Getting humbled, one way or another

Cranks in Crested Butte July 26, 2010

Filed under: Biking — sarahallen24 @ 4:35 pm

First of all, if you’ve never been to Crested Butte (summer or winter) you should go. Hopefully these pictures will persuade you. Besides big mountains and wildflowers, I believe it’s the chipmunk capital of the world. They were everywhere. I saw two of them in hand-to-hand combat at our campsite. Not kidding. Did you know they are sometimes referred to as “timber tigers”?

I digress…as usual.

For this weekend’s adventure, I chose the famed 401 Trail in Crested Butte. Every trail description says it’s a “must do” so I put it on the list. This was kind of a Hail Mary for me as I was hoping I could handle the elevation gain and fitness level. The longest mountain bike ride I’d ever done previously was about 9 miles and this would be 15. Plus I’d never ridden my bike at 11,000+ feet. So I had a little anxiety about being able to ride it. But I just thought, I know I can hike no problem so if I have to, I’ll pack my bike up and endure the laughter and strange looks.

The day started off with this beautiful view right next to our campsite. From this picture you’d never know there were 50 other people packed into a very small campground.

We hit the trail at the crack of 10:30am….a little later than originally planned. We had illusions of grandeur the night before regarding our starting time. On the way up to Schofield Pass we passed the aptly named Emerald Lake.

Almost to the top of the trail! I was able to ride almost all of it…despite about 10 quick stops to get the pounding out of my ears.

Made it! If you like outdoor adventures you should bike or hike this trail. The views are breathtaking in all directions.
p.s. Yep, I broke in my new knee pads. These were a priceless birthday present from a friend who has seen me crash almost every ride. About 20 minutes later I crashed inexplicably and rolled down a rocky drainage. I’m still finding bruises but the pads saved the day!

Dropping into the descent. Jaws dropping as well.

The trail eventually drops down into the trees, climbs a little more, then ends with another fun section of downhill. Then you ride back to your car on the road looking at what you just did.

After the ride we met up with “The Outdoor Junkie” who also happened to be riding in CB. Watch her blog for more butte bike pics.
God put on a show at our campsite that night (He’s good at that).

 The next day we decided to check out what the ski resort had to offer. And enjoy lift rides up the mountain. Lift tickets are $25 and get you a small, but good variety of cross country and downhill trails.

We ended up lapping a trail called The Luge because it made us giggle all the way down.

Fast roller section

Fun turns

The last selling point on CB: it was a perfect 75 degrees. The CB visitor center should hire me.


One Response to “Cranks in Crested Butte”

  1. Ann Says:

    Great pics Sarah! Looks like you were really ripping – guess you need to though to keep away fro the crop dusting dog. 🙂

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