bikes general trip reports

Moab 9: Snow, arches, and Amasa Back/Captain Ahab

And on the eighth night there was snow.

As a result, the morning was spent waiting for things to warm up a little, and for the snow to go away. We decided a trip to the Arches National Park was in order. Perhaps the arches would look quite pretty all covered in snow?

Here’s an arch with Brendan standing in it (if you squint really hard you can see him, he’s that wee blue spot).

And here’s another arch with Alex and a wild Moosling.

And here’s Delicate Arch. Oooh, look how pretty it is.

By this time we’d well and truly had enough of driving around looking at arches (well I had anyway), and wanted to go and do something more interesting. That wish was fulfilled when Jackie, Greban and I set off to ride *dramatic chords* Amasa Back and Captain Ahab.

Things started off simply enough, with some slightly startling downhill, then a steady climb up a rocky double track.

Biking up Amasa Back, towards the eponymous whale

Then things opened up, and we were cycling along next to Jackson Hole, with a great precipitous drop next to the trail. The sort where in a situation where you usually wouldn’t think twice about riding over something, suddenly you’re wondering: “But what if I DID just randomly swerve a few metres that way, and then roll a bit – just look at that enormous cliff!”

We headed up to the summit of Amasa Back first, taking some obligatory summit shots…

… before descending (wheeeee!) down to the trail junction and heading out and back on the Pothole Arch singletrack.

The riding was good fun, but it sort of petered out to an uneventful conclusion, leaving us with a dirty great hill to climb back up again, which seemed the height of rudeness.

But then we were on our way to Captain Ahab! I was alarmed by the entry sign – expert skills recommended? But apparently I have enough pseudo-expert skills these days, and it was a wonderful trail, flowing and fun, and I think the people who built it may have been wizards.

For an average descent grade of 11%, it had an awful lot of uphill though. Oh, but there would have been even more photos if we hadn’t been having too much fun riding to really want to stop and take photos.

Distance biked: 25 km
Elevation gain: 736 m

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