Saturday, November 9, 2019
Switzerland north, Cliffhanger 2

Winter is on the doorstep. We had two or three reasonable snowfalls in town already. Some of the ski hills have opened for the season. While that's the mood, Saturday is slated to be 70F in town. This might be near the end of the year for a trail ride that isn't blocked by snow so a few of us gathered to travel some trails that might have lower amounts of snow. It was not to be - we were "mostly" blocked by snow. We adjusted plans a bit (excluded a trail that we knew would be in the shade) and enjoyed the warm day in the mountains regardless.

A note in that Switzerland Trail is an old railroad right of way. I have not been able to find a full route map showing the origination / termination locations but a decent section, in the mountains, has been converted to multi-use trail. As it was a railroad (narrow gauge I believe), the grade, width and curve radii are gentle and consistent - fitting for a train.

We encountered a group of folks out tending a vehicle recovery. After speaking with one of the folks, there were two vehicles stranded near the end of the trail. On my way out / home I could see them working.

Driving back to town, Left Hand Canyon saw many bicyclists enjoying the day. Nicely, they were single file which makes progress in an overtaking car safer for all on the narrow, double-yellow, blind-corners road. A flip of the switch for warmer temps also found numerous motorcyclists out. A couple top-down convertibles were seen too. Cold temps and slushy roads are on the way.

Mt Meeker & Longs Peak

The start of the trail - not but fifty feet in - there's enough snow to cause issue - and this snow section is in a sunny area. What will the shaded areas hold for us?

I arrived in advance of the others so I thought I'd see if I could pack that first bit of snow - I was able to make it up and now I've turned around to head down - but first to snap a photo of the ridgeline.

This one looks deep...

...and it is. The axle is pushing snow. With it firm (not powdery) it'll be a difficult push. I'm moving downhill - which will help - but it was still too deep.

Nate, who was happy to find a first use for his winch, pulled me back to clear ground. We decided to not spend time trying to push through and decided to return to the trailhead and take a nearby road to another section of the trail.

This is more enjoyable.

The railbed turned and this image reminded me of snowmobiling railbeds in Michigan. A raised secion of earth with a consistent radius in a curve - bounded with many trees.

The obstacle called Cliffhanger 2.0 - a somewhat steep and rocky trail up to the ridge - and you turn around and drive back down. It's filled in with enough snow that we won't make it but 1/4 of the way up.

We tried twice today - once on the way in and then later in the day on the way out - thinking some of the snow would be melted. It was and we went farther up but still nowhere near the end. Back down and head out.

Sitting on the hill waiting for Nate to see how far he can progress.

This might be one of the two vehicles the recovery group is tending.

This, certainly, is one of the two.

Friday afternoon found this Nash Neopolitan scooting through town. It's small. Look at where his elbow is on the seat - he could easily put fingertips on the passenger door - with an elbow on the driver's door.