Winter Park, Colorado, Trestle Bike Park ambassador Ross Schnell has raced mountain bikes professionally for 12 years, racking up such titles as All-Mountain world champion, Single Speed world champion, Collegiate MTB national champion, and Super D National Series champion. Currently working with companies as Trek, SRAM, Pearl Izumi, and POC Sports, he’s also a former member of the U-23 U.S. National Team and winner of the 2011 Trestle All-Mountain Enduro, a three-day, five-stage all-mountain event. While he lives in the mountain bike mecca of Fruita, Colorado, where he co-owns Over the Edge Sports and Moab’s Whole Enchilada Shuttle Co., you’ll find him at Winter Park’s Bike Park whenever time allows–which might be a little less this year, considering he just had a baby.
Here are a few of his favorite things about Winter Park:
Aspect of Winter Park in the off-season: I love Winter Park because it’s such a great place for the whole family. There truly is something for everyone, young and old, whether you’re a paddler, cyclist, or champion speedster on the Alpine Slide. There are over 600 miles of marked trails in the Frasier Valley and the Trestle Bike Park is world-renowned for its amazing terrain.
Place to mountain bike: The best place to mountain bike depends on what you’re into. You can get away from it all and hit the backcountry on some of the best singletrack anywhere. My recommendation is to start with Tipperary Creek, one of the classic rides in the valley. If gravity suits your fancy, hit up the Trestle Bike Park for a day of rocky singletrack, flowing berms, and purpose-built obstacles. The bike park boasts such a variety of terrain that you’ll see a pro downhiller getting on the lift right behind a family.
Place to ride with the family: The Bike Park has a lot of different options, with something for everyone. There’s also a great bike path in town where you can cruise down valley with the family.
Place to paddle: I’m not much of a paddler, but Fraser Canyon is a hotspot for kayakers in the spring and a lot of people head out to Lake Granby and Grand Lake to canoe and tour. Rafters and kayakers can also hit a 15-mile, Class I-II section of the Colorado nearby, and those looking for adrenaline can tackle Class IV-V Gore Canyon of the Colorado just below Kremmling.
Place to fuel up or grab a beer afterwards: There are ample places to grab a coffee and a bagel in town or at Winter Park Resort. After a long day in the saddle, be sure to hit up the Cheeky Monk for your Belgian beer fix. They have some of the most sought-after, 9-percent niche-beers that you’ve never heard of.
Photos courtesy Winter Park, Schnell