El Classico de Wasatch

Posted by on Jun 23, 2009 in Bike, Wasatch | 8 Comments


The Wasatch Classic is Saturday. And while I am certain you will be in attendance, I wanted to take this opportunity to berate and cajole and manipulate any of you that are considering sleeping in on Saturday, to do otherwise.

Really, the route is spectacularly difficult, but just as rewarding. The singletrack is demanding and primitive and beautiful. The climbing relentless and constant, and the descents breathtaking and inspiring. And I don’t think I am being hyperbolic. I really don’t. The best part about this expertly designed course* is that it can be adapted to your abilities, expectations and motivations. Will anyone at long last complete the entire route? I hope so. And I hope to be one of them.

*Even if I do say so myself.

However, I did have to make a minor change to the impeccable design of this consummate route. Due to trail work that will be taking place on Trail 252, also known as Joy, that section of singletrack will be closed. I am very happy that some much needed work will be taking place in the mud bog area of 252. You all can thank URMB for the effort.  And you can thank the motorbikes for the need (Harrumph!).

So, instead of dropping down 252 we will have to settle for yet another incredible descent, one that we would have only done half of in the original route. But now, well, now we get to enjoy the entirety of Tibble. I once descended Tibble, knowing full well that with my car parked at the summit of the Alpine Loop, meant I had to then turn around and climb back up Tibble. Which back then, was no easy task for me. And frankly, today, would be no easy task either. The point is that that is how undeniably awesome the Tibble Fork descent is. Trust me.

And lest you think I am being hyperbolic once again, there are some people who have even called the trail “the best place in the world.”

In other words, I’d say the trade off is going to be well worth the miles that I cut out of the route. Doing so felt a lot like editing a film. There are shots and moments and lines of dialogue that are just amazing, and yet, do nothing for the story or the film. And so you leave them on the cutting room floor. So to speak.  Because nowadays in this age of computers and “digital film” it’s just a matter of hitting the delete key. But apparently back in the stone age they actually cut film with razor blades and scissors and left it on the floor. How barbaric. Where was I? Oh right…

The course is still undoubtedly incredible. And only because the Wasatch is so overtly so. In fact, if you come away from the Classic with impressions to the contrary then I will hand you my bike. Yours to keep. Forever. I can do this because “my bike” is not my bike, but rather a loaner I have been riding all summer as I impatiently wait for a frame from a bike company that shall remain unnamed. (psst, it’s Gary Fisher)

Oh, and hello Keith. I am just joking about giving away your bike!

So, head over to the Wasatch Classic blog and read up on the event. Linked there are the route sheet and GPS file for the course. Download those, mark your map, load up your GPS and your backpack and bring your legs, – you’ll need them. Because the course is awesome.

Did I mention that?



  1. Jared
    June 23, 2009

    Good luck. Looks like fun. Except for a wedding I would join you. . . really I would.

  2. Grizzly Adam
    June 23, 2009

    Jared, this is sort of the MTB version of your crazy super tours you do on skis. Which, by the way, I really want to join you on one next year.

  3. Dave Byers
    June 23, 2009

    I am dumb for not planning this one into my summer calendar. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

  4. Rich
    June 23, 2009


  5. Grizzly Adam
    June 23, 2009


    From what I have read the only snow I am worried about is up on Catherine’s Pass. I think we ought to be able to post-hole through it, and I don’t think it would be very far reaching. But then, I have not been up there recently, so who knows what it is really like?

    All recent accounts of the Crest and the MM are that they are clear and in great shape.

  6. justin moote
    June 23, 2009

    mm is clear and in amazing shape.. now is definately primo time to hit it. the crest has small patches of snow most easily avoided

  7. SkiMoab
    June 23, 2009

    As an FYI, we were on Ridge 157 yesterday, hoping to drop down Tibble when some dirt bikers came up saying it was still very wet and muddy, and that they had a hard time getting up it. We opted to turn right instead and loop Deer Creek south Fork.

  8. Greg
    June 26, 2009

    haha yes, there’s that epic shot of the wasatch crest trail again!

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