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Five Boys in Tahoe

It all starts with an email, some dates and a question: “Can you make it?”. Gordon finds a house to rent down by the Northstar golf course the dates are set for July and we’re good to go. Now Jud, Gordon & I have spent a number of summer trips riding and exploring the under-the-radar trails and each year a new, never ridden before, trail is added to our repertoire.

Martis Peak is a short shuttle ride and full of unmarked trails back down to Hwy 267 outside Northstar. There is a fire lookout, hidden behind the trees in the photo below, which is our starting point.

1
Gary, Andre, Jud & Chuck at Martis Peak lookout.
2
Gearing up.
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My Ibis Mojo.

Down in South Lake “Armstrongs” is always a must do. The story behind the photo of Gordon down on his knees receiving some water for his camelbak is that Chuck had promised refueling from the rivers by using his Steripen to purify the water. Gadgets malfunction and Gordon accepted a gift of water from a descending hiker.

4
Topping up.

Starting down near Pioneer Trail it will be around 3000′ of climbing up to the pass below Freel Peak at 9600′.

5
Star Lake up at 9000′.

No, that’s pickle juice. Some members have this theory that it prevents cramping. All I can say is that at 9000′ it was a cherished beverage.

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Pickle juice.

Never been up to the peak as this is as high as the bikes go. I am usually very happy to begin the descent and always leave the summit ascent to a later date.

3
Freel Peak.
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Taking a break before the descent.
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Bridge where Armstrong’s transitions to the connector.
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One of my favorite sections, Sidewinder!
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On the trail.

Now over to Yogi’s where we nose around for trails to ride.

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Gary, Jud, Andre & Gordon somewhere on Yogi’s.
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Didn’t make it out of the forest.
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Classic view NW to Castle Peak which sits above another ride, Hole in the ground.
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Must be the start of Jellystone ride – isn’t this fun?
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Refueling before the ride down.

We hear that there is a backdoor entrance to our favorite Armstrong ride. Now it won’t get us all the way up to Freel pass at 9600′ but rather just below Armstrong pass at 8750′, we have to ride & hike-a-bike 500 odd feet from the new trail head.

Now this requires a shuttle and Jud is on the phone to the LBS (local bike shop) in Meyers. The employee is happy to shuttle us as long as we’re there by 8:30am so he can get to work on time. He has a Ford Explorer with roof racks and enviously eye’s Gordon’s Silverado double cab diesel. A deal is struck and we take the truck to the trail head and our man promises to take it down to the finish line and hide the keys for us.

16
Gary unloading.
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Jud, Gordon, Andre & Gary back at the top of Armstrong’s for our second time down the rollercoaster.
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