The Jemez trail run was today. They had a number of bikers sweeping the trails making sure that no one died while trying to run 50miles on these rocky trails. I swept the first 3 sections making a 25 mile swath through the LA trails, riding stuff I normally don't ride. Started at the Posse shack, rode up Perimeter to Mitchell, Mitchell to Guaje Ridge, over Guaje Ridge down to Guaje Canyon via Mitchell (until recently, the upper part of the trail was lost in the fire, so going back into GC was not possible), then up Guaje Canyon to Pipeline road, then down PR back to town and my house. I wasn't sure how much of that was rideable, so all the better to just go find out.

Starting at the Posse shack at 7:30. The weather looked like it could go either way.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480165768146162"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9epvLZrPI/AAAAAAAAANU/G2SQbDuQgIY/s800/DSC_1040.JPG" /></a>


Riding up Mitchell:
Steep climb, but it's almost entirely rideable if you're in excellent shape. Me, appently I'm not. Lots of resting and some pushing. I could ride long sections, though, as long as I didn't lose my balance or run out of steam. After the 300 or so runners had packed down the loose gravel, traction was not an issue. Some random trail shots:
<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480195832917298"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9erfLZrTI/AAAAAAAAAN0/89Ybrw5Kxvs/s800/DSC_1049.JPG" /></a>

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480213012786514"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9esfLZrVI/AAAAAAAAAOI/DpN8M42IIhc/s144/DSC_1058.JPG" /></a>

Here's one of the runners coming back down who dropped out. Honestly, I can't blame someone for dropping out of that race.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480174358080770"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9eqPLZrQI/AAAAAAAAANc/6FoRJ-MNCcw/s800/DSC_1044.JPG" /></a>



The views on Mitchell near the top are sweet...well outside of all the dead trees. Here's one looking toward the Santa Fe ski hill.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480187242982690"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9eq_LZrSI/AAAAAAAAANs/ei5bHPcOnBY/s800/DSC_1047.JPG" /></a>

Finally made it to the top, spent an hour at the GR/Mitchell intersection trying to sort out runners who dropped, the lady who fell off a cliff and broke her arm (luckily, that was it), and the odd number of runners who came through that were 'noshows' at the start line.

GR-GC via Mitchell:
Once I got that sorted, it was time to head down Mitchell to Guaje Canyon. I've never done that, and until recently, that part of Mitchell didn't exist. I didn't know what to expect...and considering this was the section of the trail that broke the arm of one runner...I was a bit nervous. I took my camera off my chest harness and put it in my pack. I just knew I'd go OTB on this section. So...no photos. Anyway, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was led to believe. It was kinda steep, but most of it was rideable. The two issues are that the trail is narrow with lots of trees and rocks to grab your handlebars. The second issue is that there are a bajillion switchback that turn 180° in 1 foot. Unless you can do some fancy trackstanding and swing the rear end around (I've seen Bryan do this), then there's nothing to do but dismount, swing the bike around, and remount. Most of the trail wasn't all that fun...dismounting for yet another switchback gets old after, oh, the 300th one. I'd not go out of my way to do this again, unless I was wanting to get down to GC and the reservoir for some reason.

Guaje Reservoir:

Mitchell drops you off at the dam of the old Guaje reservoir. If you haven't been up there in awhile, the reservoir is completely silted in. Trees are growing in the old lake. Here you can see a tree growing in the spillway.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201492054237621906"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9pdvLZrpI/AAAAAAAAARM/D1ff7ZIoJRk/s800/DSC_1065.JPG" /></a>

and up on top, here is all that is left of the reservoir

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480260257426834"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9evPLZrZI/AAAAAAAAAOo/ebOQEFL-D64/s800/DSC_1069.JPG" /></a>


Now, the problem is that the trail runs right up the side of the reservoir. Go back 2 photos and look at the ladder on the left of the picture. You have to throw your bike on your back and scale it. Not fun at all. Looking down at my sad little bike while I figure out how the heck I'm getting it up there

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480225897688418"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9etPLZrWI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/BCWSiAnsu_E/s800/DSC_1070.JPG" /></a>



Guaje Canyon:

I was shocked at the condition of GC. Not what I was expecting at all. I'm going to post up another post just describing. I did manage to make it to Caballo trail where I had to wait for half an hour on the last runner coming down Caballo. He's the dude in blue shirt, shorts and hat.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480238782590322"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9et_LZrXI/AAAAAAAAAOY/KVSbrImG0lE/s800/DSC_1075.JPG" /></a>



Found a couple of nice glimpses down into the Valle, finished up my sweep at the pipeline checkpoint and headed back. I'll end this post with one of the Valle shots:

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/Rotmilky/MitchellGuajeCanyon08/photo#5201480973221998194"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/Rotmilky/SC9fYvLZrnI/AAAAAAAAAQc/mF00wbGTSS0/s800/DSC_1112.JPG" /></a>