A ride report by the Professor
Bullet and I wanted to do a long snow ride today so we headed up to Hobble Creek in Springville. The right fork gets a fair amount of snowmobile traffic, and it is not that steep, at least as far as Wardsworth Canyon. I rode this more than a month ago when there was pretty minimal snow cover and it was loose and sloppy—not great riding conditions. Today the snow was well packed, smooth, and very ridable. In fact, it was even quite a bit better than conditions on the Alpine Loop a few days ago.
We rode steadily up the gradual climb toward Wardsworth Canyon. Shortly after we started I realized that I had forgot to fill my bottles. I only had about half of a Nalgene bottle and 1/4 of a bike bottle of water. Bullet was nice and shared his delicious Lemon-ginger tea with me. We met two other fat bikers on the way up. They were from California, here on vacation, and had rented fat bikes from Noble Sports in Springville. We had a nice chat with them.
We continued up the road to Wadsworth and took a break. (It is about 7 miles from where they stop plowing the road to Wardsworth). The conditions were really good with almost no tire spinning or slipping. We continued on up the road where it turns to dirt (of course it was snow covered). This is where the road gets pretty steep (up to 13%). But because the snow was well consolidated we were able to ride even the steeper sections.
After another three miles we topped out at the saddle between Hobble Creek and Diamond Fork. Lower in the canyon it had been fairly chilly, but the higher we climbed, above the inversion, it got warmer. But once on top it got chilly again. It was beautiful, quiet and still. We had only seen one snowmobile and the two other fat bikers. We had the place to ourselves. I would have loved to head down the other side to Diamond Fork, but we were both pretty tired from the long climb (about 2300′ in 10.3 miles).
After taking another break on top, we put on our lightweight puffy coats, balaclavas, and heavier gloves for the descent. It was a fast ride back down to Wardsworth. It seemed like such a long way up, but going down seemed to take only a few minutes.
We were glad to have the warmer gear on as it gets pretty chilly cruising down. The lower part of the canyon is not that steep, and thus takes a bit more effort, even though it is still downhill. Then the wind picked up. The little momentum we gained from the downhill was erased by strong headwinds for the last 3-4 miles of the ride. Since we were already feeling pretty tired, this really slowed us down. We cranked out the last couple miles and both of use were feeling it in our legs. This was our longest snow ride of the season. We were glad to get back to the truck.
It was a great day out in the mountains and the snow conditions were the best we have experienced. There is nothing quite like being out in the mountains challenging yourself. We felt pretty good about our efforts for the day.