Sun Valley mission accomplished- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: el-cid's Avatar
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    Sun Valley mission accomplished

    Well, just getting back from 6 days of riding in the Ketchum area, and thought I'd report in. We got down there on Saturday the 14th and took off the morning of Friday the 20th and got 6 consecutive days of riding done in between.

    Saturday we got in about 5ish, stopped at Elephant's Perch for a quickie recommendation and to buy a map and rolled out and rode Adam's Gulch. It was a bit of a rude surprise when it turned up after Sunnyside (and up and up it felt like) but we finished before it got too dark and it was a great introduction to the area.

    Sunday we went out and rode up Mahoney Creek, down a piece of Greenhorn Gulch, and out Imperial Gulch. The connector around the back of Mahoney Creek was extremely wet, and the section from Lodgepole to the top of Greenhorn where Red Warrior joins was way muddy. I was a bit surprised to see it so wet fairly low, but we suffered through it . It was a cool ride, but I don't know if I'd classify it one of those "must do before you die" rides it's hyped to be.

    Monday we went out and goofed around in the Chocolate Gulch/Fox Creek area (a fairly short loop up Chocolate Gulch, down the Fox Creek section to the parking area and west along the double track to the bottom of the Fox Creek descent proper and back). This was nice and mellow, which was good since it was 36 degrees or so when we got back to the car.

    Tuesday we returned to the Fox Creek area and did the Fox Creek proper loop-along the river, cut off before Chocolate Gulch, then did went up and did the Fox Creek climb and sweeeet fairly long (one way) Fox Creek descent. Again, fairly mellow but very cool. Good payoff for the effort.

    Wednesday we headed down to Deer Creek. It was super friggin' cold heading up to the Deer Creek campground. I was getting a bit worried as we drove through frozen mud puddles in my friend's GTI and got further and further from the highway. We parked and headed down the road a bit then up the other section of fire road to where the North Fork trail takes off. The whole time I was climbing the North Fork I was waiting "for the other shoe to fall". The map (and guidebook I think) labeled the climb as a black diamond and it was actually pretty darn easy. We hit the first junction on the trail and headed down and I thought "oh crap, more climbing now". We hit the next junction and the trail got even better as it followed the creek around the back. I could have done without all of the creek crossings as it didn't crack the 30's but the rocky technical sections were awesome. At one point just after a creek crossing my friend says "I hope I left my keys in the car, they're not in my pack or pocket" so that just added to the general anxiety, but I just opened it up and turned a little aggression to the trail. Pretty soon we dumped out into the Deer Creek parking area and wheeled down the road back to the campground. Luckily, the car door was unlocked and the keys were sitting on the seat just where he left them. This is the true sleeper of the Sun Valley/Ketchum/Hailey area. Anybody that hasn't ridden it-go ride it now, do it today or you'll be one day older when you do it tomorrow. This was way better then Imperial in my humble opinion. Thanks to Chip (?) at Sun Summit South in Hailey for this recommendation.

    Finally, Thursday came and we decided to ride Oregon gulch counterclockwise. We parked at the Fox Creek trailhead and rode to Chocolate Gulch. We took the "saddle trail" off of Chocolate Gulch and climbed up Oregon Gulch. This climb was pretty decent along the creek, not too wet. When we hit the intersection where you can come down from Adam's Gulch and started climbing it turned into a cold hard *****. The climbing from here up was a pretty good grunt until you hit the ultimate top. The descent from here down to Fox Creek was pretty technical with a lot of rocks, loose sand, and cool rolling terrain. Again, this ride probably wasn't as bas as the map and guidebook makes it sound. The desparity between the really easy and really hard trials (as marked on the map and guidebook) didn't translate on the trail. The easy trails weren't super easy and the difficult trails weren't super difficult.

    Anybody with some decent time under the tires heading to the area to ride can pick any ride and ride it-just set aside the time to ride and do it. This is the first time I've had a chance to ride 6 days in a row probably since 2001 but it was all great. The terrain was so similar to Montana that if you blindfold somebody from here and drop them off there they'd have a hard time telling the difference (other than the fact that it's all singletrack). It was very worthwhile, and the food was as sweet as the trials.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

    Race, Rocks or Road...Just Ride

  2. #2

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    Glad you had a good time over there el-cid! Where are the pix!?!?

    Hopefully my finances and schedule are OK next summer cuz I definately want to play more over there than I have over the past couple of summers.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: el-cid's Avatar
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    Sorry, no pictures. I realized Sunday that I didn't pack the camera and I don't even own a camera phone. It is definately a resort town, so the prices correspond, but the Tamarack Lodge was a pretty good bargain and if you're creative you can find some meal deals. It's worth the effort.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

    Race, Rocks or Road...Just Ride

  4. #4

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    No way in hell I can afford to stay in a real place over there. I usually camp out at the Wood River Campground north of Ketchum. For food, freeze dried all the way baby!!! If I want to splurge, I'll get a hot dog at that one place across from Sturtos (or Formula Sport??) and then go to that convenience store and get some ice cream.

    Looking forward to more Ketchum/Sun Valley and Stanely riding in 2007!!!!

  5. #5
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    el-cid. why didn't you head over to stanley?

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