A Sierra Fatty on 7500 Redux Results anotherboldmove on 7500 Redux Results Ride Report: Saddleb… on Saddlebag Lake Trail A Sierra Fatty on The First Attempt for The Whit… A Sierra Fatty on The First Attempt for The Whit…
I was so so excited to Demo the Salsa Bucksaw a full suspension fatbike. There is just something about riding a fatbike. So when I heard there was a Salsa demo day on brag book as a friend calls it haha kinda true maybe lol at Tahoe XC center I was super excited because I love my fatbike with my 11nine front suspension This guy had to try it.
So I made the drive to Tahoe City, CA (in Lake Tahoe Basin) from Mammoth Lakes, CA it was raining and I was like GEE I hope this demo day does not get cancelled due to the rain.
Driving up, all i could think about was the bike. I was not thinking it was going to be that great a place to ride it a cross country ski place in the winter. So after 3 and half hours driving.
I wanted to stop for coffee it was coffee weather right. So I stopped at the Tunnel Creek Cafe then I saw they had a shuttle for Tahoes famed Flume Trail. so I thought I would just make an overnighter out of this trip and made a reservation for the shuttle for the next day. Ok with coffee in hand it was 12:30pm the demo starts at 1pm I was about 20 minutes away.
so after the scenic drive of the shoreline of Lake Tahoe I pulled up to Tahoe XC center.
Yes I could see the Demo Set Up.
OMG look at all the Salsa Bucksaws and Fattys and Carbon Horsethief’s.
I picked the bike I wanted to demo. The Tech dialed the bike to my fittings gave the guy my ID to remind myself it wasn’t my bike haha.
After a few pedal strokes I was amazed with how it peddled and thought it was pretty light for what it was.
The weather was raining pretty good it was so beautiful.
I started to catch some other riders demoing the Carbon Salsa Beargrease.
I wanted to see what this bike could really do I went looking for for some techy singletrack and the Tahoe XC delivered.
I really started to enjoy this bike. I started to forget that I was demoing the bike and began exploring the trails around here. I thought the terrain was great, beautiful a mix of doubletrack, singletrack and gravel roads here at Tahoe XC Center. The trails here would be great for all levels of mountain biking.
I was able to bash thru rocky terrain without picking a clean line. I was able to climb techie steep terrain without dabbing. probably not your fastest bike but it does allow you to go almost anywhere and enjoy the sport of mountain biking and surrounding views with a fatty smile on your face.
After climbing up I came to a great view of the lake Fogged in.
If this was my bike a bagged lunch and maybe a beer would be great with this picnic table.
I was so into exploring this area I got a bit lost I came out to Burton Creek State Park. I was told to try and keep it under an hour for demo. I was at an hour. They give you a map but it got soggy.
I was using strava on my phone so I checked out the mapping to see how to get back.
I got back to the Demo told the guy I was having a blast got a little lost. He said no problem want to try another bike. I said SURREE and smile and tried the Carbon Horsethief.
Oh this bike is fun also fast. I did a smaller loop of my lost trails went and did the techie parts I did on the Salsa Bucksaw it was faster but not as stable as the Bucksaw.
I really had a great time with both of these bikes would love them in the stable. and the Trails here I had no idea of riding at the Tahoe XC center.
I wanted to checkout riding in this area driving back and forth on the 395 I always thought there wold be some amazing views here. So I finally went home and google and google earth this area. I found out there was a Dunderberg Ghost Town in this area. I posted on Fatbikemammoth.com google group if anybody had ridden in this area. I got a response from Mark Davis co writer
This was the source of the Dogtown placers, and was actively mined during Bodie’s heyday of 1880s. Dr. Munckton of Carson City was the primary investor. There is a potential loop of the Virginia Lakes Road, Hwy 395, Green Creek Road, Dunderburg road, and a high traverse back to Virginia lakes road. A powerline road, steep but short, cuts that loop in half. There are also some minor roads and old ditches to ride in Sinnamon Meadow, near Dunderburg. The mill site is the main remnant of this small mining company town. There was only one mine here and one company. The ditch across the meadow was dug in 1861 and brought water from Green Creek to the Monoville mines. With some brushing that could become some spectacular singletrack.
So I checked out a route. Then the next day I headed up Virginia Lakes Cafe and started with Breakfast. If there is a cool café near a ride I want to try it. They did have beer on draft but I had to be at work later probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.
Then I had a quick look at the Lakes
I drove up to the trailhead.
I found a nice pullout parking area unloaded my bike dressed up and starting riding.
I liked the start of the trail a nice gravel road with lots of trees.
After about a half mile of riding I looked back and could see amazing views of The Virginia Lakes Basin 9000 plus ft.
With a kinda rolling trail you can see the Bodie Hills (a Ghost Town) Potato Peak which I need to ride across from Hwy 395 in the distance.
After about 2 miles you come to a Y to the left is a double track to the right is a gravel road that begins to drop quickly. I took the gravel road and end up riding the double track which I was glad I did so I could enjoy the views.
Heading down the Gravel Rd Named Dunderberg Meadows I began to travel thru Large Aspen Groves which or some of my favorite trees
After about 5 miles I could see Dunderberg Meadows somewhere around here was supposed to be Dunderberg Mill.
I made a left onto the Doubletrack trail Named 32176rd which is the start of the loop back to the car and lakes.
The Double track also starts to get steep but this is where I really started to enjoy the views.
Here I saw more and up close of Dunderberg Meadow there where some cattle grazing.
This area of the trail was sweet a Tunnel of Aspen Trees, Kinda interesting mid summer and the leaves where starting turn hum a sign of early fall and winter. I better get my wish list rides in before the snow flies.
I did forget to fill my water bottle I was happy to see this water crossing the trail really began to climb.
I climbed up to this meadow the double track here was great surrounded by more Aspens this has to be an amazing ride when the leaves turn golden. It flatten out enough for me to catch my breath.
I never did find the town or the old mill.
Looking back to the valley and towards Bridgeport, CA
riding up and starring at the climb loving my 42t cog I could see Dunderberg Peak at Elevation: 12374 ft / 3772 m
Near the top of the ride I was curious about the cabin in history but there was a No trespassing sign so I stayed out.
If I wanted to add some more miles an Elevation I could have checked this out but I was running out of time and had to be back at work and was getting hungry.
about 7 or 8 miles I was back to the Y I saw more of Bodie Hills and some of Mono Lake. I proceeded to head back to the car.
Almost back at the car I had to take the The Handle Bar POV shot back to the car Virginia Lakes Basin How to be a Mountain Biker shot.
Although there was no epic Singletrack this ride did have great doubletrack loaded views and a water crossing. A 9mile loop and 1300 feet plus elevation.
I decided Last minute to try and go after work, camp then try to summit by bike.
I got off work at 11:30pm and drove to the local store to grab some items.
then I made the drive to the Grandview Campground about 2am I made it.
Bloody Hell the campground was full turned out popular night for stargazing. So I drove around and found a pullout setup camp. I was passed out by guessing 2:30am. I wanted to be up by 7ish. That did not happen woke up around 8:40. broke camp.
I started my drive I thought I was close to the start. I still had about 6 miles to go of Pavement.
Then I had a 16 mile dirt road to the locked gate.
Here is also the oldest trees on earth the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Driving along the Ridge you have views of the Palisades Glacier.
The Drive ahead
Driving along you drive thru another Bristlecone Forest The Patriarch Grove
There was some kinda of feature here.
Once driving 45 minutes on this dirt road I reached the locked gate.
Nature was calling lucky for me there was some TP but suggesting you bring your own TP just in case Nature calls.
It was time to try and make this ride. but first let me take a selfie.
After riding Two Miles of nice steep gravel road I reached the Barcroft Facility. Had a chat with some people that maintained the place. I was behind more time. I was silly thinking I could make the top then be back to work by 3pm. but I wanted to try.
After the Barcroft Facility the trail turned to a rocky double track.
Riding along there where many Marmots.
There where a few other people out on the trail. passing hikers I slowed down and greeted them and kept riding. I could not get over the fact I was mountain biking at this elevation. I had to stop and enjoy the view.
I was getting closer but running out of time to make it.
I got to the start of the Switchbacks but I knew I was not going to make it. I knew I had to turn around. I was bummed I couldn’t make it but it was a great scout mission.
I gotta take my fatty on this ride. I think the fatty would rock crawl this trail. Not to often you get to ride above 14,000ft in California.
White Mountain Peak is an extinct volcano and the third highest peak in California at 14,252 ft (4,344 m). A closeby Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada, is at 14,505 ft (4,421 m), only about 250 ft higher. The ancient Bristlecone Pine forest (~4,700 yr old) is also on the White Mountains. We climb on the White Mountain Peak trail from the parking at 11,000 ft to the summit for a breathtaking view of the Sierra Nevada mountains across Owens Valley with snow-covered peaks under the blue sky and wide open view of the desert of Death Valley. From the summit we ride downhill with patches of remaining snow on the trail. Pass the Barcroft Research facility at 12,000 ft and arrive at the gate and parking above 11,000 ft on White Mountain Road. Arguably the highest mountain biking trail in the U.S. I
Directions to the trailhead
Here is a vid from someone I had to add it.
I need to check out riding in Carson City just found this great resource.
Back in 2010 I did a bike packing trip starting in Mammoth Lakes and rode to Calgary I filmed the trip and I finally cut 8 hours of video to 1 hour of an somewhat edited story. The trip started with snow showers thru California and Nevada. It rained thru Utah, Wyoming and Montana once in to Canada sunny and 80 degree weather. hope you enjoy.
The High Sierra is warming up for the spring and it felt like a summer day so hopping on my paddleboard seem like a great idea.
I set the alarm for 7am the night before so I could get up early in my world.
The alarm sets off! I hopped up Loaded up the board and headed to the fuel station to fill up on some petrol. I stopped at the New York Deli for a lox and cream cheese bagel and coffee and headed to Mono Lake.
After about 45 minutes I was at Navy Beach. The Navy use to do testing at Mono Lake hence the name Navy Beach.
As soon as I opened the door I was mobbed by gnats I put on some sunscreen and no more bugs. I un strapped my board and paddle and had walked to the shore, kicked off my shoes and carefully walked my board into deeper water and stood up and paddled onto the lake. The water was pretty green makes since, it was kinda a warm winter. I could see alot of brine shrimp. Due to the high alkalinity of the water (pH 10), there are no fish in Mono Lake. The water was almost glass. There where a few birds but it didn’t seem like a lot of sea gulls where around maybe it was early but its suppose to be the second largest breading area next to the great Salt Lake.
Its Osprey nesting season so you should stay 200 yards away if you get to close they will start chirping at you.
I brought some binoculars to view Osprey and other fowl while paddling.
The nesting Osprey where always on the highest tufa.
After about an hour of exploring I headed back to the shore strapped the board back on the car. Drove off thinking what a great morning wonder why more people don’t paddle here maybe its the water 3 times saltier then the ocean.
My Buddy KC is a great friend who I have been Mountain biking with for over 20 years and started BikePacking since 1999. So when we get the itch to bike pack we check in with each other. So KC who lives out near Joshua Tree National Park wanted to get out of the Desert and come up to the Sierra for an over nighter. He gave me a call a couple weeks ago. KC said “Hey Brother I want to come up and do a bike Camp” I myself said sounds great the trails are dry its been in the high 60 we could ride and camp by a hot spring.
So the day before beautiful clear 60 degree weather. I heard we where going to get a couple feet of snow the next day. I called KC up bring your cold weather gear its going to be cold.
Its Friday KC pulls up its puking snow.
Are we stupid hummm well if we ever plan on doing the Tour Divide we better get a taste of Bikepacking in weather. KC just had regular bike gloves. I had an extra set of pink pogies laying around. I told him to use these so his hands would not freeze.
So we pack up are bags
We headed to Salsas Mexican Taqueria.
We didn’t want to cook so we ordered Three Burritos. One to eat now. 2 two take with us one for dinner one for breakfast. While the burritos where being made I ran across the street to grab some Mammoth Brewery EPIC IPA from Country Liquor store.
Once beers and food was packed up and we finished chowing. We headed off into the dumping snow to Mammoth Creek Gravel Road.
Then down to a little single track created by cattle that goes under the 395 bridge along Mammoth Creek to the Old Highway and sub-station road the back onto a double track to Hot creek rd which is a gravel road that parallels Hot Creek which has year round fly fishing catch and release. I often see Bald and Golden Eagle flying over Hot Creek which I saw on this trip.
You start to climb up a hill. With a small canyon where Hot Creek passes thru also the reason why its called Hot Creek because there are small geysers here.
We would have stopped and check it out but are feet where cold and all I could think about was drinking a beer at the hot spring. I just keep crusing after a mile and a half we made a left on to another gravel road whitmore tubs road and then left on Owens Rd another gravel road passing thru a grassy meadow then another left.
We had a mile and a half on a fireroad we set up camp on a nice over look.
Once we setup camp it starting dumping a couple inches of snow we walked down to the hot spring beer in hand and enjoyed the valley turn white from snow.
The hot spring felt so good I did not want to get out but we did. I crawled in my tent thru on my puffy pants and jacket the crawled in my sleeping bag. I then grabbed another beer and my burrito.
So good. Amazing hot food taste so good when your camping. Before it was dark I was in Zzzz-land. I slept so good and stayed warm.
Natured called and had to get out of my warm sleeping cocoon to go find a tree. It was very nice though watched the sun rise and thought about going and hop in the hot spring while I could here KC snore away haha.
I did like the idea of going back in my warm bag though. I fell back asleep until I heard KC up and about. He was enjoying watching the sunlight hit the peaks it was a cold blue bird day.
I could just picture the snow bunnies getting excited about snowboarding and skiing Mammoth Mountain Ski Area I could hear avalanche control going on with the bombs. I had left half of beer un drank. so I finished the beer off got up shaked the snow off hung my tent fly on a rock to try and dry it off found my burrito that I had in my sleeping bag that I used my body heat to try and warm it up. Kinda worked yep still good.
We slowly started packing up are bikes and camp. The sun got brighter but not warmer my feet where cold. I would wiggle them to make sure they where not frost biten.
The Landscape was so amazing.
once back in town I had to stop at Stellar Brew for a great Mocha.
Once back at the house said good byes to KC until the next ride.
John Muir nailed this one for me. The Mountains are calling me.
I drive around town a lot in Mammoth and Pyramid Peak tends to stare at me. This one calls to me. I sometimes loose sleep because I think about it.
Well its been a warm spring and if I didn’t climb it this day it was going to be the third year I let this get away from me. I asked around to see if anyone wanted to venture this with me the few I asked had the same reply it’s to thin and rocky. Well I didn’t want to let that stop me. I had to go at it and see.
So I wook up at 8am and went to Basecamp Cafe for breakfast.
There it was again Pyramid Peak driving to Basecamp Cafe.
I ordered A coffee and a Basil Tomato cream cheese bagel and added an egg. While waiting for breakfast to come. I had the Devil and Angel on my shoulder scenario going on.
I was unsure of this hike and snowboard trip How long would this take to do. I wanted to talk myself out of it.
Once Coffee and breakfast upped I was thinking what else am i going to do today. Get er dun. So I stopped at the store to grab cheese and cookies and water for snacks and Hydration and fuel. Grabbed my backpack cloths and board hopped in the car and drove to Tamarack Lodge
Once near Tamarack Lodge I parked my car on Lake Mary RD at the start of the cross-country area and began my hike walking on the winter access side.
after a bit of probably about a mile I came up to the start of the ridge. yikes! Steep!
This is where the fun really begins ok not really its the start of a steep climb and you really gain elevation quickly.
After you start climbing you come across mines and old rail tracks over looking the Lakes Basin.
A bit further up the climb goes through a boulder field and my goats like skills come into effect gotta be careful not to get your legs lodged in here and avoiding snapped limbs.
After the boulder field you come up to a kinda 100ft flat trail vantage area and a nice area for a breather before you start a rocks and latter climb.
The Rocks and Ladders climb was bloody steep stopped at this rock stack wind protector hut. Had a cheese stick and water break and enjoyed the view. Ok lets keep going.
I got to the top of the ridge and most of the major uphill was over but I still had a ways to go on a rising ridge.
After another hour of climbing I took a break enjoyed another cheese stick and peanut butter cookie. I really needed the break after a couple thousand feet of climbing. Looking up I had kinda a steep rocky climb to the next kinda peak.
I made it to the top. I enjoyed my accomplishment caught my breath and took in the views. Across the upper Owens Valley there was lightning strikes on the White Mountains. I was getting nervous being exposed on this Ridgeline I knew it was time to drop in.