May 16, 2008

Six Shooter / Ice House Canyons - Pinal Mountain

It’s been a pretty busy spring, so I took sanity check day off, and met up with a few other MTBR riders for some shuttling on Pinal Mt. I did this ride the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t wait to get back up there.

I met up with DrinkRideEat (Jamie), his buddy Ted, and Honemastert (Tim) at 9:00. We drove to the top of the hill, and when we got to Ferndell, it was kinda chilly. A good chilly. Our first run was down Six Shooter, since I knew the path down and we also new some other MTBR riders had done a little maintenance on it. And boy, did they do some work. The kickers were an absolute hoot. We blasted down the hill, but behind me, Tim had pretty bad fall. A few flesh wounds, but the worst at the time was his brake rotor was bent outta shape. Once we all got back together at the comfy couch rock – creek crossing, I pulled out my pliers so Time could bend his rotor back into shape. That's when we notices his rear triangle on his frame had a broke clear through. The break was about an inch above the weld. Bummer dood! Jamie pulled out his first aid tape and Tim did a few wraps to secure it. Luckily we were about 100 yards away from the trail crossing a road Tim could safely take back down to the cars. He got some pretty good riding in, but it totally sucked he was outta commission. Ted, Jaime and I continued down Check Dam Trail and Toll Road. I had blown a couple of turns, but I pretty much remembered the route out.

I owe Tim big time for this one, cuz he shuttled us back up to the top of the hill for run number two. This time, we decided to head down Icehouse Canyon. I hadn’t heard much beta on the trail conditions, other than I heard it was pretty steep and it hadn’t been cleaned in a while. It was steeper, and the leaves and pine needle did obscure the trail so much on the we actually blew right by a switchback. The rest of the forest portion of the trail was awesome, except for the twigs on the trail. I was a little concerned about this cuz I broke a spoke on the first run down Six Shooter. We weren't entirely sure if we were on the proper route down, because the trail turned into a gnarly jeep road. After looking at the map for a few minutes to make sure we didn’t miss a recent turn, we threw our hands up in the air, and continued down the road. From there we ran into CCC picnic area and found the traversing trail that connected us back into Check Dam and Toll Road.

We got back down to the cars about 4:30, and then we scratched our heads on how to get back up to the stranded cars at the top with out scratching Jamie’s truck or damaging our bikes. Since we didn’t have blankets or any other padding, throwing the front wheel over the upright tailgate wasn’t an option. We ended up pulling every bungee cord, strap and rope Jamie had and secured things the best we could.

It was 6:00 by the time I got my car back down into city of Globe, and exhausted and hungry I headed for Sonic for some sustenance. It was a way longer day than I had planned on, and it was getting late, but running late really was a an awesome reward, because I gotta witness the sun going down while passing thru Devils Canyon and Superior. I’m easily amused, but the lighting at that time was some beautiful, especially while driving this magnificent portion of highway. With light like this, I could sit for hours, just looking at the rock formations.

With 8,000 vf of downhill I certainly feel at peace. Tim posted up some pic's, video and ride stats here and here

And here's a link to the High Res version (note: it will take a few minutes to load up): Six Shooter / Icehouse Canyon Quicktime Version

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