Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hardesty Mountain

I took the day off from biking yesterday. The last few weeks before leaving I was snowboarding and recovering from snowboarding, which has left me lacking in cycling fitness. A day off was required to rest some aching muscles and take care of a few errands.

Todays ride combined a couple of newer favorites, Hardesty Mountain and Goodman Creek Trails, into a fairly lengthly loop. The track down Hardesty Mountain is probably the most amazing descent I have ever ridden. It drops over a 1000m in 8km. Goodman Creek Trail is a fun trail that rolls along the side of Goodman Creek.

To get to the top of Hardesty Mountain I rode up Goodman Creek Trail to where it meets Goodman Creek Road. I turned left and continued up the fireroad to the Lost Creek trailhead. I should have paid more attention to the trail description which said technical climb up the ridgeline. Switchbacks & views. This trail turned into a brutal climb up some pretty amazing switchbacks. It didn't help that I climbed up into the clouds and got pretty cold and wet.

Climbing up Last Creek Trail

Switchback. The track continues downward in the right half of the picture

I finally reached the top of the ridge and turned left onto the appropriately named Sawtooth Trail. This track followed the ridgeline and went up and down like riding along the profile of a saw blade. The nice thing was that the ridge had some southern exposures which were warm and dry. I was getting pretty cold, tired and wet by this point and the brief bit of sun and warmth perked me right up.

Sawtooth Trail

From the end of Sawtooth Trail I picked up the Hardesty Mountain Trail. From here it takes about 30 minutes to ride back to the car. In that whole time I think I had pedal about two minutes. The track is not very technical and flows, which makes it very very fast. However, there are a few rocks, roots and switchbacks to keep you on your toes.

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