RR: Ten Years Gone

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Dr. Wellington Yueh, Jun 28, 2020 at 4:00 PM.



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  1. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    Changes fill my time, baby, that's alright with me
    In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

    - Ten Years Gone


    Finally...sub-alpine start! I've been a vampire so long, I thought I'd developed a fear of the sunrise. Cool temps and June Gloom in the 818 gave way to sunshine and haze as I zipped over Tejon Pass, and I managed to get to Camp Whittsett in just under 4 hours. Traffic through and past Kernville sucks on the weekend. I won't be doing that again.

    20200627_115014.jpg
    22S02

    It was ridiculously hot when I started up 22S02 just before noon. The road has been graveled in the 12 years since I was last here. The gravel is pavement-colored, and absorbs and re-radiates a lot! Respite is to be had, however. Within the first 2 km, there is a nice roadside cascade where Nobe Young Creek passes under a bridge. There's a knee-deep pool at the bottom of a very classic-looking fall, 3m high. Perfect setup...time for a dunk.

    20200627_121158.jpg
    Nobe Young Fall

    Soaked to the bone with fine, cold Sierra snowmelt, I continued the grind amid torrid temps and a barely-effective breeze. It turns out 22S02, when it is open, is a busy shortcut for folks traveling between Ducor and the middle Kern. While I was on the climb up to GWD Hwy, I was passed by 15 vehicles going down, and 2 going up.

    20200627_125708.jpg
    Great Western Divide Highway

    I made a northward jog on the highway to Crawford Road, and up through Nobe Young Meadow. I stopped for a quick snack, then continued to Windy Gap. This segment dragged a bit. Last time, I was on my Rocky Mtn Element, a sharp, lithe 26" XC rig. My current shite wagon is a portly 29" AM vehicle. The distance seemed to double from what I remembered. None of the climbing to this point was particularly steep, but my flatlander lungs were complaining something fierce! Twelve more years in the whiskey barrel of life hadn't helped much, either.

    Through this section, the southern side of Slate Mountain frowned down upon my bug-crawl of progress.

    20200627_141456.jpg
    Slate Mountain, viewed from Crawford Road on approach to Windy Gap

    After leaving Windy Gap, the Summit Trail climbed, dipped, climbed gently for a while. The trail condition was quite poor. The tread is soft from lack of traffic, it's covered in sticks, cones, leaves, needles, loose rock. There was some OK riding to be had here, but even level travel was not efficient due to the soft conditions.

    I stopped at a creek crossing to refill before I tackled the evil switchbacks. Mosquitoes mobbed me as I smashed my way through dead willows to access a clean trickle slightly uphill from the trail. This is the last water before Freeze-Out Meadow, which is about 1 km off-trail...slightly inconvenient.

    The switchbacks were not rideable. I rode tiny snippets, but pushed my 15kg burden ever upward. Things in the Sierra Nevada are really big, and progress seemed very slow. The switchbacks end at a ridge top, at the location of a 'god' campsite: meticulously maintained large fire ring, views off the mountain both east and west, 'furniture' of rocks and logs, and fixtures for bear-hangs on nearby trees.

    Above the campsite, the ridge becomes rideable again. There's a 2 km section of very nice rolling travel through a forest that is almost exclusively white fir. A false summit is crossed before the final traverse over to the Bear Creek Trail junction. Usually this spot has spectacular views, but today the haze was so thick I couldn't even see the foothills below.

    20200627_183255.jpg
    Summit Trail/Bear Creek Trail junction

    I donned another layer and started down to Quaking Aspen. This segment of the trail is in great shape, and I had nearly the whole run to myself. I passed a couple out for a backpack, at almost 7:00 PM, and was a bit surprised when the guy asked me "How far to the water?" Umm...are you sure you want to drag your lady friend up here?

    I grabbed more water at Quaking Aspen (YUCK!!! F#c<ing metallic piss coming out of that faucet!) and headed down through Freeman Creek Grove. Evening among the ancients. About 3 km from the road I came across another couple out for a backpack, this time doing things right. They had a nice, burly fire going in a beautiful clearing a short walk from water. I passed the guy a ways below the camp, as he returned from a firewood gather. We yakked for a bit about bicycling and stuff, and I bid him a good evening. Damn, that campfire smelled soooo nice!

    The road grind back to the car was not unpleasant, despite the illogical amount of climbing required to go down-river. Warm temps and moonlight made for a mellow return trip. As I passed Lower Peppermint, there was a huge, rowdy party going on. Yelling, hooting, whistling, singing filtered up to me through the woods. What a joyous sound!


    BASICS: 62.3km (39mi) / 1975m (6517ft)

    MAP:


    sfr_map.jpg
     
    ~JB~, OTHRider, Tom the Bomb and 26 others like this.
  2. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Nice write up.
    Like the description:thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Big ride. Great photos and fantastic report! :thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, mtnbikej and 5 others like this.
  4. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    Ride time > drive time or it's a fail. :geek:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, Redman and 7 others like this.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Sooooo....
    Is this ride report stating you “rode” Bear Creek Trail? I gots tah know!
    I’ve been threatening to drag @Voodoo Tom up to Camp Nelson to do Camp Nelson, Summit, and Bear Creek Trail.
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, mtnbikej and 3 others like this.
  6. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Hey don’t threaten me with a good time mister...
     
  7. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    What, me?!?! F#(< no! 'Specially not solo. I'm too brittle for that sh!t. This was S-to-N traverse of Slate Mtn, via Summit Tr, with Freeman Creek added for sugar.
     
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Okay. This Sh!t needs fixin’! Take you both up there and we can park at the bottom of Nelson Trail, climb up to Quaking Aspens, make a right, traverse over to Bear Creek Trail via Summit and drop Bear Creek Trail then ride the road back over to the vehicles.
    05D0B6FB-1C81-45AB-8FCE-3BA9B314AEB9.png

    Edit: Do day one on the Hardtails, then we can spend the night and shuttle Nelson from top to bottom a couple of times. That’s a flipping chunky bombfest for the Hightower’s!
     
    ~JB~, Tom the Bomb, mike and 8 others like this.
  9. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Looks like it's getting some traffic this month... Sounds like fun stuff.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7022039/slate-mountain-loop-from-camp-nelson
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, HBkites and 5 others like this.
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Oh, by the way, this is a GREAT ride report!
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, HBkites and 6 others like this.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Tom the Bomb, mike, HBkites and 5 others like this.
  12. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    You're a regular comedian, eh? :Roflmao

    I think my next outing up there will be split across 2 days... That requires copious bribing of the spousal unit! I'll do it, but you'll call me a sissy for walking all the 'features'.
     
  13. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    Multiple fresh bike tracks at the jct, several somebodies were there before me yesterday.
     
    mike, Voodoo Tom, rossage and 3 others like this.
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    ...and features there are! Anyone who ventures this is no sissy, walking or not. This is a great test of awesome mountain biking terrain. I’m all stoked up now. @Voodoo Tom be ready in 10...:p
     
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Other than the lame eBikes, this is a descent vid of the loop. Well that and they must have edited out all the technical stuff and walked it.
     
  16. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    I cannot believe you posted a video of "riders" on e-bikes. What has happened to you? I threw up in my mouth a little and quickly stopped the vid. :facepalm: :bang: :gag:
     
  17. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I will be up in Weldon July 3-5. Let me know if something is going on ...
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, Faust29 and 3 others like this.
  18. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    At least he didn't post the guy's other video...

     
  19. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    I could hug you right now! Dam social distancing!
     
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Blasphemy! Now you are just taunting... :poop::cautious::cry::devilish::gag::facepalm:o_O
     
    Tom the Bomb and Faust29 like this.
  21. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why S7, Revel Rascal, Spark RC
    When?
     
    Mikie, Tom the Bomb and mike like this.
  22. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    The 4th wknd will be a sh!t show up there. Not recommended. I say, watch for thunderstorm activity for cooling, and KABOOMS! Also, I have a fork upgrade approved for mid-July.
     
    Mikie and Tom the Bomb like this.
  23. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Excellend report, Welly. TFPU. Looks like some fabulous terrain out there.
     
  24. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    That's a burly loop, nice work!

    You mention Summit south of Slate being not in great shape - were there any/many trees down? The year I rode that section there were a few big ones.

    There is another section of Summit trail south of Windy Gap but it's pretty much gone. Would be nice to resurrect it at some point.
     
    Mikie and Dr. Wellington Yueh like this.
  25. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    Nothing substantial. There were a few with bypass or walk-around. The big ones (they were there 13 years ago!) have been cut, and brushwork done maybe last year, but there were some thorny sections. The loose crap is mostly on the first stretch from Windy Gap, then the switchbacks are a mix of loose, thorny, or too-steep-for-me. Once you top out the switchbacks, the riding gets glorious!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  26. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Cool, thanks for the info. Hopefully I can get up there sometime this summer or fall.
     
    Dr. Wellington Yueh and Mikie like this.
  27. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    I will plan it and get it on the board... :thumbsup:
     
    Dr. Wellington Yueh and HBkites like this.
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