Off the Hook: Sunrise, Pinecrest Peak

After spending most of the last year doing a lot of fairly close riding or not riding much at all, I’ve been getting by but in gear again. A bunch-o-trogs made their way up to Pinecrest this weekend for some early season PCP.

Fiona dropped us off right at the top of Hamil Canyon and we tried to make it up to Eagle Peak. The route was clear for the most part, save some occasional drifts.

But eventually we were stymied by a big sheet of snow and the prospect of more ahead so we turned back.

After a bit of debate, we decided we’d try to climb up to a challenging trail called Sunrise. We ground our way up a steep 4WD road which most of us pushed up, but the views up top were spectacular and Sunrise trail is a real treat.

Unfortunately, we were blazing down Sunrise so I don’t have any shots of this great section of singletrack. Trust me on this one, it’s amazing.

After enjoying the descent, there was a brief climb up to the Pinecrest Peak “Bonus” trail, a section that was added to the beginning of PCP trail proper a few years ago.

The bonus section is short and I was really enjoying the flow so again no pictures, but after we were on Pinecrest Peak trail proper I took the time to stop and get some shots of the spectacular trail and views.

A huge part of upper PCP is giant granite slabs with thoughtfully arranged cairns spaced to maximize fun and keep riders from rolling off into oblivion.

Well actually, at one point you more or less do roll off into oblivion, or it seems like it. (Pinecrest Lake in the background)

The granite slab points down and it gets pretty steep, it feels like you are riding out of the sky. (File this under ‘steeper than it looks’)

(It was shortly after this that Joey did a nice endo almost going face first into a boulder.)

After boulder crawling and navigating slabs, we spent about 30 minutes picking our way through steep technical trails and rolling through high mountain meadows.

Then we hit the warp drives and blazed down some a fast bermed out section of serpentine trail. It was off the hook fast and my riding was on fire. The grin factor was maxed out, lots of whoops and hollering.

At the bottom, things get technical again and the speed comes down, but the grin factor doesn’t decrease as we bounced over boulders, slid down granite slabs, took chunky drops over tree roots, dodged stone outcroppings, ducked under branches, and threaded trees.

Then, all too soon, we were at the bottom, tired, sore, and feeling that melancholy we all feel when a spectacular day of riding is over. We crossed the creek, loaded up the bikes and headed back to Bruce’s trailer for some beer and some great grub.

One thought on “Off the Hook: Sunrise, Pinecrest Peak”

  1. Sounds like a great trail cant wait to check it out.
    Sidenote: while checking the map; I discovered that an excellent natural swimming hole is nearby. I’ve always wanted to visit Cleo’s Bath. Now I have a two-fer.
    Thanks for sharing!

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