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Old 12-31-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
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Ortega Trail

Ortega in Spanish means Grouse or more common is Daniel Ortega, Nicaraguan politician and former resistance leader; president of Nicaragua. From yesterday forward it will always mean rocky, steep, difficult single track with beautiful views and big pay offs for me.

Some background, we just moved out to California from Virginia Beach. We rode a lot there, but it took hours of highway to get to the good stuff of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley. We just got back into riding off road a few years ago and it has been awesome, but painful at times.

Got the go ahead from Mamma the night before, was really excited to try this trail. I knew it was rated Most Difficult and it was hikers/motorcycles only, so it promised to be an interesting challenge.

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Old 12-31-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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Made it out to the parking area around 930 and did the off load, suited up, turned Spot on, sent out Check in, GPS on, gas on and ready!!




We will definitely try


First little bit was not bad at all, some rocks, some climbing, some switchbacks, but nothing I didn't feel comfortable with. The weather was perfect, but it's SOCAL so what do you expect? Bike was running decent, all things considered and I was feeling pretty good.

Sorry to bore you with video, but don't click play if you hate helmet cams as much as I do It does tell the tale well though.


Some video of initial section going up from Wheeler Springs to Cherry Creek



nice view from the trail of the twistys on 33 through Ojai

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Old 12-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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I like helmet cam videos...


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Old 12-31-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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First good stopping point...ie; I was stuck ....came after the first split in the trail. What I refer to as Gatestone on the interactive map. It was getting steeper and rockier with some ledges. Tight too, there were parts were my bike wouldn't clear going straight through. I had to waddle side to side and watch those shift/brake levers, would suck to lose one this early on.





Here comes the challenge....I would be tearing off some layers after this little workout


Of course it is steeper than it looks!! It always is, it always is


Never smelled burning rubber riding off road, but then again I think this is the hardest trail I have tried in my time

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Old 12-31-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
flying.moto
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+1 for the helmet cams!

I was there too about 3 weeks ago, and arrived with no good batteries for the cam. So, you're it!
But absolutely correct. Awesome views, fun trail, and cant wait for more of your videos!
Does the trail end at the campsite and benches above? someone told me it takes 4 hrs to get up there, maybe if you don't cheat like I by taking a dirtbike
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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With some grunting, groaning, head scratching I got her up that section. Promptly stopped and got rid of a layer of clothes. Was wearing a thin poly-propellene bottom, due to chill at altitude. I wasn't going to need it today. Work kept me plenty warm

Referring back to the Dual Sport Map in the first post, that section was labeled Hard 1..think I am about 2 miles in at this point and already huffing

for larryboy and flyingmoto


earmuffs

hahahaha!! I should cheat next time and bring a dirtbike too!!!
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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Very nice!
That's a fun little rock step there, huh!

Have you met any bears on your way there?

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Old 12-31-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Looks like fun!!

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Old 12-31-2011, 04:35 PM   #9
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After the "fun" step up and some more pounding I made it to what I referred to on the map as Summit 1 (don't know if it was an official summit, but inside it sure felt like one)

Breaktime, pound water, couple granola bars, pics and breathe....need to breathe

stitches


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Old 12-31-2011, 04:52 PM   #10
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Peeled another layer at rest stop and was set to continue on. Winds were going pretty good up here and it felt great!

Made 4 waypoints on the trail the night before with mapsource with out having anything corresponding to them. I did take liberty to mark things along the way of interest to me, hard spots, soft switch where I dumped the bike and nearly lost it down the wash, campground with picnic table launch ramp, view or favorite view and easy two tracks..

From Summit 1 it was off to find the campground



but...between me and the campground were more challenges...
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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challenges like this



this



result in things like this every now and then


^^^^ this is interesting, since my direction of travel was 180 out from how the bike is laying It was a soft rutted switchback with some rocky step in the middle, of course I hit with a lot of throttle, tire spinning until it found traction on rocky cropping which then sent front wheel skyward, which I did not counter well at all, right leg out 180 wheely back down hill and bam!! on the ground with bike pointed down a nice rocky wash which ended where?? I didnt know

This part is listed as SoftSwitch on Dual Sport Map (Great, great site!!!)

Took some time and sweat to get it going in the right direction, after I did get her turned around of course she wouldn't start, why would she?


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Old 12-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #12
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Most Excellent!
I wish my YZ was plated
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:30 PM   #13
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Enjoy the view, but watch the trail It is soooo beautiful up here, on a clear day I hear you can see all of the Channel Islands. This wasn't a clear day, but I could still spot a couple. They don't show on film as well as real eye...





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Old 12-31-2011, 05:32 PM   #14
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We are both getting a little winded





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Old 12-31-2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Finally made it campground!! Don't know how, but I guess I didn't mark it after all on GPS. On the map you can see it shortly after the Soft Switch WP



note the ramp jump off picnic table
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