Questions for Pass Mountain riders- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 33 of 33
  1. #1
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,157

    Questions for Pass Mountain riders

    Thinking about riding Pass Mountain and would appreciate if any of you can give me the lowdown. Checked the sticky but didn't see any information other than map.

    How would you rate the difficulty level? I ride the Hawes system most of the time and can ride all the trails there, occasional crash in the mine trail area. I've ridden National a handfull of times and I think that is pretty tough/scary and hike a few of the tech spots (if I've not already crashed that is ).

    If anyone has been out there lately, how are the trail conditions with all the rain and stuff?

    Is trail ok riding a hardtail or not recommended (this is my only option)? Armor recommended (I have knee pads)?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated and sorry if this has already been discussed in previous threads (too lazy to search)

  2. #2
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,237
    PM is between Javalina and National, but comparison is hard cause there are loose rocky sections that are closer to some of the intermediate\hard stuff at PMP. There is only 1 big gnarly section which is easily walkable, but lots of sections that can take you down which don't look so nasty until they shift under you. There is off camber, some short steep wash descents and climbs, some drops -- its an All Mountain trail. You can do it on a hardtail, but i ride it nowadays on my 6incher and have a lot more fun. Wear your pads the first time.

    Ride it clockwise. I usually start at Crismon\Mckellips and take the lower trails into the Horse Staging Area.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  3. #3
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,308
    I compare Pass Mountain to some of the moderate stuff on T100/DD. If you've ridden the T100 area and know Trail 8, then you've pretty much ridden the worst of Pass Mountain.

    Half of Pass Mountain is smooth fun stuff like Hawes/Twisted Sister...the other half is rocky stuff like T100 or Javelina. And by "rocky" I mean that loose slippery stuff -- lots of baby heads and small boulders that shift around on you. I'm used to that crap so it was all second nature to me...but if you've only been accustomed to Hawes, then you could be in over your head.

    A hardtail is going to hurt. If you have a bike with suspension, bring it.

    Thx...Doug

  4. #4
    Saucy Size
    Reputation: Paul B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,482
    Personally I think people really underestimate the difficulty of Pass Mountain.

    Tough ride. Lots of ways to make mistakes.

    p.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    26
    Until recently I had just done up until the mid-point scenic outlook on the north sidegoing clockwise at Pass Mountain. A couple of months ago, did the entire thing clockwise. I knew the backside was going to be hairy and it was. The guys I rode with rode it for the most part. I ended up walking down a lot of it. I can ride the Mine Trail no problems, so Pass Mountain, I think, is quite a bit harder on the way down.

    Jonathan

  6. #6
    RHRF!
    Reputation: titusbro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,279

    ...it's true...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Personally I think people really underestimate the difficulty of Pass Mountain.

    Tough ride. Lots of ways to make mistakes.
    Yep... and here's the proof (see my post in the middle of the page) - http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=430970&page=2
    "The secret of joy is the mastery of pain." (Anaïs Nin)

  7. #7
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,478
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Personally I think people really underestimate the difficulty of Pass Mountain.

    Tough ride. Lots of ways to make mistakes.

    p.
    That nails it...I think it's a hard, demanding ride with many opportunities for carnage.
    Ride more; post less...

  8. #8
    Too many Sedonuts...
    Reputation: CactusJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,512
    Pass Mountain is the only place I've broken any bones in the valley recently, and I ride National pretty regularly.

    Edit: The thing about pass mountain is not so much the technicality, but the fact that you can't fall asleep at the wheel. It's constant. You have to be concentrating the whole time, unlike National or others where the "challenges" are neatly spaced and broken up by easy sections. I like it for the mental challenge from that aspect.
    Last edited by CactusJoe; 09-18-2008 at 03:30 PM.
    When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

  9. #9
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,157
    Nice dive Titus . I remember seeing that thread way back when. Actually I think that thread got me kinda stoked about trying this trail this season.

    Man. You guys got me thinkin that this might be a little bit much for an intermediate rider on a cross country hardtail though.

    Even if taken slow or even walking the sketchy bits how long would you guesstimate the ride to take? I don't usually break for very long either.

  10. #10
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,237
    Quote Originally Posted by dsittman
    Nice dive Titus . I remember seeing that thread way back when. Actually I think that thread got me kinda stoked about trying this trail this season.

    Man. You guys got me thinkin that this might be a little bit much for an intermediate rider on a cross country hardtail though.

    Even if taken slow or even walking the sketchy bits how long would you guesstimate the ride to take? I don't usually break for very long either.
    ~2.5 hrs. The main loop is about 8 miles, the flats in and out take ~10 min each way. The sneaky part about that trail is not the trials you see, its all the stuff that grabs at you in the "predictable" stretches. The gnarly rockface at the saddle is in some ways easy cause its solid and grippy. There are many stretches with loose stuff that are much harder, imo. The rolling is slow for long stretches both up and down, and as you get fatigued is when the loose stuff bites you or the trials themselves get you.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  11. #11
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,478
    Oh, and do yourself a favor - DON'T ride it on a hardtail...
    Ride more; post less...

  12. #12
    Saucy Size
    Reputation: Paul B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,482
    I think an intermediate XC rider on an XC hardtail will survive the ride, but give yourself 3ish hours and lots of slack on deciding to walk sections of it. The section after the gnarly rock face, right over the saddle, is very jumbly and loose. Jarring as hell, even on a bigger bike.

    I've ridden Pass Mountain on a Stinky, a 6.6, a hardtail and ... I think my 5.5. Haven't tried it on my RIP9, although I was on a ride that Walt was on and he did okay on his RIP9. The hardtail version was definitely the slowest, and I crashed the hardest. My most successful ride was on the Stinky, but it's such a bear to do the technical climbs on a bike like that.

    It's fashionable to downplay the difficulty of a trail on this forum, but Pass Mountain is one of the few trails in town where I know mountain bikers have died.

    Be cool about what you're riding, bring a ton of water and food, don't rush it, and bring a buddy -- you'll probably be okay.

    p.

  13. #13
    i like cheese.
    Reputation: bike=good's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546
    Quote Originally Posted by CactusJoe
    Pass Mountain is the only place I've broken any bones in the valley recently, and I ride National pretty regularly.

    Edit: The thing about pass mountain is not so much the technicality, but the fact that you can't fall asleep at the wheel. It's constant. You have to be concentrating the whole time, unlike National or others where the "challenges" are neatly spaced and broken up by easy sections. I like it for the mental challenge from that aspect.

    Were we even on pass mountain before you broke your hand? Or, was it in the camping parking lot?

  14. #14
    Too many Sedonuts...
    Reputation: CactusJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,512
    Quote Originally Posted by bike=good
    Were we even on pass mountain before you broke your hand? Or, was it in the camping parking lot?
    No wait...

    let me think about it...

    I remember now...

    we were riding...

    YOUR MOM! WE WERE RIDING YOUR MOM!



    (sorry all...inside joke...nothing to see here...)
    When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

  15. #15
    kAZ
    kAZ is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    263
    Start at Crismon and McKellips and head up the west side of the Pass Mtn loop. You can turn around wherever it seems sensible to you. On the way to the saddle (highest point) you'll encounter several spots that will get you off your bike. Some of those won't force you off your bike if you turn around.

    If you make it all the way to the saddle, there's only about 1/4 mi of gnarly stuff before it flattens out for quite a way. After that off-camber spot in the video (which is very difficult to ride), the trail is pretty mellow until near the bottom of the east side. Then it's pretty tough, with a couple of long washes that are a jumble of rocks, and lots of babyheads in general. That goes on until you get around to where you started up on the west side, although you can avoid a little of the nastiness by dropping off the Pass Mtn trail onto the Cat's Peak trail that gets you onto Blevins, which is cake.

    In general, I wouldn't recommend an intermediate rider to ride the full loop on a hardtail. Up to the saddle and turn around is actually a more fun ride whether on a boinger or not, and no shame in going up for awhile and turning around wherever.

    PS. I recall reading somewhere that the death on PM was heat-related, not crash-related; although there is a *lot* of exposure on the trail.

  16. #16
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,296
    It's a tough trail for all reasons mentioned in the other posts. It has some of everything. Baby head rock gardens, loose nasty d/h, steep grippy rock d/h, rolling ups/downs, smoother singletrack kinda like the Hawes area, technical sections, non technical sections, and some pretty hairy exposure if your not used to that sort of thing.

    Fun stuff.

  17. #17
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,157
    Wow! Thanks for all the input . I think I'll work on my tech skills (National actually sounds a little bit tamer than this trail) and hopefully finally be able to afford a new bike and get into the squishy world before I attempt this ride. I might venture out when it gets a bit cooler and give it a sampling but I think that this might be a little more than I bargained for. Besides, me and death don't mix very well anyways .

  18. #18
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,296
    Quote Originally Posted by dsittman
    (National actually sounds a little bit tamer than this trail) .
    Now...I wouldn't go that far. There is A LOT more opportunity for carnage on National, but you can walk anything you wish as well.

  19. #19
    dirt visionary
    Reputation: clockwork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,476
    IMO pass mt. is the most rewarding loop in the valley .....not for the faint of heart

  20. #20
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,308
    Oh fer cryin out loud...you guys are making this trail out to be a double-black diamond slug fest!

    IMHO...this is nowhere near the difficulty of anything steep on SoMo...or even the steep stuff on DD. Hell...I still claim it's a blue-diamond intermediate trail (with the one exception of the steep rock face...and even that's not very hard).

    Yeah it's rocky...but what isn't rocky around here? Only one comes to mind...Hawes.

    If you can't deal with the rocks on this trail, then you're living in the wrong state. It's not even in the same league as some parts of the McDowell's where the rocky sections have gotten ridiculously rocky (Lost Dog?). Or sections of DD (such as Trail 8 and 1A)..where your tires don't touch dirt for long sections at a time.

    I rode Pass Mountain for the first time last month...on a 100+ degree day...and at the end I still wanted to ride more (and I did -- all of Hawes). And FWIW -- I don't consider myself an expert.

    Go out and ride the trail and have fun. Don't let anybody else freak you out.

    Thx...Doug

  21. #21
    Saucy Size
    Reputation: Paul B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,482
    Are we talking about the same trail, Doug? Because you're the only one calling it blue-diamond intermediate.

    Maybe you're talking about the Blevins Trail network at the base of it? Cat Mountain, Moonrock, etc.?

    p.

  22. #22
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Are we talking about the same trail, Doug? Because you're the only one calling it blue-diamond intermediate.

    Maybe you're talking about the Blevins Trail network at the base of it? Cat Mountain, Moonrock, etc.?

    p.
    Nope. I'm talking about the Pass Moutain trail. Ask Jason (Chollaball) -- he's the one who led me out there.

    Seriously...I just don't see what is so hard about the trail. Jason recommended that I bring body armor so I was expecting something gnarly like Alta. The only place I felt comfortable with the armor was that 1 downhill rock face, but I could have done without it.

    I've grown up on T100, so I feel just fine riding in rock gardens. Maybe if you're not used to lots of rocks, then Pass Mountain might seem hard?

    I thought it was a really fun trail -- definitely want to go out and do it again sometime soon. We did a cool loop all the way around Pass Mountain...then over that tower section near Las Sendas (that top section is pretty steep)...and then I did a complete loop on Hawes. I think that entire ride took me 4 hours and I had a blast.

    Thx...Doug

  23. #23
    Saucy Size
    Reputation: Paul B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,482
    I guess you're just a total studly stud, then.

    I'm not saying you're wrong! I'm just saying my experience has been vastly different.

    p.

  24. #24
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    I guess you're just a total studly stud, then.

    I'm not saying you're wrong! I'm just saying my experience has been vastly different.

    p.
    You must have me confused with somebody else. I'm not a studly anything. In fact, if memory serves me correct, I wore Lycra that day on Pass Mountain.

    Thx...Doug

  25. #25
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,237
    Doug is a good tech rider, strong, and used to rocks -- so yes I'd call it an intermediate\advanced trail for someone with those skills. For the OP who sounded like an intermediate tech rider on a less-forgiving bike (and anyone on it for a first time) I would suggest pads and long gloves. dsittman - don't get psyched out by it, just be prepared for a burly ride and have fun. You too can be a studly stud like Doug, who did wear lycra and has a remarkable ability to bounce Palin-like back up from gaffes
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  26. #26
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,308
    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    Doug...has a remarkable ability to bounce Palin-like back up from gaffes
    So what does that make me? A pitbull with a d!ck?

    Oh wait...that's another gaffe.

    Crap. If I keep this up I'm gonna get a nasty gram from the moderators.

    Thx...Doug

  27. #27
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,157
    I'm sure Doug might remember about 3 weeks ago leading (with his friend) a pair of noobs to and down Supermoto. I think my friend did pretty good keeping up, but the only time I was able to keep up was when we first met and the two times you stopped and waited for my sorry a$$ (probably for at least 10 minutes at a time ). I have to say that based on that time we rode I would also have to classify you in the studly stud category of rider as well .

  28. #28
    Saucy Size
    Reputation: Paul B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,482
    Sounds like you have a new subtitle for your user name, Doug!

    dgangi -- studly stud

    p.

  29. #29
    Kathleen in AZ
    Reputation: DurtGurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    5,179
    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    You must have me confused with somebody else. I'm not a studly anything. In fact, if memory serves me correct, I wore Lycra that day on Pass Mountain.

    Thx...Doug
    I back gangi up 100%... Pass mtn is not that hard! I've done it on a SS hardtail and survived just fine. That being said, there is exposure and plenty of sections where one might want to walk the first time around. Take it easy, bring lots of H2O and snackaroos, bring some friends for moral support, and you'll be fine

  30. #30
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,296
    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    I back gangi up 100%... Pass mtn is not that hard! I've done it on a SS hardtail and survived just fine. That being said, there is exposure and plenty of sections where one might want to walk the first time around. Take it easy, bring lots of H2O and snackaroos, bring some friends for moral support, and you'll be fine
    Agree. It's not that it's 'that hard', it's just that is has some of everything all rolled up into one ride. The loop is only like 8 or 9 miles if memory serves me correct but it can easily take 2 or 2 1/2 hours with a few breaks.

    It's just different/harder than Hawes for sure and if your not used to any exposure, or rocks, it can be a real challenge.

  31. #31
    Too many Sedonuts...
    Reputation: CactusJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,512
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Sounds like you have a new subtitle for your user name, Doug!

    dgangi -- studly stud

    p.
    I seriously think it has something to do with attention span capabilty. I can handle National fine because there is time to veg out and prepare for the next "challenge", whereas Pass Mountain may not have anything nearly as techy as say the waterfall, but just a relentless series of little easy ones that you can't fall asleep on. It's mentally challenging. I'm mentally challenged. Hence I remember it as a challenging trail. Fun as hell though, one of my favorites in town that I need to ride more.

    The downhill at Goat Camp is similar, and way harder. The only time you can turn your brain off is when you stop. (And last time eabos was around and I turn my brain off anytime I talk to him anyway ) Pass Mountain and Goat Camp have sections of loose rock. Kind of like Old Man on SoMo. Different levels of difficulty, but I guess I just fear loose, unpredictable rocks more. All it takes is one weird one and all my 220 lbs are hitting the deck.
    When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

  32. #32
    Occidental Tourist
    Reputation: YuriB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,563
    I've only done Pass Mtn as part of the Red Mtn Epic. While not supremely hard it beats you up a bit and can smack you down if you're not careful and some sections have little room for error. Doable on a hardtail and an SS.
    Maybe pictures would help.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by YuriB; 09-19-2008 at 08:38 PM.

  33. #33
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,157
    Nic pics Yuri. Never thought I'd say this to another dude but...nice butt shot...OUCH!!!

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.