Great solo ride today. Here's the map:
1-2 Doumont Trail, Tank Traps
2-3-4 Intersection B,C and D
4-5 Last week's new road find to the power line route
5-6 Right turn on untried trail that runs the back length of Okay Mountain
6-7 Excellent flat, smooth & fast road to Rhododendron Lake Road
7-8 Fishing at Rhododendron Lake
8-9 Attempted return through power line route direct
9-7 Follow same route back to Doumont
The 6-7 road is excellent and is the best route to Rhodo from the Doumont side. I didn't think it would work out that way when I set out today because my GPS map shows a large swampy area along the left side of this road. I was expecting some deep pools similar to the ones at the swampy area at the start of the power lines route. It was an amazing, well-groomed, flat road allowing speeds over 70km/h. The rest of the route to Rhodo Lake was a repeat of a ride last summer. Nice road into the lake although rockier than I remember.
|The intersection where the Okay Mt. Valley road meets the road into Rhodo Lake. (Right sign is labeled "Rhododendron Lake")|
|180 Degree Panoramic of Rhododendron Lake|
The power line route from this end is extremely steep and rocky. I was well past my comfort level going up this road and the thought occurred to me that it would be a good deal harder coming down it. Good thing there's "no snow on the power line route."
|The climb from a distance|
|A small waterfall close to the top. Nice resting point!|
The trail settles down at the top and begins to wind it's way toward the spot where Paul and I got stopped by snow a couple of weeks ago. I eventually met up with pretty deep snow at almost 700m and gave it my best shot, but it was pretty clear that I had to go back down that #@&!*% hill. I was 2km from our recent "stopped at snow" location on the other side.
|I made it through this one, but it was getting pretty obvious that I was not going much further.|
The ride back down was abominable and I was clearly out of my league here. I don't have the skill nor the agility to swing the rear end of my bike around to descend hills by fishtailing to cut the speed, and I'm not even sure it's possible to do so on rock chunks of this size. I began an extremely slow and gradual descent by using both brakes to literally inch my way down. At times it was nearly impossible for me to use the rear brake at all and a controlled skid from the front was all I had. Thanks Banjo Boy! What a relief it was to return to slopes where I felt in control. This was a good eye opener for me.
I returned along the same route through Okay Mountain's back valley and followed the power lines to the same roads I rode on the way out.
I didn't notice these large "inukshuk" style rock pilings the last time Paul and I took this road. I don't know who did it... Perhaps the logging company piled the rocks up while building the road. Formed by erosion? Naah.
|Dog Turd Shaped Inukshuk|
That's it. Great ride. I'm completely worn out.
Here's a Google Earth overview of the route to the lake from Doumont: