A five-star trail with a Seven Star name | AspenTimes.com

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A five-star trail with a Seven Star name

Roger Marolt

Roger Marolt

This week I want to do a review on the new Seven Star mountain bike trail that runs from the Rec Center to the high point of the North Rim Trail peaks via a route that heads eastbound parallel to Brush Creek Road for about a quarter of a mile before meandering up Seven Star Draw to the ridgeline.

Calling this a mountain bike trail was not an inadvertency that will accidentally raise the ire of hikers. It is an intentional warning to foot travelers. A trail that doesn’t go anywhere in particular up the side of a mountain at an angle too low to reach great views before boredom is designed for two wheel travel, and those on foot will get their thrills mostly by diving into the brush to avoid being plowed over by rapidly moving fat-tire cyclists.

I hope you see this first description as direct and accurate. I have recently felt the calling to become a world class mountain bike trails critic. It’s a niche not overcrowded in the writing filed and so I think, if I can do it well, I have as good a chance of becoming as rich and famous as I would continuing the ridiculous pursuit of becoming a novelist. Hold on. Here we go!

What you need to know before you try this one is that it was not made to test the connoisseur. It is smooth and simple. The aficionado looking for a robust and complicated journey will be disappointed. There is nothing technical here.

The first taste is almost bland, yet this shouldn’t discourage you. I found myself wondering if I was testing the right product. The initial reviews, admittedly by the people who had designed it and other insiders, were so stunning that I couldn’t believe we were talking about the same thing. It seemed flat and completely void of anything on the wild side. Nonetheless, I hung in there.

I’m glad I did. After 15 minutes of very gentle breathing, things took a turn for the better. Suddenly the aromas of oak and a hint of sage were apparent. Because of its origination there was no surprise that it was dry, but a few twists and turns near the middle of the sampling took me to a higher view and added a well-rounded sweetness to the experience.

The middle of the ascent is the most interesting, for sure. It provides a welcome break from the long, slow pulls that define the beginning and the end. Quick meanderings suddenly take the senses higher while crossing from the arid and dusty to the wooded and musty. At the end of this surprise rise through narrowing focus, the sampler is treated to an expansive view of …

Oh crud. Excuse me. That description was from my notes on a fine Italian rosso I want to critique. Wait! Here are the notes on the Seven Star trail. Let’s start from the top of the trail and head back down.

No matter what you’ve heard, this one is a sequel. It begins right where its predecessor left off and basically ends up where that one began. In essence the two form a giant loop, covering much of the same terrain and scenery.

This is not to say it’s boring. It is every bit as much of a thriller as the others of its genre, but you will have to work a little harder to get your thrills. Similar projects have required that you keep pressing the brakes to slow the action down or risk careening out of control into the woods. This variation, on the other hand, provides similar excitement, but you have to work a little harder to get it. It’s less braking and more foot on the gas kind of participation.

The beginning will not draw you out of your seat or even bring you close to the edge of it. You can stay perfectly planted in your seat and relax as things unfold. This sets you up nicely for a few quick turns and twists in the middle, which ends up being the climax. The producers were fully aware of this and so the end is smooth and straightforward but very, very fast. If you are willing to put in a little effort you will be able to scare yourself sufficiently to make the effort worthwhile…

Ah, nuts. I have to apologize again. I seem to be a little disorganized. That is an excerpt from a movie I am reviewing.

And now I’m out of space. Oh well, suffice it to say that I give our newest trail five out of seven stars.

Roger Marolt believes the newest trail in Snowmass Village is a great addition to our collection. Email at roger@maroltllp.com