Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rainy Pass with El Gordo

I left the house thinking it would be mid 30's where I was to ride today on Smith Brook Road just east of Stevens Pass. This road is popular with snowshoers, back country skiers (us) and snowmobilers (now us). So, I figured it would be beaten down enough for me to ride on. I arrived at the trail head at 10:00 am and my car was telling me it was 16 degrees! Only a few others at the trail head gearing up to find their Christmas trees. 

Things I forgot...all my bike tools, a 8mm allen wrench to tighten rear axel (come to find out finger tight works), winter pack with insulated water hose. It was a going to be a short ride, now made a bit shorter. Coverage was good as long as you stay on the road. A foot deep in places. Probably all the way to Lake Wenatchee I would suspect due to the snow mobile tracks coming from that direction.

road just above the s turn 

Hoar Frost

Just above switch back at Union Gap trail head

Final pitch to Rainy Pass (4600')

Looking South

Union Gap (right)

(right to left) Union Gap, Mt McCausland, Backside of Mt. Lichtenburg.  Areas we play when on ski's

Jove Mtn. Excellent ski in the right conditions. Our new snowmobile will make getting to this one much easier

Rock Mountain. We have not ski'd this yet

Lunch at Rainy Pass (Turkey,ham cranberry sandwich, pickles, pumpkin pie and hot beef broth with cayenne) I think I was still full from T-day so I had left overs again when I got home. 

Closer look at McCausland

Got back to the car around 12:30.  Total of 8 miles with an elevation gain of 1400ft. This route has the potential of  being a much longer ride. You do drop 2000 feet on the other side of Rainy Pass. Maybe not a day ride. I will have to calculate the mileage for a possible long day or overnight to Lake Wenatchee? I do plan to ride from that side this winter to check it out. Corrina and I also plan to take the snowmobile from that side to explore other ski slopes.

This will be my first winter riding El Gordo. First ride was excellent! Gear improvements for next ride. Warmer boots (clip-in) and Bar Mitts.