2 Aug 2017

PEAK BAGGING

WORDS & PHOTOS x Conor Barry

It’s not everyday you get to bag a peak via bike in the Wasatch range and recently we jumped at the opportunity to wake up way too early, hike-a-bike too much and have too much fun.

The Wasatch range, located right above Salt Lake City, UT,  USA is known for world-class skiing, exceptional rock climbing, and plenty of peaks to keep you busy for years. It’s not known, however, for friendly bike access. In fact, wilderness areas cover the majority of the small range, prohibiting our favorite mode of transportation. A handful of accessible peaks lie outside of these bikes-are-the-devil designations.

 

Sunset peak is one of those, rising to 10,600’ above a series of mountain lakes and meadows. The approach to Sunset peak passes through a handful of wildflower-filled meadows, conifer forests, alpine ridgelines and sandy piles of decomposing rock — not your typical flow trail from berm-ville. Most of the trail users you’ll see are hikers who can’t believe they’re seeing a group of dumbasses pedalling and hiking their bikes to the summit. If the hikers only knew how much better it can be with five and a half pounds of carbon between their legs — oh well, ignorance is bliss.

The summit views are nearly worth the feeling of breathing through a straw for the last hour while you curse the guy who decided a 5am sufferfest would be a good idea. The descent is what you come for anyway. There’s nothing quite like combining some of the best singletracks around with incredible views — it makes it hard to keep it rubber side down and focus on the trail ahead. There are plenty of butt-buzzingly steep chutes, flat turns into oblivion, exposed technical lines and good times.

A rare peak bagged on the Wasatch range, and until next time…you damn mountain.

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