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Old 03-18-2010, 10:01 PM   #166
2on2off OP
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Had a great time in DV last weekend.

I rode "the difficult route" over Manly Pass (the escape route) and three in our group took the easy route. It took us about 30 minutes longer to ride the hard route. I took videos of this trail with my new GoPro Hero HD and they turned out pretty good but they don't do a good job showing the difficulty of this route.

We rode south around the lake bed to Goler Wash with no problems. Up and over Mengle Pass and then took the 2 miles of Westside road to get to pavement and then on to Badwater and then on to Furnace Creek. We rode pavement to Beatty and spent the night.

Day two we rode highway 95 to Echo Canyon and rode it east to west. Lots of rocks and gravel. Rode to Furnace Creek, Stovepipe, Augerberry Point, Indian Guide Road, Ballarat and then back to the trucks in Ridgecrest.

One KTM 625, with no skid plate, died while riding east on Warm Springs Road when the front tire kicked up a rock that hit the oil line bolt and broke it off. Our XR650L rider towed him 45 miles to Furnace Creek.

One of our more experienced riders had 3 flats so with the busted KTM and 3 flats, we rerouted because we ran out of time.

This was the first time to DV for 6 of our 9 riders so we took our time and enjoyed the views.

I shot 48 videos so I'm in the editing process and will be posting a rr soon.

Riding Echo east to west was tricky finding the trail as I think there at least two different ways to "The Steps". The approach we did took us on the north side of Big Dunes but I think there is another route further north.

Titus was still closed when we went through.

Manly Pass, Mengle Pass and Echo Canyon were all clear with no problems.

I will be heading back when North and South Pass open up, maybe sooner.

Here is a link to my first attempt to film while riding. As far as I know, this is the only video of "The Escape Route" on Manly Pass. I tried not to make it too long:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciZ53-147n8
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2on2off screwed with this post 03-19-2010 at 12:24 AM
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:47 AM   #167
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Nice video. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #168
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Great video, Jim!!!

I subscribed to your u-tube, can't wait to see the rest. HD GoPro looks awesome!!
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:49 PM   #169
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Is the "difficult route" on Manly pass the one that goes up an old riverbed washout, and then into a tight, narrow canyon with a pretty good vertical rock step which was followed shortly afterwards by a nasty, soft hillclimb with two tight turns?

(this is a pic of the step. Like most things, it looks easier in the pic. It was about a 3 ft vertical).

We turned around at the hillclimb section as we were loaded with 40lbs of camping gear/food/etc., and didn't feel like humping the bikes up that section and didn't know how hard it was after that. The "regular" route was beautiful and easy, although there were some very, very, long steep descents that were fairly loose, and I'd guess it would be a fair bit harder going from Goler -> Trona rather than the way we came.

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Old 03-19-2010, 05:47 PM   #170
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kick butt video!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:06 PM   #171
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ok, just watched the video. You were on a different section. I missed that singletrack turn-off. There is another split point to cross from Trona to the Panamint Valley/Goler area earlier than where that video takes off. I was following a track provided by rinconrider, but neither of us know who actually rode it.

It splits to the LEFT shortly down the gravel road that runs east from Trona past the "sand and gravel" company. It looks like the singletrack turnoff that you took is well down the "regular" road and we probably missed it because it's a bit subtle if you don't know about it.

Looks like a great trail.

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:55 PM   #172
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I want to ride that trial... great video thanks
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Doc
Is the "difficult route" on Manly pass the one that goes up an old riverbed washout, and then into a tight, narrow canyon with a pretty good vertical rock step which was followed shortly afterwards by a nasty, soft hillclimb with two tight turns?

(this is a pic of the step. Like most things, it looks easier in the pic. It was about a 3 ft vertical).

We turned around at the hillclimb section as we were loaded with 40lbs of camping gear/food/etc., and didn't feel like humping the bikes up that section and didn't know how hard it was after that. The "regular" route was beautiful and easy, although there were some very, very, long steep descents that were fairly loose, and I'd guess it would be a fair bit harder going from Goler -> Trona rather than the way we came.

dc

Hi Doc:

I don't remember seeing this particular step on the route we took. There is a route on the west side of the lake bed known as "The Rocks from Hell", that we didn't ride. I think it is north of where we were.

I saw lots of single track off the main route to the south of the easy fire road that goes east/west so I think there is much more single track to explore on the west side of the lake bed.

We had planned to ride a route from Ballarat that would have taken us west of Ballarat and then south before reaching the paved road but we ran out of time. It is along this route where "The Rocks from Hell" trail is suppose to be.

We all need more recon of this area so we can direct other riders to it as it doesn't show up on any map but sections of it can be found in DV trail books.

I think you could spend an entire weekend exploring the trails in this area and stage in Ballarat where you can also camp.

This was the first time I rode Indian Guide road and it is a wide, graded dirt road ideal for flat trackers and high speeds. Oh, and the scenery isn't bad either.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:20 AM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2on2off
Hi Doc:

I don't remember seeing this particular step on the route we took. There is a route on the west side of the lake bed known as "The Rocks from Hell", that we didn't ride. I think it is north of where we were.
the pic countrydoc posted is from the trail we tried to take splitting off from the mining/quarry company gravel road, once you get past the straight section and it starts to turn right. you turn left instead and go in some sandy and rocky stuff until you eventually get to some rocks that you really don't want to do on a loaded bike.

i have tracks...

wes
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:41 AM   #175
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It sure takes a long time to load videos on YouTube but here are two more:

Part II of "The Escape Route Single Track"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VcLy_Fui3A

Mengel Pass Rocks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stuSvECsJTw

Echo Canyon Steps riding East to West:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73vPQln5Fqs


When people ask how difficult are these trails, the correct answer is: "I don't know. I haven't seen you ride". As you will see from the videos, each rider on our trip has a different bike and different skills. We all made it through but there are some riders, who I have seen ride, that I wouldn't recommend these trails to.

If anyone wants to ride a bike that is over 400 lbs. on these trails, I would say they would have to be a rider with outstanding skills or have two or three buddies along to help get the rider through.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:10 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinconrider
the pic countrydoc posted is from the trail we tried to take splitting off from the mining/quarry company gravel road, once you get past the straight section and it starts to turn right. you turn left instead and go in some sandy and rocky stuff until you eventually get to some rocks that you really don't want to do on a loaded bike.

i have tracks...

wes
That step and particular track is defintely to the north of the regular road (you split off left, and then it follows kind of the same arc as the Manly Pass route, but appears to be several miles to the north on the GPS track).

It looked like a great trail - would love to go back with an unloaded bike and a bit of time.

dc
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:57 AM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2on2off
When people ask how difficult are these trails, the correct answer is: "I don't know. I haven't seen you ride".

Remember when you were asking me about South Park? How in the heck are we supposed to answer those questions... It looks like the main limitation with the TTR is the lack of suspension. Nice crew you had on this one. Mengel looked almost flat, there has been a lot of traffic over the winter with the operations looking for the remains of the German Tourists.

I'd love to have the gps info from the single track if any of you saved it. That second segment you posted shows that the GoPro really flattens out terrain as it's obviously straight down into the wash as you idled down the hill.

Thanks for spending the time to post the vids.

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Old 03-22-2010, 11:22 AM   #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2on2off
If anyone wants to ride a bike that is over 400 lbs. on these trails, I would say they would have to be a rider with outstanding skills or have two or three buddies along to help get the rider through.
Great videos!!!!

So... I've riden Mengel on a 550 lb GSA, I thought I was a noob

although I did cheat a little and took a single track around the big rocks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:36 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Vern
Great videos!!!!

So... I've riden Mengel on a 550 lb GSA, I thought I was a noob

although I did cheat a little and took a single track around the big rocks.
I don't care how you made it through Mengel, doing a "go around" or not, it takes someone with serious skills to ride a bike that heavy on that trail including the small steps in Goler Wash and all the loose gravel and rocks.

I rode my fully loaded GSA as far as the small steps into Goler Wash before turning around because I didn't want to risk dropping it. It was a handful for me up to that point and that wasn't even the hard part.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:39 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Remember when you were asking me about South Park? How in the heck are we supposed to answer those questions... It looks like the main limitation with the TTR is the lack of suspension. Nice crew you had on this one. Mengel looked almost flat, there has been a lot of traffic over the winter with the operations looking for the remains of the German Tourists.

I'd love to have the gps info from the single track if any of you saved it. That second segment you posted shows that the GoPro really flattens out terrain as it's obviously straight down into the wash as you idled down the hill.

Thanks for spending the time to post the vids.

It is very hard to capture the steepness and difficulty of these trails with video or still pics. I haven't erased the route. I just have to figure out how to save it and make a file out of it. I've been just too busy lately.

I was surprised how rocky the trail was on the east side of Echo Canyon but we were on a trail that winds up at "Big Dune". Is that the route you took when you rode Echo Canyon?
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