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  1. #1
    Straight outta Woodland
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    Three newbies, Ape Canyon

    Myself and two buddies were thinking of riding Ape Canyon Sunday. The reviews seemed like it wasn't too tough but a scenic and fun trail. Are we getting in over our heads or should we be okay? We have very little experience to speak of.

  2. #2
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    Yes and yes.

    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," Bilbo used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

    Read my PM for details.

    Tell us how it went!

  3. #3
    jp4
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    Re: Three newbies, Ape Canyon

    Do the out and back to the ladders and you'll be fine. Relatively easy riding, epic views, and you can't get lost.
    I would avoid doing the Smith creek loop until you have a little experience. That part is not super technical, but it's very remote and you're probably not getting out of there same day if someone gets hurt.

  4. #4
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    That's good advice to the stairs.

    Here's how to learn your limits.

    Get an altimeter. Calculate how much you climb before you fail in out and back routes like this where you can turn around and coast down.

    After you are fit enough for 4000' then your legs just need time but its enough for 90% of the big rides around here.

    I think up to stairs is about 2000' max, probably 1500'....

    Double that for smith creek which is a route finding head scratcher for anyone's first visit so more good advice from JP4.

  5. #5
    jp4
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    Re: Three newbies, Ape Canyon

    Yeah, I missed the turn out of Smith ck a few weeks ago and that ride ended up being almost 30 miles and 5k climbing. Luckily we started early or we would have been bivouacking for the night

  6. #6
    jp4
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    Re: Three newbies, Ape Canyon

    Oh, and take a lot of water. It's hot as hell up on the Plains of Abraham if the Sun is out.

  7. #7
    I didn't do it
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    It's a pretty good grunt uphill so be ready for that. You will earn those classic views. And expect tons of flies. I'm not kidding, they'll stick with you on your slog up the hill and when you stop they'll descend upon your stationary butt and have their way with you.

  8. #8
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    My experience is the flies are thick in July and early August but pretty sparse by Labor day.

  9. #9
    Straight outta Woodland
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    Three newbies, Ape Canyon

    Well we ended up getting a real late start so we ended up going to Tarbell and ran it to hidden falls and back.

    It kicked our ass. The climb on the first part was pretty tough on us. I thought I was going to puke at one point. Either we are out of shape or this was a little beyond our skill level. The downhill section down to hidden falls and the downhill section on the way back to the trail head were a blast though. My buddy ate it on one of the switchbacks and scratched up his leg, and I jumped off a root and flew a little too far and my front tire landed on the edge of the trail and I went down pretty hard but relatively unhurt.

    We had a blast though and we can't wait to run it again and other local trails.








  10. #10
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    Do Ape Canyon next time. The cool thing about out and backs is if things go south you're not as committed. If you don't feel aces after blowing chunks you can just turn around and get a nice downhill breeze...
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

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