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  1. #1
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    Crystal, Ranger Cr./Palisades Aug. 9-10

    I ditch my wife and daughter at the Portland Airport (driving up from Eugene) on Friday, Aug. 8, and pick them up at 10 p.m. on the 10th. In between time, I ride.

    I want to try some new dirt. I've ridden Suntop, but haven't ridden the other side of the street. Also have heard enough about Crystal Mountain that I want to give it a go.

    So my initial plan is to do Crystal Mountain Saturday, Ranger Creek/Palisades (if that's what you locals call it) on Sunday, and be back at PDX by 10 p.m. Sunday.

    Looking for riding partner(s) who can give me the local knowledge tour. I'm a decently fit xc-type rider. Have never ridden the Cascade Cream Puff, but I am a regular volunteer who has had 35-50 mile days even as a volunteer on 'Puff day (I always seem to wrangle a ride or two). I have the endurance, if not the speed!!

    Anyone in? We could arrange a meeting spot on either morning and go from there. And either I or my Disciples of Dirt brethren will be glad to return the favor if you're ever in our neck of the woods. (This is the week before the August Mountain Bike Oregon, BTW. I'll be one of your friendly guides there.)

    Either PM me or post up, and we'll go from there.

    Let's do it! Who's in?

  2. #2
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    That's a possibilty. I may be back in town that weekend. I need to return the favor after getting good intel on Cummins Creek and Siltcoos last month.
    Crystal is a pretty short 14 miler. You may want to add Skookum Flats or Skookum/White River loop into that afternoon.
    Dalles/Palisades or Ranger Creek/Palisades may have you never going back to Sun Top.
    It's that good.

    You can also try the BBTC list serve for riders at www.bbtc.org as well.Lots o' folks over there that don't come here much but ride that stuff a lot.

  3. #3
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    Cool. Thanks for the tip.

    If it comes down to me riding alone, which I'm totally cool with, what's the best source for routing said rides? I have the Zilly Kissing the Trail book...but it's a 1997 edition (I assume it's been updated since then). I also have the Tom Kirkendall books, copyright 1996. There's gotta be something better/more current. And I'll have to rummage around and see which Green Trails maps I have in addition to the FS map.

    I also thought I saw a mention on another thread of climbing trail instead of road on Ranger Creek/Palisades. I'd be up for that. No shame in walking the super steep parts.

    As an aside, I was all over the state in 1997 when I did an update of a trail guide. It's now out of print, and for a reason: The other authors' rides were probably 60 percent or more logging road and paved road rides -- what the he!l was up with that? -- but out of the 57 rides I did, only two did not have singletrack. Since I'm ranting, one of their rides was called Old River Road, a virtually flat logging/paved road ride that went right by the trailhead for Little Bald Mountain, a sweet 29-mile gravel road/singletrack ride....and it wasn't even mentioned in their text or noted on the map!

    I'll tell you the name of the book when we ride together. How's that for a teaser?!

    p.s. Hey, Borneo, that stunt park at the top of Cummins Creek is pretty cool, eh? But I don't have the cojones to do most of that stuff.

  4. #4
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    More info:

    You can get free copies of virtually all Zilly's latest rides off NWSource dot com under the biking page.

    camping: You can camp off Buck Creek road at the Ranger Creek airstrip for the hefty price of your trail pass instead of down at Dalles. that means Sun Top ends up right at camp and you can ride back up White River after Palisades and cross the road. Skookum starts right there too. It's about a 7? mile road ride up to the Crystal loop but there is also a dirt option off the Corral Pass road that will get you there too. (Check the maps.)

    Crystal: Better CCW IMHO but then you climb Northway instead of descend it which is a bummer. Or, do Northway as an out and back. Or, ride down to hen Skin lake and hten loop back up and down the way you came up. CCW is easier but the ending isn't quite as "happy".
    Palisades: I just ride up Corral Pass road. (Shuttling it is for...."pick your term here.".)
    Across Dalles to Ranger to Palisades. Back up White River. UP Ranger to the shelter isn't bad for climbing and gets you most of the way up. back White River for the all singletrack loop.

    Add it all together including Sun Top and you have the Cascade Triple Crown. Some 45 miles, 14K of climbing and about 11 hours or so if you want to bag it all in one day.

    I too have the early Zilly, both Tom's books (yes, all road and moto trails) odd that I think he's married to the daughter of one of the ortiginal HOHAs up here. Amy's book as well as a couple other old one's including a soft bound one with a yellow jacket and pen drawing maps from that time period.

    Didn't make it up to the stunts but would have loved riding them. Siltcoos was nice but rather disappointing due to being so short. (rode the loop both ways as suggested and then rode back to Honeymans...) The road out and back sucked. Headwinds both ways.

  5. #5
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    I'd love to show another Oregonian around, but I'm booked for that weekend.

    Another shorter loop you might be interested in (personal favorite) is up Palisdades and down Ranger, followed by Skookum Flats.

    IMO, Ranger's (think Larison Rock) a better descent that Palisades . Palisades has a few hike-a-bikes that you'll have to tackle either up or down.

    Steepest descent hands down, will be Deep Creek. Again, you can climb Palisades to the cabin, then climb to the start of Ranger, then over to Knoble Knob, then down Deep Creek. Lot's of options.

    Give us a ride report when you're done.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks, guys.

    If I did that Triple Crown on Saturday, it would waste me for Sunday. If I did it Sunday I'd fall asleep at the wheel driving back to PDX. So I still think a Saturday Crystal Mtn/ Sunday Palisades/Ranger Creek/whatever else will be good.

    If Crystal Mtn. is so awesome, and it's only 14 miles and it seems to be good in both directions, what about doing two loops, both CW and CCW, in a day? Anyone ever try that? Thoughts on that? I may not ever get back that way, so I may as well do it up while I'm there. The other thought is, looking at the map in the Zilly book, it looks like there are a couple of loops-within-the-big-loop that would extend the ride. Are those trails worthy?

    Borneo, I'm right with you on the shuttling. I'm definitely of the "earn your turn" school of thought.....but having said that, we have a night-ride group shuttle on Alpine Trail tonight! Toast the sunset at Sourgrass Meadow and gloriously descend (and do a little climbing) from there.

    Also, thanks for the heads-up re the NW Forest Pass. Are there any primitive spots to camp that don't require the pass? I haven't needed one for any of the riding I've done thus far this year, though I'll need one once we start shredding the high country (Waldo Lake, Maiden Peak, etc.)

    Slayer, I love Larison Rock. Just wish it were longer. How does the Ranger Creek descent compare in length to Larison?

    If I get there early enough on Friday, I might do a short night ride on Skookum/White River. We'll see.

    So many choices. That's a good problem!

    Offer is still open if anyone wants to pick a start time and place. Post up or PM me. Reserve your place now! Line forms to the right...

    Albee

  7. #7
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    There will be about 250 mountain bikers at Ranger Creek airport on August 10th for the final Indies Series race. There will also be a few out there the day before camping and riding the trails. The race covers I think some of Skookum flats and part of Ranger Creek. Last year we did quite a bit of climbing and then took a left and did an insane downhill. I think the laps were in the 10-12 mile range. Anyway Albee you can pick your selection of riders and distance on Sunday August 10th. Will it be a nice easy 10 mile loop, A difficult 16-18 mile ride or a brutal 25 mile ride? Last year I got timed out at 2 Hr 30 minutes.

  8. #8
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    Ranger's definitely a longer descent, especially if you start up on Corral Pass. How much longer, I can't remember (haven't rode Larison in years). If I'm right on this, Ranger's something like 5 mile's from the shelter to the White River Trail?

    Camping is designated to camping spots, not like along the Willamete.

    As of last Sunday, the reports from 410 have been stellar. But it wouldn't hurt to ask the ranger station if they've done any blowdown clearing as of late.
    Official Chocolate Fountain Spokesman

  9. #9
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    Rode Skookum/Corral Pass/Palisades yesterday. Palisades is in great shape, except 7-8 blowdowns between the cabin and the switchbacks.

  10. #10
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    Nice. Can't wait. I am SO looking forward to next weekend. Looks like, with the race happening, I won't have any problem finding potential riding partners.

    I think I will go with Crystal Mtn. in both directions Saturday...and then maybe finagle a shuttle up Sun Top if possible, for dessert.

    Sunday's still up in the air, but the menu will definitely feature a descent of Ranger Creek. Not sure yet if I'll climb Palisades or take the road. But if the race course descends Palisades, then I'm sure as heck not climbing it!

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