Jeff and I decided to head up to Skyline today as a scouting trip for the start of the Rocky Rabbit Sunday rides. We cruised out of town via NW Vaughn and out to Dirty 30. As we started up Saltzman we chatted with a guy headed down the hill on a cyclocross bike (with cross tires). This was at the paved part, even before the first snow covered hairpin turn. He said that he tried going up, but turned around, as just past the gate there was too much snow and it was unrideable. As he rode down towards Highway 30, Jeff and I decided that a climb up a snow filled Saltzman was just what we needed today!
The section from the gate up to Leif Erikson was about 90% rideable on our skinny road tire fitted bikes. We had to hike-a-bike a couple short portions. Towards the top of the section between Leif Erikson and Skyline though, the going got pretty tough. Traction was hard to find, and was often best while plowing through the powder instead of the narrow packed path where people had walked. There were two sets of tire tracks that went all the way to the top, so we continued on to Skyline. I'd guess we rode 75% of the upper section.
Skyline was a breeze after Saltzman. We rode out a ways past Germantown before turning around and heading home. 30 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes (you can really see the hiking part in those numbers). There is a lot of gravel near the shoulder of Skyline, but the snow/gravel really only pinched the road lane down in a couple of spots that we saw (one near Forest Heights, and another a little farther out past the cemetary. It looks good for a nice easy Sunday Rocky Rabbit adventure. I hope to see a good turn out for the ride.