7 Early Season Mountain Bike Rides near Crested Butte

In May, the valley of Crested Butte glows in emerald green while the mountains still glimmer with white. It’s a time of transition and locals know that the changes can be huge, even from day to day. Snowmelt can happen alarmingly fast in some places, and utterly slow in others. Even so, there are certain trails that melt out earlier than others, where avid mountain bikers can begin to satiate their hunger for “brown pow”. Here, we have listed 7 of the best early season mountain bike rides near Crested Butte for all to enjoy!

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ACL Recovery Update: 6 months post-op

Every step of recovery is big. But, with improvement, each step takes longer and longer. After my knee surgery, improvements were fast with the first week. After a month, the straight leg brace came off and I was able to actually begin riding my trainer and improve my strength. At month three, I could ride my bike outside. And then after 6 months I can finally ride my bike on single track.

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Bocas del Toro Boat Tour

The Panamanian archipelago surrounding Bocas del Toro is best done by boat. If you book your tour somewhere in Bocas Town, you’ll likely end up crammed on some tiny boat with 20 other tourists. So, when we found out that a boat tour was leaving straight from our dock at Koko Resort on the other side of Bocas Town, we were game on. A tour with 5 sounded a whole lot better than a tour with 20.

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Panama City

We stayed in the Casco Viejo neighborhood which is the historic center of the city and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2003). The city was actually founded in 1519 a different section called Panama Viejo. But after it fell in 1671 to Captain Henry Morgan, the city was moved 8km southeast to the current Casco Viejo. This peninsula was easier to defend and walls once surrounded the city.

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TBT: Crystal Peak – North Face – then & now

Crystal Peak will always be special to me. Back in April, 2006, my friend Dave Bourassa asked me to join him to ski the north face. When we arrived to the summit, the line had not yet softened. So, we had to bide some time for better conditions. Just below the summit sits a wind drift feature that typically forms and is a good place to seek shelter from the wind. We sat there for quite some time waiting for the sun to do its work, chatting. It was then that I confided to Dave that I was thinking of skiing all of Colorado’s fourteeners. I hadn’t skied a single one of them, yet though, and questioned whether a goal like this was even possible for me. So, I asked Dave if he thought I could do it, and he said he knew I could.

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TBT: Flat Top Mountain (21 May 2016)

If you’re a backcountry skier in Colorado, you might have an idea of where the Flat Tops lie geographically within the state, but unless you’re an adventurous soul, chances are you’ve never actually skied there. Appropriately named after its flat mesa tops, this range is fairly remote and difficult to access most of the winter, especially without the aid of a snowmobile. The Flat Tops peaks have largely short vertical, but what’s there can be quite steep. It’s a range meant for the adventurer, for backcountry skiers willing to explore.

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TBT: Peak C – CC Rider Couloir (14 June 2016)

The Gore Range is a bit daunting. Rugged and rocky, this range was largely devoid of precious metals and minerals that stole the attention of early miners. As a result, not many roads were built into this range, and access is more difficult than many other Colorado ranges. Many of the peaks are not named on topo maps, and Peak C is among them. Although it had been on my hit list for close to a decade, admittedly it took some research to find out exactly where that peak was, and exactly what aspect the CC Rider Couloir faced.

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