Two Flat Landers, Colorado Mountain Passes on an F800GS and 640 Adventure.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EnderTheX, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Nice picture Chris, I had almost forgotten about that photo shoot. I was concentrating on getting up the mountain. What an amazing climb this was!


    I highly recommend anyone doing Bolam pass from West to East, it is a lot of fun and very scenic. As you can tell by Chris' amazed and gleeful look.


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    On this stretch Chris and I took a minute to take some pictures. There was no official sign for Bolam Pass that we saw but we think we were very close to the actual pass here.



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    #61
  2. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    Really great pictures. What was the deal with the guys that got in trouble up there?
    #62
  3. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Hey man, the deal is that Black Bear Pass at a certain point is a one way road (down only). This is due to the extremely narrow and rough road and impossible passing conditions.

    We met 5 guys who were on their way UP the pass. The first two guys came rocketing up when we were walking the tough part and seemed to know the area. These were locals who had done it before and were out for a thrill, they got fined... The other three guys were from out of town, we talked to them a bit and watched them go up the rocky steps. They just got a slap on the wrist probably because they were from out of town.

    There is an event once a year where a bunch of jeeps (not sure if everyone is invited) go up the pass. I'm sure it involves a bunch of spotters and video cameras.

    We were headed down and I definitely had no plans of going back up lol. In my opinion if someone wants to go up, motorcycles only, more power to ya, just make sure no one is around the bend trying to go down. :eek1
    #63
  4. wswartzwel

    wswartzwel Unsafe at any speed

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    Subscribe!

    I always like your ride reports EnderTheX... I am surprised that you didn't ride solo like you usually do.??? Your riding partner takes great pictures too, and you guys seem to have your posting synchronized well. I am really looking forward to the rest of your story... and I will be interested in your routes so I can ride here next year.
    I usually ride up around Paonia/Gunnison in July... But just seeing your 1st day pics has me jonesing to try out this area!
    #64
  5. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Thanks! We will certainly post a bunch of maps, gps tracks and commentary as the ride unfolds. I will also update the first post with links so people can access the data easily. I love maps so I am trying to give back to our community! You guys helped me out when I wanted to ride Arkansas :D (still some of the best riding close to my area).


    The San Juan mountains (riding area of this report) are my new favorite area but I get the feeling there is more to discover.

    :freaky
    #65
  6. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Meanwhile... we take a few minutes to admire the scenery.


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    At this point I am slightly ahead of Chris and waiting for him to finish up his pictures. He takes about 25 minutes to get back on the trail!!! I am tapping my foot but who can stay annoyed with this view?


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    :freaky
    #66
  7. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Speaking of "the book" I just went and took a couple shots of our trusty little guide. This has to be the best encounter of the whole trip, the visit to the information center and chatting up those old ladies paid off in full especially because it points out routes such as Bolam Pass which is relatively off the grid.


    I think I will keep this weathered copy.

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    The goodies:

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    #67
  8. child

    child poop is fun

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    Haha, Oliver was constantly mad at me for taking too long with pictures. I saw this view and couldn't resist pulling over for a few snapshots. There was some real nice camping spots near the top of Bolam Pass, still in the trees (I dont think Bolam Pass got above the tree line) with this as the view. You just wouldn't want to get drunk and stumble around camp at night, as just in front of me here is a pretty good cliff.

    Pretty much the same view oliver had... but its worth reposting :D
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    Hydrate Oliver, Hydrate!!!
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    The road down from Bolam, switchbacks, fun fun fun
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    Is it yellow? You should drink more!!! haha, inevitably I'd start giggling like a school girl while I snapped these pictures "DAMN IT CHRIS!!! I can't go while you're watching" hahaha, what are friends for??? I never got tired of doing this.
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    Thanks for all the kind words guys! We still got lots more to go :clap
    #68
  9. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Meanwhile.... I take more pictures at Bolam. There is a small field with a pond just after what we think was the pass.


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    Two deer run across the sunny grass just in time for Chris not to get a picture. You can see the two deer just to the right of center in this picture, I have a close up but it didn't turn out.


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    #69
  10. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    At one point on the way down the pass we come across an old mine. The cabin there is in remarkable shape. I believe this mine is for Uranium. The mineral content in these areas is amazing, you can see the colors throughout the mountains indicating a rich supply of essential metals and minerals.


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    #70
  11. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Heading down Bolam we took some time to get switchback shots.


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    These were in good condition and fun to ride!

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    #71
  12. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Going back into town was fun too. There was a huge river crossing, not very deep but long. The rocks were slippery but if you stood up and let the bike move underneath you it was fine.


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    An old ski lift was silent on the slope.


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    Taking a moment to enjoy the Aspen trees.


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    #72
  13. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Back in Silverton we felt like getting a bite to eat at a local restaurant Chris remembered going to when he was here a long time ago with his parents.

    The food was decent but the rice tasted funny.

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    At camp Chris notices some oil on the KTM. We ponder where it is coming from and if it will be a problem. It possibly is from the primary drive shaft seal since Chris had changed out his front sprocket for the first time last night. We didn't have a torque wrench with us so we decided to just keep going and monitor the leak.


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    #73
  14. child

    child poop is fun

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    That leak had nothing to do with the torque on the drive sprocket. I noticed the leak prior to changing the gear, I changed the gear out of pure curiosity for what a taller gear ratio would feel like in the mountains.
    #74
  15. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Well, Day 1 is done, we hit up the following trails:

    Bandora Mine
    Clear Lake
    Ophir Pass
    Bolam Pass


    Here are some maps to help show where the trails are. I put little flags at each of the way points. The pass flags are not placed exactly at the passes.


    This is the whole map of Day 1:

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    Here are the first three trails in greater detail

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    This is Bolam Pass at the southern end of the map.

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    #75
  16. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    #76
  17. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Here is a view of the trails from Google Earth.


    This is Bandora Mine Trail


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    This is Clear Lake Trail (definitely a must see!!)


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    This is Ophir Pass from looking from East to West, the flag is not exactly at the pass.


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    This is Bolam Pass, also a lot of fun and scenic. Not exactly sure where the actual pass is but we had fun going from west to east.


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    #77
  18. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    The next morning we awoke to another great day. Today we would ride some more challenging roads. I was feeling much better than the first day we arrived and ready for action. Neither Chris or I are morning people so we didn't wake up until 9 or so.


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    Being the first one up, I started a fire. Fire is surely an essential tool and companion in any camping situation.

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    #78
  19. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    As we start to head out the weather looks good...


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    But then as soon as we are ready it starts to rain again. Oh well, we put on the rain gear and head out towards 550. Today we will be starting on Engineer Pass!!


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    This is the start of Engineer Pass off of 550 near Ouray. The book states that the most difficult part of Engineer Pass is the very beginning at this state. There is a bypass road you can take to start the trail after the difficult part. We were about to find out what the book meant when it rates a trail as difficult!


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    #79
  20. dirtypumpkin

    dirtypumpkin "Monster Truck Bike"

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    Great report, thanks for sharing the pics & tracks.:freaky
    #80