South Mountain Epic Riding

by Mike on March 1, 2010

From West SoMo 2-24-10

My insatiable thirst for steep adventure climbing and descending led me to my next West SoMo adventure… This ride would include three more brand new to me trails (Bajada, Ranger, Marker 33) plus three trails ridden in a new direction (DCX, National, Telegraph Pass).

West SoMo Epic


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Clockwise: DCX > National > Bajada > Ranger > National > Marker 33/Gila View out-n-back > National > Telegraph Pass.

Bajada is a beautiful beast. Techy XC climbing, in and out of washes, a cpouple of big moves, really fun. I was fresh, but if I was tired, Bajada would have been an ugly beast.

Ranger was all I dreamed it would be. Awesome climbing, switchbacks, and some tech thrown in the mix. National eastbound from Ranger is a hoot. I’d never ridden it that way before. Makes me want to do a National C2C2C.

I finally explored the Marker 33 Ridgline trail. Some call it the Gila View Trail. I’ll always call it Marker 33. It’s fun. Rough, narrow, looks like some trailwork has been done recently. I rode it to the end… It will eventually drop down the ridge and connect with the new 620 area, so I have heard.

Marker 33

I rode the ridgeline back to National and then bombed down the hike-a-bike. Took a nasty endo, but got lucky and didn’t fall off the mountain. I was sketching out down Telegraph, some of those drops are just too big for me, but it was still fun to find a few lines down that beast.

My endo down National. Not too exciting. You can listen to me cry and then act all cool when some hikers walk by…

Descending Telegraph Pass. Yes, I walked a lot, but I rolled a lot too…

Part II

All that’s left on my list for extreme south mountain riding is Viejo (Old Man), Cochise, Old Lady Ames, Mine Drop and the Ruins. Are there any that I missed? Wish me luck.

{ 11 comments }

1 Mike May 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

Dan – As soon as I Viejo, it I’ll let you know my take. Might be a while though…

2 Dan May 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Just tried Viejo the other day with a very advanced buddy. He described it as at least 2 X harder than holbert before we went down. I ended up walking the major descent, and sliding into a cactus on another loose section. But it was definitely fun. The route we took was up Boyscout/geronimo, up to Viejo down to DC and east to the pima lot / ramada, then back up to 24th street. Viejo is definitely pretty crazy, I’d like to hear your take.

3 Bruce April 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Telegraph pass is a totally different ride with 6″ of suspension. You can bomb down it (except for that nasty little right-turn) with the right ride. Go BIG!!! I’m an old man (48), and I do it… and I still get passed by my neighbor (54). But he is a national champ, so I guess it’s okay.

4 Mike March 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Armor? What’s armor?

I’d never really thought about armor until a couple of years ago when I rode Goat Camp with an MTBR group. Once we got to the beginning of the mayhem, everyone armored up…except me. The sharpness of the rocks and teh relentless descent made me think…armor would be nice…

Down Kiwanis, down Telegraph Pass, down Alta, down west National… I’m warming up to the idea of a little padding when I fall, not if I fall, but when I fall.

Until then, left shin and left elbow will have to do.

5 Chris Cowan (aka CrankyMonkey) March 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

I attempted Telegraph Pass many years ago and I had just about the same experience as what you did. The talking to yourself was awesome, I mostly ride solo and I do that all the time. I’m sure I sound like a crazy man when I crash or flub a section that I’ve cleared before.

When you endoed I was surprised you were not wear arm/shin armor. Do you have armor? I’ve been thinking about getting some of the SixSixOne 4×4 stuff. When I go down I seem to always muck up my left shin and scrap up my left elbow.

6 Mike March 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thanks man. I’m gearing up for more west somo this week. I think the EME will have to wait till after the spring fling.

7 chollaball March 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

nice vids! hearing you talk to yourself was the most realistic touch of all :). heal up man.

8 Mike March 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

Thanks man. I got a smashed thumb, scraped forearm and a bruised shin out of the deal. Me and Lindsey Vonn, I feel her pain.

9 Chris March 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

That endo was awesome!!!

10 Mike March 1, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I don’t think I got smart as much as I got scared… TP is crazy, I really should wear armor and get a bigger bike before I ride down it again.

11 Blaine March 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I attempted coming down Telegraph a while back and ate it pretty good right at that first sharp turn where you got smart and walked.

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