Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ridge Trail: Great western trail, American Fork, Utah section

I just got back home from my three weeks in the west. My goals while over there were many, the most important was to see my brother in the bay area get married. But personally, after a year in the flat cold of eastern Canada, I wanted to reconnect with my friends and the western mountains that I love. Over the years of living in Utah, one persisting quest that emerged was a goal to ride as much as I can of the Great Western Trail (GWT), specifically the Utah section.

The ride here I planned to take from alpine loop pass, separating Sundance canyon with AF, and traverse the Ridge Trail north toward the Tri-canyons associated with the Salt Lake City section that I and everybody has ridden too many times to mention. The ridge trail section, on the other hand, is seldom ridden, or hiked that I can tell. Most people in Utah valley are motorized. With my sea-level lungs, my father-in-law dropped me off at 8,600 feet.

Everything was slow except my heartbeat. Through the aspen glades and single track. I hike-a-biked over motorcycle rutted loose climbs soaking in the mountain environment, riding where I could. I was home. My plan was to try to ride into the Tri-canyons and find a friend to drive me back to Utah valley where I was staying. But plans are just that. After hiking up terrain to rugged to ride in Mineral basin, looking up at the Snowbird tramdoc at 11,000, a mile or two, and many hours away, I decided to turn back at the 5hr mark and ride home.

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