Wasn’t Quite Epic

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Yesterday, the Kansas gang, plus Karl, heading North to ride MTB trails.  The problem is there is a lot of snow pack above 11,000 feet.  It is June, but it must have snowed here a bunch.  I wasn’t paying much attention to where we were going, but next thing I know, we’re walking through snow.

I am up for an adventure as much as the next guy, but I’ve already done the walk through snow in the high mountain thing much too recently, so I was dragging my feet and casting a dissenting vote on continuing.  I do sometimes learn from experiences.

Anyway, I was out voted so we kept going.  We could ride about 1/2 the time and the then had to dismount and walk in deep snow for a couple minutes.  We were nearly to the top, where there was a trail junction and hopefully more exposed to the direct sunlight, thus no snow.

I finally just said I wasn’t going anymore.  Karl had forged ahead and was out of voice contact.  No one wanted to go fetch him.  He eventually yelled back that it was worse ahead.  So we turned around.

I very rarely turn around on an adventure, but this was the right decision.  It was much quicker going down.  We could ride about 1/2 of what we walked up through because we had beaten down the snow enough to not stop our front wheels.

When we got back to the dirt road, it was started to get super dark and I could hear thunder.  I wasn’t dressed to get wet.  The problem was that there was a 25mph headwind going downhill. I pulled the few miles back to the bike path and then we just took the bike path back.

We stopped and got soup in Breckenridge, which hit the spot.

I’ve been having super headaches every since I got here.  We’re nearly at 10,000 feet and the altitude difference must be the reason.  Whatever the reason, I haven’t been sleeping much. Today we’re riding on the road.  Not sure if we’re headed over to Vail or over Hoosier Pass. Either way, there isn’t enough oxygen here for my current state.

All smiles leaving.

All smiles leaving.

Walking with a bike in the snow is cumbersome.

Walking with a bike in the snow is cumbersome.

It got a little deep for Catherine.

It got a little deep for Catherine.

Jack, Tucker and Nikola are enjoying the view.

Jack, Tucker and Nikola are enjoying the view.





8 thoughts on “Wasn’t Quite Epic

  1. darkcloud

    Friends who used to climb fourteeners would start taking a couple of aspirin a day for two or three days priors to the hike. It supposedly thins the blood and made their headaches much less severe.

  2. Jeff

    Hopefully those who voted to continue learned from that experience. As cyclists we love pushing the envelope. But sometimes that’s not a good idea (ie. high elevations without insulating/waterproof gear, possible rain, and imminent night fall). Among pilots there’s a saying that the most difficult flying maneuver is the 180 degree turn. Possibly true for cyclists as well. I’m glad you guys made it back safely.

  3. Fausto

    Always loved the Bobke story in his second book about going through the snow for a short cut. Hours later, lost but made it out on the kindness of others.

  4. JB

    Whenever we go to CO, everyone is always prescribing water, water, water to keep the headaches away. I’m sure this is not news to you.

  5. David J

    Sorry to hear you have it so rough up there in the Mountains. Headaches, altitude, deep snow, thunder, etc. sounds just terrible,. I’ll just go back to my wonderful day at my 8-9 hour 5-6 day a week job and be happy I am not going through what you are going through. Luckily my wife tells me I have to do my share in supporting the family and so I don’t have the opportunity to go through what your dealing with…. sorry you got it so rough.

  6. old and slow

    I cross country skied that stuff well into May this year. The Breckenridge nordic area (much lower than what’s pictured up above) had set track into the second weekend of April. Had a spectacular day that month at Grand Lake where pretty cold grip wax still worked up until 1:30 in the afternoon.

    You have to be careful in late afternoon on a warm day; you can come around a corner into a sunny area and sink down past your knees. But early in the morning when the crust is still hard you can skate ski in any direction you want to in the open areas.


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