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November 12, 2018 at 11:15 am #44429
A week ago, while riding at 3Rivers Trails, my wife and I spotted a few lone riders ascending a zigzag climb on the northern side of Crossways.
We learned that it was called the Ox-wagon Pass and decided to go and check it out this weekend. The idea was to see if it would take us onto the Red Holstein route near its summit and – if so – whether one could do the latter in reverse from there.
We had twice previously ridden the Red Holstein in a clockwise (traditional way) direction during mid-summer and found it quite tough – especially for our fitness levels at the time.
So – with similar fitness levels – we hit the Ox-wagon Pass at the start of the ride and it didn’t disappoint. The initial hairpin bends are smooth and totally manageable for relative novices, but the technicality – tight turns with loose rocks – increases steadily with the altitude gain.
Although we lost traction once or twice and had to work in a stop or two to catch our breath, the panoramic view became increasingly beautiful as we went up – which called for a pic near the summit.
Once there, we started following a marked enduro section down towards Crossways until where a jeep track joins from the left. If you take this option, you basically back up 180 degrees, which leads you onto the Red Holstein trail.
From there, you do the traditional route in reverse and Bob’s your uncle. With most of the ascent done on the Ox-wagon Pass right at the start of the ride, the Red Holstein becomes so much easier than the traditional way where most of the climbing is in the second half of the ride.
I can recommend this option, which is approximately 31km in length and takes around two hours at a leisurely pace.