Southwestern Exposure

We have some pretty hairy trails here in Washington. And by that, I'm referring to narrow singletrack with lots and lots of exposure. Devil's Gulch and Mission Ridge immediately spring to mind.

But Moab's Portal Trail is just ridiculous. I haven't ridden at Moab yet, but I don't know if I have the stomach for a spin on this trail.

See the pic here.

Now, the trail doesn't actually go down the cliff. The biker emerged from the rocks on the right and will be following the trail leading off to his right, but still. That is just plain insanity, if you ask me.

And yes, three mountain bikers have died on this trail (and many more likely came close to upping that number).

And no, when I do get to Moab, there is no chance of me riding this trail.

5 comments:

Criscipline said...

I forbid you from riding Moab's.

Doug Walsh said...

Ahhh, it's just one trail -- the Portal Trail. There's hundreds of miles of other ones in the Moab (a town) area.

Criscipline said...

I forbid you from riding the Portal Trail. Smart ass.

;-)

Maarten said...

I'd say the Portal trail is less a trail ride and more an experience to do once in your life.

The picture makes this stretch look worse than it is; the trail corridor is more than a bike length wide there. I'm pretty much a wuss, and the whole thing didn't scare me all that much--but I also hiked half of it. [The lower part is not exposed but is unrelentingly technical.]

The nasty parts involve moves like a tricky rock-over in a spot like that, and those spots are clearly signed with 'GET OFF YOUR BIKE NOW' signs. And admittedly, there are spots where it's narrow enough that you want hike and to carry your bike on the downhill side to keep your center of gravity away from the edge.

How do you feel about this?
http://thinkling.com/pub/gall06/misc/2006-0516-Moab%20169.jpg

Doug Walsh said...

That pic doesn't look too bad, Maarten. Actually, not bad at all. I get a little feeling of vertigo at times, I have to go back and ride Mission Ridge see how I'm doing with that now. When I rode Devil's Gulch, I had just gotten back into riding, and wasn't as confident as I am now.

But, that being said, I'm not too proud to walk. Everything I read about the lower section says it's pretty much big-bikes only kind of terrain. I'd probably walk a lot on that XC race bike.