The Big Mountain Enduro finals in Moab on September 28-29, 2013 is where the entire season will culminate for a weekend of the most epic racing, parties and fun events for everyone all weekend long, BME and North American Enduro (N.A.E.T.) Series Overall Awards, to crown the top racers of the year and celebrate the end of a BIG season of the Big Mountain Enduro Series.
Course maps and descriptions are now posted at www.bigmountainenduro.com/moab. Course will be marked by the end of the day on Thursday.
Trails – Saturday
Length: 5.1 miles of singletrack; short section on seldom used road and on Gemini Bridges Rd.
Difficulty: Intermediate plus riders. Several sections of the trail are near a cliff edge so controlling your speed is advised. Total climb from Mag 7 TH to Arth’s Corner is about 600 feet. Total climb coming back is 1250 Feet. Average grade about is 6%.
Type of Ride: This is the 1st trail in the Mag 7 system. Start the trail at the Mag 7 Trailhead on the Gemini Bridges Rd about 1.6 miles from SR-313. The ride is mostly on sandstone (Kayenta Fm) through a Pinion and Juniper forest. Views of the La Sals, Behind The Rocks, & Bull Canyon are stunning. Stay on the trail.
Length: 3.3 miles
Difficulty: Average grade is about 8%.
Type of Ride: Start the trail across from the Arth’s Corner TH. Surface is mostly sandstone thru Pinyons and Junipers. Follow the paint marks carefully. Trail crosses Bull Canyon Rd at the halfway point. In the 2nd half the trail crosses a dry wash then proceeds along rock shelves to another dry wash crossing where you must hike your bike. Stay on the trail to protect microbiotic soil gardens. Trial intersects Little Canyon ST about 1/2 mile before it ends. Turn left to return to Arth’s Corner Trail or turn right to proceed to Gold Bar ST.
Length: 1.2 miles of singletrack and 2.3 miles of 4×4 road to the rim. (typically ridden as an up and back on the singletrack since continuing on Mag 7 involves negotiating difficult 4×4 roads.
Difficulty: Intermediate plus riders; aerobically demanding. Moderately technical. From the end of Little Canyon ST to the overlook of Bride Canyon is a 400 ft climb. Average grade is about 8%. The ride on roads to the rim has an average grade of 12% with a climb of 957 feet.
Type of Ride: This is the 4th trail in the Mag 7 system. Start the trail at the Gold Bar Rim 4×4 road (end of Little Canyon ST). Surface is all slickrock along shallow drainages. Numerous interesting turns, drops, and climbs over and along ledges and thru boulders. Last section on massive sandstone features an arch just before reaching the rim of Bride Canyon. Take a break and see if you can identify the Bride & Groom. The road to the rim is physically demanding; mostly on slickrock with the typical rubble found on 4×4 roads.
Trails – Sunday
Difficulty: Advanced riding skills required. Most difficult section of the Enchilada. Climbs approximately 700 feet to top of Burro Pass in less than 1 mile then descends 1860 feet in just over 2 miles. Average grade is 14%. Sections where the grade exceeds 20% are common. Check your brakes before attempting.
Type of Ride: 1st ride of the Whole Enchilada. Ride is in forested mountain terrain. Starts at 10500 feet and tops out at 11216 feet. Tight switchbacks, loose igneous rock, creek crossings, exposed roots all challenge your technical skills. You can end this ride at Warner Lake or continue to the Hazzard County Trailhead to continue the Whole Enchilada.
Length: 2.9 miles
Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced. All downhill except for the 1st half mile, which is a 200 ft climb. Average grade is 9%.
Type of Ride: 2nd ride of the Whole Enchilada. Ride is through Aspen and Oak forest with occasional meadows. Fun and fast. Trail starts at Hazzard Trailhead off the Warner Lake Road and ends at the La Sal Loop Road
Length: 1.8 miles
Difficulty: Two-track road section that drops about 550 feet to the beginning of the Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS). Dodging rocks in the road is the only difficulty. Average grade is 7%.
Type of Ride: 3rd ride of the Whole Enchilada. Rocky road winding thru oak brush and pinyons.
UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack)
Length: 2.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderately challenging singletrack over rock, roots, ledges, and dry washes. Average grade is 6%.
Type of Ride: 4th ride of the Whole Enchilada. Singletrack starts at a right fork off of the Kokopelli trail. Watch for the map sign. The double track, which is the Kokopelli, continues to the left and intersects the Sand Flats Road. UPS generally follows the rim on sandstone and dirt thru the Pinyons & Junipers. It passes thru a primitive campground where you can bailout on another road to Sand Flats. Continuing on the singletrack leads you to the start of LPS.
LPS (Lower Porcupine Singletrack)
Length: 1.8 miles staying along the rim
Difficulty: Technically challenging. Trail splits into a rim ride section and the Notch section. The Notch is for experts only. The rim ride section has an entry drop that is difficult, but slightly more ride-able than the Notch. Most hoof it over these obstacles. Average grade is11%.
Type of Ride: 5th ride of the Whole Enchilada. Officially starts at the small cattle guard on the boundary between US Forest land and Bureau of Land Management land. The trail has numerous drops, roots, and slickrock to negotiate. Riding uphill is significantly more work.
There is lots going on this weekend for everyone- racers, friends, family and spectators!
Words: Big Mountain Enduro PR | Photos: Nicholas B. Ontiveros