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WestVirginia Hatfield McCoy: 03-06-10

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I plan to ride the Rockhouse trail system this weekend out of Gilbert, WV. Does anyone know how much snow is left on the ground down there? Is anyone interested in joining me?

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There is 1"-2" in some areas, but there are many clear areas.

Snow flurries are forcasted for the next few days.

The weather will be sunny and upper 50's this weekend.

I am at Matewan on the Buffalo Mtn. trail system, which is 23 miles from Gilbert.

If you have time checkout the great single track on Buffalo Mtn.

Stop in Matewan by my place. www.BlueGooseInnWV.com

I will be out working on new single track trails during the day this weekend.

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There is 1"-2" in some areas, but there are many clear areas.

Snow flurries are forcasted for the next few days.

The weather will be sunny and upper 50's this weekend.

I am at Matewan on the Buffalo Mtn. trail system, which is 23 miles from Gilbert.

If you have time checkout the great single track on Buffalo Mtn.

Stop in Matewan by my place. www.BlueGooseInnWV.com

I will be out working on new single track trails during the day this weekend.

Thanks for the info. Do you want some company this weekend? So far, I'm going alone, but one other guy (an expert rider) might come along also. I'm going to pick up my Berg at IROC in Gilbert early Saturday morning, and figured I might as well ride the trails while I'm all the way down there.

BTW, studded or non-studded tires for this weekend? I can do either (I'll bring the wheels and studded tires off my 250exc to swap onto the Berg).

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You will not need a studded tire. The stock new tire should work ok with low air pressure. Some good hanguards might be nice. I will mainly be hiking and flagging the final new single track paths, most are unrideable right now. The trail system comes in and clears saplings and vines out of the way. I usually leave my bike at the beginning of a new trail and hike. Let me know if you are going to come this way and I will tell where I will be around. The single track is very challenging, especially when slick. If you have any questions on the trails let me know.

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So I picked my Husaberg FE570 yesterday morning. I arrived at the shop when they opened the doors at 8:00, signed the paperwork, geared up and headed for the trails at 9:00. I had to snap a photo before I got her dirty:

IMG_0417.jpg

I asked Bill, the owner of IROC cycles and the person who laid out the first 10 miles of the HM trails, for a decent trail loop that would take around 3 hrs to complete. He traced out the following route on the trail map:

http://www.trailsheaven.com/shared/content/Page_objects/Rockhouse%20User%20November%202009.pdf

Trail 12, 24, 35, 36, 14, left on 11, left on 18, 33, 31, 30, 19, 32, 12

IROC sells trail permits, but they just ran out on Friday, so he directed me to a campground at the trailhead that sells them. I headed up trail 12 out of Gilbert, and once at the top I made a right onto #3 to get the permit at the campground. The trails at this point looked decent, but the mud holes were icey from the cold AM temperature. Here's a nice view from trail 12:

IMG_0418.jpg

It wasn't long before I ran into some snow

IMG_0419.jpg

A little hillclimb on trail 24 IIRC:

IMG_0420.jpg

Some parts of the mountain had a lot more snow still on the ground. This is when I realized that things were going to get interesting. There was a huge iced over mudhole that I sunk into right after I took this picture:

IMG_0421.jpg

From that point on, there was snow on most of the trails. It was manageable, although there was a steep hill on 36 that was a little scary heading down. The rocks were all covered in ice, but I just took my time and made it down fine. Things didn't get hairy again until I entered the uphill switchbacks on trail 31, which were covered in about 4" of snow the whole way up (about 1+ mile). Just a little too much throttle and the rear end would step out towards the edge of the trail. Riding alone, it would have been ugly if I went off:

IMG_0422.jpg

Once I finally made it to the top, I got a nice view of some switchbacks on the other side of the mountain. You probably can't see these unless there's a little snow:

IMG_0423.jpg

At the end of trail 31, 22 miles into the ride, I finally got off the bike to take a break and soak in the great view:

IMG_0424.jpg

I headed back down the mountain and made it back to Gilbert by 12:00. The trails were starting to thaw out and were getting pretty slimy in the last 30 minutes of riding. I ended up putting 45 miles on the bike in 2.4 hours of riding time.

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Dude - that is a sweeeeet looking bike. How did you like it? Also, a friend and I are planning on riding Buffalo Mtn. on the 26/27th of this month and I got a bit freaked when I saw how much snow is still on the trails.

Anyhow - thanks for the mini trip report!

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Mark, Thats a awesome Berg!

Also, a friend and I are planning on riding Buffalo Mtn. on the 26/27th of this month and I got a bit freaked when I saw how much snow is still on the trails.

Right now the snow is almost all melted on Buffalo Mountain. There is just a small amount in shaded areas. The next few days the temperature will be 70 degrees. The next 10 days will be around 60 degrees and only rain. Here is a weather link for this area. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/tenday/USWV0469

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Thanks for the compliments! So far, I really like the bike. I'm sure I'll like it even more at 14k feet this summer in Colorado :banana:

Like Bill said, most of the snow should melt away by next week. I wish I could have ridden the single track while I was there, but that would have been suicide trying to do it solo in those conditions.

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