Birthday Ride – Star Pass to Hunter Creek (27 Sept 2014)

(Last Updated On: October 3, 2014)

“This is going to be a tough climb. But, when you get to the top, you’ll see it’s every bit worth it,” I told Jenny as we began our ascent up trail 583. Jenny huffed and puffed weakened by a cold, nodding her head in-between. “Your reward will be the views.” And the views truly were rewarding on top of Crystal Pass:

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
Views from the top of Crystal Pass.

My birthday was looming. Regrettable, it’s true. There’s nothing I like about being a year older. But, unless you’re a brilliant physicist who invents a way to alter time, birthdays are unavoidable. So, why not embrace them.

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
The climb up trail 583, Crystal, to get to Crystal Pass.

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
Jenny, relieved to be at the top of Crystal Pass.

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
Star Peak seen from the top of Crystal Pass.

With a cold front and storms in the forecast, I knew snow was in the works – especially up high. And it might be enough to shut down alpine riding for the season. Because of this, I wanted my birthday ride to be in the alpine – a good alpine ride at that.

Liz’s dog, Cody, loves to cuddle.

Liz & me on top of Crystal Pass.

I tried for several days to rally a crew to ride Canyon Creek / White Pine. But, most people were bound by other commitments or they just simply bailed. So, I opted for a closer, shorter ride – Star Pass to Hunter Creek.

mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte
Liz, at the intersection of trails, with Taylor Peak behind.

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
Jenny, with Crystal Pass in the distance.

Ever since riding this lollipop loop for the first time last year, it’s been one of my favorite rides. I was glad to share it with Jenny & Liz, who had never been near Star Pass before, and Josh too.

Jenny Veilleux, Josh Shifferly, Liz Sampey, Brittany Konsella
Jenny, Josh, Liz, and me on top of Crystal Pass.

mountain biking trail 583 near Crested Butte
A close up of Crystal Pass.

The climb up 583, Crystal Peak Trail, is the worst part of this loop. But, it’s not that bad. From there, we continued on to Star Pass – a short descent and ascent in between.
mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte

mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte
Me, climbing up toward Star Pass.

We descended Star Pass for a bit until the intersection with 405, where we began ascending toward Hunters Pass.
mountain biking Hunters Creek trail near Crested Butte

mountain biking Hunter's Creek near Crested Butte
Josh rising to the top of Hunter’s Pass with Star Peak towering behind.
Jenny a the top of Hunters Pass.

The descent down Hunter’s Creek trail is one of my favorites in the Crested Butte area. The smiles tell it all.

Josh Shifferly, Jenny Veilleux, Brittany Konsella
Pausing for a break on the enjoyable descent.

Hunter’s Creek trail led us back to the Cement Creek Trail, where we playfully finished our ride.
mountain biking cement creek trail

mountain biking Cement Creek trail

mountain biking Cement Creek trail
Liz is lickity-split, and Cody is trying to follow.

Two days later, on my actual birthday, the clouds hung low over the mountains and frigid air spread through the valley. Snow fell from the sky for three days. It was time to say good-bye to September-summer and alpine riding. I guess it’s time for winter 😉

Many thanks to Jenny, Liz, and Josh for joining me on what will likely be my last alpine ride of the season!

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Got something to say? We love your comments!