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  1. #1
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    Girdwood Riding Options?

    I'm heading down to Girdwood on Saturday so my daughter can get in some early season XC skiing. Any suggestions for where I can ride? I've not been down there with a bike before, so... I usually ride the STA trails in Anchorage or the Keppler system in the valley - single track would be awesome, but open for anything that's ridable right now.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    sluice box
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    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-088small.jpg
    I've packed the Iditarod trail that runs up Glacier Creek from old town and comes out at Forest Fair Park. I start at the RR parking lot by DOT and go under the overpass to connect to the trail. Moose Meadows is packed but the small little creeks are not filled in with snow bridges yet and there is some overflow in spots. The New Nordic Trails are good skiing now, so if you are up valley Moose Meadows may be the better option. Beaver Pond Trail needs more traffic I plan on trying to put that one in in the next week or two. Bird to Gird is choppy with freeze thaw and foot prints up and down that trail.

    Click for map.
    summer
    http://www.muni.org/Departments/park...mmerTrlMap.pdf

    winter
    http://www.muni.org/Departments/park...nterTrlMap.pdf
    Last edited by Co-opski; 01-27-2015 at 05:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    One of my favorite rides in Southcentral is the Winner Creek North trail. Go under up the hill a bit under the tram and get on the Winner Creek trail. It goes for a little ways and then you come to a junction. Left takes you to the hand tram, kind of a short ride that way. For total epicness take a right and head up toward the pass that way. I have no idea what the snow looks like down there, if there is any, but that trail is cool. Tough, technical riding but totally doable with a few walking sections and impossible spots. I'll head there tomorrow. I just convinced myself. Thanks for the reminder.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    One of my favorite rides in Southcentral is the Winner Creek North trail. Go under up the hill a bit under the tram and get on the Winner Creek trail. It goes for a little ways and then you come to a junction. Left takes you to the hand tram, kind of a short ride that way. For total epicness take a right and head up toward the pass that way. I have no idea what the snow looks like down there, if there is any, but that trail is cool. Tough, technical riding but totally doable with a few walking sections and impossible spots. I'll head there tomorrow. I just convinced myself. Thanks for the reminder.
    Yah it is all snowed in now and I think they shut-down the hand tram for the season also. But that is an awesome trail.

  5. #5
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    darn. We rode up that way one winter on fat bikes. I think a ski party went up to the pass or something, and the trail was set up like concrete. Definitely some avalanche danger once up out of the trees. Epic. Avalanche danger on a bike ride. Only in AK, and I guess other places there are mountains. (We were on Throng La Pass in Nepal just a year ago. Same place all those people just died.)
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  6. #6
    sluice box
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    You are right all they need is a little foot or ski traffic to make it ride able. The CPG snow cat road is a fun ride on fat bikes also.

  7. #7
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    I like riding the Beaver Pond trail in past years.

  8. #8
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    Great! Thanks for the sugestions. I'm looking forward to riding some new areas.

  9. #9
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    Yep. Hand Tram is locked up for the winter. The winner creek trail is riding great and the first couple of miles of the upper winner creek trail are also rideable. I would like to suggest that folks not bike out in Moose Meadows until there is more extensive coverage. Cheers!
    Burntski

  10. #10
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    yo co-op, let's ride soon!
    two wheel livin'..

  11. #11
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    Well, I ended up riding Winner Creek from the tram to the lower and upper junction and then took the upper junction probably two miles or so before the track got a bit more difficult and my time started to run out. The riding was a great mix of well packed snow, loose edges, some good obstacles on the boardwalk sections, and general amazing scenery. Good times. I hope to get down there riding a bit more often and check out some of the other trails. I really want to ride the old Iditarod trail and would like to check out the snowcat trail as well. Good times.

  12. #12
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    Beaver pond trail and lower Iditarod had some good traffic/riding over the weekend but with the warm weather that started Sunday night I have not been out on them to see how they are holding up.
    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-069-small.jpg
    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-072small.jpg
    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-080small.jpgGirdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-084small.jpg
    Moose Meadows was very thin this weekend and I would not ride anything up valley on the multi-use trails. The bike path Bird to Gird is closed because of avalanche danger (DOT may lob artillery at you) but there is a trail broken most of the way to bird.

    I have been avoiding the resort over the holiday and getting some trail time in.
    Last edited by Co-opski; 01-27-2015 at 05:37 PM.

  13. #13
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    Very wet down there. Just went snowboarding. Snow is fine up high, although you have to upload via the tram and it's Chair 6 and part of 1, good riding/skiing to be had on the terrain there, good powder in places, etc, but it's been raining below about 1000' for days, lots is super-slushy, ground showing in places, ice is going to be super-sketchy, wouldn't think it's worth it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  14. #14
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    Last night 10pm cool 15deg F 3cm of hoar frost. Could have used the old Trek 970 with snocats and Nokians but I still took out the Fatback.
    Road lower Iditarod from RR tracks to Forestfair park on an icy ribbon of a trail, fast and rolling flowy. 300 grip studs in the tires helped.
    Road up valley to Moose Meadows, jumped on at the soccer fields, frozen crust, hoar frost and tussocks to Horror Hill. Horror Hill trail down to Our Lady of Snow Church, is un-rideable with down trees and stumps normally covered by the snow pack. Went down to the Arlberg bike path took that to the Church jumped on the trail to the Enchanted Forest, more icy ribbon riding less flow, more off camber high frequency rollers and lots of icy overflow (2 to 4 feet in places) in the meadows. Went up valley on the multi-use trails near the New Nordic trails/snowcat road, crust and overflow riding. That sums up last night.

    This morning 40degs F and heavy rain (not quite a moose pissing on a flat rock). Steady rain all the way into Indian. I'll be in upper Rabbit Creek till Friday as I hide out this storm on the hillside.

  15. #15
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    No backcountry skiing for me this last weekend but I went up to Turnagain Pass over the weekend anyway with my bike. Road on sunny-side (motorized side) on the eskers, drumlins and moraines it was crusty in the morning and started to turn rotten in the afternoon. By Sunday little snow was down low and you were riding on tussocks on the tundra with patches of somewhat supportable snow. Bluto would have been nice making the rolling eskers and tussocks more fun on Sunday.
    Just busting laps between Lyon Creek and upper Granite Creek (near the weather station). Funny how fast the crust ridding is here and gone.

  16. #16
    sluice box
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    Update: Girdwood
    Lower Iditarod is fast and clear from the RR tracks to the forest fair park, riding a ribbon of ice with an inch of blower snow on top. So watch leaning into those corners.
    Placer Valley
    I looked into biking down to Spencer/ Placer Valley this Sunday but the wind was ripping out of the north down Turnagain Arm. Would have been to my back on the way out and head on coming home. Wetlands were frozen and little dusting of snow at the parking lot by the RR.
    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-190-small.jpgGirdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-194-small.jpgGirdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-191-small.jpg

    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-192small.jpg
    20-MILE
    I ended up riding up 20 mile figuring a side cross-wind would be more tolerable. Started near the river and went up valley on the frozen ponds and creeks. Then I crossed over to the north side (lookers left side) hugging the edge of the mountains. Ran into two backcountry skaters that warned me the ice was thin and they were falling through up to their waist. Not long after seeing them I started to break through as I dabbed a few times. The snow was deeper 10 to 20 inches and more wind effected on this side of the valley (light powder over thin ice with a semi-supportable one inch wind crust).
    I bagged 20 mile with a wet foot and jumped in the tuck and hit up Resurrection Pass out of Hope.
    Girdwood Riding Options?-winter-14n15-202small.jpg
    Res pass- Hope
    I biked to the upper part just before Caribou Creek Cabin. Light blower snow all the way with a handful of fat bike tracks packing the snow to a sheet of ice hidden underneath. Studs are still highly recommended.
    This was the worst of the overflow on the trail.
    Last edited by Co-opski; 01-27-2015 at 05:28 PM.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  17. #17
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    Upper Winner Creek

    Rode Upper Winner Creek tonight. Very loose snow, There was a trapper's tracks for about a mile or so, then nothing but moose tracks all the way to the rock garden. Now that it's tracked, the surface should improve and traction will get better.
    Burntski

  18. #18
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    Upper Winner Creek

    Girdwood Riding Options?-img_2936.jpgUpper Winner Creek is riding like a summer ride, crazy how all the snow is gone from the forest floor. I got about 2 miles past the Rock Garden and up to about 1500 feet before I turned around. Burntski
    Burntski

  19. #19
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    Is a fat bike the right tool? Or should I break out the summer bike?

  20. #20
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    Burnski could you get to the pass. Like, might be brutal but could you ride up there?
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  21. #21
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    I think a well prepared rider could go all hike a bike for that next half + mile to that big creek crossing at the start of the long traverse once you finally break out of the trees. Given the snowpack and the wind slab, I would not want to be post holing across that traverse. I did not intend to end up that high on the trail, I expected to ride only to the Rock Garden, so I wasn't really prepared for the alpine bike experience, so I turned around at the top of the highest stairs. It was a sweet descent back to the Rock Garden!
    Burntski

  22. #22
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    I think the fat bike is the right tool given how soft the trail is. One could use a summer bike w/ studs but the skinny tires would leave some deep ruts. However, the trail surface on Winner Creek proper is fine for a 2.5 or so. Go explore!
    Burntski

  23. #23
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    I'm planning on it for this weekend, and I'll bring the fat bike. Would have been my default choice anyway given that it's still February, but thanks for the confirmation. Looking forward to it.

  24. #24
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    If your not skiing pow today, Upper Iditarod trail (off crow creek rd) and Winner creek to the hand tram is frozen and fast. Beaver Pond trail is the best it's been since the last thaw, some frozen over flow but a good ride if you are riding down valley.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  25. #25
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    THREAD REVIVE!!! Anyone know what the riding is like in Gwood right now? Was thinking about getting out of town for a day this weekend and hadn't pedaled around down there in a while.
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Prototype View Post
    THREAD REVIVE!!! Anyone know what the riding is like in Gwood right now? Was thinking about getting out of town for a day this weekend and hadn't pedaled around down there in a while.
    Doubt it's good, it's been real warm in Anchorage, that usually means warmer down in Gwood. They do have some new trails off of the 5K stuff, just a few miles, but plans for more eventually. I'd think with the warmer temps stuff will be real soupy.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  27. #27
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    You were probably right. Ended up doing hillside Saturday and yutzing around town Sunday. I cant freakin wait to try out Jeffs whoop whoop in summer on my full suspension , was a blast even on my ICT. Had to break out the goretex yesterday though , it was pretty sloppy in town. That Belgian triple at turnagain brewing totally worth it though.
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

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