A coupla friends got flushed (by high water, I assume) down out of the mountains near Crested Butte and washed up on my doorstep last week. They floated heavy artillery (aka DH bikes) along with them, which meant we headed straight for the Tabeguache trailhead to take full advantage.
Each of these guys had saved for, drooled over, and eventually bought a sparkly new DH bike over the winter, in anticipation of the upcoming park-riding season. The secret is out about Winter Park and we're all jazzed to get up there again. But these guys are equally jazzed about the up and coming park at Crested Butte, and they spent the day filling my head with awe and fear of the existing and not-quite-complete trails up there.
The trails we rode down here don't require a full-on DH sled, in fact most of them are significantly easier on a lighter, more nimble bike. But the guys wanted to fiddle with and dial in their new toys, and I can certainly relate to that.
Shuttling is emphatically not a part of my repertoire, so we punked the big bikes up to the top a total of 3 times. Climbing a ~40# bike is never fast, but if you can unwrap your head from needing to be in a hurry, it's actually no big deal. Despite the odd geo and monkey motion going on, they are surprisingly competent at tech ups--you just have to approach the moves with slightly modified timing and intent. And on the non-tech stuff? Patience, grasshopper.
Here's a little sampler of how we spent a gorgeous spring day.
For a few of these guys it was their first time swinging a leg over a bike since November. We took it slow, sessioned bunches, fiddled occasionally with dampers and springs, and everyone got back on top of their game in a hurry.
Thanks boys. See y'all up there when it gets hot enough to evaporate me outta the desert (bike and all) and precipitate me back down into CB.