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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #40 on: February 18, 2011, 12:39:01 PM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2011, 12:39:01 PM »

Yes I agree rejoin where you left off make for the clearest rule but it just seems backwards at the point in the middle of the triangle. Once you reach the tip it's not shorter by any means and all you miss of the course is different flat roads. I'll leave it to the Doctor of Mapoligy to make the call. Sounds like every thing we need is right on course unless you need a bike shop there's no point in going west of Mnt View and Superstition hwy. The whole triangle is only about 11 miles anyway 7 to go out to the point 4 for the straight north on course way. Hopefully no one needs the bikes shop anyway.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #41 on: February 18, 2011, 01:27:44 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2011, 01:27:44 PM »

The snow depth at Happy Jack is 19" today. Last year it was 43". Anyone want to discuss how hard the race will be after Mogollon with no snow detours this year?

Edit- looking at these links, I would bet there will be no snow detours and a lot more singletrack than last year. South rim to Jacob Lake will be the hardest hike/ride ever with 50 miles of ST after the canyon instead of a paved road.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2011/snow1102.gif

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2010/snow1002.gif
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #42 on: February 18, 2011, 02:12:40 PM
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« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2011, 02:12:40 PM »

More of the makes it even better type stuff. As in it will take even longer how much longer? Hard to say I have ridden all of the stuff you missed last year but not all at once in race mode. It is mostly ridable and some of it is 2 track. Nothing above the Mogollon Rim is as bad as most of what comes before it but the ST will be slower that's for sure. 1 to 1.5 days more for each section would be my guess for my pace.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #43 on: February 18, 2011, 02:33:17 PM
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« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2011, 02:33:17 PM »

I had a plastic brake pad up front I fashioned trailside past Oracle.

I am interested in this story of you care to share about your "plastic brake pad" Do you mean the plastic piece that is shipped with new brake calipers?
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #44 on: February 18, 2011, 03:08:11 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2011, 03:08:11 PM »

The snow depth at Happy Jack is 19" today. Last year it was 43". Anyone want to discuss how hard the race will be after Mogollon with no snow detours this year?

Edit- looking at these links, I would bet there will be no snow detours and a lot more singletrack than last year. South rim to Jacob Lake will be the hardest hike/ride ever with 50 miles of ST after the canyon instead of a paved road.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2011/snow1102.gif

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2010/snow1002.gif

I followed last yrs racers but never really looked close at any of the ‘snow detours’.  Could you elaborate a bit on any detours before the N Rim snow detour? 

As far as S Rim to Ut, no telling how my timing getting to the S Rim will play out.  And hence how my into-out-of the GC will go, but I am sort of planning on hitting Jacob Lake for re-supply anyway.  I just do not see myself hiking the GC and then getting all the rest of the way to Ut in one day, even ‘with’ some faster snow detour pavement. 

(ahh, but if there be a fellow racer with in striking distance—then all bets are off)
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #45 on: February 18, 2011, 05:00:09 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2011, 05:00:09 PM »

The first two snow detours around Happy Jack/Mormon Lake made that section easy. Pavement abound and resupply in Mormon. 15 miles of missed ST or so I think. Not much different without detours (3-6 hours) but could make Mogollon harder with more food to carry to make Flag (or go off route to Mormon for a bite- I had 6 cups Starbucks coffee in the restaurant!).

After Flag detour was like 5 miles maybe ST missed. Wont make but about 1 hour difference without detour.

The kicker is the North rim ST versus detour. The extra food carry in the canyon will be very hard to manage. I had barely any food for the 47-ish mile road ride to Jacob Lake. My intel found that Kurt was in basically the same boat. The canyon was too hard- carrying lbs of extra food will be painful.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #46 on: February 18, 2011, 05:04:23 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2011, 05:04:23 PM »

I am interested in this story of you care to share about your "plastic brake pad" Do you mean the plastic piece that is shipped with new brake calipers?

I fashioned a rectangular hunk of a plastic patch kit container into a pad. Superglued it to the pad holder (elixir). Melted the edges over the sides/back of holder. Trimmed that excess until pad slid into place. Used it on the front and barely touched it unless I had to. I made it from Oracle to Apache J like that. It worked enough to make it.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #47 on: February 18, 2011, 06:07:52 PM
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« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2011, 06:07:52 PM »

Speaking of:
quote-- "The first two snow detours around Happy Jack/Mormon Lake"

From http://www.aztrail.org/passages/pass_30.html

07/2010 - The AZT is closed and rerouted around a forest thinning project for a few miles south and north of Mormon Lake Village. The AZT is signed at both ends of the reroute. The temporary reroute takes the AZT through the Mormon Lake Village and back to the AZT at either end.

Not a big deal if this is or is not still in place come April
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #48 on: February 19, 2011, 06:56:35 AM
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« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2011, 06:56:35 AM »

Looking at the snow detours. The first one at Happy Jack starts at a place called Bargaman Park. He has two options here the road one all the way out to the pavement was used last year. All they missed was a bunch of FS roads. Looking at how far out of the way it goes the route on course would have likely been faster. But the other track the one that says may be passable AZT here is well the better way. Better in a more ST more of the official AZT not faster though. What he has as the official course is the old route from before that section got completed. That was going by old intel. The "may be passable" route is all there now, again I will leave it to Scott to set how much of the true trail is on course.

Water note off course near Bargaman Park is Pine Spring it had water in it last June at a time when it hadn't rained for a while so it should be a good source. The only other source after the Blue Ridge passage is Blue Ridge Ranger Station off course.

The little dog leg he has near Anchor Spring and Allen Landing the course is a road section the detour shown is the signed AZT short flatish ST and a bit of 2 track way more fun then the road similar time.

The trail near Fulton Canyon is all pretty fun mostly easy then you cross a main road. Things get more interesting as you near Navajo Spring. From near the spring there is an old 2 track that follows the creek line down from the trail right into the resort. It will be a bit of a climb back to the trail though. It might be tempting to just go all the way to the Double Springs CG and then back track on the flat road for the Resort/resupply. Skipping Mormon would be tough if you are low on food already. If they force us into Mormon Lake so it goes.

The detour by Flag almost looks longer slower on the detour and the course has a bunch of pavement and the new ST after the pavement is a great ride to take kids on from what I hear on line so that part should be easy. Famous last words.

Should be interesting to see how things play out at the canyon. It will be hard to carry enough food for the hike and the trail. The only time both have been done together was Scott's fall of 05 ride. At least there's plenty of water in the beginning of the passage. Crystal spring is right on the trail and the wildlife drinker near Dog Lake is only a couple of hundred feet off. For food there is http://northrimcountrystore.com/default.aspx it would have been closed last year with all of the snow not sure if it would open early on a low snow year. And it's a 5 mile one way side trip from East Rim View but there is still 30 miles to JL, so if it's open.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #49 on: February 19, 2011, 10:12:22 AM
dream4est


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« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2011, 10:12:22 AM »

The North Rim County Store store was closed last year. A snow plow operator told me it opens every year on May 15th, the day the North Rim opens.

The race will be hard, no doubt. But I am excited. Anyone else thinking full meal deal at this point other than Tim or Marshal?
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #50 on: February 19, 2011, 02:06:28 PM
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« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2011, 02:06:28 PM »

I am, its my every waking thought, less than 8 weeks out. I'll be doing a touring pace I guess, 10 to 14 day's.
I have 16 day's off work, so I have up to 14 days to make it to the fiinish, if I don't get there it will still be an amazing trip on the bike! 
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #51 on: February 19, 2011, 05:53:00 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2011, 05:53:00 PM »

Looking at the snow detours. The first one at Happy Jack starts at a place called Bargaman Park. He has two options here the road one all the way out to the pavement was used last year. All they missed was a bunch of FS roads. Looking at how far out of the way it goes the route on course would have likely been faster. But the other track the one that says may be passable AZT here is well the better way. Better in a more ST more of the official AZT not faster though. What he has as the official course is the old route from before that section got completed. That was going by old intel. The "may be passable" route is all there now, again I will leave it to Scott to set how much of the true trail is on course.

Water note off course near Bargaman Park is Pine Spring it had water in it last June at a time when it hadn't rained for a while so it should be a good source. The only other source after the Blue Ridge passage is Blue Ridge Ranger Station off course.

The little dog leg he has near Anchor Spring and Allen Landing the course is a road section the detour shown is the signed AZT short flatish ST and a bit of 2 track way more fun then the road similar time.

The trail near Fulton Canyon is all pretty fun mostly easy then you cross a main road. Things get more interesting as you near Navajo Spring. From near the spring there is an old 2 track that follows the creek line down from the trail right into the resort. It will be a bit of a climb back to the trail though. It might be tempting to just go all the way to the Double Springs CG and then back track on the flat road for the Resort/resupply. Skipping Mormon would be tough if you are low on food already. If they force us into Mormon Lake so it goes.

The detour by Flag almost looks longer slower on the detour and the course has a bunch of pavement and the new ST after the pavement is a great ride to take kids on from what I hear on line so that part should be easy. Famous last words.

Should be interesting to see how things play out at the canyon. It will be hard to carry enough food for the hike and the trail. The only time both have been done together was Scott's fall of 05 ride. At least there's plenty of water in the beginning of the passage. Crystal spring is right on the trail and the wildlife drinker near Dog Lake is only a couple of hundred feet off. For food there is http://northrimcountrystore.com/default.aspx it would have been closed last year with all of the snow not sure if it would open early on a low snow year. And it's a 5 mile one way side trip from East Rim View but there is still 30 miles to JL, so if it's open.
Blue Ridge passage shows the Blue Ridge Camp Ground as having water.  The GPS track goes through or next to this CG.  Is the water info correct about this CG ?

Looks like the Blue Ridge Ranger Station is less than a mile (r on 87) from the GPS track.  But if there is water at the CG then the ranger station which is close to the CG would be redundant right?

The AZT passage says: ‘Water can usually be found at Double Springs’  any comments about water at Double Springs??

Looks like my A plan would be to water up at Blue Ridge CG and then at Double Spring.  But if I need food (most likely) then a back track (3.5 flat vs 1.6 with a climb—I pick flat every time) from DS to Mormon Lake for food and water.  Anyone know the April hours of the store at ML?

Any ‘best’ April water spots between Flag and Tusayan?  Passages mention some stock tanks.

Can you buy snacks and drinks at Phantom Ranch?  So you think—‘Crystal spring is right on the trail’ and ‘wildlife drinker near Dog Lake’ —will have water in April?  I guess they would--if so then that pretty much does it---


Thanks for all the info!!
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #52 on: February 20, 2011, 04:33:28 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2011, 04:33:28 AM »

No water at the CG's that early in the season.

In the past there has been water below the Rim at Washington Park and then above the Rim in the creek north of General Springs. After that I have always had to go to the ranger station.

I went to Pine spring in June before the rains so it should be good.

I believe there may be a creek at Double Springs there is also the church camp in that area that has been used during the Coco 250 not sure how early they open.

North of Flag is an area referred to as the high and dry. Good thing is it goes fast. According to the water table East Cedar is dry that was a great source in the past. The next best I can think of is Russell Tank. It's a small lake tasted fishy when I used it in 04 shows water table shows it good as of 8/10. In 06 I found water on the north side of the peaks and just barely made Tusayan. I skipped Cedar and Russell both that year. Snowbowl wasn't on the course back then so maybe stocking up there and then make it to Tusayan.

Limited snacks at Phantom Ranch all I can remember is some candy and soda's. They also do a lunch to go service though you don't get much for your money calorie wise. Not sure how late in the day lunches can be picked up but it might be worth looking into. I was thinking of getting the steak dinner and then hiking the rest of the way to Cottonwood CG in the dark. If I get to do the race I won't be trying to hike the whole canyon in one day. It should be easy to get a spot at Cottonwood any time the north rim is closed that one doesn't get as much use. Then hike out the next day.

Crystal was reported good 6/10 so that seems good to go. The wildlife drinker is off the trail in the trees at the edge of a clearing (can be hard to see) should be good if not Dog lake won't be that far back.

I haven't decided if I want to go this year or wait for more of the trail and the official completion next year. 2012 is the State Centennial and the ATA folks want the trail to be complete for that. I have only been waiting 15 years for it so whats one more.

Marshall good luck to you glad this thread has helped in the planning.
Mark glad to see you coming back for more.
Max great to see you representing the home team.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #53 on: February 20, 2011, 10:18:58 AM
dream4est


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« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2011, 10:18:58 AM »

There is tons of water below Mogollon rim in creeks. I was making coffee at a few of them. The river at mile 7.8 on top of the rim is deep and clean.

That water got me to Mormon. Then I hit Flag. Next water was a huge tank on Babbit Ranch around mile 30 of Scotts cues I think. Then Russel fishy water. Then Grandview tower had trail magic water. Not sure but thought that was from the tower people/fire folks I guess. BE careful on your water north of Flag- I got a wicked dehydro-headache so this year I am carrying the Sawyer in-line filter instead of tabs.


Not sure about snacks at Phantom all day long- but I bought some at 6am. Water at rest house on north kaibab trail hike-a-death march.


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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #54 on: February 20, 2011, 10:38:15 AM
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« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2011, 10:38:15 AM »

A few thoughts on water:

I tend to carry a lot and refill relatively infrequently, so I can cover a decent distance in between sources. Here's what I recall from last spring (keep in mind that it was a very wet winter...May 1 snowpack looked remarkably similar to this year's Feb 20 snowpack!).

The campgrounds on the way to Roosevelt are off the route and down a hill that was big enough I didn't want to go down. There's a nice creek that flows under/along the road in the canyon after the giant descent prior to reaching any of those lakes. The water was tasty. Then I stopped at a rest stop along the highway right after getting to Roosevelt lake. There was a potable water trailer there from which I filled a few bottles. But there's the lake along the highway as you head north, and at the north end of the lake, there's a store that's not really in a town. They had good ice cream and lots of water.

North of Payson, there were a number of little streams along the Highline Trail. There wasn't much water flowing in any of them, but odds are at least one should be flowing from a spring at the base of the cliffs. Once you climb up to the top of the rim when you FINALLY leave the Highline Trail (count on at least 7 hours to cover that 17ish miles), there's a spring a half mile or so down the route. There's a sign for the spring if I recall correctly...Major Spring? It wasn't all that major, but there was a tiny creek flowing from it. A couple hours down the trail you'll descend into a deep, narrow valley and cross a deep creek. I think it may have actually been Deep Creek.

Beyond that, I switched into auto pilot/calorie deficit mode and don't remember much until Mormon Lake. The campground there had bathrooms that were open all night, so I got some warm water there (there's also the lake out back...), and there are a bunch of lakes between there and Flag. North of Flag, there's not a lot of options as Tim said. Russel Tank lake was good...it smelled a little manky, but I was about out of water by the time I got there. I didn't check on Babbit Tank, but Mark says it was good. Then there's Tusyon, Phantom Ranch, a campsite cluster with a spigot maybe 6 miles north of Phantom Ranch, and a couple little creeks on the way out the North Rim.

You should be able to find plenty of water from melting snow on the North Rim, and odds are you'll be forced to take the highway. The AZT through the burn area is still officially closed and covered with downed trees from what I hear, so you'll clearly be on the road for that USFS detour.

North of Jacob Lake, I don't recall any water at all, and you'll need enough to get to wherever you need to get to beyond the end of the AZT. If you plan on riding toward Lee's Ferry, there are a few houses at the end of that dirt road that heads south to US 89, and then there is a lodge and gas station at Marble Canyon. I don't know of anything else in between, although you probably could hitch a ride by that point.

Plan your food and water options carefully for the course north of Payson, because it'll be very easy to get yourself into a bad spot running out of food or water in there thinking you'll be able to cover ground quickly up there. Just about everything will probably take longer than you expect.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #55 on: February 20, 2011, 03:15:31 PM
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« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2011, 03:15:31 PM »

Good comments Kurt pretty sure it General Springs and no it's not much but I have found snow melt there even in low snow years. Before that along the Highline I think Geronimo creek is a pretty good source even in dry years. I think the Deep canyon is East Clear Creek after you climb out of that you are near Rock Crossing CG.

Mark that huge tank was it up hill about .5 miles south of the 2 track. That comes just before the start of the Babbit passage. Sounds like Cedar Tank if so that could be a good one.

Hopefully the trail north of the canyon will be open except for the fire closure section. Looks easy to get on the hyway to bypass the closure. The Kaibab Monstercross http://www.bikepacking.net/routes/kaibab-monstercross/ does a huge detour down hill on dirt roads to bypass this on dirt seems like for the 750 pavement would be a better easier option.

Tim
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #56 on: February 20, 2011, 03:48:03 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2011, 03:48:03 PM »


Mark that huge tank was it up hill about .5 miles south of the 2 track. That comes just before the start of the Babbit passage. Sounds like Cedar Tank if so that could be a good one.


It could be. I remember seeing the tank, going to it for water. I dont remember much else. I was in scared for water mode as I made a mistake and did not realize after leaving the snow detour road area that morning water was a long way away. The tank was big, the water looked a little green. A house or some complex was ahead uphill? I think I then went back to the course and entered a gate to start Babbit? I dunno- I just remember being really happy to find the thing. It felt really hot out too.
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #57 on: February 21, 2011, 10:45:27 AM
Marshal


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« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2011, 10:45:27 AM »

Water & Food
I think I have a decent handle now on all the water and food info for the full route.  Like any multi-day there are a few sections that require some extra logistics efforts.  Seems like the key to the AZTR is to load up with a few extra calories in Oracle, Payson (or Pine) and again at the S Rim (or supplement at Phantom Ranch).  From what I can tell the key water sections seem to be the usual AZT 300 ones and Flag to the S Rim. Thanks for all the water/food input guys!!!!

Detours
I pulled up last yrs thread and found Scott’s detour gpx file so now I understand how they fit in last yr.  And per this year’s current snow conditions I guess it looks like the only detouring might involve some or the entire trail between the N Rim and Jacob Lake. 
I suspect Scott will weigh closer to April 15th with any needed detour information.  Ha, I am sure if I ever get to the N Rim some pavement riding to a hot meal at Jacob Lake would look very very inviting.

Grand Canyon Crossing
My remaining concern involves possible bureaucratic snafus about packing my bike across the big ditch.  When arriving at the S Rim should I:
1)   Go straight to the South Kaibab Trailhead strap on the bike and proceed with a thur hike. 
2)   Or should I go first to the Backcountry office, check in, mention my to-be-disassembled bike and possibly try to secure a camping permit for Cottonwood Camp?

Option 1 avoids meeting with any 'offical' GC reps till after down the trail but would be a possibility only if I arrived at the S Kaibab TH early morning and fresh enough to make a thur hike attempt.

Option 2 best fits both my personal ability and general inclinations about carrying a bike across the canyon. 

But I am a bit concerned that if I go and check in at the Backcountry office I would be denied permission to even try a thru hike.  Needless worry? 
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #58 on: February 21, 2011, 10:59:03 AM
krefs


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« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2011, 10:59:03 AM »

Marshal, I ran into a ranger at Phantom Ranch as I was clumsily trying to figure out how to take off my pack. She laughed and said something like, "Wow, another guy with a bike?! You guys are crazy." She had seen Mark the evening before when he stayed at their little campground. We chatted for a bit, and then she got a call on her radio and was needed somewhere else. I didn't get any indication that hiking a bike across was problematic. There are a few camp spots you could try to get a site at when you arrive, but if it's on a weekend, I bet you won't get anything. Then you're stuck camping on the rim perhaps just outside the park boundary (to be legal) or just diving in and getting as far as you can and just playing it by ear.

Park rules present an interesting challenge in these events...I just discovered that there's a state park on the Coconino loop that completely closes at 5 pm, so you can't legally ride through until the next morning. There's also the complete closure at Oracle State Park.  And then the Parks Canada issue for the TD. I think that given the growth of these events, we need to be very mindful of how we're viewed in the eyes of park officials. I wonder if it's best to not mention that what you're doing is associated with any particular 'event.' You're just another bikepacker out looking for adventure...
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  Topic Name: 2011 AZTR and 300 planning thread Reply #59 on: February 21, 2011, 01:31:28 PM
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« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2011, 01:31:28 PM »

My experience at the canyon was a very positive one. The person at the Backcountry office had no problem with the bike concept. The Backcountry ranger seemed to be trying to memorize my name (she had met Scott and Lee the year before) like she wanted to be able to list the crazies by name. No one with the NPS seemed to care but the one mule skinner acted like I had no right to be there with "those wheels". As far as I know what we are doing is well within the rules "as long as no wheels touch the ground". Obviously if you set your pack down they might touch but I can't see them being nit picky as long as it's obvious you have no intention of riding.

The was a trip report several weeks after the race last year. The guy got to the S Rim after May 15 once the N Rim opens it's hard to get a spot at either CG. I don't know what he did to draw attention to himself but his comment was something like "and then on the N Rim the ranger said something about we told you no camping". Apparently the guy got a late start and then hiked all night thus giving the impression he may have camped somewhere along the way.

Hopefully as more people attempt the full trip weather in race or tour mode they will play it cool with the NPS. Getting to the S Rim early and hiking straight through seems to cause no harm. Likewise going through proper channels and getting a permits all good. Showing up at  busy BC office and then expecting good things to happen just because not cool IMO. The good thing for those on the race pace with our typical start times we should all be there before the N Rim opens if we want to camp at Cottonwood.

There is also the lodging at Phantom Ranch another way to break up the hike is to stay there and then you deal with them instead. One plus there is that they start the line for open spaces at some crazy early time like 5 or 6 am. NPS BCO is 8 or 9. Sounds like something I should look up and add to the info list. For the 06 ride I was at the Phantom desk first thing got my spot there and then had time to get b-fast before heading to the BCO. There were a lot of people there but that time of year they all want Bright Angle CG. The ranger will come out and tell them all there are no spots for tonight the best they can hope for is the next night. When I got to the window and said Cottonwood the ranger said I could have most any night. So it was easy to get the following night for my 3 day plan. Several options good luck working out what is best for "you're just another bikepacker looking for adventure".    
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