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  1. #1
    Nat
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    Gray Butte Thursday 3/23 anyone?

    If the weather is really going to be in the 50's and sunny that is.

  2. #2
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    When?

    May be able to sneak out late afternoon. Can I say I have a doctors appointment?

  3. #3
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockin
    May be able to sneak out late afternoon. Can I say I have a doctors appointment?
    What time were you thinking? I was thinking of starting by about 10am since I need to be back by 4pm to get dinner ready and pick up the kids.

  4. #4
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    I'll call you in the morning

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  5. #5
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    Dang it - morning is booked. Earliest I could get out is noonish...

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    Nat, how was it?

    Planning out annual Bend trip first weekend in June and hoping for a warm snow melt in April-May. So, I'll be pinging you guys for trail conditions in May.

    I could use a description on how to get to that parking spot at the bottom of Skull Hollow versus leaving from the Smith Rock parking lot.

    Yeah, Burma was a pain going up and boring going down. Just making the loop around the butte from the back with an out and back on the trail from the saddle to the top of the Burma would be pretty cool. Finishing up with the descent down Skull.

  7. #7
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Nat, how was it?

    Planning out annual Bend trip first weekend in June and hoping for a warm snow melt in April-May. So, I'll be pinging you guys for trail conditions in May.

    I could use a description on how to get to that parking spot at the bottom of Skull Hollow versus leaving from the Smith Rock parking lot.

    Yeah, Burma was a pain going up and boring going down. Just making the loop around the butte from the back with an out and back on the trail from the saddle to the top of the Burma would be pretty cool. Finishing up with the descent down Skull.
    Hey, you're coming back again? Cool! I headed out to the area yesterday but contrary to what the weather.com site said (60F and sunny), it was actually overcast and raining. I therefore turned back without riding since the mud turns to glue when it gets wet. I was a bit disappointed but I didn't despair too much since I felt crummy from coming down with a cold anyway. Instead I caught a matinee showing of V for Vendetta.

    The snow is more or less absent from the south face of Gray Butte, and when I was there a few weeks ago the north faces were clearing. By June it'll be very good I'm sure. Starting below Skull Hollow, circumnavigating the butte, then out/back on the trail from Smith Rock with a ripping finish down Skull would be the way to do it, I agree.

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    Oh yeah. I have a huge contingent coming this time. (24 at this point.)

    www.bbtc.org calendar for June 2nd and on...

    Hoping to camp at the secret spot off the Whoops Trail that we stayed at last year. Although, the "usual" over by the meadow below KGB will work too.
    It's Pole-Pedal-Paddle weekend and may be crowded.

    Hoping that we can climb up Farewell and do Mrazek from the top again but I doubt it.
    I love that Swede/Tumalo Ridge/Farewell/Mrazek/Ben's loop. Clockwise, of course....

    So, what are the driving directions to the pull out by the gate at the bottom of Skull Hollow?
    I assume you just drive right past the turn off to Smith Rock?

    Lastly, is the Phil's stuff starting to melt out at all?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Nat, how was it?

    Planning out annual Bend trip first weekend in June and hoping for a warm snow melt in April-May. So, I'll be pinging you guys for trail conditions in May.

    I could use a description on how to get to that parking spot at the bottom of Skull Hollow versus leaving from the Smith Rock parking lot.

    Yeah, Burma was a pain going up and boring going down. Just making the loop around the butte from the back with an out and back on the trail from the saddle to the top of the Burma would be pretty cool. Finishing up with the descent down Skull.
    You went back down Burma ? man you missed some of the best riding out there. Skull Hollow is fun, fun enoughwe usually do it 2-3 times, but there is some awesome trail that wraps around Monkey Face. You get your pick as well, technical steap or fast and smooth.

    I don't know if there is a map of it but it is pretty easy to follow if you know were the start of the trail is.

    Burma can be fun, but not as fun as the Singletrack.

    Our standard loop over there, forgive my lack of trail name knowladge, Nat may be able to chime in on trail names. This is a long route but get's a lot of the trails out there, it was shown to me by Paul Thomasberg about 8 years ago...

    Skull Hollow parking, I can drive it but telling you how to get there ?????

    Up left gravel road, down Skull, up right gravel road...
    Around Gray Butte North side to top of Burma road. Down Technical trail to back side of Monkey Face.

    Around Monkey Face, trough Park and up Burma road.

    Back on Gray Butte trail, at the saddle, top of Skull Hollow, we go North down a fun swoopy trail down into the valley. Then up a gravel road to a singletrack climb, back up to Skull Hollow saddle, down Skull Hollow back to car.

    If I remember ride this is about 30-35 miles, you can make it about 10 or so miles shorter by cutting out the last loop.

    Like I said my desriptions and trail names may be off, but when I get there I always know where to go. The hard part is climbing Burma midway through the ride, usually in the 90 deg heat. You can do Burma first if you park at the state park, then you have bathrooms, water, and are closer to burritos....
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  10. #10
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Coonskins
    You went back down Burma ? man you missed some of the best riding out there. Skull Hollow is fun, fun enoughwe usually do it 2-3 times, but there is some awesome trail that wraps around Monkey Face. You get your pick as well, technical steap or fast and smooth.

    I don't know if there is a map of it but it is pretty easy to follow if you know were the start of the trail is.

    Burma can be fun, but not as fun as the Singletrack.

    Our standard loop over there, forgive my lack of trail name knowladge, Nat may be able to chime in on trail names. This is a long route but get's a lot of the trails out there, it was shown to me by Paul Thomasberg about 8 years ago...

    Skull Hollow parking, I can drive it but telling you how to get there ?????

    Up left gravel road, down Skull, up right gravel road...
    Around Gray Butte North side to top of Burma road. Down Technical trail to back side of Monkey Face.

    Around Monkey Face, trough Park and up Burma road.

    Back on Gray Butte trail, at the saddle, top of Skull Hollow, we go North down a fun swoopy trail down into the valley. Then up a gravel road to a singletrack climb, back up to Skull Hollow saddle, down Skull Hollow back to car.

    If I remember ride this is about 30-35 miles, you can make it about 10 or so miles shorter by cutting out the last loop.

    Like I said my desriptions and trail names may be off, but when I get there I always know where to go. The hard part is climbing Burma midway through the ride, usually in the 90 deg heat. You can do Burma first if you park at the state park, then you have bathrooms, water, and are closer to burritos....
    Borneo and his crew put in some serious miles, and if I remember their route correctly they covered nearly all of the trails while there, not just Burma Road. Phewww!

    I'm going to figure out how to post a map of the other trail head. It's easy to get to once you know where it is, but what the heck are the names of the roads??? My map is out in the garage (and it's dark and cold out there...not to mention scaaaary) so I'll get it tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Cool. Thanks!
    I don't know if I'd call it "serious miles". We just came off a 43 mile loop off both sides of Skyliners the day before. Mmmmm, Mrazek.
    Our route was from the SR parking lot down to the river, across and up Burma. Definately ridable but a good grunt. We went over the top and down into the valley. Taking a faint trail to teh right that turned into a skid road and climbed back up to the sadle you cross on the sidehill singletrack back to the upper saddle before Skull. (I think Zilly's book has you go all the way down to the valley and up the road to the saddle...) But, John has been known to make a few mistakes here and there...

    From there, we went down Skull and then took the left up the road to ride around Gray Butte. Took the main trail all the way back to the saddle and crossed and headed back along the side hill trail to the top of Burma and bombing back down that. I did ask you about that signed trail to the right about halfway down the south side of Gray. It looked like a horsey trail and was signed with a person's name. You thought it went to a ranch?
    I don't know where Monkey Face is though. It's either stopping back by there or heading back over to McKenzie on the way back. All depends on weather.

  12. #12
    Nat
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    Okay, so there has to be a better way but taking a pic of my map was the best I could come up with. Can you make out the road names alright? This is from the new Treadmaps Central Oregon , Part 2 map

    http://www.treadmaps.com/maps.htm

    -Head north on Hwy. 97 into Terrebonne
    -Right turn at Smith Rock Wy.
    -Do NOT take the left turn towards Smith Rock St. Park, but rather continue east
    -Left (north) on Lone Pine Rd.
    -Road will courve to the right (east)
    -Immediately after the right-hand curve look for the Skull Hollow campground on the left and park there

    Horsey trail is Cole Trail, and I've never followed it. I found where it connected on the east side of Gray Butte, out towards the plains a bit, and it looked pretty horse-like.

    Monkey Face is one of the distinguishing rock features within the state park on which rock climbers do their thing. It's in the park, take a left after you cross the foot bridge.
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    Last edited by Nat; 08-29-2006 at 03:13 AM.

  13. #13
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Oh yeah. I have a huge contingent coming this time. (24 at this point.)

    www.bbtc.org calendar for June 2nd and on...

    Hoping to camp at the secret spot off the Whoops Trail that we stayed at last year. Although, the "usual" over by the meadow below KGB will work too.
    It's Pole-Pedal-Paddle weekend and may be crowded.

    Hoping that we can climb up Farewell and do Mrazek from the top again but I doubt it.
    I love that Swede/Tumalo Ridge/Farewell/Mrazek/Ben's loop. Clockwise, of course....

    So, what are the driving directions to the pull out by the gate at the bottom of Skull Hollow?
    I assume you just drive right past the turn off to Smith Rock?

    Lastly, is the Phil's stuff starting to melt out at all?

    Phil's was starting to melt until this morning. Pow! 4" new snow.

    Have you guys ever ridden out by Prineville in the Ochoco Mountains on any of your trips before? It's some pretty brutal climbing followed by probably the best, most kickass descent I've been on in the area, some 8 miles long if I remember correctly. PinsNeedles, tberg, and I rode it last summer and almost died (or at least I felt that way).

    Ride report here:
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  14. #14
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    Ok. Thanks. I think I got it. I had no idea the parking at Skull was actually closer....
    Yeah, that's the ticket.
    The only other question then would be how to find that Monkey trail from the top of Burma where the Gray Butte trail meets it. Is this an unmarked trail?

    We were thinking the Cole trail would drop back West into the valley. Towards the state park.

    I'll really be eyeing conditions in May and be bugging Kent and COTA kids about access as the snow recedes. I hope you have a really hot May and it rains the day before I get there. Like every year...

  15. #15
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Ok. Thanks. I think I got it. I had no idea the parking at Skull was actually closer....
    Yeah, that's the ticket.
    The only other question then would be how to find that Monkey trail from the top of Burma where the Gray Butte trail meets it. Is this an unmarked trail?

    We were thinking the Cole trail would drop back West into the valley. Towards the state park.

    I'll really be eyeing conditions in May and be bugging Kent and COTA kids about access as the snow recedes. I hope you have a really hot May and it rains the day before I get there. Like every year...
    I didn't know there was a trail from behind Monkey Face actually. Maybe Richard can expound, because I'd like to know too.

    On my older map it shows Cole trail from that signed intersection heading west a short distance then ending. I think it might be worth exploring to see for ourselves!

    We've had a lot of rain and snow this year, but I bet it means that by June the trails will be sweet instead of a dustbowl like usual. The high elevation trails will be inaccessible for a bit longer though. Here's a pic of the snow depth up at The Mountain from a couple years ago. This year it looks at least 50% deeper than that. There really is a lot of snow up high.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I didn't know there was a trail from behind Monkey Face actually. Maybe Richard can expound, because I'd like to know too.

    On my older map it shows Cole trail from that signed intersection heading west a short distance then ending. I think it might be worth exploring to see for ourselves!

    We've had a lot of rain and snow this year, but I bet it means that by June the trails will be sweet instead of a dustbowl like usual. The high elevation trails will be inaccessible for a bit longer though. Here's a pic of the snow depth up at The Mountain from a couple years ago. This year it looks at least 50% deeper than that. There really is a lot of snow up high.
    http://www.oregonstateparks.org/imag.../smith_map.pdf

    Here's a trail map of Smith Rock.
    I'm not sure if Richard is talking about the hiker only trail that climbs over the top of Smith Rock, or just the bike trail that wraps around the park along the river. In the linked pdf map, it shows bike legal routes.

    When I have done Grey Butte/Smith Rock, We start at Skull Hollow CG, climb dirt rd to the singletrack climb up to a rocky viewpoint . Then we climb a little more, and then descend Giardia Canyon, which dumps you out at the north end to the Smith Rock bike trail. You follow the river thru the park, then climb Burma Grade, and then climb some singletrack before a 1.5 mile traverse on the side of a steep slope, finally descending down Skull?? or Jocky?? Hollow.

    Speaking of snow, I was boarding at Bachelor today, and some locals commented that there was more snow on the summit, and the bowls than in recent history. We were treated to sunny skies and a few inches of powder, but several lifts were broken, so we stood in some lines. It was my first time boarding this year, I hope you Bend folks appreciate Bachelor in the winter. With Whypass, our bike season never ends, so I forget how great it is to strap on a snowboard.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    http://www.oregonstateparks.org/imag.../smith_map.pdf

    Here's a trail map of Smith Rock.
    I'm not sure if Richard is talking about the hiker only trail that climbs over the top of Smith Rock, or just the bike trail that wraps around the park along the river. In the linked pdf map, it shows bike legal routes.
    ...
    Sas & All, Richard is not talking about the hiker-only trail. The trail he's talking about drops steeply into the Crooked River canyon at what feels like the west end of the park. Matt, the loop description you gave has you entering the climbing park via this trail... I'm surprised you don't remember it. The trail is quite steep and most mortals walk their bikes down it. I do, at least the last half. But it's short, too. Once the short, steep pitch is over, the trail follows the Crooked River all the way through Smith Rock State Park.

    I wouldn't go through there on a nice, warm weekend day. Try it and you'll encounter people walking on the trail every 50 feet. Drill: ride a spit, stop, get off, exchange pleasantries, wait for hikers to pass, repeat 5 zillion times.

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  18. #18
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    Thanks guys.

    So, anything wrong with this loop?
    Park at Shull Hollow, head up the right road, going CCW around Gray Butte to the trail. Take that the rest of the way around past Cole and down to the saddle at te top of Skull. Cross there and take the scenic side hill trail to the top of the Burma. Drop into the valley and then take the road back up to the saddle and then drop Skull back to the cars. Nice easy figure 8. Right?

    Did I mention we saw not 1 but 3 rubber boas on the side of the road the last time we were there?

  19. #19
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Thanks guys.

    So, anything wrong with this loop?
    Park at Shull Hollow, head up the right road, going CCW around Gray Butte to the trail. Take that the rest of the way around past Cole and down to the saddle at te top of Skull. Cross there and take the scenic side hill trail to the top of the Burma. Drop into the valley and then take the road back up to the saddle and then drop Skull back to the cars. Nice easy figure 8. Right?

    Did I mention we saw not 1 but 3 rubber boas on the side of the road the last time we were there?
    That route sounds quite good.

    Rubber boas?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    That route sounds quite good.

    Rubber boas?
    I was sure it was some sorta slang for condoms, but looked it up and found out they are real snakes, indigenous to the Western US.

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  21. #21
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    Sorry about that. Yep, actually a couple of big ones along the switchback section maybe a half mile or so up the road from the bottom of Skull Hollow. Sunning themselves on the side of the road.

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