|September 4, 2016|
|760 S Aspen St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA [large map] 39.1864, -106.823|
|#XC #croscountry #endurance #Aspen #CrestedButte|
Built upon the legacy of the famed GORE-TEX Grand Traverse backcountry ski race, the Grand Traverse Mountain Bike navigates the same alpine route between the iconic mountain towns of Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado. In 2015, for the first time a single athlete will be able to compete in all three disciplines and attain a Grand Champion designation across the series! In 2016, the mountain bike race will start in Aspen with a Crested Butte Mountain Resort finish
Riders will launch directly into a sustained 3,300 climb over 4.5 miles, ascending the Aspen Summer Road (CR -14) to the summit of Ajax Mountain. From here, riders depart the Aspen Ski Mountain boundary and set off over the rolling traverse of Richmond Ridge Road (CR-15E).
At mile 9.5, riders begin their second sustained climb of 1,292 over 3.4 miles. After an intervening 300 ft. descent, leading back into a 300 climb, followed by another 300 descent, racers arrive at AID #1 (mile 15.5) and the Taylor Pass Checkpoint. A 12:00 PM cut-off will be imposed at this checkpoint.
Riders continue on a moderate doubletrack descent for 4.5 miles. At mile 18.3, the route begins its alpine ascent to the top of Star Pass, doubletrack transforms into singletrack at mile 20.5. Once Star Pass is summited (mile 21), riders embark upon a relentless 11.4-mile descent of the Brush Creek drainage. Singletrack turns back into doubletrack at mile 23.4 (FS Road 738.2B) . Continuing to mile 28.5, riders will divert off the jeep road, forking to the south (L. Turn) onto the Death Pass escarpment traverse. Arriving on the opposite end of this narrow and exposed section, riders will again divert to the south (L. Turn) onto Farris Creek Trail (TR 409). A short, steep descent leads riders to a wide Brush Creek crossing, a quarter mile beyond this crossing riders will merge westerly (R. Turn) onto the Canal Trail (TR 408). This singletrack eventually returns to the dirt surfaced Brush Creek Rd. (CR 738).
The course continues on County Road 738 to AID #2, located at mile 33 and the junction with FS Trail 435.1 (Upper Upper Loop). Riders unable to depart this checkpoint by 3:00 PM will be cut-off and asked to ride themselves into the Town of Crested Butte via Brush Creek Road and Hwy 135.
Departing AID #2, the route returns to singletrack, presenting racers with a challenging 470 climb over 0.5 miles. Riders will continue onto their last climb, ascending through a rocky, wooded forest, starting at mile 35.5. This last 700 stinger over 1.4 miles tops out at the boundary with Crested Butte Mountain Resort, leading racers to make a 1.6-mile winding singletrack descent to the race finish at the CBMR base area.
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