August 7,1999

We set out in the early morning from Denver. The city itself is rather nice, although much smaller than I had imagined from an East Coast or West Coast size perspective. Once we got outside the western suburbs the climb from 5000 feet began to accelerate rapidly. These were mountains…big time. After about an hours drive we cruised into the small village of Georgetown. Noted for its former silver mining prominence, Georgetown sits carved out of the side of the Rockies. We spent about an hour walking around and checking out the shops. Now at this point we faced two choices on the continued trek up to Breckenridge. We could continue on I-70 for about another hour in the relative comfort and safety of the interstate highway system or we could throw caution to the wind and take the back roads into the unknown. The collar of conformity got tossed in the recycling bin as we headed down the local road past the sign that read "Guarnella Pass 12 miles".

                   georgetown.jpg (24538 bytes)             guarnellapass.jpg (12748 bytes)

                   Downtown Georgetown, Colorado                      The Peak at Guarnella Pass

Now what exactly is a pass? We figured it was some quaint western phrase. Soon the rental car was careening through some serious switchbacks without the benefit of guardrails. The altimeter was churning up some numbers and quickly surpassed 10,000 feet. Just as we were beginning to get the hang of this trek, the pavement ended and we found ourselves skidding on a very rutty fireroad. The occupants began to debate if we had surpassed the point of no return. We had nearly a full tank of gas, a rental car map and the weather was beautiful so we proceeded up into the sky. As we neared the pass, we realized that the Continental Divide was the destination. Vegetation wise it was beginning to look positively lunar. Most sizeable trees had vanished and all that was left was low lying scrub bushes and moss covered rock outcroppings. At the summit we could gaze off to higher peaks still covered with spring snow. Continuing on we observed wild rams who were negotiating extremely steep rock formations. It was simply magnificent to view nature as a fortunate visitor. In this part of the world man is merely a bystander to the grandeur that encompasses the environment. Alpine lakes and high plains were phrases only previously heard with no pictoral imagine to accompany them. Putting words to majestic views seemed unworthy.

timguarnella.jpg (11272 bytes)          bighornram.jpg (33238 bytes)

    Tim at the Top of Guarnella Pass                                  One Tough Big Horned Sheep

August 9, 1999

Enough of this tourist stuff, it was time to get back in the saddle. Breckenridge is host to national level NORBA downhill competitions and we were itching to take to the trails. The arrangement was pretty neat. Hop on the skilift with your bike at 10,000 and jump off at the top a thousand feet later. Tim was outfitted with a Trek VRX 200 while the webmaster opted for the K2 Proflex Beast. Leave that hardtail at home, you will need these full suspension babies for the extreme downhill we were about to face.

bikerdudes.jpg (27983 bytes)          timatthetop.jpg (15099 bytes)

    Biker Dudes Before the Ascent                                     At The Top of Frosty's Revenge   

                                                 superchair.jpg (23708 bytes)

                                                        The Only Way To Climb 1000 feet

Home | Worldmap | Colorado