I've been reading all of the discussion about Sol Vista this summer and thought it would be pretty neat to check it out. I'm definitely more of an x-c type, so I thought that riding the trails over there from Tabernash, taking a few rides on the lift, and riding back might work well. Last weekend was the end of their official season, so I knew I needed to get on it. Sunday turned out the be the day.
I actually got a ride to the entrance to Snow Mt Ranch and rode into Sol VIsta through the subdivision that backs onto their nordic center. Just as advertised, it was a simple matter of signing a waiver and getting a lift ticket. I did feel sort of underdressed without pads and a real DH bike. The lifties liked my Racer-X, though. It was probably the lightest adult bike on the mountain that day.
I hopped a lift to get in a quick run before my friends arrived. I had just gotten onto the lift when I saw their car pull in. Dang. I got onto Naure's Way, the "green" trail. I was pretty cocky since I'd ridden the Long Trail at Winter Park ("blue") and thought it was generally pretty easy. Huh. Let's just say that Nature's Way demanded my full attention and then some. I was pretty surprised to find myself walking two little techy sections. I will blame it on being distracted after catching a couple of slower riders. The berms at the bottom were really fun, though!
By the time I got down, my friends were nowhere to be found. And their car was gone from the parking lot. Huh. So I took another run down Nature's Way. It definitely went better this time. Plus, I caught two guys (fully kitted out with full-face, pads, big bikes, the works) and they actually let me pass. Thanks! I was definitely more relaxed on the second run. I took another spin through the parking lot, saw that my friends' car was back, and decided to wait for them. Soon enough they showed up and humored me by taking some fun pics on the last berm.
Setting up the shot
Second try on the berm
We rode up the lift together and enjoyed watching the antics of the real downhillers on the most difficult trails.
Bring your armor!
My friends went to check out the blue trail and I headed back to Tabernash via the nordic center trails.
Putting the "vista" into Sol Vista
Some pedalling required
I ended up staying on the fireroad longer than I intended and had a slight adventure finding my way back to the highway. There are all kinds of ways to get lost back there. Most of them involve some good riding, though! I did manage to get back to Tabernash just before it started to rain, and I only had to trespass a little bit. That area definitely warrants more exploration.
It was a fun day and a great way to combine some x-c riding with some goof-off time. All of the staff were really nice, as were the guys I rode the lift with. The rumor I hear is that lift tickets will be $15 next year, which is still a bargain for people who want to ride lifts all day. Not sure that fits with the "ride an hour over, take two runs, ride an hour home" paradigm or not. Hopefully they will have a reasonable single-ride deal.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: TR: Checking Out Sol Vista