You dont really need any armor.There is plenty of peddeling and climbing before you get to the plunge.The downhill sections are fun but not technical.There are a couple of tricky switchbacks towards the end.
    I wouldnt do the plunge on a 2 day trip,it is a good one day ride.Do the plunge one day and do another trail the next or do the plunge twice.Dont do the layover at Big Meadow its not enough riding.It should be prime early season.
    Do this trail in one day... but remember there is quite a bit of climbing... you stay between 8-9,000 feet most of the day. Awesome trail. For extra credit, go up the trail to the peak... you're up at 10,000 feet.

    Enjoy the ride!

    OMR
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  6. #6
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    When is the season opeining? ANybody want to put a group together?
    Love, Impy

  7. #7
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    Second that

    Quote Originally Posted by mtber3737
    Do this trail in one day... but remember there is quite a bit of climbing... you stay between 8-9,000 feet most of the day. Awesome trail. For extra credit, go up the trail to the peak... you're up at 10,000 feet.

    Enjoy the ride!

    OMR
    Two days would make it boring. Bring water, lots of water.

  8. #8
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    I don't think the pass opened up last year until June, is that right jfsh?

    Anyway, as already stated - the bike choices are great. As far as armor goes, while there are some rocky sections ... it's usually rock scattered in softer stuff. It's not rock on rock - so, if you go down, there is usually a chance for a 'soft' landing (and many chances for not-so-soft landings) - unlike some other places where, if you go down - you know you're going to be hurting no matter where you touch down.

    Also, I concur with making it a single-day ride - get started early and take your time.

  9. #9
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    Sherman Pass

    You are right, it didn't open until late June. This year looks like a different story. We have about 50% of normal snowpack and have had very little snow in March. We could be looking at early May this year. It all depends on the weather and when the Forest Service gets the road clear. About a month ago my freind drove up there to do some XC skiing and was able to make it to within 1.5 miles of the summit. Not much snow up there.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, like others said. One day, start early. No need for armor. Fill up on water at the spring.

    Ride Shirley Meadows (aka: Just Outstanding) the second day. Shorter ride but real fun!

  11. #11
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    I did the Plunge last November when it was unusually warm. I was debating whether to ride my Yeti AS-X or 575. Everyone said ride the 575 because the trail doesn’t require 7 inches of travel and you’ll appreciate the weight savings on the uphill. Looking back on it the AS-X was the right bike, especially if you want to bomb the whole thing. Sure it was a bit slow climbing but it made the downs worth it.

    As for armor if you have it doesn't hurt to put it on for the downhill sections. I fell once and scraped my knee up. If I had knee pads I would have worn them. Riding clipped in I didn't see the need for shin guards since there wasn’t the chance of slipping a pedal.

    My buddy caught a tree branch with his arm and needed about 10 stitches.

    Here is a link to the ride report.

    Cannell Plunge first timers, bloody pics inside ;)

  12. #12
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    Recommend against two days

    My wife and I did this ride last year and were down in about 4 hrs. A total classic, it was way too quick. We should have taken the side trip up to the peak to exend it a bit. The trail was fast and no pads were necessary. It seemed we were taking our time but it just flew by.

    We did a great side ride the next day up above and to the W. of Kernville. It is called "just outstanding" and is a very fun (but still seemed short) ride. It goes through manzanita tunnels. We didn't have a very good map so we rode down it and then back up it. found out later that it is an easy ride to do as a loop and ride up the road back to a car parked on top.

    I think there are some other good rides in the area as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    When is the season opeining? ANybody want to put a group together?
    I'd be in for a group thing. Haven't been there, but would like to do it this summer. Any others interested in getting a group started?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)
    I'd be in for a group thing. Haven't been there, but would like to do it this summer. Any others interested in getting a group started?
    We're in.

  15. #15
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by aword4you
    We're in.
    Ok JOD and aowrd4u, lets make a plan - 2nd or 3rd weekend of June sound good ? I need to check my work schedule....

    I will pick a date and stuff, would love to ride with you both.
    Love, Impy

  16. #16
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    I sort of doubt this trail is rideable right now especially near the top....or is it? Would anybody else be down to drop it on Saturday afternoon? I can't tell if this is something that you shuttle yoursef or if you get a shop shuttle like Downieville. I'll be doing the Keyesville DH race in the AM and this would be a pretty fun afternoon thing so long as the DH doesn't take all day. It would also give me the option of staying and camping up there for 2 nights and seeing a couple buddies early on Sunday at the race before I head out.

    If that's not really an option, are there any lower elevation shuttles in that area I could try to arrange?
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  17. #17
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    You would be hitting a lot of snow right now. Much of the trail is above 8000'. Also Cannell is in a different set of mountains then Keysville. If the roads were clear and open you would still have an hour and 15 minute drive to get to the top. You won't have enough time. You should stay in the Greenhorn mountains if you want to ride more after the race. There are s few shuttle options that are doable right now doing some lower parts of "Just Outstanding". You have to go with somebody who knows it already. There are many fire roads up there. If I was in town I would be happy to show you around but I am going to AZSF 07.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    Ok JOD and aowrd4u, lets make a plan - 2nd or 3rd weekend of June sound good ? I need to check my work schedule....

    I will pick a date and stuff, would love to ride with you both.
    Third weekend (only) works for us. Friends wedding and Noble camping the other weekends. Will this work? June 23???
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)
    Third weekend (only) works for us. Friends wedding and Noble camping the other weekends. Will this work? June 23???
    The Plunge is as good a place as any for an anniversary, right?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aword4you
    The Plunge is as good a place as any for an anniversary, right?
    How do you know our (first) anniversary is in June? It's actually the 4th. My one bridesmaid in my wedding is getting hitched exactly 1 year later. Hence the wedding to attend on the first weekend.

    How does the 3rd weekend for Cannel sound?

    When are you coming out to Noble?
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  21. #21
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)

    How does the 3rd weekend for Cannel sound?

    sounds good to me! I will request it off if possible.

    Nobel sounds fun too one of these days!
    Love, Impy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)
    How do you know our (first) anniversary is in June? It's actually the 4th. My one bridesmaid in my wedding is getting hitched exactly 1 year later. Hence the wedding to attend on the first weekend.

    How does the 3rd weekend for Cannel sound?

    When are you coming out to Noble?
    6/21 is our 4th anniversary

    How much time is everyone taking from work? Is it necessary? Or just to be able to get some sleep on Friday night?

    Where do people stay?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aword4you
    6/21 is our 4th anniversary

    How much time is everyone taking from work? Is it necessary? Or just to be able to get some sleep on Friday night?

    Where do people stay?
    We're not planning on taking any time off work. Maybe just work a half a day on Friday and head up (I know traffic will suck, but what can you do?). Then ride Saturday and do whatever Sunday (maybe a shorter ride) and head back to SD Sunday afternoon. We'll probably just stay in a motel, not sure where yet. (Find a nice motel if it's your anniversary!).
    Julee
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)
    We're not planning on taking any time off work. Maybe just work a half a day on Friday and head up (I know traffic will suck, but what can you do?). Then ride Saturday and do whatever Sunday (maybe a shorter ride) and head back to SD Sunday afternoon. We'll probably just stay in a motel, not sure where yet. (Find a nice motel if it's your anniversary!).
    Julee
    Pffft! I'd rather get road shoes than spend a lot more on a room

    That's probably what we'll do. Um, but I did just realize at lunch that hubby's mom had offered to get us a room in Catalina that weekend. I hope it can be rescheduled, cause I'd rather do the Plunge!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aword4you
    Pffft! I'd rather get road shoes than spend a lot more on a room
    There are 40 dollar rooms, closeby. Also campsites.
    Love, Impy

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    Also campsites.
    I wouldn't go that far... Where are you guys staying?

  27. #27
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    shinguards......
    whatever you do,THIS IS FOR EVERYONE, stop in at mtn river adv. and let someone know you are going up there and when you plan to be off the trail, there were a few accidents last season that could of been avoided had the parties been smart....also NEVER START FROM SHERMAN PASS AFTER 2 PM YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT OUT BEFORE DARK...... if you want to start after 2 start from big meadow, get a map of the trail, carry a cell or satellite phone...i have done this trail hundereds of times and have seen way too many riders unprepaired....
    be smart in the backcountry its a long hike out!!!
    have fun if you go, its better than downieville!!!!

  28. #28
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    Conditions report? Snow? Eh? Eh?

    I have a sick new build coming together that would be perfect for this trail judging from the helmet cam and I'm thinking about 2 weeks until it's together and ready for it's maiden voyage. I'd like to get up there before it gets hot but not have to deal with too much snow. There are at least 2 of us heading up, maybe a third, but doubtful we'd get a 4th. From what I understand there's a minimum of 4 for the shuttle so it'd be perfect if we could pool with a couple other people (I'm not sure what the max is?).

    Is it rideable yet? Any predictions as to when would be ideal?
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  29. #29
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    Alright Gordon.... spill the beans. Whats all this new build business??? hmmm??
    you like dags??

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by n8whitie
    Alright Gordon.... spill the beans. Whats all this new build business??? hmmm??
    I'll show ya when it's rideable. Don't worry, you'll approve.
    805

  31. #31
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    Im trying to get up there on the 28th of this month. MtnRiver hasnt called me back yet about the conditions or if they are even running the shuttle yet. I had 3 total but looks like my other two will flake. Thats they only day I will be in the area if anyone else is interested.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHidiot
    I'll show ya when it's rideable. Don't worry, you'll approve.
    Lets get a little hint...... C'mon, just a peek.... no big deal.
    you like dags??

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHidiot
    Conditions report? Snow? Eh? Eh?

    I have a sick new build coming together that would be perfect for this trail judging from the helmet cam and I'm thinking about 2 weeks until it's together and ready for it's maiden voyage. I'd like to get up there before it gets hot but not have to deal with too much snow. There are at least 2 of us heading up, maybe a third, but doubtful we'd get a 4th. From what I understand there's a minimum of 4 for the shuttle so it'd be perfect if we could pool with a couple other people (I'm not sure what the max is?).

    Is it rideable yet? Any predictions as to when would be ideal?
    Let me know where you're going. My buddy and I rode the Plunge last year and are looking forward to doing it again once the road opens.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by n8whitie
    Lets get a little hint...... C'mon, just a peek.... no big deal.
    I'm selling my Enduro and taking some parts off of it for this build. Dual ring, 6", DH angles.
    805

  35. #35
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    Just heard back from the guy I know in Kernville. The road up to the Plunge isn't open yet and probably won't be for at least a month or two. Good news is the snow pack is really light this year.

    He said Just Outstanding and Badger Gap are in killer shape.

  36. #36
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    MtRiver says the forest service doesnt open the gate to get up the road until 1 June. They said they would check to see if conditions warrant opening it early.

  37. #37
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    There's really no way to access the lower part or the Plunge without going all the way to the top is there? Even with a little climbing involved?
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHidiot
    There's really no way to access the lower part or the Plunge without going all the way to the top is there? Even with a little climbing involved?
    No reason why you couldn't ride the road from where the gate is to the top.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaredama
    No reason why you couldn't ride the road from where the gate is to the top.
    How long/far/high is that?
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  40. #40
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    The road and other options

    It sounds like you guys have some good information here so far. The road is closed and it will take some time to get it open. It snowed last week down to around 5000' and it is supposed to do the same thing again this weekend. The weather has been cool up here the last few weeks and that didn't speed the melt up any. The Forest service is going to wait until the snow is gone, then go up and clear trees and rocks before they will open the gate. My sources tell me maybe mid-May but for sure by Memorial day.
    You can ride up the road from the gate to the top but I wouldn't consider doing that until mid-May because before then you will be slogging through snow on the trail. All of the North facing trail is not going to be melted out until then or later. The gate is at 6000' and the Pass is at 9000' so you would be doing 3000' worth of pavement climbing at high altitude.
    Another early season option is to take Cherry Hill road at the gate and shuttle up to Big Meadow. This road opens earlier and I don't think there is even a gate on it. We have done this in May during the last two years. You join Cannell at Big Meadow so you lose about a third of the ride. From there the trail only goes up to about 8400' so the snow clears earlier. You still get to do the plunge at the end but you do miss out on the great downhill section that is right above Big Meadow.
    It look like you heard that there is a bunch of other stuff that is open and going off right now.

  41. #41
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    That nice long tree covered descent into Big Meadow was really fun and I'm not sure I'd want to miss it.

    Looks like I'll wait until mid-June.

  42. #42
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    Other rides in the area

    If you do the ride in one day (when the road opens...), another good trail in the area is the Kern Canyon trail. I rode it three weeks ago and the conditions were outstanding.

  43. #43
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    Also check out "Just Outstanding" which comes down from Shirley Meadows.

    If you don't mind climbing, it's possible to ride up the plunge from Kernville. I've done it a few times up to pine flat meadow. Makes for a tough, full-day of riding, but you get the plunge and a leg-burner climb to boot. I've done it on my old XC bike (Fisher Sugar 1) and my current bike, the Bionicon edison. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment.

    There's also the Kern Canyon trail down below the Isabella Reservoir, and a trail along the west side of the Upper Kern river called the Whiskey Flat Trail. It's not often ridden, but you can start up at the footbridge near road's end on the Upper Kern, and ride all the way down to Kernville 14.5 miles. There are a few steep, loose hike-a-bike sections with some exposure, and I wouldn't call it an epic ride by any means (not enough flow). But it's there and can be fun. The ranger station in Kernville has free flyers with trail descriptions, etc.
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  44. #44
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    Wow, riding the plunge up...you have my respect. I rode the Plunge last summer (down that is..) and we were actually wondering if anybody ever rode it up....now we know

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASSASSIN
    Wow, riding the plunge up...you have my respect. I rode the Plunge last summer (down that is..) and we were actually wondering if anybody ever rode it up....now we know
    Four times and counting....No other choice when you're solo and don't have a shuttle (or don't wanna pay MRA for a shuttle). Plus it really makes one appreciate the downhill.....
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