Crested Beauties

| July 29, 2008 | 4 Comments

Polly has been trying to get me to go to Crested Butte, Colorado for the last couple of years under the pretense that “it has beautiful wildflowers.”  I’d hardly walk outside the front door to look at wildflowers, let alone drive for eight hours,  but after three years, I caved in, and am happy I did.  What she should have said was “Crested Butte has killer mountain biking and excellent Mountain Unicycling and, unlike Utah in the summer, it is nice and cool.”

We camped out with Than & Kristy Acuff, and although there were afternoon thundershowers almost every day, we were able to get in some excellent rides, including Deadman’s Gulch, Doctor’s Park, Snodgrass and the 401 trail.  Having ridden a few of the classics, I understand why Crested Butte produces speedsters like Dave Penny and Ethan Passant – the hills are tough, high and steep.  Coming from the land of machine-cut, carefully graded mountain-bike trails (Park City), the CB trails were a full-on challenge.

The aptly named "Julie Andrew's Meadow."  I was tempted to burst into a round of "The Hills are alive with the sounds of music" but restrained myself.
The aptly named “Julie Andrew’s Meadow.” I was tempted to burst into a round of “The Hills are alive with the sounds of music” but restrained myself.
The infamous Crested Butte wildflowers.  Note the venomous insect looking at the viewfinder's juglar vein.  Avoid at all costs.
The infamous Crested Butte wildflowers. Note the venomous insect looking at the viewfinder’s jugular vein. Avoid at all costs.
Than Acuff and Andy Southwick on the lookout near Cement Mountain.
Than Acuff and Andy Southwick on the lookout near Cement Mountain.
There's no shortage of rocks on the Deadman's & Doctor's Park trails.
There’s no shortage of rocks on the Deadman’s & Doctor’s Park trails.
Crested Butte - where the rubber meets the wildflower.
Crested Butte – where the rubber meets the wildflower.

Perhaps my favorite ride of the weekend was a trip down the 401 Trail with Tom Moyer on our Mountain Unicycles (aka “Muni’s”).  I got into Muni riding a few years ago and it instantly became my favorite summer activity as it is excellent training for skiing.  Muni riding requires a calm upper body and focus, just like skiing, plus, it makes moderate trails seem challenging.  Here’s a little YouTube video of our descent, set to Deadbolt’s classic “Patches” soundtracks.  (note: Muni riders are NOT into clowns!)

 

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Category: Trip Reports

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (4)

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  1. Bob says:

    “…it is excellent training for skiing. Muni riding requires a calm upper body and focus, just like skiing, plus, it makes moderate trails seem challenging…”

    I’m intrigued. Can you think of any other similarities between Muni riding and telemark skiing? Like the meadow skipping? How’s this sound? – “Half a bike, half a brain.”

    I’ll have to work on something to go with “Free your wheels…”

  2. Andrew says:

    Well, they are both expensive sports considering you don’t get much for the money. They are also both impractical ways of travel. Both impact your groin area and make mellow terrain seem thrilling.

    The major difference is that Muni riding is sexy, whereas telemark skiing is asexual. :)

  3. Polly says:

    Ah look at those flowers!

  4. Jay says:

    Andrew, this totally made my day. Sorry for the late comment but I just noticed the posting a few days ago while searching for stuff on Colorado. I can’t beleive you haven’t received more comments on the video. Don’t people realize how difficult that stuff is? Anyway, sorry for rambling but I thought I should comment regarding the muni/skiing benefits that you mentioned on your prior reports (especially after I saw “Bob of Narrow Mind’s” comment mentioned above). It definitely works. It took me about 3 weeks to learn and after about a month I also learned how to free-mount. The balance and leg strength I acquired was incredible and this past season I ended up skiing some of the steepest slopes of my life. The bottom line is that it was a great confidence builder and a huge rush to do something that felt impossible to do.

    Keep up the great work.

    Thanks,
    Jay

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