GRIN & BEAR IT TRAIL RUN
– Grand Traverse Training Event –
July 24th, 2021
- 25K & 15K TRAIL COMPETITIONS -
Continuously run for three decades, The Grin & Bear It stands as Crested Butte’s oldest trail challenge.
Historically presented as a sprint from Town to Green Lake and back, this classic event has evolved to offer a 25k Loop competition,
while still maintaining the traditional 15k Classic race.
25.7K – LOOP
The race Starts and Finishes at the Crested Butte Nordic Center – 620 2nd. Street, in downtown Crested Butte.
A mass start commences from the Nordic Center, climbing directly up to Journey’s End road, where racers turn LEFT continuing downhill to the junction with Highway-135. Racers proceed south paralleling the highway for a 1/4 mile, before arriving the Baxter Gulch trailhead. Here runners are routed onto single track, starting a series of sharp switchbacks climbing 600 feet through shaded aspens. This climb eventually opens up, transitioning to a climbing traverse. (Don’t forget to look over your left shoulder to view Mt. Crested Butte’s imposing presence over the valley!)
This initial climb tops out at 9,431 ft, before providing competitors a momentary 200 ft. downhill respite. Upon crossing a bridge across Baxter Creek, steady switchback climbing again commences for the next mile. After making a second crossing of Baxter Creek, elevation gain levels off, climbing more moderately through open meadows and surprise views of Mt. Whetstone. Moderate climbing continues until around mile 5.25, where 450 feet is more steeply gained in less then 1 mile. This push delivers runners to a high saddle at 10,700 ft, and a sneak peek view into the adjacent Ohio Creek valley drainage.
Here the course embarks on a brief .5 mile descent, intersecting the Carbon Trail #436 where runners make a RIGHT turn and begin their final 545 feet of climbing to the course high point at 10,983 ft. Here runners are treated to panoramic views of the high peaks spanning the Elk Mountain Range to the east, in addition to the expansive valley bottoms of the upper Gunnison laid out below. The trail becomes consistently rougher throughout the next 2.5 mile portion of course. This section of trail is either traversing or descending, but is utterly rock strewn throughout all the way until meeting the Green Lake Trail intersection.
At this juncture, racers are routed up a .3 mile spur to the Green Lake checkpoint and an opportunity for a refreshing alpine lake dunk. After tapping the towering ponderosa pine standing at the bank of the lake, racers make an about-face, setting themselves on a 4.5 mile melee, descending 2,100 feet back into the Town of Crested Butte. Downhill running is shaded and very enjoyable, as technical trail is only sparsely punctuated. At mile 12.5, Green Lake Trail intersects a private subdivision road, runners make a right hand turn, running the road for .4 miles, then making a left hand turn to reconnect with the Green Lake Trail single track. From this juncture, 2 miles and 623 feet of elevation loss remain, returning racers to the finish line back at the Crested Butte Nordic Center.
15K *Classic* – Out & Back
This course starts & finishes in the open gravel area in front of the CB Nordic Center (620 2nd. Street). Start facing to the North West (towards the grove of cottonwood trees). Depart the open gravel area which rapidly transforms into singletrack as you depart the trees. Singletrack continues for approximately 100 yards, here the trail makes an abrupt U turn directing you onto an elevated traverse back the direction you just approached from. You will now be running southward above the start area you just departed from. In less than .25 miles the singletrack intersects a primitive rocky road, turn RIGHT. Climb the very short incline to where the double track intersects a dirt graded subdivision road (Journey’sEnd Rd.). Turn RIGHT on to Journey’s End Rd. (look for municipal signage pointing you to Green Lake)Less than .5 mile up this road, another sign will direct you to turn LEFT, at the Green Lake trailhead where singletrack recommences. Switchback your way up through dark timber and a rolling traverse until getting dumped out onto another primitive double track road. At the top of this climb, you will again intersect a dirt graded subdivision road.
Here a sign directs you to turn RIGHT. About .5 mile running the graded road, another sign directs you to resume the singletrack trail, turning to the LEFT.Wind your way up through more dark timber and intermittent meadows. The trail gets a bit more rugged on this upper singletrack portion. Stay STRAIGHT at the intersection for Trail 436. Continue past an initial pond for .3 mile to arrive at the majestic emerald Green Lake shore. After tapping the towering ponderosa pine standing at the bank of the lake, racers make an about-face, setting themselves on a 4.5 mile melee, descending 2,100 feet back to the Nordic Center.
Finish Approach –You are NOT required to retrace the elevated traverse on the‘Canal Trail’ to complete the course. As you turn off the dirt graded Journey’s End Rd. on the final .5mile of the course,continue straight down the rocky doubletrack paralleling the Ice Rink building, routing you directly to the Finish.
Hydration (water & electrolyte) will be distributed at Green Lake – Mile 11 (loop) / Mile 4.5 (out-and-back)
Nutrition – Clif Energy Gels will be provided to racers at bib pick-up.
BIB PICK-UP – JULY 24th
Crested Butte Nordic Center – 7:00 AM to 8:45 AM
RACE START TIMES
Crested Butte Nordic Center
25k Loop – 8:00 AM
15k *Classic* – 9:00 AM
POST RACE BRUNCH
Crested Butte Nordic Center
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM