TMG | Skiing & Gearing up for Mountain Bike Season - Part I
After a long day on the road Saturday, with lots of straightaway highway, I arrived in Salt Lake City, visited the local brew pub for a couple of local pints and a much needed ruben sandwich. Got a good night sleep and was on the road up to Alta early. Was on there as soon as the lift rolled and made my way up the Collins lift and over to the Sugarloaf lift. Spoke with 2 different ski patrollers on my first two lift rides (skiing fast groomers) and their off piste report was grim, based on daylight savings and the warm weather they had the previous couple of days. Riding with a local, he told me Devil’s Castle and East Castle were easy traverse areas visible from the lift but he didn’t believe it was going to be doable.
After skiing 2 groomers, I had to find out what kind of day this was going to be, so I disregarded the off piste reports and made my way up the step and traverse line to Devil’s Castle…much to my surprise, the line I picked had nice chalky cold snow pretty much the whole way down; no ice. I headed back out there, going further and further on each run with a variety of nice chalky and some soft almost powdery snow; I was stoked!
skiing collectively about 15 runs all season, my legs/quads were screaming at me after a couple of hours, but there was no stopping me for fear that this might be my only good ski day of the year. I did venture up the Supreme lift (technical challenging terrain) and the conditions over there were crap. So, back to Sugarloaf for more quad burning. Broke to take down that beautiful frothy headed local pale ale and tuna sandwich before wrapping it with a couple of good off piste runs off the Collins lift and on the road to Moab at 3.
What an incredible visual display of rock and alpen glow along that whole route, as I happily arrived in Moab near sunset. Quick meal and bedded down, knowing I had a challenging and fun day ahead for my first riding experience in Moab, Utah. “Woo Hoo,” is what I can comfortably say after I am safely back in my hotel room.
The Slick Rock Trail is nothing short of AMAZING! No way to explain it to someone and do it justice. I was out there for 2.5 hours; stopping to check out a few of the vistas. So bitchin’!! and felt like I was either going up or down the whole time. Mind blowing riding up and down pitches that are so much steeper than anything we can do on dirt; 20+%grade in places. Sadly, I finished that magnificent experience, had a lunch that I brought with and then headed over to do a new trail called Pipe Dream. Way different ride experience than my morning session. It is an out and back; about 10 miles. Then I started south of town, rode south to north out of the gate paralleling Main St and up pretty high. It was a pretty challenging ride with a never ending series of climbs and descents. The whole trail was one turn after another, so there was never a point going downhill that I could really cut it loose. Lots of rock bridges and ladders, sharp turns, some sheer drop-offs and a variety of soft and firm dirt conditions. So, I had to be on my toes the whole way. Got a little tired on the return (go figure) but had a great ride all in all. Oh yeah, 70 degrees and sunny.
Miguel’s Baja Grill was the perfect wrap up to an exciting and grueling day (loving it) with their special fish taco’s and perfect margarita. Doing the Amasa Back-Rock Stacker-Jackson’s Loop in the morning. Gonna have to be on my game. Supposed to be very very technical and lots of dangerous ledges…