Wednesday, February 28, 2007

a new view of peaked

our go-to ride during the early season seems to be a small climb up peaked, followed by a nice up-and-down traverse, to the middle mountain trail. it's a great lap that you can do a couple of times in a morning and it's a pretty trip, followed by the roller coaster bumps of sticks & stones.

but i've never done it in two feet of snow, which i did last saturday on snowshoes. allow me to report.

climing up the peaked mountain trail was more of as stroll on the boardwalk, really. the trail was packed down, and i took to breaking my own trail on the sides in order to get my blood flowing, which it had started to when i hit the fork in the trail. i also noticed phantom ski tracks in the woods, suggesting that maybe peaked does have some treasures hidden among the trees during the wintertime.

when i reached the traillead for the traverse, the first thing you notice is that it was untracked, so i laid down the first tracks of 2007 on the trail, reaching the first right-hand dogleg hill, and glissaded quite nicely down to the now-frozen riverbed.

everything was going great until i reached the top of the steep, short, nasty climb (on a bike, on snowshoes it's really not much): everywhere i looked seemed like it could be the trail. looking at an unbroken field of snow amidst lots of trees just looks like hundreds of potential trails leading somewhere.

so, i started bushwhacking, creating mini crevasses with my snowshoes and checking out small and (scarily) large animal tracks. eventually i came upon a set of snowshoe tracks and, thinking i'd stumbled on what possibly resembled the proper traverse to the middle mountain trail, started following them. i also couldn't help but notice that the tracks followed trees with blazes on them - something i probably should have thought of sooner...

it turned into a pretty dramatic climb, with the tracks leading from the relatively mellow pitch of the lower section of peaked, into a boulder-strewn scramble up an increasingly steep face, which was great for the lungs, heart, legs and arms. i was obviously way above the buried mountain bike trail now, but knowing that by heading east i was going to get to the middle mountain trail kept me from getting nervous - there was no need for panic.

i did finally hit the middle mountain trail, and then tromped back down to the car, with a new respect for peaked (i can't get those ski tracks out of my head), and a new excitement to get back out there on my bike...

...that's not to say i'm ready for winter to go away - far from it - but, i am looking forward to riding this summer for fun, instead of riding out of fear of quite literally dying whilst trying to finish the Jay Challenge. which has become, to me, something of a curse word in the past months.


1 comment:

bluecolnago said...

i guess i need to lose 50 pounds, move to nh, and get serious about recreation again..... nice write up!

peace out, yo!