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Mountain Biking at Crystal Mountain.

I got really disappointed to discover that my "mountain" bike was not quite "mountain". But last week I decided to give it another shot, and see how it would handle the "rough" terrain of the Crystal Mountain.

The Trail to the Quicksilver Trail.

Anybody who has ever skied at Crystal, knows how challenging 6,872 vertical feet could be. And I am talking about skiing down the slopes. You can only imagine what it's like mountain biking there.

On Top of Quicksilver Trail.

This time , as a guidebook, I used " Mountain Biking Washington" by Amy and Mark Poffenbarger. Here I want to say a couple words about choosing a good guide book.

What is the least pleasant part of your outdoor trip? Mine is finding a trailhead or a mountain, a river put-in or a meetup spot. It's happened to me before , when because of poor directions my whole trip would get ruined. The same happened this time. The authors of the book gave very vague directions.

the Summit House

Another drawback of the book was that according to them:
Take the chairlift up and ride down the Crystal Mountain or Silver Creek Trail, or even down the steep cat tracks. $ 14 per ride.

The problem was, though ,Crystal Mountain Resort does offer scenic chairlift rides on weekends, but you can't take your bike with you.

Not being able to find the trailhead or use a chairlift, I chose another option-from the bottom of the Chinook & Rainier Express "bike" straight to the Summit House. Well, it wasn't really biking. More like pushing the bike. It took me about 2.5 hours to reach the top. But getting up there, was just half of the fun.

View from the Top

Instead of writing about what a blast I had riding my way down, I'll just say , you really need to know what you are doing. What I mean by that is , mountain biking is not just about blasting down a mountain. There are certain basic techniques you need to know. I will leave it to the pros, to give advice on know-how and will write another post about mountain biking basics.

The Way Down

In conclusion, I want to say that the authors had one thing right:
This is the must-do course for Washington mountain bikers. Few rides compare to the rush this route can provide.There are a few moderate, alternative routes to the top, but as long as you get there, you'll find it very difficult not to have a sensational day on the mountain.

1 comment:

Franki said...

Hi there! My name is Franki. Just had to say that I just love that ride. Since they quit taking bikes up the chair (a few years ago) it is a lot harder to get to the top, before it would take you half way up and it was pretty hard even with that. I was really relating to your comments about 'pushing' the bike all the way up! I l have been too much of a woos to do it the last few years, but have to attempt it again next year without the chair lift because I miss doing it. It will probably be an all-day proposition. Patience is a virtue though right? Love your blogs, stumbled across it on FB.