POSTED BY JOEY - For the first time since its inception in 2010, the Durango Dirty Century (DDC) will have to utilize an alternate route due to heavy snow up high.  In 2011 we had a snowy year - requiring a bit of drift-busting, post-holing, and accidental-glissading - but we stuck to the original route.  However, the snow scene this year is completely different.  After a dry winter, the San Juan saw a TON of spring snow, and Section Point, Blackhawk Pass, and Indian Trail Ridge will be all but impassable one week from now.  So, Matt, Danny, and I have picked out an alternate route!

Current snowpack in Tomahawk Basin, approximately the same aspect and elevation as Blackhawk Pass.  No way we're getting mountain bikes over that without somebody getting pissed off or injured.

Instead of the normal DDC route, the 2015 DDC route will be as follows:  VC start, the normal group rollout through town and up 203 to Hermosa, Hermosa Creek trail to Bolam Pass road, and up Hotel Draw road to the Colorado Trail.  This is where we will have the sole aid station for 2015, at the top of Hotel Draw, where it intersects the CT.  Then, take the CT for a few miles southbound (make sure to stay on the singletrack, don't take the road shortcut!).  Once you reach Corral Draw trail on the left, descend back into Hermosa Creek.  You must ford Hermosa at the bottom of Corral Draw - it would be advisable to check out Hermosa's flow on the way up in the morning, to make sure you're comfortable fording Hermosa Creek later that day!  Once back on dry ground, head south on the Hermosa Creek trail for 1.7 miles, to the Big Lick/Elbert Creek trail (this is listed as one or the other on various maps).  Pay close attention here, as Elbert/Big Lick may be somewhat difficult to follow!  Climb this trail to the east, summit the ridge between Hwy 550 and Hermosa Creek, and head south on Pinkerton-Flagstaff trail to Dutch Creek.  Take a right on Dutch and descend, once again, back to Hermosa Creek.  Continue southbound to the trailhead and ride whatever road route you choose back to Velorution HQ to sign out.  Roughly 95 miles, and who knows how many feet of climbing - not as many as the normal DDC, certainly.

There is also a B route in place - all of the above, less the Big Lick/Elbert Creek/Dutch Creek loop - at the bottom of Corral Draw, simply take Hermosa Creek south, all the way to the end, then the road back to VC.  This will cut out about 15-20 miles and maybe 2500 feet of climbing.

We will have a finish party at VC this year, with pizza and maybe even some beer.  Carvers will still be open for dinner, of course, but if you'd like to hang out at the shop for a while you're welcome to!  All money donated this year for aid station volunteers will go to gas, pizza, and beer.  :)

That's the scoop.  We'll see you here at VC, prior to the 7:00am start, on Saturday the 27th!

What Blackhawk Pass looks like from the south right now - snowy.  The north side must be ridiculous...