Fall at Snowbasin

Saturday was the last day I could use my season pass at Snowbasin. It’s kind of sad that my summer’s now officially over. Bad weather’s here, and the trails are all muddy as of this morning, thanks to a nice little storm coming through. Tomorrow all the trails I rode this weekend will be covered in 6-12″ of snow. So, so sad. There were more people up there than I’ve ever seen the entire summer. I had to park in the 3rd parking lot section since the others were completely full. While I was getting my bike ready to go I noticed my rear wheel curvier than Cali’s 101. While I was working on it, one spoke just turned & turned & wouldn’t tighten. I wasn’t paying that much attention since the car next to mine had some people getting ready as well. They were putting on more and more crash armor. When I thought they were done, they brought out more. “Hey Julie, I’ve got some extra leg gear, you want to put it on?”, “No, I’ve got my own.”, “Okay, just want to make sure”. Now, I know the trails are in bad condition in spots, and others have more rocks on the trail than on the mountain, but come on. I only see guys that bomb mountains in races and total newbs don gear like that. They were of the newb sort. Anyway, back to the spoke, one little tug confirmed it was broken. I would’ve ridden like that anyway, just have a couple spokes over torqued to compensate for the missing one, but I thought I’d try the rental shop & they had one that fit perfectly — it’s now one black spoke in the midst of an all silver wheel.

The Fall colors peaked earlier this week. By the time I got up there the trees were half bare from the high winds tearing across the mountain. Even with the winds though, it was relatively warm at the top. It was also Oktoberfest at the resort. So they had a German band in liederhosen jamming up the classic beer drinking tunes. There were tons of bikes all around the Needles Lodge, but on the trail, I didn’t see another biker — going down at least. There were a couple coming up. At the top some guy asked me if I had ridden up from the bottom — I didn’t even have a drop of sweat on me, and I was coming from the direction of the gondola, so I don’t know what he was thinking. I told him I climbed up from the bottom once and it nearly killed me. I find it hard to understand where some people are coming from. In this case, I think the guy was so in awe that people even rode from the bottom to the top because it’s something he would never do in his lifetime unless by some miracle he started by getting himself fit enough to just make it around the block, and worked hard from there to come back from decades of idleness. Something weird though, I passed a couple hikers carrying a pair of skis, one was going down from the top, another coming up from the bottom, what? I should’ve asked them what they were doing.

So it was enjoyable. I like having more people on the mountain, it makes it a bit livelier. I took my riding way, way easy so I wouldn’t crash and jack myself up. I’ve got a Grand Canyon trip I’ve been planning for the last 4 months, and I didn’t want anything to get in the way of it. It’s unfortunate though, because on Porcupine they built a fun little 15 foot path to the side of the trail out of boulders, and I wanted to ride it, but I didn’t want to risk a screw up that would’ve sent me falling of the side. I don’t think I’ll get a season pass up there again. I might go back up a couple times next summer if they put some new trails in, or just work on my climbing during the week. On my list next year is to scope out the resorts around Park City and see what they’ve done for their trails. I hear PC has some welll groomed trails. Probably a much greater variety of trails as well.

It’s going to be a long winter. Hopefully the trails in the foothills will stay relatively clear of snow.

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