Colorado high, a much needed short vacation (pic heavy)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Colorado high, a much needed short vacation (pic heavy)

    Been way too busy this year to ride my bike. 100 miles of riding since November was making me feel the blues. Talked my friend into getting away for a 4 day bikepacking trip.

    Started here



    And ended here



    In between was a lot of this


















    And waaaaay too much of this





    What you don't see in the pictures is the ridiculous amount of hike-a-bike. I've never been on a stretch of trail that has so many steep, loose, rocky climbs. So ugly, yet so beautiful at the same time. No easy task pushing a 35 lbs. loaded bike up these parts when you're out of shape and you're above 12k feet for roughly 27 out of 33 miles and twice reaching 13k feet. I felt like a fish out of water gasping for air nearly the whole time. I started getting so sick we had I had to pitch the tent and crash early with tons of daylight the first day. But we continue on slowly. So slow that we traded the lead back and forth with this guy for the next 30 hrs from the first time we met him.



    We thought we had lost him for the last time the following day until the inevitable Colorado afternoon storms rolled in.





    We got pelted pretty good by these



    And then this guy pulls up to join us for one last meal before we finally lost him for good





    So long my friend. Off we go again down the last descend before the detour









    To this little resting place



    where we would contemplate our next move. What I thought should've taken a day ended up taking us nearly two painfully slow days leaving us with only 2 days to bike about 80 more miles to our destination before having to hitchhike and ride back another 100 or so back to the car. Bike 130+ miles mostly above 11k feet in 4 days when only putting in 100 miles of training over the last 7 months,pfft, what the hell was I smoking?

    After sleeping on it, we finally decided to just hang out in town for a couple hours in the morning before heading back to the car 52 miles away on a less difficult route. Then we started talking to the hostel owner where we stayed. He talked us out of leaving early and into letting him shuttle us to a trail in the direction he was headed to run some errands and would pick us up in 1.5 hours where the route ended.

    So we get here and climb 2.5 miles and gain 1000 feet over some of the best wildflower displays of I've seen yet...

















    to bomb down 4.5 miles and 25000 ft through of lush green forest. Holy #%$ that was one wickedly fast kick ass trails!! Too much fun bombing down the trail to take pics. We couldn't stop grinning for hours after. A much needed ride after the two torturous days prior.

    It was too late afterwards to start heading back to the car so we just chilled out in town and exchanged some great bikepacking and backpacking stories with Rob, the hostel owner and a few other thru-hikers on the same route and staying at the hostel over fire in the backyard. Good riding, great people, what more could you ask for? Good times indeed!

    A few more bonus shots on the ride back past this old mining town.





    Don't let the name fool you, there was nothing sweet about the climb here



    However, it was sweet bombing down in excess of 40 mph past the same 4WD's and atv's kicking up dust as they pass while you're grunting up to the top, to finally make it down to Texas City, CO. Then onward for another grueling climb back to the car.

    In the end, I was pretty dissappointed in myself and the amount of hike-a-bike required. Only then to find out that I somehow accidentally erased the first 1.5 days worth of pictures of arguably one of the most beautiful trails in CO.
    Last edited by kosayno; 07-20-2010 at 05:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    That is awesome.....nice work.

  3. #3
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    Nice shots!!

    I'm consistently impressed on this site by the amount of great pics I see from P&S cameras!

    Looks like a great place to take a breather from the world!!
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  4. #4
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    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  5. #5
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    Yeeeeaaah! Great to see some ride stokeage here. Thanks Kosayno.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks 4 sharing and I enjoyed those wonderful pics and just like the others!! I can't wait to hookup and ride when I get there.

    Laters

  7. #7
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    Looks like a great trip - the kind that could turn into an epic, so way to change your pace and relax a bit!
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  8. #8
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    Wow, two absolutely great posts in one day. This is what MTBR is about. Great pics and report. Would you mind spelling out your starting and ending point? Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Fantastic Stoke

    Thanks for posting it.

  10. #10
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    Wow. Post of the year! Nice work!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebry74
    Wow, two absolutely great posts in one day. This is what MTBR is about. Great pics and report. Would you mind spelling out your starting and ending point? Thanks!

    Thanks. We started on Spring Creek Pass, Colorado Trail segment 22 & 23 to Stony Pass before taking a mandatory detour to Silverton. Originally we planned on riding all the way to Durango. The lack of riding this year really took a toll on my conditioning. After taking so long to bike and hike through the two segments, we decided I wasn't going to make to Durango so we just hung out in Silverton. Everything in Silverton turned out to great so I got over the fact that I sucked so bad. We then did a shuttle ride on Engineer Mt trail down to Cascade Creek. Super fun little gem I didn't know existed previously. Next day we then rode from Silverton over Cinnamon Pass to Lake City(unofficial capital city of Texas ), then back up to Spring Creek Pass.

    Looks like a great trip - the kind that could turn into an epic, so way to change your pace and relax a bit!
    Definitely turned into an epic. Lots of hike-a-bike, getting hit by hail, rain, having two angry Pyrenees protecting their herd of sheep coming after us. As much as I got sick of all the hiking, I was constantly in awe by the scenery. Pictures don't do this section of the CT justice. Still bummed I accidentally deleted most of the awesome scenery from the first 1.5 days. This won't be the last time I ride this section.

  12. #12
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    Hike-a-bike or not that is an awesome trip!

    Colorado back country is some seriously good therapy

    Sweet pics!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    Pictures don't do this section of the CT justice.
    That whole area is incredible.
    My favorite part of this great state!
    Old Codger

  14. #14
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    Man I love your camping trips. You inspire some great riding. Thanks for sharing this!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    I somehow accidentally erased the first 1.5 days worth of pictures of arguably one of the most beautiful trails in CO.
    Do you still have the memory card? If you haven't put anything new on it yet there's a good chance you can get your pictures back despite being "erased". There are data recovery tools available. I got back 2 hrs worth of video last summer using such a method.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by subliminalshiver
    Do you still have the memory card? If you haven't put anything new on it yet there's a good chance you can get your pictures back despite being "erased". There are data recovery tools available. I got back 2 hrs worth of video last summer using such a method.
    I didn't know at the time they were deleted and then kept taking new pictures. I would love to be able to recover them. If possible, where should I take it. Geek Squad?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    I didn't know at the time they were deleted and then kept taking new pictures. I would love to be able to recover them. If possible, where should I take it. Geek Squad?
    Geek squad? No. I do not think that would be a good idea.
    When you delete data from a given media (SD card, HD, ect..) typically it remains on said media only after being "deleted" it really just makes that space available for overwrite with new data. So if you took pics after your accidental delete you may have overwritten the "deleted" pics in which case they're pretty much gone... But on the other hand you may still have some in there if there is still room on the card.
    If you're savvy you can find a decent piece of software with a google search. If you have a mac I can probably send you the software I used.
    If you meet neither of those conditions then Geek Squad or any local teenager may be your best bet.

  18. #18
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    Sweet trip, dude

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Sweet trip, dude
    Thanks. When I came to that pond this pond, It felt almost deja vu-ish.

    Then sour watermelon came to mind.

    That was one short but sweet trail.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    Then sour watermelon came to mind.

    Sour Watermelon was a great time!

    Glad I provided some inspiration.
    Thanks for the payback... 8>)

  21. #21
    hehe ...you said "member"
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    Seriously inspired!
    Thanks for that stoke.
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  22. #22
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    Ko was this a warm up for the CTR? and what's up with the bamboo frame?

    Great shots and inspiring post!
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    the blog

  23. #23
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    Now that looks like a good time! Thanks for posting.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me!
    Ko was this a warm up for the CTR? and what's up with the bamboo frame?

    Great shots and inspiring post!
    Thanks, Kevin.
    I wanted to do the whole CT but busy schedule has not allowed me to train for it this year. Bamboo bike has been out of service for awhile and just haven't had time to repair it. The hemp fiber wasn't strong enough. Needs a carbon repair. Learning as I go.

  25. #25
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    Wow thanks for positing that. I love the high alpine shots. Bikepacking brings lots of hike a bike and the rides I suffered the most on were always the most memorable.

    I am getting ready to ride the CT from Seg 1 to Seg 9 the first week of Aug and cant wait! Should be a little easier than the latter sections you covered on the CT. I have ridden the Molas Pass section down there at it was Tough! Good Job!

  26. #26
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    Good on you, Ko! That's a killer area to ride with no base fitness!

    The Silverton area is my absolute favorite along the CT; need to spend some time in the winter there, but wouldn't mind living there in the summer & fall!

    I know those sheep dogs!


    Pancho @ the Silverton Hostel


    Funkmaster @ Cinnamon


    That high mountain riding will wear anybody out!
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=DWF]Good on you, Ko! That's a killer area to ride with no base fitness!

    The Silverton area is my absolute favorite along the CT; need to spend some time in the winter there, but wouldn't mind living there in the summer & fall!

    My favorite was after you top out at Coney, descend down to Carson saddle and begin segment 23 with that long, long hike-a-bike. That hike-a-bike to start 23 sucks, but the views along the hoodoos were awesome. When you reach the top of the hike-a-bike above Cataract Gulch and bomb that singletrack down to Cataract Lake. That was some pretty incredible stuff!

    BTW, IIRC, aren't you guys supposed to be on the CT right now? And yeah, I liked Silverton a lot more than I thought I would. I'm already eyeballing some real estate, especially the laundrymat with the two adjoining offices for sale.

  28. #28
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    Bad A$$! Ko..Ur my Hero!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    BTW, IIRC, aren't you guys supposed to be on the CT right now?
    We were, but I banged up my knee and spent about 3-weeks off the bike and it's still not 100% yet. It swells a little every time I ride. Next year!
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    [I'm already eyeballing some real estate, especially the laundrymat with the two adjoining offices for sale.
    I'm thinking I could move the biz into this:

    Last edited by DWF; 07-21-2010 at 03:03 PM.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF
    I'm thinking I could move the biz into this:


    That would be bad ass!!

    Sorry to hear about the injury. Your knees, my lungs, the CT wasn't meant to be this year. There's always next year.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoatepics
    Bad A$$! Ko..Ur my Hero!
    Dude, no way, but's that funny though. I think I had less base miles all year than you've done on some of your single day rides this year. I know you would love this section of the CT, you know, being a sicko who loves hike-a-bike and all.

  33. #33
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    I know you would love this section of the CT, you know, being a sicko who loves hike-a-bike and all.
    Can it really be called mountain biking without a hike a bike involved?
    Hope to do that section, maybe when my kids are a little older.

  34. #34
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    Was able to recover some of my accidentally deleted photos.

    Don't mess with my sheep!



    The high life













    I know there's a trail somewhere here


    The hike-a-bike-a-thon continues



  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by subliminalshiver
    Geek squad? No. I do not think that would be a good idea.
    When you delete data from a given media (SD card, HD, ect..) typically it remains on said media only after being "deleted" it really just makes that space available for overwrite with new data. So if you took pics after your accidental delete you may have overwritten the "deleted" pics in which case they're pretty much gone... But on the other hand you may still have some in there if there is still room on the card.
    If you're savvy you can find a decent piece of software with a google search. If you have a mac I can probably send you the software I used.
    If you meet neither of those conditions then Geek Squad or any local teenager may be your best bet.

    Thanks for the tip. Got lazy so took it to Geek Squad. They didn't bother even trying, they just said it was impossible to recover deleted files from a memory card. Did a google search and sure enough, found free software and recovered about half of what I deleted. The rest was overwritten when I took new photos.

  36. #36
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    Wow, I am glad you found these pics!

    TR

  37. #37
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    Beautiful

  38. #38
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    About bikepacking:

    So when you guys do this, do you ever bring a tent? I have a two-person tent... with two people it might work? I also just have some good rain pants and a shell that I suppose could work instead. Camp stove... or dry goods, and eat-in-town? I wouldn't want to carry water, but fuel to boil water, or just the MSR miox thing I have...

    I'd be trying to pull this off on a full squishy, a little heavy yah, and by using the giant pack I use for winter mountaineering... seems like it's a dumb idea, but maybe someone here can tell me it's not?

  39. #39
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    Last year I had a 4.5 lbs man tent. This year I carried a 3 lbs one man tent. Pack light is the way to go. Distribute as much weight off your back and onto the bike as much as you can. I used my old Kelty daypack and it has worked fine for two years now.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    Last year I had a 4.5 lbs man tent. This year I carried a 3 lbs one man tent. Pack light is the way to go. Distribute as much weight off your back and onto the bike as much as you can. I used my old Kelty daypack and it has worked fine for two years now.
    Damn Ko! Your tent weighed more than my whole sleep/shelter system.

    I used an Oware Cat Tarp, about 8-oz.
    Oware bivy sack, also about 8-oz.
    Thermarest NeoAir mattress - 14-oz.
    Montbell Sprial down hugger 30-degree rated bag which was 22-oz.

    So with lines and stakes & whatnot, it came in right around 4-pounds.

    I stayed warm and dry the whole trip. Best part was that it all fit in the burrito roll on the handlebars. I also stows and deploys very easy. I'd just leave the bag and the mattress in the bivy sack and then roll the whole thing up in the tarp.

    You can see how it works on the bike in this pic. In the bag in front of the roll, I kept my water filter, hat, other stuff I needed to get at easy:





    Bike profile when you're riding is very narrow and well balance and nothing hanging off the sides which is nice for both riding and p-u-s-h-i-n-g...



    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF
    Damn Ko! Your tent weighed more than my whole sleep/shelter system.

    I used an Oware Cat Tarp, about 8-oz.
    Oware bivy sack, also about 8-oz.
    Thermarest NeoAir mattress - 14-oz.
    Montbell Sprial down hugger 30-degree rated bag which was 22-oz.

    So with lines and stakes & whatnot, it came in right around 4-pounds.

    I stayed warm and dry the whole trip. Best part was that it all fit in the burrito roll on the handlebars. I also stows and deploys very easy. I'd just leave the bag and the mattress in the bivy sack and then roll the whole thing up in the tarp.

    You can see how it works on the bike in this pic. In the bag in front of the roll, I kept my water filter, hat, other stuff I needed to get at easy:

    The problem is trying to talk my wife into letting me spend more on ultra light gear. How does you bivy do when it comes to condensation. My friend's would have to let his dry in the sun in the mornings. Also got his sleeping bag kinda wet too.

  42. #42
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    The problem is trying to talk my wife into letting me spend more on ultra light gear. How does you bivy do when it comes to condensation. My friend's would have to let his dry in the sun in the mornings. Also got his sleeping bag kinda wet too.
    I never had a condensation problem as my bivy was only waterproof on the bottom and the top was DWR ripstop so it breathed. Lots of bivies are completely waterproof so they do have condensation problems. In my case, the tarp is the rain protection and the bivy's waterproof lower portion kept my bag from getting wet should water start puddling under the tarp. The Oware stuff is pretty inexpensive as lightweight stuff goes.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  43. #43
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    This'll never work for me! I've got all the wrong gear. My winter mountaineering pack is approaching 40lb, granted that includes too much food, possible crampons/snowshoes etc. But it also includes the -10 bag (the only bag) the 6+ lb tent (more if you take everything, stakes, footprint, rain fly)...

    You guys are talking about being down around 20lb... I don't know how to weight weenie that much! And I can't use any panniers or rack on the FS. It too weighs almost 28 lb.

    Yeah I got all the wrong gear for this : /

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmTee
    This'll never work for me! I've got all the wrong gear. My winter mountaineering pack is approaching 40lb, granted that includes too much food, possible crampons/snowshoes etc. But it also includes the -10 bag (the only bag) the 6+ lb tent (more if you take everything, stakes, footprint, rain fly)...

    You guys are talking about being down around 20lb... I don't know how to weight weenie that much! And I can't use any panniers or rack on the FS. It too weighs almost 28 lb.

    Yeah I got all the wrong gear for this : /
    You don't need panniers or racks for the stuff I use, it all connects directly to the bike (bars, saddle/seatpost, etc.). Panniers & racks are just dead weight.

    What do you use for summer camping/backpacking? Not winter mountaineering gear, right? Just start from what you can use. For a trip lasting a couple of weeks, total gear weight was probably between 12-15 pounds max, not including food or water. You just don't need that much during the summer, but even so, I had enough gear to be comfortable riding in the 40's and sleeping in the 30's.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  45. #45
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    I want to go bike-camping now!

  46. #46
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    Man, I cant wait to GET SOME of this!!!

    Thanks for bringing back the stoke!!!

    .
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  47. #47
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    Gosh, I love coming back to this thread every other month or so.
    Would it be possible to list everything you took on a trip like this? I would really like to start compiling the necessary gear to do trips like this, and I would love to know what's a must-have, and what's considered dead weight.
    I know it's a lot to ask, but even if you have some pictures of the gear spread out.......I'll send you some homemade cookies
    Maintain internal heights.

  48. #48
    not actually bad :)
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    kosayno is out of the country.
    Not sure if/when he'll see this.
    Others have done similar though, maybe they'll chime in.
    Old Codger

  49. #49
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    Yep, Andy, I'm still out of the country. Perfect timing for this thread to come back now. I'm heading out this weekend for a three week bike touring trip from Vientiane, Laos through the northern mountains of Laos to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, down the coast of Vietnam and then over to Cambodia. It'll all pavement, but will still include lots of camping.

  50. #50
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    Woot!! Go kosayno, go!! Even though its pavement, I can't wait to see the pics!
    This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!

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