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Old 07-20-11, 09:30 AM   #1
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Barr trail anyone?

Anyone here ever ride the Barr Trail?

1. How's the 13mi climb up?
2. Is it a slow descent?
3. XC bike or AM bike okay?
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Old 07-20-11, 10:07 AM   #2
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Anyone here ever ride the Barr Trail?

1. How's the 13mi climb up?
2. Is it a slow descent?
3. XC bike or AM bike okay?
I've hiked it, but never ridden it. The lower section is all switchbacks. Once you get above treeline there is a long sequence of widely spaced 8-12" stone steps. And more switchbacks. 7500 elevation change in 13 miles -- I bet it's a screaming fun descent, if you survive the climb.

I assume you are familiar with the safety issues with regard to being up at 14,000 feet.
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Old 07-20-11, 10:57 AM   #3
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I've hiked it, but never ridden it. The lower section is all switchbacks. Once you get above treeline there is a long sequence of widely spaced 8-12" stone steps. And more switchbacks. 7500 elevation change in 13 miles -- I bet it's a screaming fun descent, if you survive the climb.

I assume you are familiar with the safety issues with regard to being up at 14,000 feet.
Safety issue? The fact that I'll be a little dizzy? Extremely short of breath? Or ice on the trail in the middle of summer?

If I do it this summer...I'll probably gimp out and shuttle up. If I wait til next summer...who knows...I may ride up.
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Old 07-20-11, 11:05 AM   #4
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Found this - looks awsome - may have to go on my list of trails to ride
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Old 07-20-11, 11:07 AM   #5
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I've been over 14K' a couple times - didn't seem to bother me, but I have heard it does get to some others
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Old 07-20-11, 11:16 AM   #6
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I've run it, never biked it. I don't remember it being all that technical...a couple stairs at the top and lots of switchbacks like corvus said, but that's mainly it. By now I doubt there's any ice up there still. Altitude affects everyone differently. Sometimes I'll be fine, sometimes I'll get a little bit of a headache, but nothing major. Sometimes people have more severe altitude sickness reactions, and a friend of a friend (who was in great shape and acclimated too) got herself into trouble up there once and apparently had to be taken out (but I don't know the entire story...just that it came from a pretty reputable source). But it's a really heavily traveled trail, so there'll be someone there if you get in trouble.

If you're riding up, you probably want the XC bike. Even if it's a little less great for descending, the first 13 miles is straight up, with only one short kind of downhill break, and it gets steeper at the top (or maybe I was just tired and at 14,000 feet and thought it got steeper). But if you choose to shuttle, there's a road you can drive up.
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Old 07-20-11, 11:20 AM   #7
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Safety issue? The fact that I'll be a little dizzy? Extremely short of breath? Or ice on the trail in the middle of summer?
There are two main hazards:

(1) Lightning. Always, always, always be off the peak by early afternoon, or if storm clouds are building.

(2) Hypoxia. Even for somebody pretty well acclimated to altitude, the lack of O2 at 14K can result in noticably diminished reasoning and judgment. One of the symptoms of hypoxia, in fact, is a marvelous sense of well-being.

People die on "easy" fourteeners all the time.
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