Paul Andrews

Miller Peak: Half a peak is better than none

In Mountain Bike Trail Reviews, Mountain Biking on June 11, 2009 at 9:15 pm
Flyin' down the ridge

Flyin' down the ridge

As of Sunday, Miller Peak’s fabled loop was still under snow along the ridge. After being advised by a motorcyclist whose helmet read “Motos for Christ” that there was no clearance for the entire loop (he seemed trustworthy), we decided to do an out and back on Iron Creek. The “out” isn’t too bad, requiring some hike-a-bike, but the back is a total hoot, with jumps and whoops and swoopy downhill sections that leave you ready to go back and do it all over again all day long.

There’s quite a few creek crossings, none requiring even a feet-wetting, but otherwise the trail is in fantastic shape. We ran into a spot of rain but otherwise conditions excelled and we ripped coming back. OAB is not a bad way to do Miller, whose problematic south side (steep, loose, hardpan that is a nasty hike up but a switchbacky, speedless all-too-quick descent) continues to prompt season-long FAWOMFTs every year. That’s Frequently Argued Wastes of My Fucking Time.

Just view it!

Just view it!

That reason alone, and the fact that Miller Peak itself is a barren piece of nothingness with only a so-so view, keeps me in pursuit of alternatives most of the season. In this case it’s one of the earlier routes open, and worth the trip just for that rippin’ ride back.

Miller’s getting some grime time on too.

  1. Hi Paul, enjoyable report on doing an out and back on Miller. I’ve pondered this too, as I agree with your assessment of the south side. We rode the loop going clockwise in late May two years back and we hiked in a lot of snow at the top, though 90% was ridable. In the end, it was the drop down Iron from the peak that is the good part, so why not just go up and back that way. Thanks for testing it. And yes, there is better on offer after the snow melts, but anything in the high Teanaway is a pleasure in early June, I’d say.

    • Thanks Cary, one of my favorite WA rides is west fork Teanaway, although I do it from the Salmon le Sac side in a monster epic with no out and back. Haven’t been up there in recent years, it was getting quite hammered last time I rode it, but it’s on the list this season. Hope to see you out on the trails…you leading any of your GO BIG ones this year?

  2. Hi Paul,
    I just rode the West Fork Teanaway last July with a small BBTC (er…EMBA) group, starting from the Salmon la Sac side. Usually I ride up the FS road too, but we had multiple cars and I was outvoted, so we shuttled to the top. First time I’ve ever shuttled – honest. Still a demanding ride. I hadn’t been there in about 8 years. It was in good shape, considering it’s a bit primitive to start with. Motorcycling Rangers had just cleared the trail, so it was free and clear.

    I haven’t ridden as much this year. Lots of change lately that has affected my schedule. But I’m starting to ramp it up since the weather warmed. If I’m fit enough I’ll post some rides in August or September. Not sure about my usual 3-day September weekend yet.

    I’m enjoying your posts very much. Keep it up!


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