Red Rocks and White Snow

Anytime I get to ski and mountain bike, it’s a good day. But when the skiing is really cool, and the biking is fantastic, it’s a REALLY good day.

The Ski: starting our drive from St. George, where we’re located for the Spry Cycles bike camp, we headed North to Cedar City. Taking the first exit into town we headed over to Cedar Canyon and started the climb. After about 6 miles you pass through a gorge of sorts, and then there’s suddenly a lot more snow on the South aspects. After another 8 miles you see a beautiful castle looking amphitheater straight ahead of you. At this point just try to get as close to it as possible and find a place to park on the side of the road. There are a few spots where the’ve plowed the road enough on the sides to park. We were able to park right at he base of the area.

It was a short skin through the flats, less than 10 minutes, before we started gaining elevation. The beautiful red cliffs towering over the white snow was majestic. To the lookers left we could see ski tracks coming down one of the south west facing chutes, that ended with a short rappel. Super rad. We trended right and skinned up the more North West facing slope. The snow had clearly been affected by the wind, but was still surprisingly soft for most of 500 ft climb. At the top it started to get more variable, and we eventually opted for booting to get to the base of the cliffs. We did two laps there and then went one drainage over and skied a lap there.

The Cliffs weren’t quite as cool in the other drainage, but the skiing was better: more consistent, soft turns. It wasn’t a big day out, but it was pretty cool!

The Ride:

By the time we were back in St. George it was 57 degrees, blue skies, and super calm. Perfect mountain biking weather. We at lunch and then rolled out on the trails at around 2. I started with riding zen with a few people. Zen is a technical 7 mile loop located in green valley in St. George. It has roughly 1,000 feet of climbing and a lot of cool lines. There are a few sections of the trail that I’ve never been able to clear, and today I rode two of them which was awesome! It was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had on Zen, and probably the best ride of the year (It was my only third ride this year). But still, it was super fun. It made me re-think doing the True Grit in March as a season opener. I’ll have to ponder it a bit more.

After Zen I went up the dirt road to Bear Claw Poppy, and enjoyed a few easy miles down Bear Claw and then up Stucki Springs and back to the top. At this point I took the trail that goes by the water tower and connects over to Barrel. It has been way to long since I’ve ridden Barrel. It’s such a good trail, and I was happy to be back. I haven’t hit the gap jumps and drops since the end of 2019, before my mission. But improvements on Zen, I was feeling good and sent them all blind. It was awesome! It felt so good to be back in my element, finding flow with two wheels on the dirt.

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