Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Moab Man Camp: Amasa back, Captain Ahab, and The Whole Enchilada

Moab Man Camp Day 1: get to airport in DIA. Acquire luggage. John Waller tackles me from behind at the luggage carousel.. After assuring security that this is not a act of aggression, we proceed to public house to await the arrival of Josh Patterson. Once we were on I70 headed West we got caught up on everyones stories, and John Waller reaffirmed his financial backing that the first person to pee on Patterson got 20 bucks. The tone was set.

We got to Moab that evening and set up camp off of Sand Flats Rd, not too far from the worlds 2nd most scenic landfill (its says so on the map).little canyon that provided We initially tried to get a campsite down on Kane Creek Rd at the Moonflower canyon, but we arived about 10 minutes too late. I had forgotten how sandy and windy it is in the desert southwest. It was soon apperent that I would have to taylor my bushcraft to thrive in this wasteland.. At about midnight, Slater and Jeff rolled in and set up camp.
The next morning we went on the prowl to find a less wind swept campsite.
Boom. Shade at 3pm
We were able to catch a family leaving their site (Site G6) that was nestled right in a sweet little canyon that provided complete afternoon shade strting at about 3pm. If you have ever spent any time in the desert you know that this is money.
Looking through our little canyon of vice
With our now digs nailed down, we headed out to ride Amasa Back. I managed to make it about 150 feet into the ride befoe I fell and busted my knee. Turns out that moondust is not that grippy. However once we started rollling up the punchy climbs of amasa back, I started to get the hang of transitioning from sand to slickrock, and soon we we ticking off the miles. Patterson had a Cannondale Trigger 29 for me to ride this week. I was really impressed with the balance that it struck between capable trail bike and pedaling stability. I would characterize the Trigger as a bike for the “all-mountain curious”. It has a 69.5 degree HTA, and a 130mm lefty max that I found to be quite stiff. My only gripe about the Lefty Max is that the dampening cartridge is tuned for a 180 lb rider so I could never really use all of my travel (even after dropping the pressure to under 50 psi).

Amasa Back
Once we saw all the sights at Amasa Back we came back down via the new trail called Captain Ahab. It was mostly lots of exposed, technical slick rock. On Ahab you were either going up or down, so it was pretty challenging since at that point it was also the heat of the day that was sapping you dry. There was some terrain on the last 3 miles of Ahab that really challenged your handling skills with blind approaches and no way of knowing what was at the bottom of each drop.
Pattersnap up to no good
The next morning we all ponied up for the Whole Enchilada Shuttle, which turned out to only take us up to the start of the Kokopelli Trail since the trail up at Burro Pass was still snowed in. We decided to start riding up towards Burro Pass to get as much of the Enchilada as we could stand.

Headed up from Hazard country

Patterson: its not much of a climber

Hello there La Sal

Jeff has a PhD in geology. We learned about rocks. Of which there are plenty in Moab

sitting there. bleeding.
It was not long going up, before we were in hero dirt, and into the aspen groves. I think that this is one of the features of the whole enchilada that makes it so unique; you go from high alpine tundra, to aspens, to high dessert slick rock, to sandy canyon bottoms.
Patterson was intent on slaying some mexican food on the whole enchilada.

The descent was simply amazing, as it constantly challenged you with more and more technical terrain. It forced you to constantly trust that your tires were going to hook up, and that if you had enough speed you would roll over everything. I only got in over my head once when I tried to roll off a 4 foot drop without keeping my front end up.
We got spit out into Negro Bill Canyon and then had to ride back into town to get the vehicles (and beer).

1 comment:

Death Rider said...

looks awesome, I love it out there. Is there more to the story or was it a short trip ?