Monday, March 31, 2014

Another "Best Fat Bike Ride Ever"

Through more good fortune than anything else, someone cancelled their trip into Rose lake cabin this pat weekend, and I was able to weasel into their place .
Conditions were perfect.  The weather was perfect, and Josh, Sierra and Tony were stoked for a trip up the Watson river, overnight in the Rose lake cabin, then out.
I suggested going back out the Watson, as my previous foray into the Rose creek valley had shown it to be a snow-less, tussocked slog fest.
However, Sierra was keen on the full loop, and who am I to argue against a good suffer-fest?
Saturday dawned stellar and -20C, but a late start had up spinning up the Watson river trail in noon-ish warmth.  Did I mention the trails were as good as winter trails can get?  We could have ridden cyclo-x bikes in there.

























At some point, Sierra said that this was the best fat bike ride ever.  I've heard that before somewhere.  She was right though.
Break at the Big Bend cabin




















We ran into a group of dog sledders out on a tour.  The French client looked a bit shell shocked.

























After the big bend, the trail climbs into the highlands between the Watson and Rose creek.  Lots of overflow, which the cold temps had locked up tight.

























Sierra stylin with her Ninja green Porcelain Rocket bags




















Sandpiper Peak poking its head up in the distance 




















Sierra and her Ninja always win most photogenic




















Did I mention it was sunny?  Oh man, it was awesome.  Cruisin through the singletrack in the woods, long descent down to Rose creek meadows, good times.
Josh in the snow less meadows




















Josh, look, a jet!




















We sidled into the cabin about 6 hours after departing.  Felt very welcome indeed.  The fire was lit, water fetched, and relaxing commenced.  I brought a beer and some chips, Sierra brought a Mai-Tai mix.  Fat times.
After a leisurely breakfast of bacon, omelettes and coffee, we packed up and hit the trail about 9:30.  Gotta let it warm up a bit.
The long climb up from the lake had us good and warm.
We would take the left valley, we came in on the right the previous day
 Some poking around finally revealed the best trail through the willow flats on Rose creek.  Remember when I turned around on my previous trip?  Pretty low snow.
Ninja stealth triumphs on ice!


























It was a loooooooooong, bumpy grind up Rose creek.  Occasional smooth patches were the exception.  It was quite warm too, so we were stripped right down until we hit the treeless expanses of upper Rose.
Eventually, all bad things pass, and we made it to where I turned around previously, and the trail improved drastically.
Hammer time

























It was a pleasure to stop and chill out on snowless eskers, enjoying the late March sun.
Ninja warrior and Ibex mountain




















The long descent from Ibex lake was a blast.  We rocked, rolled and giggled our way down the seemingly endless series of whoop-de-doos right to Fish lake.  A mysterious recent snow fall had covered up the nasty glare ice, and we all settled into the long grind down the lake.
However, Sierras friends Monica and Jen had ridden up the lake with Cheese-vursts and cider.  What a treat!  Yummy calorie bombs (as Josh christened them) toasted over the fire with StrongBow to wash them down.  The last few Kms passed quickly.
Awesome.

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