Saturday, June 24, 2006
Ranger Creek 4100 feet Elevation gain
I rode up Ranger Creek today, up the trail, not via Corral Pass. Notes below are reverse from Zillys Kissing the Trail ride 48 guidebook. Ranger Creek is snow free till the shelter, as well as the intersection higher up. This is the intersection from Ranger Ck trail 1197 with Dalles Ridge trail 1173, reference guidebook, mile marker 9.4. Although I rode along the ridge a ways past that intersection, I did not see snow. A group of bikers had come from Corral Pass and hiked over a mile thru snow sometimes as much as 3 feet deep, largest section around a half mile, as I heard (I was riding solo, so not confirming their part of their report). They said you could ride about 1.5 miles past the intersection mentioned above before hitting snow.
My ride had an hour thru White River trail before heading up Ranger, about 45 minutes of riding along the ridge mentioned above (great views in both directions along the ridge), and the climb. As I was descending I ran into another biker so I headed up again as it seemed a bit safer to ride with someone as it was getting late. With all that, I was a lot more tired at the end of the day than expected. The trail is not crazy steep, but it climbs consistently for a long time.
Just to bring us to reality, myself and the other guy were two solo riders who hooked up near the top, and the unknown rider who joined me got all bloodied up from an endo. Just a flesh wound, he'll be fine. I love solo riding, especially for big climbs, but maybe it would be wise to start earlier (did not start till 12:30) so that in the event of having to hike out, there would be sufficient time.
A chainsaw would come in handy for a few blowdowns, but nothing to complain about.
I take issue with the guidebook rating this trail as expert level. Sure it takes a lot of energy, but this is far from expert level.
If you are OK with having to stop due to snow, or willing to hike thru a lot of snow, this ride is for you. Very fun day, a lot of singletrack mileage despite snow at the top. Reached very high speeds in big ring on the descent, woo hoo!
The picture is from the top of Ranger creek if you take a left on the trail to 1173, most people will want to take a right to continue on to Noble Knob.
Link to http://www.nwsource.com/outdoors/scr/of_detail.cfm?category=Biking&rt=41218 for guide book reference, but this is for sissies who climb up the road. It really is best to climb up the trail.