Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockitdoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7

    ADVICE on Doing Crested Butte to Aspen

    Thinking of doing Pearl or Taylor Passes this summer when snow clears. How crazy is this. How to prepare? Currently, I am a 61 yo, novice mtbr in relatively good shape, but... my experience runs to Ride the Rockies, with Triple By-Pass as the last tough road tour I've done in 2006. Dumb idea?Advice?

  2. #2
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,220
    Quote Originally Posted by rockitdoc View Post
    Thinking of doing Pearl or Taylor Passes this summer when snow clears. How crazy is this. How to prepare? Currently, I am a 61 yo, novice mtbr in relatively good shape, but... my experience runs to Ride the Rockies, with Triple By-Pass as the last tough road tour I've done in 2006. Dumb idea?Advice?
    If you're fit you should be able to do whatever you want.



    Bring a bike that's easy to carry, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockitdoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    If you're fit you should be able to do whatever you want.



    Bring a bike that's easy to carry, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
    "I'm gonna scale that pass! What one man can do, another can do. What one man can do, another can do. What one man can do, another can do."

    OK. I'm ready!

    Now, if I can only do it without dying up there in the clutches of some bear at the bottom of a ravine.

  4. #4
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,220
    Quote Originally Posted by rockitdoc View Post
    ...What one man can do, another can do...
    Seriously, it's a lot of elevation change. I've never been up Taylor Pass, but I've gone pretty far up to Pearl. It's jeep road, and not super difficult by CO jeep road standards, but if you are a novice be prepared to walk a bit. And be prepared to get rained on a bit. And be prepared to be out there longer than you might guess. And be prepared to just give up the whole thing and chalk it up to learning for another day so that you can go back down and drink beer.

    That movie actually made a big impression on me. Kind of got me on this, "Yeah, why can't I do **** or ****, if anybody can do it I can do it. Just might take me longer."
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  5. #5
    Black and Sticky
    Reputation: Bituman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    493
    It's probably no tougher than a really determined 60 pound young man named Adam pushing a 30 pound bike up the Bluff Trail in McDowell Mtn Park.
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockitdoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    It's probably no tougher than a really determined 60 pound young man named Adam pushing a 30 pound bike up the Bluff Trail in McDowell Mtn Park.
    Yes, and with. 26" wheels. So....now I gotta find an 85 lb mtb?
    I guess I could ride my 30lb sled and carry 55lbs of beer!
    Actually, that sounds perfect! Let's do it!

  7. #7
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,570
    If you're fairly fit, tough, prepared and determined you should be "fine" (IE: you may have a helluva adventure but you probably won't die). Pearl is a steep, nasty jeep road in sections that all but the very elite will have to push parts of but pretty strait forward. Taylor isn't as nasty, but if you go that way you're going to have to do a pretty round about route (like Star pass) to get from Aspen to CB.

    Caveat: it's been a while since I've done either Taylor or Pearl in the summer so if things have changed it's not my fault.

  8. #8
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
    Reputation: PBR me!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4,733
    These guys did it! Sit down with a couple cold ones!



    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

    the blog

  9. #9
    Goat of Legend
    Reputation: mountaingoatepics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,048
    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me! View Post
    These guys did it! Sit down with a couple cold ones!
    That's back when the Gods forged men of steel and rock.

  10. #10
    ...
    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,382
    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me! View Post
    These guys did it! Sit down with a couple cold ones!
    They still do. 1st or 2nd week of September every year. Google Pearl Pass Tour


    Why would you own 100 Yugos when you could own 1 Porsche? - Rumpfy



  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,588
    Do yourself a favor and spend your time riding the primo singletrack in the Butte instead of cobbly jeep road.

  12. #12
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,220
    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Do yourself a favor and spend your time riding the primo singletrack in the Butte instead of cobbly jeep road.
    Sometimes there's a kick in the pants to be had from busting it up and over a high pass, but yeah, be sure to ride some skinny when you're there to get Teh Lulz


    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  13. #13
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,588
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Sometimes there's a kick in the pants to be had from busting it up and over a high pass
    You know... if I had unlimited time to ride everything sure... but with a limited time budget I'd recommend to *anyone* to avoid the cobbly jeep roads at all costs.

    Unless you're going down Red Cone Road. That jeep road is a f**king HOOT.

    Edit - and if you *really* want to bust it up and over a high pass, might I humbly suggest doing one of the *singletrack* high passes? Win-win-win all the way around.

  14. #14
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,570
    Every time Bacon Boy (or anybody else) starts a sentence with "do yourself a favor", ignore them and do whatever the hell you want to do.

  15. #15
    not actually bad :)
    Reputation: bad_andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Unless you're going down Red Cone Road. That jeep road is a f**king HOOT.
    YEAH MAN! That place is THE BOMB!!!!!
    My shoulder is better than ever after having been rebuilt.

    Oh, and OP, I say go for it.
    I have wanted to do it for quite awhile just for the historical MTB part of it, and the pass is amazingly beautiful.
    I will probably do it this summer, with a side trip 14er in the middle.
    I suggest planning lots of time at high altitude on the bike and off to train. (Especially at your age ) - Sorry, I can't say that to too many people.
    Old Codger

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockitdoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7
    Right now, and this could change several times before now and then, the plan is to head to the Durango area, instead, this year. So, looking at other options with significantly more skinny on them.

  17. #17
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,220
    Quote Originally Posted by rockitdoc View Post
    Right now, and this could change several times before now and then, the plan is to head to the Durango area, instead, this year. So, looking at other options with significantly more skinny on them.
    Durango is awesome too. And that area is lousy with cool back-country passes. On the jeep road passes you'll have more company than you would on Pearl or Taylor.

    The Earl of Bacon will like this recommendation:

    Blackhawk Pass on the CT. 12K feet, ridiculously beautiful. Start at Hermosa Creek, ride the trail to Hermosa Park (easy-peasy singletrack). From Hermosa park climb dirt road, jeep road to Bolam Pass/Celebration Lake. Take the CT south up and over Blackhawk, then go down either the Hotel Draw jeep road or Corral Draw singletrack back down to Hermosa Park, then take the Hermosa Creek Trail back to the start.

    There is some tough singletrack. As a novice you'll do some walking. But it is amazeballs.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  18. #18
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,588
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Every time Bacon Boy (or anybody else) starts a sentence with "do yourself a favor", ignore them and do whatever the hell you want to do.
    I'm just here to help.

  19. #19
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,588
    Quote Originally Posted by rockitdoc View Post
    Right now, and this could change several times before now and then, the plan is to head to the Durango area, instead, this year. So, looking at other options with significantly more skinny on them.
    This makes no sense at all.

  20. #20
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,588
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    The Earl of Bacon will like this recommendation:

    Blackhawk Pass on the CT. 12K feet, ridiculously beautiful. Start at Hermosa Creek, ride the trail to Hermosa Park (easy-peasy singletrack). From Hermosa park climb dirt road, jeep road to Bolam Pass/Celebration Lake. Take the CT south up and over Blackhawk, then go down either the Hotel Draw jeep road or Corral Draw singletrack back down to Hermosa Park, then take the Hermosa Creek Trail back to the start.

    There is some tough singletrack. As a novice you'll do some walking. But it is amazeballs.
    This man is wise beyond his years.

    Wait. He's an old man too... so he's just wise.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    144
    I've ridden both passes back to back on consecutive days waaay back when, in a fitter state than I am now. Neither would be high on my list from a riding perspective, Pearl is pretty cool from a historical/adventure point of view although the Aspen side of it is a bouldery jeep road and not a very enjoyable downhill. I've ridden/pushed to the top and turned around and gone back to CB, that is more fun. The Aspen side is meh.

    Do yourself a favor and spend your time riding the primo singletrack in the Butte instead of cobbly jeep road.
    This.

    There's far better riding in the area than those passes.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SylentK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    885
    I did this a long time ago (when I was in my 20's. Before my grey hair). Plan on leaving first thing in the morning from CB and arriving well into the afternoon in Aspen. It is beautiful, you get to see the back side of the maroon bells. But the trail is mostly jeep trail. So not buff singletrack. I remember several long hike a bike sections over melon sized rocks on the way up. Ugh. Bring lots of food to last you 6 hours plus in the saddle (and water). Try to beat the afternoon thunderstorms at the peak. There is pretty much no cover and lightning up there is a risk. It will probably rain on you. At least once. I remember several 4x4's, rentals even, that came up from the Aspen side that turned around at the top. FYI. Could be a ride down. Or another trail hazard. You can shorten your bike miles by having someone drive you up as far as possible on the CB side. Then that same car/person can pick you up on the Aspen side instead of riding into town. Sounds lame, but it may save you from....um...dying?

    Hope this helps!
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  23. #23
    friend of Apex
    Reputation: WKD-RDR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,687
    Quote Originally Posted by bad_andy View Post
    YEAH MAN! That place is THE BOMB!!!!!
    My shoulder is better than ever after having been rebuilt.

    I srsly thought we were gonna have to call in a chopper.
    That was a fun day.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  24. #24
    ..ouch
    Reputation: thump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,960
    I've done it out and back.. with a motor. I would agree with SylentK, if you want to pedal it in a day, have someone drive you up the initial climb on the CB side. You can take the ski resort road as a quick way down on the Aspen side. Expect lots of loose rocky double tracks, several hike-a-bike sections, and some bad/cold weather along the way - especially if you're still stuck out after sundown. There are some singletrack'ish side route options, but most of them add miles and are just as chunky. If it does start getting dark on you and you're not prepared to camp the night, then I wouldn't hesitate to ask some Jeepers for a ride out. Expect there still may be some snowy spots left in July.

Similar Threads

  1. Alpine Odyssey 100 in Crested Butte-Any Advice
    By nevermiss in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-28-2012, 04:20 PM
  2. 3 solid days in Crested Butte - advice sought
    By far raider in forum Colorado - Western Slope
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 07-19-2012, 07:08 AM
  3. Planning first trip to Crested Butte - Advice needed!
    By bodhisattva87 in forum Colorado - Western Slope
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-24-2012, 12:15 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-09-2011, 04:08 PM
  5. Route from Aspen to Crested Butte
    By spoke2011 in forum Colorado - Western Slope
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-05-2011, 12:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •