August 5, 2018

CO: Winter Park - Broken Thumbs & Twisted Ankles

The following day I continued to point the car north, to Winter Park. That's where Scott & Eszter were hanging out. Scott initially proposed a loop over Jones Pass on the CDT, but after looking at the 13k peak elevation and told of the rough terrain in sections, I wisely suggested something easier. Yes, I'm not ready for a full-on Morris adventure at this time. I hoping the next time we meet up near here, we can give it a go. Instead, we'd sample a variety of trails around the Winter Park area, namely Idlewild.

The first bit of trail was a great way to start. The trail was mostly downhill (My keen senses picked up on the fact that it would be an uphill finish!) twisting and turning through the brush. There were just enough rock features to keep you honest. It was a fun way to get the blood pumping. So much so that I didn't snap one picture!! Surprise.

We crossed over the main drag and picked up some connector singletrack weaving in & out of the surrounding condos. We began a steady dose of climbing when we encountered one of our first trail users: mountain unicyclist!!
I have a whole lotta respect for these riders. Scott said it best: Enjoy the coasting!! Ha!

Scott & Ez weaving through the mini trees.

The forest is returning, but before it grows too tall, sweeping views of Winter Park ski area lie ahead.

Raspberry patch, no need to twist our arms to stop and sample a few handfuls.

We kept a watchful eye on the clouds, so far, so good.

The climbing continued, but on a long railroad grade. Perfect for me, even if I couldn't quite match pace of a self-described 70% Ez. :)
Thumbs? Check. Let's go!!

Snowbike approved.

We all made it safely down the chundery section of Broken Thumb, but what about our ankles?

This trail was fantastic!! Slightly downhill cut into the side of the mountain.

So many trees, I was bound to cut off someone's head. Sorry Ez!

Carving that turn in style!!

Woohoo!! Banked turn upon banked turn.

No twisted ankles or broken thumbs!! Win-win.

This part of the ride made me feel like we were hundreds of miles away from civilization.

Beautiful singletrack with the occasional punchy climb that threatened to pop my lungs.


Skinny trail through skinny Aspens.
We completed our loop, but it took me a while to recognize anything. We eventually returned to the condo trail and dumped into town. Remember that downhill start? I did. We made our way up through the neighborhood nearing our starting point while Eszter chanted: Hill of Doom, Hill of Doom... Hmmm. That typically doesn't bode well. It was the final challenge of the ride. A short steep, loose climb up to the condo. I walked it. Both Ez & Scott cleaned it, plus the stairs at the top. Nice. The Hill of Doom will have to wait, my legs/lungs were done.

I really enjoyed the tour and would love to explore more in the area. It also served as proof that the three of us can do a sane ride. The darkening clouds held off too. I think we were all amazed. It was great as always to ride & hang out with these two. Who knows where the next ride will be, could be anywhere.

Going over the pass on my way back to Breckenridge.

A little info.

East meets west, but one of those pics is extra cool...

Nice shot, Scott!! Berthoud Pass, where you can ride your bike for about a mile in each direction before hitting Wilderness!! 

Looking north from the pass.

Eisenhower Tunnel, the highest vehicular tunnel in the world, averaging 11,112'.

It's quite long too, almost 1.7 miles.

The rain held off until after dinner in Breck, then a rainbow greeted us.


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