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  1. #1
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Mountain Biking on Rainier

    So I know that we're not allowed on the trails there and I wouldn't want to do the roads. At least as a MTB trip. But there's this RAMROD ride...

    Anyway, what I was wondering about is the West Side Road. Could a person link Rt. 706 on the south to Rt. 410 on the north without having to go on hiking trails? Or does the road just end somewhere. Does it at least get as far as 165 or the Carbon River entrance?

    I'm kind of fascinated by the RAMROD ride, but wonder if there's a possibility of taking out the business of riding from Enumclaw to Rainier and Rainier to Enumclaw. The idea I'm really fascinated by is being able to do a smaller version of the loop - kind of a Rainier-only loop, using a cross bike or something. It seems like the Forest Service would want to be able to access stuff on the west side of the park from time to time using vehicles.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    The way its snowing up there I dont know. I just read one of the resorts has has 7 feet of snow since March 1st, 20 inches last night. So unless its a major road and plowed, you might have a hard time unless you wait a bit for some warmer weather. Regarding 410 (Chinnok Pass), its not plowed in the winter, 12 (White Pass) is plowed to allow access to the ski resort. I've gone up 410 from the east side for backcountry skiing, you just drive until you hit the 10ft wall of snow in the road and park

    Regarding 706, I think it's usually closed east of Paradise in the winter, not 100% certain though. I do know that I have had to go through Packwood from the eastside to get to Paradise in the winter. The FR I tried to bypass on illegally was blocked by a barricade, and for good reason, it looked treacherous past that area (I drive a Toyota 4x4 and I wouldn't have tried it even if it was open)

    Another FYI, MT Rainier is the snowiest place on planet earth. Record snowfalls of >1120+ inches (thats almost 100ft) occured there. Only in 1 year (1999) was it eclipsed by MT Baker. (which now holds the largest snowfall in a single year)

    Having said all this, if you do it in July (Ramrod time) everything should be open, and aside from buying the permit to enter the park, I don't see a problem sticking to roads such as 706 on a bike.

    Getting around the west side would be a challenge. There is a ranger station at Carbon river in the NW, but most of the fireroads dont circle too well. I don't see why the Park Service wouldn't mind answering your questions. I would bring a GPS though, unless you REALLY like to explore

    ...I think you could do it if you could make it around the north side, lots of FR on the west...and NFD 037 joins up with 706. Would be a great ride. Maybe I'll join you?
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If I figure out a route, I'll make sure to let people know. It would be in late summer or something. I want to do it on dirt - it seems like everything I've read about racing bikes along the Iditarod includes phrases like "And then a skier passed me" or "I spent the next seven hours pushing my bike."

    Good point about the GPS. It seems like a person could spend a very long time being lost up there.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I think the old Kirkendall guide has some of those Mt. Rainier roads listed as rides.

  5. #5
    whoa!
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    That's some mighty big country, , , have at er. . . :

    http://evergreenmtb.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    I do a lot of that kind of riding east of Carnation. FWIW, my advice is to get or construct good maps (GPS = ) and do a couple 'out and backs' first . While they may only be logging roads, you can run into things that occasionally suck, BAD : a washed out bridge (or road) coupled with 'logging road logic' can force huge detours, or in the case of my last expedition, we got 10+ miles of crushed rock (not the 7/8" driveway kind) that cross tires wouldn't have survived. A situation like that near dark or past the point of no return could be, , , unpleasant.

    Also, pack like you're gonna be spendin the night, , ,

  6. #6
    meh....
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shin Music
    Also, pack like you're gonna be spendin the night, , ,
    Then you will spend the night.

  7. #7
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    I plan on riding my AM bike. For me comfort (both riding position and suspension) make anything longer than 5-6 hours at least feel faster than on my road bike. I have actually had an experience with tire shreading when on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route last summer. I used a Park Tire Boot, and it held up for another 30 miles to the nearest road (with 70lbs of gear, rear tire) and a quick 60 mile dash to the nearest bike shop (unloaded on roads). I swear by them now. The tire that shreaded was a Maxxis Holy Roller, which I had really liked until then, but the thin sidewalls finally gave out when I let the tire pressure get too low for the speed I was carrying over sharp rocks. Once the weather clears a bit I might do some 'practice rides up there, since its only a 2hr drive or so. I will update if/when that happens.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

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