Riding Hwy 410 area this weekend?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Riding Hwy 410 area this weekend? (updated with Skookum+Palisades ride report)

    Greetings, all.

    Full-time RVer from Austin here, who has been working on a project in Tacoma the past few months.

    Been riding all your usual "frontcountry" favorites (Duthie, GR, Tiger, Black Diamond, etc) and enjoying them, but I'd like to sample at least a little "backcountry" too before we have to head off to our next stop: Colorado for the summer. Rough life, I know.

    So, would anybody like to show an out-of-towner some trails off 410? I'm thinking Skookum plus however much of the higher stuff is passable. From this thread, it sounds like some out-and-back options are opening up but probably not full loops yet.

    Now, I'm not a fast rider by any means, but I have decent endurance and general abilities despite being on a seemingly ridiculous 20er folding bike. Yes, you read that right. For example, I did a 40+ mile triple combo of GR/Duthie/Soaring Eagle a couple weeks ago and thought that was pretty "fun". For more details about my silly bike and my rides in 35+ states now, click here for pics and stuff.

    Anyway, I'd be up for most anything as long as it's not a hammerfest, so lemme know if anybody's planning to ride out there this weekend (or would like to) who wouldn't mind a tagalong... Oh, and naturally, I'd be happy to bring some beers and/or gas money.

    Cheers,
    Carey
    Last edited by FoldsInHalf; 05-27-2012 at 11:26 PM. Reason: beer
    "Rollin' on 20s and 27.5s" ride reports and more at WWW.DEBCAR.COM : Debbie and Carey's RV Travel Website

  2. #2
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    Not to be a Debbie downer but what's with the toy bike? Seems to me that it wouldn't be hard to strap a real bike to an RV.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    Not to be a Debbie downer but what's with the toy bike? Seems to me that it wouldn't be hard to strap a real bike to an RV.
    What started out as just a practical way to carry two bikes around in 2004 became an addiction after I tried riding 20s offroad on a lark.

    Turns out, it's a hoot.

    Fun, nimble, challenging, interesting. What more can one want? Well, besides maybe, speed... and big air... and comfort... er...

    Cheers,
    Carey
    "Rollin' on 20s and 27.5s" ride reports and more at WWW.DEBCAR.COM : Debbie and Carey's RV Travel Website

  4. #4
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    To each his own, and kudos to you for doing so! It would be really boring if everyone rode a Trek HoozIts or a Specialized WhatsIts. Although it would probably be just fine if everyone rode an Ibis.

    Skookum is somewhat of a root-fest, isn't it? That could be pretty challenging on a 20" wheel. Have you tried Paradise Valley yet? Red Alder trail would be a good test!

    Edit: 10:25 PDT: Oh, after looking at your pictures, I suspect you can handle pretty much anything! Buffalo Creek in CO looks really tough and I couldn't/wouldn't do a bunch of based on the vids I have seen of it.

  5. #5
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    Folds, for some reason I ran into your blog a couple years back. I had to do a double take at first but I thought it was pretty cool that you where riding all those legit trails on that little folding 20" bike. I'm most impressed with your tour around the country though-awesome

    Definitely hit 410 and Skookum if that's what you're thinking. You could do a complete Skookum/White River trail loop. It's all open now. There might be some blowdown on White river, I haven't been there yet. If you want to add some climbing and a few more miles you could detour and head up the Ranger Creek Trail as an out and back, which branches off from the White River trail. Great scenery all the way around, you'll have a great time.

  6. #6
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    I have a co-worker I'll send this thread to who is going to be camping at the Ranger Creek airstrip this weekend in his vanagon. I believe they are doing Skookum/White River. Mayybe a Ranger/Palisades loop and maybe a Fawn Ridge loop DOC on that side of the airport. (Lower/shortened Sun Top essentially.)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRSpalding View Post
    To each his own, and kudos to you for doing so! It would be really boring if everyone rode a Trek HoozIts or a Specialized WhatsIts. Although it would probably be just fine if everyone rode an Ibis.

    Skookum is somewhat of a root-fest, isn't it? That could be pretty challenging on a 20" wheel. Have you tried Paradise Valley yet? Red Alder trail would be a good test!

    Edit: 10:25 PDT: Oh, after looking at your pictures, I suspect you can handle pretty much anything! Buffalo Creek in CO looks really tough and I couldn't/wouldn't do a bunch of based on the vids I have seen of it.
    Funny you mention Ibis. The Tranny is the one "real" bike I am almost tempted by... and, it still sort-of counts as a folding bike, so I could keep my name. Mainly though, I'm thinking I could pop off the rear triangle and be able to fit in inside the RV storage bay. No way I'm hanging a $$$$ bike outside on the ladder.

    Speaking of which: Anybody got a Tranny they'd like to share for a ride?

    As for Buffalo Creek: it's cake--heck, I once rode that at night with the semi-famous TITS crew. The Charlie's/Sandy Wash descent in the dark is wild but not particularly crazy. I'm guessing you might be thinking of the new freeride trails--of which, I did not partake. The XC trails are definitely fun though.


    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Folds, for some reason I ran into your blog a couple years back. I had to do a double take at first but I thought it was pretty cool that you where riding all those legit trails on that little folding 20" bike. I'm most impressed with your tour around the country though-awesome

    Definitely hit 410 and Skookum if that's what you're thinking. You could do a complete Skookum/White River trail loop. It's all open now. There might be some blowdown on White river, I haven't been there yet. If you want to add some climbing and a few more miles you could detour and head up the Ranger Creek Trail as an out and back, which branches off from the White River trail. Great scenery all the way around, you'll have a great time.
    Yep, some combination of Skookum and White River plus a few bonuses was what I was thinking. I only have the map from the evergreen site though, which only names a subset of trails, so that's part of why I'm hoping to hook up with somebody who knows the way around...


    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    I have a co-worker I'll send this thread to who is going to be camping at the Ranger Creek airstrip this weekend in his vanagon. I believe they are doing Skookum/White River. Mayybe a Ranger/Palisades loop and maybe a Fawn Ridge loop DOC on that side of the airport. (Lower/shortened Sun Top essentially.)
    That sounds promising, thanks. Lemme know (PM if you like) if they might not mind some company. I'm pretty self-sufficient, but this area seems a little more "out there" so it would be good to have some buddies.
    "Rollin' on 20s and 27.5s" ride reports and more at WWW.DEBCAR.COM : Debbie and Carey's RV Travel Website

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoldsInHalf View Post
    As for Buffalo Creek: it's cake--heck, I once rode that at night with the semi-famous TITS crew. The Charlie's/Sandy Wash descent in the dark is wild but not particularly crazy. I'm guessing you might be thinking of the new freeride trails--of which, I did not partake. The XC trails are definitely fun though.
    That's good to know if I get out that way someday. The vids I saw were all rock chutes and drops with no margins of error to speak of. If there are lots of XC trails with challenges interspersed, that is a whole lot more interesting to me.

  9. #9
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    Skookum + Palisades Report

    Fantastic day today in the mountains!

    By lucky chance, I happened to meet a couple of WA forum riders, Noah and Sarah, at the Skookum TH. We hadn't arranged to meet but they had seen my post and also recognized me from Grand Ridge a few weeks back, so we got along immediately and decided to go exploring together.

    We started with a fine descent of Skookum Flats, all smiles.






    The slight downhill bias helped me maintain momentum over all the root gardens despite my 20-inch wheels, and I really enjoyed the moderately technical trail, and its riverside views.




    There were several nifty creek crossings with rushing waterfalls too.




    Sarah decided on a partial out-and-back of Skookum, and sent Noah and me on our way on down, saying she'd see us whenever we got back--hopefully before dark.

    Oh boy, this could get interesting.

    Somewhere near the end of Skookum I must have bonked my derailleur into a rock, because the cage started sticking against the cogs in either of the two largest cogs, and wouldn't drop into the smallest cog. Could not see anything obviously bent or broken to straighten, so I filed the mount an bit (first time using the metal file on my Swiss Army Knife--works surprisingly well) and adjusted the B spring to give it some clearance and was able to carry on. Just had to avoid going below 3rd gear the rest of the day...




    We decided we'd explore up Palisades a bit, just to see what it was like. Turns out, the very start was a pretty accurate example of what we'd be facing for the next 3 hours or so... steepness.




    Granny gear wouldn't help much here anyway.




    Reached a fantastic waterfall viewpoint and had a decision to make. Apparently, the combined intelligence of two men is about half that of one, because we decided to press on and see what else was up there.




    As expected, it was more hike-a-bike and amazingly tight switchbacks.




    Finally, after a solid half mile of truly-insane pushing and carrying, we reached a staircase, after which the trail reverted to a mere painful grind.




    Indeed, things did become more rideable shortly after that, but still plenty steep and still punctuated with plenty of short pushes.




    Finally reached a big overlook from the top of the Palisade cliffs.




    We could now look down at Skookum Falls across the valley, which was pretty cool.




    We hit a few dozen yards of snow in one drainage--thorough which we seemed to be getting "first tracks"-- but it was nothing serious so we kept on grinding.




    My legs were starting to feel a little cooked trying to hang with Noah on the climbs (definitely a stronger climber than me, but thankfully, of patient temperment). But at least they were better off than this leg we found in the middle of the trail.




    The trail was generally in the trees, but we did reach several more awesome viewpoints from the cliffs along the way, including this one with a view of the airstrip.




    The ridge climb had turned out to be quite a bit steeper than expected looking at my (admittedly low-res) internet topo map, and we really didn't know what we were in for, but at some point we became determined to see it through and hopefully reach Ranger Creek so we carried on, ever upwards.

    Tragically, with a little under a mile to go to the junction, the trail switched to the north side of the ridge and became smothered in 3-foot deep snowdrifts. Noah volunteered to hike ahead a bit and see if it cleared, but after a few hundred yards of very slow progress postholing over the lumpy drifts, he returned to say that it seemed like the trail was gonna continue to climb and stay covered, so we called it an endpoint and decided to blast back down the was we'd come.

    After getting home tonight, I checked my SPOT map and found the snow came at about the 4800 ft mark, and we would have had about 600 ft more vertical to go. It seems we made the right decision!




    Although Ranger Creek had been our goal, it turned out that Palisades descent was pretty awesome. Even the hike-a-bike switchback section had some parts that were rideable. I had made only 1 on the way up, but cleaned about 5 on the way down, and I managed to roll down a bunch of narrow, rocky, behind-the-seat steep narrow benchy stuff without crashing over the edge, which I found really fun and satisfying. We won't mention the other 20? switchbacks not cleaned or even attempted. Lots of those things are just positively nasty!




    Made it back to Hwy 410 and high-tailed it back to the TH on pavement, deciding to skip the White River singletrack in favor of reuniting with a wonderfully patient Sarah before dark, and enjoying some well-earned IPAs.

    So a great adventure ride today--thanks again Noah and Sarah, it was great riding with y'all. Hopefully I'll get back up here in summer proper one day and be able to try the full Noble Knob/Ranger loop and more. Some really cool trails up there.

    Cheers,
    Carey
    "Rollin' on 20s and 27.5s" ride reports and more at WWW.DEBCAR.COM : Debbie and Carey's RV Travel Website

  10. #10
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    Happy trails Foldsin1/2.
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  11. #11
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    Good job! well that was fun

    Thanks again for the company on the ride, FoldsInHalf, and for the ride report! Great pics! It was pretty crazy to see a 20" folding bike out there on those trails! I can't believe how well you handled the technical terrain on it!

    Those trails definitely make for an adventure. I can't wait to get back and ride the whole loop when the snow finally melts.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for helping with the rainy day dreaming. Love that ride and glad you got to the viewpoints adn thanks for the snow report. Looks like it will be a while yet. Now think about what it is like to add upper Ranger Creek to that Palisades descent. Yeah, it's a good one.....

  13. #13
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    Very cool foldsinhalf! Thanks for the info and cool pics.
    My report is not as detailed, but for the trail knowledge- ranger was clear (fun to ride with a few >25 ft long snow drifts) to 100 vertical feet or so below the cabin (so says my gps). No blowdown, single track in top notch grippy conditions. Great out and back right now!

  14. #14
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    Did an out and back on Ranger yesterday. We got within a couple switchbacks of the cabin shelter before we turned around due to snowdrifts. Other than that the trail is in excellent shape right now. Expect it to be fully cleared to the shelter soon.

  15. #15
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    Ya, me and bmxerben rode the trail together-- hahaha! Great ride.

  16. #16
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    This has been on my to do list for awhile, thanks for the great pics and report!
    Tarekith.com

    '17 Specialized Enduro Elite 29

  17. #17
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    Uphill on Palisades. I'm not worthy!

    All you snow is scary people are scary.
    Come back in December.

  18. #18
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len.Francies View Post
    Uphill on Palisades. I'm not worthy!

    All you snow is scary people are scary.
    Come back in December.
    Naw...you're definitely worthy, Len. Neither of them was hauling a chainsaw!

    Seriously, rad pictures foldsinhalf. Made my day!

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