2023 Cottonwood Crusher


January 21, 2023 at 8 AM

Buena Vista, Colorado

Hosted by Jeff Kerkove

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No more than 74 people allowed for this event!

This is intended to be a NON-COMMERCIAL, Recreational-Use Activity that is held on parts of USFS lands in compliance with USFS Special Use Rules and Regulations.

PLEASE BE SURE TO READ EVERYTHING ON THIS PAGE!

THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT RIDE AND YOU CAN PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED! IT IS ADVISED TO HAVE WINTER FAT BIKE ULTRA EXPERIENCE. YOU WILL BE BETWEEN 10,000 FT AND 12,100 FT FOR THE DURATION OF THE RIDE.

This event is fully UNSUPPORTED and you will need to be self-sufficient and winter backcountry ready in order to complete the established course.  The rules are located HERE.

When: Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 8 AM from the Denny Creek TH west of BV, Colorado

What: The Cottonwood Crusher is a FREE self-supported winter fat bike adventure in the Collegiate Peaks. You’ll climb up and over 12,000 ft twice! Complete the full 45-mile lollipop or just ride part of it. It’s totally up to you. Either way, it’s a beautiful, challenging and rewarding day on the bike with BIG views!

Start: Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 8 AM, Denny Creek Trailhead

Finish: 5-10+ hours later, Denny Creek Trailhead

RIDE DETAILS AND NOTES

The route is not marked, so you need to self-navigate. Download the GPX file for your device at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34998161

8 AM start time at the Denny Creek Trailhead, which is located 11-miles west of Buena Vista up paved and plowed County Rd 306. There is ample parking both in the lot and along south side of the road. This is also the main trailhead for the Mt Yale 14er. https://goo.gl/maps/PSgGf2qwJfsK9jhL7 Please carpool if you can. DO NOT PARK IN THE TURN AROUND OR IN FRONT OF ANY “NO PARKING” SIGN.

Rules: https://swes.wordpress.com/rules-regulations-and-responsibility/ The ride host, other user groups and other riders doing this ride are NOT responsible for you. Please always use your best judgement and exercise caution and safety as your #1 priority. You are 100% responsible for you!

The entire route utilizes groomed snowmobile trails. While this ride is free, the grooming is not. Consider a small $ donation to the grooming efforts: https://www.snowmobilecolo.com/content.aspx?page_id=301&club_id=45117

How long will this ride take? Even though it’s just 45-miles, this ride is still a 5-6 hour day with good conditions for the fastest of riders. Conditions are rarely good. Plan accordingly. To give you an idea of speeds, it will take most folks 1.5 to 3 hours to go the first 7.5 miles up to Cottonwood Pass. 2021 finishing times for the full 45-mile route ranged from 6.5 hours to 10 hours. 2022 finishing times ranged from 5-10 hours.

Expect temps from below-zero to just above 32ºF. It’s typically 15ºF colder in the Taylor Park / Gunnison Valley area. In 2022, temps were near 30ºF at the start. 20 miles later down in Taylor Park temps were hovering around -6ºF. Be prepared for a drastic change in temperatures on course.

SUGGESTED MINIMUM GEAR LIST: 100 oz of water that won’t freeze, high calorie food, headlamp, puffy jacket, shell/wind jacket, mid-weight gloves, heavy weight gloves, something to cover your face/nose, any spare clothing you could foresee needing, a way to make a fire, spare tube(s), pump.

There is no cell service on route.

MINIMUM tire size is 3.8″. Anything smaller than 3.8″ will result in you not having any fun, destroy the grooming efforts and jeopardize fat bike access in the area.

You are going to want to bring a camera! Pictures of the route can be seen HERE

There are no resupply points on or off route! Plan on carrying all food and hydration. A stove to melt snow for additional water is not a bad idea. Remember, your calorie and hydration needs are greater when exercising in colder temps as well as when at elevation.

The Taylor Park Store will NOT be open. This store is seasonal.

A head light and rear red blinky are highly advised to make yourself visible to other user groups and the for the potential to be finishing in the dark.

See the grooming report at https://www.snowmobilecolo.com/content.aspx?page_id=1980&club_id=45117&module_id=1980&area_id=37#search_results Grooming typically happens on Monday nights.

A good weather forecast to follow can be found at https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-106.40896411755591&lat=38.827854361267725#.YfBZA2BlBpQ Please note, this is to set a weather baseline. Always plan on it being colder, especially in the lower elevations on the route.

Still interested? These are some questions to ask yourself prior to committing to this ride…

  1. Can I keep my hands, face, core and feet warm in temps possibly below 0ºF for 6+ hours?
  2. Can I keep my hydration from freezing?
  3. What food(s) should I bring that won’t freeze?
  4. How will my body respond to riding up and over 12,000 ft TWICE?
  5. Do I know how to regulate tire air pressure in the field? Will my pump work in sub-zero temps?
  6. Am I physically and mentally ready to be on the bike in the backcountry in the coldest part of winter for 6+ hours?
  7. Am I able to regulate my body temperature and not sweat through all my clothing/layers?
  8. Am I ready and able to fix any equipment mechanicals that may occur?

REGISTER HERE – it’s FREE and REQUIRED!

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