I'm cross posting this from Deans Blog It is great to see that the grips of winter are slowly but surely loosening, allowing for some fantastic explorations on your bikes! Thanks for sharing this with us Dean!
After dropping the kids off at daycare I looked up at the local mountains and saw a clear view of the peaks and a thin layer of high cloud.....to me this means no rain and epic views.
I raced home, grabbed my bike and the appropriate gear (food, water, GPS, clothing etc.) for an epic ride and headed up to the Woodlot.
A few years ago I found a unique route that links The Woodlot and McNutt so today I decided it was time to do this epic ride for the view from the peak.
For the first 3 hours of the climb things were good: the ground was damp and the trails were clear. Then I hit snow. First it was only a little on the ground, then it increased in thickness as I gained elevation. Being the stubborn person that I am, I carried my bike when it started getting too hard to push through the snow. In the end I carried my bike over 4kms of the ride up the hill on the snow.
What would normally take only one hour took 4 hours. But as I said before I am stubborn and determined. I'd been to the top a few times before about 20 years before on a rigid XC bike so I knew what to expect from the terrain but if my memory serves me correctly I last made my way up to the top in the summer.
The view from the top is quite spectacular. There are views to the south of Mt. Baker and to the immediate west of The Golden Ear as well as a view of the Fraser Valley and the North Shore mountains.
I took as many photos as I could as quickly as I could because I knew that if I didn't start heading home soon, I'd be hiking out in the dark. Even though I always ride with enough emergency supplies to spend a night or two in the bush, it wasn't something that I wanted to test today.
As quickly as one can descend in the snow I made my way down. Once I was on solid terra firma it was 5pm and I was loosing light pretty quick so with a fully head of steam I ripped down the skidders and logging roads back to my vehicle as fast as I could. Round trip, my ride was 6 1/2 hours.
View McNutt Epic in a larger map
View the route in Google Earth
At my car I asked myself: was it worth it? hell yeah!, would you do it again in late winter? Hell No!!