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  1. #1
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    Just one _____ hit.

    Insert your own superlative into that title. Big? Epic? Psick? Psweet?!


    Every so often I have to/get to get out of my comfort zone. To learn my limits as a frail human, to be humbled and reminded of my insignificant place in the natural order.


    This year that meant attempting an ambitious traverse through the Wrangells with a solid crew piloting bikes and a boat. Boat, singular.


    Just back from said trip, digging out from the pile that accumulated in my absence. Will be a bit longer before I can dive into the pics and share details and such.


    For now, here's one that seems to cover so much of what we went there looking for, and found in so doing.





    Big, wild, psick psweet country. Note two riders on game trail at bottom. Elevation there is ~5k. Note 12k' peak in background. Contemplate everything in between...


    Thanks for checkin' in. Back in a bit.

  2. #2
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    The photo looks like it is from that section of nice trail from Geohenda to the Solo Mt area? That area is awesome, and those little gnome like spikes of rock are very cool.

    Did you guys ride much besides that section?

    Looking forward to reading about the rest of the adventure!

  3. #3
    Stubby-legged
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    I love that you show the true use of the "toys" we ride.
    Too many times I have discussed my bike build choices with the gerbils of the bike racing members of the local crew.
    I no longer argue. I point them to Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels .

    Adventure, exploring, and testing the body, while cleansing the soul.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    The photo looks like it is from that section of nice trail from Geohenda to the Solo Mt area? That area is awesome, and those little gnome like spikes of rock are very cool.

    Did you guys ride much besides that section?

    Looking forward to reading about the rest of the adventure!
    Yep, that's the shoulder of Solo Mt. coming into view at center left.

    We rode a lot. Haven't added it up yet but I'd say it was 50-60% riding at least.

    And, as I labored up the May Creek Rd. in midday sun with the full force of mosquitoes upon me, I said to myself, "Cable and his buddy get full credit for completing the route, but an asterisk absolutely must be added for taking a ride and skipping this section..."

  5. #5
    hopeless moron
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    bong
    one by nine works just fine but single speed is all ya need
    BTW, it’s called “sarcasm”; you’re soaking in it!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Yep, that's the shoulder of Solo Mt. coming into view at center left.

    We rode a lot. Haven't added it up yet but I'd say it was 50-60% riding at least.

    And, as I labored up the May Creek Rd. in midday sun with the full force of mosquitoes upon me, I said to myself, "Cable and his buddy get full credit for completing the route, but an asterisk absolutely must be added for taking a ride and skipping this section..."
    Biking 50% of the route seems nothing sort of amazing.

    Asterisk away - though we didn't get a ride until after the top of the hill coming off the river. We also basically had no bugs - it was the longest trip I have been on in the summer in Alaska were bugs were not an issue. A double asterisk ?

    I can't wait to see what you guys came up with to get three bikes & people on one boat!

    That route is very awesome, I am looking forward to reading about it!

  7. #7
    Oslo, Norway
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    Syk
    Espen Wethe
    www.kindernay.com
    Kindernay on BikeRumor: https://goo.gl/iQtWxu

  8. #8
    rth009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    bong
    foil

  9. #9
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    looking forward to reading more about this...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Biking 50% of the route seems nothing sort of amazing.

    Asterisk away - though we didn't get a ride until after the top of the hill coming off the river. We also basically had no bugs - it was the longest trip I have been on in the summer in Alaska were bugs were not an issue. A double asterisk ?

    I can't wait to see what you guys came up with to get three bikes & people on one boat!

    That route is very awesome, I am looking forward to reading about it!

    I think it was a lot more than 50%, but will withhold any grandiose statements until i can look at it in detail.

    Since we only had one boat we didn't make any downriver progress -- just used them to ferry across stuff we couldn't wade. Typical pattern was for me to ferry Doom (and both of our packs) across first, then he'd go back to get 2 bikes and bring those over. Then I'd go back for 2 more bikes. Then one of us would go get Brett, then Brett would go back and get Jon. Each one of these crossings took ~an hour from dropping our packs to cinching them back on and continuing.

    Simply put, any distance covered was either by walking or by riding. And I think we rode a lot more miles than we walked. The part from Blue Lake to Solo Mt. cabin was definitely the highlight, and we rode ~95% of that ~1.5 day chunk.

    Just one _____ hit.-8a3a7171.jpg

  11. #11
    hopeless moron
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    foil
    Green, not meth.
    one by nine works just fine but single speed is all ya need
    BTW, it’s called “sarcasm”; you’re soaking in it!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post

    Simply put, any distance covered was either by walking or by riding. And I think we rode a lot more miles than we walked. The part from Blue Lake to Solo Mt. cabin was definitely the highlight, and we rode ~95% of that ~1.5 day chunk.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow - my hats off to you guys - that is pretty impressive!

    It took us 2 days and a bit to walk and float that section, and I wouldn't have expected the geohenda or notch drainages to be very bikable, and the cut off across from cross creek to Chisana was pretty swampy. Was there still off-ice you guys could ride on?

    I bet there were some exciting crossings with two people on a boat!

    Did you guys talk to the NPS at all about this before doing this trip? I was a bit curious about the legality of biking the route when I hiked it, as there was tire tracks from two guys from Spain who were a week or so ahead of us.

    I am looking forward to reading about the rest of your guys adventure!

    (Or maybe not, now I want to go bike it! )

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    It took us 2 days and a bit to walk and float that section, and I wouldn't have expected the geohenda or notch drainages to be very bikable, and the cut off across from cross creek to Chisana was pretty swampy. Was there still off-ice you guys could ride on?

    I bet there were some exciting crossings with two people on a boat!

    Did you guys talk to the NPS at all about this before doing this trip? I was a bit curious about the legality of biking the route when I hiked it, as there was tire tracks from two guys from Spain who were a week or so ahead of us.

    I was shocked at how much we rode of Notch, and how good that riding was. Same with Geo. The real treat, of course, was all the sweet alpine skinny once you climbed out of the Geo drainage proper and into the tundra.

    Cross to Chisana was boggy/swampy for us, too. Could ride the downs but for me it wasn't worth the energy output to ride the flats or ups. The other 3 rode lots of that stuff. Little bit of aufeis left on Cross, lots on Chisana.

    A few of the crossings -- notably on Cooper -- were too spicy for two in one boat. We used a tiny bit of cord to pendulum the boat back and forth across to speed those up.

    Didn't talk to NPS. There's something on the W/SE NPS site about bicycles being traditional/historic use in the area, and we know from past experience that pretty much only Denali NP has specifically disallowed bicycle travel in the backcountry. Pretty sure that was all sorted out with ANILCA -- didn't see a need to revisit.

    We saw a remnant Bud track in silt on Notch. Wouldn't have guessed it was 2+ years old, but feel confident in saying no one else has been in there with one since!

    Just one _____ hit.-8a3a7198.jpg

  14. #14
    Thingamejigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Amazing views and look forward to seeing the full report.... we are all still sitting here with bated breath!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post

    Didn't talk to NPS. There's something on the W/SE NPS site about bicycles being traditional/historic use in the area, and we know from past experience that pretty much only Denali NP has specifically disallowed bicycle travel in the backcountry. Pretty sure that was all sorted out with ANILCA -- didn't see a need to revisit.

    We saw a remnant Bud track in silt on Notch. Wouldn't have guessed it was 2+ years old, but feel confident in saying no one else has been in there with one since!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I was biking by one of the WSE visitor centers sunday, and was curious enough about what the rule were, that I asked, and got this answer via email:

    The short version is that bikes aren't prohibited, which functionally means that at this time the entirety of Wrangell-St. Elias is open to bike use. It's worth noting however, that if resource damage is being caused by the "off-trail" bike use such that it violates other regulations, then you could still get a ticket. The ticket would be for the resource damage, not the bike use per se.

    Maybe I need to do this trip next summer!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I was biking by one of the WSE visitor centers sunday, and was curious enough about what the rule were, that I asked, and got this answer via email:

    The short version is that bikes aren't prohibited, which functionally means that at this time the entirety of Wrangell-St. Elias is open to bike use. It's worth noting however, that if resource damage is being caused by the "off-trail" bike use such that it violates other regulations, then you could still get a ticket. The ticket would be for the resource damage, not the bike use per se.

    Maybe I need to do this trip next summer!

    Good info -- thanks for asking, and sharing. You can basically arrive at that same conclusion from the NPS website for W/SE. It says something like "the area isn't good for biking because it's real boggy", but it doesn't say you can't go exploring should you find yourself appropriately wired.

    TR has commenced here: Alpine Style.

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