November 13, 2010

Bringing in Winter on Mica Peak

Harwood and I decided to finally make it to the top of Mica Peak, regardless of weather.  I'm not sure if it was a bike ride or a hike.  Either way, I'm calling it epic.

Harwood has lived off the western ridge of Mica for a year and attempted to find his way to the top once last summer but the maze of fire roads, deer trails, and no trespassing signs stopped him.  We started up the road with the idea of finding a trail that would take us to the top.  We made progress up the mountain through some brutal-at-times bushwhacking, but finally relented and found a spur road that led us back to the main summit road.

The route as tracked by the GPS that got us there and back:

We both embraced the cold and wet, deciding that the adventure was much better than being warm, dry, and bored at home.

Going up was the easy part.

Obligatory summit photos so that we can prove we made it:

 We lamented that with all the clouds and snow we couldn't enjoy the view and headed down quickly.  By the time we were below snow level we were shivering under a crust of ice with useless, block-like hands and feet.  We stopped to try to warm up but only succeeded in getting soaked to the bone and tasted the grit in our teeth from the fenderless slog back to Harwood's house.  All in all a morning well spent.

Warming up in the car, documenting the dirt on my face:

Looking all of my 38 years in this one.

The consensus is that next Spring/Summer we ride the road to the top and do recon on the way down to find an all dirt route back to Harwood's. 

A parting shot of how my large mountain bike barely squeezes onto the rack:

Now onto my next "great idea".


  1. You are both out of your minds!!!

  2. That is a great idea. I see that you attempted Henry Road. It goes through, but as I suspect you found out: it's not ridable -- a lot of climbing over logs and dead fall. I tried to make it down Henry with the idea of popping out on Saltese, but I ended up coming back on a different road about half way down the hill. I'm not sure which one, and I didn't have my GPS. I've tried to get over that hill a couple times, from both sides. I've never done it, though I know a guy who knows the route from the Idaho side.

    Looks like a fun ride -- I meant to get up there this summer and take another run at it.

    Here's a write up I did of my first attempt

  3. John,
    We rode up Harvard with the idea of looking for some sort of dirt trail that would take us to the summit. It is a maze of old logging roads, deer trails, and motorcycle ruts. After bushwhacking for an hour or two in the snow, we decided that we for sure wanted to get to the top, so we found a spur that took us over to Henry Rd. It was colder than we were prepared for and family duties were calling so we didn't explore the northeast side at all. The main goal is to find a way from my friend's house (the beginning point on the map) to the top on dirt. Another worthy project would be connecting the summit with Liberty Lake State Park. Either way, I think riding up Henry from the south in the summer and then trying different trails on the way down is the way to go--all the while tracking it out on GPS. There is definitely a way as my friends' neighbors ride motorcycles up in the Spring, rutting out any desirable single track.

  4. All of the single track was put in by us dirt bikers so you'll have to excuse the ruts. Best access for MTB biking is from the west side of Liberty Lake above Dreamwood Bay. There is tons of double track and good steep descents into LL county park or West side of Liberty Lake. You need to know the lay of land better to land in Mica, Harvard, Starr, etc. or have a shuttle driver. Have fun!

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