mountain bike weekend

Rory and I left work about an hour early on Friday and headed across the mountains for a pair of back to back mountain bike rides.  On Friday night we explored the trails over Roslyn, WA, trying to follow a map that we had for a route called the Rat Pac.  I think we were only half successful in following the route, but we had a great ride on a really nice clear evening.



Nice views

Nice trails

Clear skies, bright moon

"slickrock". I don't think it really was, but the surface was fun to ride on anyway.

"slickrock": photo by Rory

This was probably not the most stable ground to stand on

There are more photos on my smugmug site and Rory’s Picasa site.

We had dinner in Roslyn at “The Brick” (made famous in the TV show Northern Exposure) and stayed at Rory’s parent’s cabin in Cle Elum.  The next morning we got up early and headed a bit farther east to the Taenum Creek area to do a 20 mile loop known as Fishhook Flats.  When Rory sent out the invite he put in this crucial statement: “The route will be fishhook flats, which i’m pretty sure is snow free by now(no guarantees).”  I should have learned from last year’s Mount Catherine ride with Rory that this was a sure sign that we’d have plenty of snow to ride through.

The ride was great, but we did walk 5 or more miles of the route due to snow.   We decided that this upgraded the ride from being sort of long into the epic category.  The riding that we did do was really nice though, without too much crazy steep stuff and with trails that were in pretty good shape.  I’m pretty sure we were the first people on most of the trails this season, there were no signs of other traffic through the snow.  The weather wasn’t as clear as on Friday night and it was a bit cooler, but we didn’t have any rain.

The route starts along this old decaying dirt road.

This was our first snow.

This large open field could make a great home base for a mountain bike camping weekend. There was space for at least 50 tents.

There was a fair amount of blow down this early in the season.

6 inch deep snow like this is the most frustrating, because it seems like it should be ridable, but it isn't.

We tried anyway

Peanut butter and honey in a packet might be my new favorite trail food.

Our second lunch stop location, down below the worst of the snow.

Where there wasn't snow there was plenty of mud. Photo by Rory.

The quantity of snow often had less to do with the elevation, and more to do with the exposure of the ridgeline and the thickness of the tree canopy.

Stream crossing

This last section along the North Fork Trail was snow free and really good riding. I was really tired by this point, so Rory had to wait for me somewhat often. The views of the creek below were nice.

The creek had plenty of bridges, all in good condition.

Lots of mud!

My photos

Rory’s photos


  1. MC says:

    You were not only probably the first, but likely to be the last to do that loop for a while. The Teanaway/Manastash drainages were hit by a severe rain-on-snow event Saturday night, which resulted in both roads in being damaged pretty badly. Trail damage is also extensive, but of course nobody knows yet the exact tally is going to be. At least one of those North Fork bridges is washed out.

  2. Alex Wetmore says:

    Wow, I”m glad that we got in while we could.

  3. I was about to ask you to take me there. Guess it””ll have to wait. Maybe another MTB adventure tho.

  4. gbee says:

    He Alex, next time you come over to roslyn you should look me up. I live and ride in roslyn. I ride the rat pack at least once a month during the summer and I can tell by your photos you missed the rat pack entirely! Give us a call next time and I”ll show you around all the roslyn singletrack. My buddies and I just spent fours days over the memorial day weekend riding around roslyn and we rode a new set of trail everyday. Later this year you should also check out the Cooper River Trail. Oh, I”m also a small frame builder and general bike advocate. I would be interested in talking about fixturing and other frame building topics. I like your fork jig alot, I”m inspired to try some fork building next fall. cheers!