Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jumping Pound Ridge, Kananaskis

The Bad:

Jason, Kent and Lonebiker newcomer Greg had themselves an adventure today. A trail I had wanted to do since the mid nineties, a trail I heard nothing but good things about in that time frame. Seeing as it's 2014 I think things have changed. The ride started out with a 17 kilometre ride on a dirt road where your tires sunk into enough to sap your energy and make you wish you were at home watching Ellen. Climb after climb ensued and we eagerly awaited the trail that awaited just 17km ahead and with what felt like 3000 feet of climbing.

Confusion at the eventual trailhead after a severe mud infused trail where the wheels of yours truly and Jason's bike would not move made me seriously wonder if we should just turn around. Looking back we all would have agreed the dirt road back would have been better.

when... when will this fucking end? 
hillbillies left their mark and we decorated our bikes, well kent did

 The Ugly

Once the poorly marked trail head was was found and we agreed this is where we were to go we started the climb up. The riding soon turned into hike a bike and most of the trip to the summit was walking our nice bikes that should be ridden up. Switchback after switchback was had with every turn a new rising trail loaded with loose rocks to look at and manoeuvre over. We made it to what we thought was the summit and were happy, well sort of. By then the overall mood was quite dreary which matched the weather, a few good views were had but for the most part we rode (well, walked our bikes up) in clouds.

The summit had it's good moments but they were always met with unrelentless climbing which quickly lead to hike a bike... and more hike a bike.. and more hike a bike.. On this trip I learned how to use my bike as a support to lie down while I walked up. It was that bad.

very cool terrain but just not bike friendly with the angle of attack on the climb
the trail was my idea and you will notice none of them are making eye contact
a good moment on the summit, well what i thought was the only summit
the power of the unicorn rainbow bike socks compels thee

 The Bullshit

This was a mountain trip, yet it was a bad day. We eventually made our way to what we thought was the downhill. A downhill laced with trail washouts and loose boulders everywhere. At the bottom we were met with more climbing. More hike a bike sections that would not end, turn after turn.. Switchback after switchback it did not end until on the summit once more. Up top we all vowed to never come back here ever again.

The summit riding was cool and you can see below the views were good and on a clear day would be incredible. This is a trail where you must be on your toes, I was worried about the fatigue and bad attitude on the ridge where one false move will have you roll down the mountain. It was incredibly steep which should have the ass pucker factor at an all time high but we did not care. That right there is quite dangerous.

happy happy happy, joy joy joy...
a rare cool moment on the trail
kent with the hero shot
jason with the hero shot
greg with the hero shot (he has much bigger hero shots below)
 The Final Downhill 

Finally, we found the downhill and started riding with dreams of pizza and bikini clad Seahawk cheerleaders serving it (well that was just my fantasy). The trails were incredibly treacherous with loose boulders and wet roots greeting us at every turn. Sections had to be walked down as our fatigue compiled with clumsiness plus trails that turned into creeks were the order of the late afternoon.

Some sections were incredibly good and mad me giddy like a redneck at Cabelas. It would quickly change on a corner that forced us to walk. The main problem was trail wash-outs.

A section that should have been walked was ridden by Greg and disaster was averted. Although he did bleed and is probably still sitting in a waiting room waiting for stitches as I type this. He went head over tea kettle and I saw his front tire in the air as he went over the handlebars in an incredibly technical section. Me being the calm cool guy handled it like a champ and calmly yelled for Kent to bring up the first aid kit. (I'm lying, I swore like a trucker at a strip club) While Kent performed first aid on Gregs face I stood back and smoked cigarettes with a nervous eye twitch. Jason asked me where the cigarettes came from and I yelled back "FUCK OFF. I NEED THESE! THIS TRAIL SUCKS AND IT'S RIPPING US APART ONE BY ONE!" Yes, at that time I was convinced we were not going to make it home alive today.

We continued on and I followed Greg who had yet another over the handlebar wipeout. I handled it cool and calm... Well no I didn't. In mid air as greg was falling to what I thought was certain death I yelled out "OHHH FUYCK" (its spelled wrong cause that's what it probably sounded like). I do have that white trash instinct of when something goes wrong and I swear like a redneck witnessing a dramatic Nascar crash. My reaction scared the hell out of Kent and Jason. Greg was fine and handled that wipeout like a champ.

We rode to the bottom and were relieved to see the vehicles in tact. The way the day went it would not surprise us if they were stripped ghetto style and were left with no wheels sitting on cinder blocks.

No pizza and bikini clad Seahawk cheerleaders at the end. It was late and me and Jason drove straight home while Kent and Greg went to a Hospital where Greg lives in Calgary.

I forgot my GPS so off Jason's. 32.98 km with 4265 feet of climbing was had today. This is one badass trail, unfortunately we had a bad run on it. I know some people love it and I would love to hear from them. If you ride this trail end to end without hike a biking. You are a God.

the picture lies, there was much more blood on the trail than this, no face shots because this is pg 13,
well besides the f- bombs
hurt but lucky, this could have been much worse, kudos to kent with the first aid
face starting to swell up, he will be hurting tomorrow, road rash on shin above pic
the final group bike shot, good riddance jumping pound

Fort Icekatchewan

 Some sketchy moments today as it seemed to be a bit icy and then it transitioned to super sketchy icy as I started in Turner park and made ...