Video: Adventuring from Aspen to Crested Butte & Back in 36-Hours

Oct 21, 2018
by Victor Major  



We were lucky enough to win a small grant from Kitsbow for a "36 hour" long adventure. Owing to the beautiful alpine potential and world-class riding, we choose to ride from our hometown of Aspen to Crested Butte, spend the night, and ride back. We dragged along former-friend and filmmaker Roger Carry and two-wheeled fiend slash photographer Elliot Wilkinson-Ray. They absolutely over delivered and we are proud to showcase what we found on the fun version of the Grand Traverse race.



Aspen’s reputation for the past 80 years has been centered around skiing, partying and a little bit of culture. The mountain biking scene has been lurking in the shadows for quite some time and is finally bubbling up to the surface. Aspen has had the pleasure of hosting two Enduro World Series in the past few years which has elevated the riding as well as given the local population an appetite for tough and technical riding. It’s not just what we have here in Aspen that makes it such a great place for a mountain biker, it’s what we have close to here. “The Crested Butte” is a mere 36 miles of Big Mountain Enduro and Enduro World Series tested singletrack away.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Posse assembled. Lots of climbing.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray

The route starts high and ends high with most of the riding above treeline. The climbing was at times gruesome, commanding upper body strength to push our bikes up steep and loose scree fields, but never daunting enough to create any doubt as we knew what lay on the other side of our climbs. Star Pass (Crested Butte Enduro World Series race stage from 2015) on the way there and Aspen Mountain (Aspen Enduro World Series race stage in 2016 & 2017) on the way back.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
It's all fun and games until the videographers e-bike dies.

The singletrack route is lightly trafficked with most mountain bikers opting for one or the other - a weekend in Aspen or a weekend in Crested Butte. Those that do frequent this route typically turn it into a bikepacking affair… that wasn’t going to work for us.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Star pass. Need decent weather for this one. Then all downhill to Crested Butte

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Not not smiling on some moto whoops.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Through the woods on Block & Tackle.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
More whoops.

On the way there, mechanical’s were kept at bay. A few broken chains, derailleur hangars and an a costly e-bike battery depletion a mere 10 miles into our 35 mile day. We were wise enough to use “eco-mode” on the way back... The route doesn’t pass through any towns on the way there which required all of us to be on our best behavior as a fatal mechanical could have yielded a very sad 10+ mile hike home.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Fairytale ending to day 1 with sustenance at Teocalli Tamale.

We were quite cooked when we got to Crested Butte. Due to our limited space for food and water we ate ourselves into a food coma immediately upon arrival. Following treatment of our caloric deficit, we stumbled to our hotel and cleaned up in preparation for the return voyage. Yes, we could have camped somewhere in Crested Butte and told our friends of our 36 hours in the wilderness but let's be honest - a 10 lb pack with nothing strapped to our bikes, a cheap bill from a relatively nice hotel, and a mattress were all reasons why the trip turned out to be such a success.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Leaving Crested Butte on a Sunday. Nothing scarier.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Friend and resident pack mule makes himself highly useful by clearing the climb and carrying extra camera equipment/food/water/tools

The return voyage was the exact same perfect experience we had on the way there with the exception of impressively tired legs and a few flat tires.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Dropping in off the top of Star Pass. The other way.

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Doubletrack taking us towards Taylor Pass.

Thanks to Kitsbow for supporting the project. Thanks to Elliot for the photos. Thanks to Roger Carry for the video.

https://www.kitsbow.com/

Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Photo Elliot Wilkinson-Ray
Back to fur coats and $10 million townhomes.


67 Comments

  • 93 8
 My girlfriend does this ride all the time to visit her other boyfriend. She never makes a big deal out of it or makes movies.
  • 24 5
 His name isn't Randy by chance?
  • 26 1
 @thebradjohns: We are just friends BRAD.
  • 6 0
 most amazing comment ever. A+, I'd like to subscribe
  • 4 0
 somebody downvote this puppy to get it at 69
  • 1 0
 Hahahahah. Amazing dawgggg
  • 30 6
 Ebikes. Serves ya right
  • 20 3
 "no sense of Adventure." Really. If I could afford a Kitsbow kit does that gaurantee me that I will have an adventure?
Thank you for increasing the amount of pretentiousnous in the world.
  • 30 3
 Bro, it’s only an adventure if we Instagram every mile and make a hipster commercial out if it bro! Do any of you brahs know if Crested Butte has an ATM for my trust fund?
  • 1 0
 @SangamonTaylor: Yeah, there's a couple ATM's there.
  • 18 2
 Loyd: "Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen."
  • 7 0
 I don't know Lloyd, the French are.......
  • 6 0
 Put anotha' shrimp on the barbie!
  • 17 1
 Okay let's be honest... Costco is always an adventure! You never know what you're going to get!
  • 12 0
 Wait real people can afford to live in Aspen?
  • 6 2
 Nope. To qualify for low income housing you have already been living in Aspen for 10 years and you must make more than $65,000.00 but less then $300,000.00 annually.
  • 2 0
 @Seawild66: Ha. The housing requirement is simply that you must work a minimum 1,500 hours per year in the town of Aspen to qualify.
  • 1 0
 @Seawild66: There's a lot more to it than that. Yes, it's extremely difficult right now, but it's goes in cycles. The requirement is 4 years to be top priority, but it is possible (at times) to get something with less work history. It's all about what sacrifices you're willing to make and how long you can swing it while waiting.
  • 2 0
 why would you want to? blowing yay off the prez's daughters tooter gets boring quick
  • 1 0
 @kmg0: Says the guy who probably likes to visit to go mountain biking
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: nah, I bailed on Aspen 2 minutes into the first time I went. I'm more at home other places, they seem to be doing just fine without me.
  • 17 10
 "On the way there, mechanical’s were kept at bay. A few broken chains, derailleur hangars and an a costly e-bike battery depletion a mere 10 miles into our 35 mile day. We were wise enough to use “eco-mode” on the way back... "

WTF E-bikes for a Kitsbow add?
  • 40 16
 The camera guy had like 40 pounds of gear. Fuck off.
  • 15 3
 I needed to ride an e-bike cause my legs are made of jello and over cooked pasta
  • 16 1
 I was more intrigued by a few broken chains and derailleur hangers... Ive been on enough big backcountry rides with large groups to know that a broken chain is fairly rare, and hangers are too. Unless they're all boobs.
  • 4 3
 @poozank: so much for civility.
  • 7 0
 It's all Moto friendly trail so who cares?
  • 6 2
 @poozank: did he have 40 pounds of gear because he had an ebike? Or because he had 40 pounds of gear he had to bring?

Perspective!
  • 6 0
 I thought it was a joke at first... pussies. this isnt that hard!
  • 5 0
 @rzicc: C'mon dude, it's Kitsbow..
  • 9 2
 Not sure why they rode those slouch bikes... all they needed are short travel xc bikes.
  • 8 1
 did you meet noah and randy?
  • 7 1
 Wow these guys saved American society by making it adventurous again. Good job. Gold stars all around.
  • 4 1
 If a guy is willing to come along, bring a drone, DSLR, some lenses, batteries AND film the thing, I certainly wouldn’t complain if he’s on an ebike. In fact, you’ll get a better edit in the end because he won’t be as smoked and can ride up ahead, back and forth...whatever.
  • 7 1
 Kitsbow and Aspen...yup. Cool scenery though.
  • 7 2
 Exactly what I was thinking, gotta have Daddy's trust fund to be able to kick back in either.
  • 13 1
 Never looked at their stuff until now. What kind of a holes even where this stuff? $265 for a pair of riding shorts with no liner and almost another 2 bills for a chamois? Get the hell out of here. And I thought Fox was expensive
  • 9 4
 Good riding, have done Aspen to C.B. and back many times. These folks are tourists.....
  • 3 0
 Those climbs near Crested Butte are brutal compared to our paved paths in Salt Lake. Much respect for those Colorado riders who do a ton of vertical climbing for what seemed like very little downhill reward.
  • 5 0
 That face you make when you just executed a shit wheely knowing that it was immortalized on camera
  • 3 0
 I have an unnatural hatred for those glasses at :50 .

Dude: "you got anything uglier than Pit Vipers?"

Sunglass Hut: "try these!"
  • 1 0
 Isn't this usually a one day over and back?
Lots of super fun and technical options either way.
Awesome views up top (if not snowing).
Def some hike a bike.
And the tiny black flies all over you if you flat will cause permanent insanity... huhuhuhuh
  • 1 0
 That ride looks fun for sure. 30 miles each way isn't too bad but the climbing sounds crazy! Good for you guys! Sounds like a blast.
"When we got to town... we ate some burritozzzzzz..... sampan sampan riverrrrr..... went to bed early".
Sounds like a frickin Bash boys!
  • 5 2
 What an epic adventure! Rewarded with beautiful Colorado mountain scenery every mile of the trip!
  • 7 3
 Bunch of hating dbags up in here!
  • 3 0
 "Back to fur coats and $10 million townhomes."

AKA back to the Kitsbow headquarters
  • 1 0
 "But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high (Colorado)"
  • 2 0
 Or the sheephearders trail.
  • 3 4
 Wait, so the ebike turns into a boat anchor when the battery dies?

Sort like a moped when it runs out of gas.... Why wouldn't the ebike have some sort of digital reserve mode (like a moped! Which an ebike freaking is)
  • 2 1
 Damn, 76 miles and 11,481 of climbing in 36 hours. That's freaking humbling.
  • 2 10
flag meesterover (Oct 21, 2018 at 19:57) (Below Threshold)
 Meh. Not really.

Bailey Hundo: 107.6 miles with 13,200 feet in 10 hours.

That just sounds like a normal weekend of riding.
  • 2 0
 What's the route? I kinda want to try this.
  • 2 0
 This is the most "Boulder" thing I've ever seen.
  • 1 0
 Wowwy Zowwy Oh My Galley!!!
  • 2 1
 They didnt get to ride eckhert gultch
  • 3 4
 Great ride. Great video. Great story! Thanks for sharing it. Teocali Tamale is the best reward after a good day of pow or dirt.
  • 2 1
 I feel bad for the poor guy that had to carry that 1DX along for the ride.
  • 4 1
 Never mind, I just read that he rode an e-bike. So much for an adventure. Wink
  • 2 1
 Is the Route defined anywhere if someone wanted to mimic this ride?
  • 2 1
 Would have been more fun on a motorcycle! Less riding, more drinking!
  • 1 0
 Isn't pot legal there??!?
  • 3 5
 35 miles that’s all?
  • 4 0
 As the crow flies, Aspen and Crested Butte are only like 13 miles apart (with a very large mountain pass in the way)
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: I'm so jealous I don't live there, I would shred until I died.
  • 2 0
 @Kramz: I live on the Aspen side. We have some amazing riding here too, but CB has way more trails overall.
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: Yeah, I live driving distance from the Rocky Mountains in Canada, but I have a lot of problems that would keep me from moving to them, and not live in the city.

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