March 9, 2024
The A (61 miles) will start at 7:30am.
The B route (34 miles) will start at 9am.
Camping is allowed at the Ripsey trail head – although there are no facilities
You will start at the Ripsey trail head off of E Florence Kelvin Highway near Kelvin, Arizona. Google map directions to the trail head are here.
The Ripsey ride will be split into 2 different lengths so that you can choose how much AZT goodness you wish to experience.
The A loop (61 miles) will be a the best choice for those who have the endurance. This route will climb on dirt roads all the way to the Freeman Road water cache on the AZT. From there you get to blast down the roller coaster ride known as the Boulders segment. After some relatively rugged jeep roads and some not very well marked twistys through the desert you get to do the famous “Switchback Hill” up to the Ripsey ridgeline. Pause to take in the views before ripping along the ridgeline. Finally you drop down to the finish on an extended downhill section.
The B loop will start the same as the A, with a lovely grind up Florence Kelvin Highway – to the very top of the world. From there you’ll take Tecolote Rd. and some dodgy singletrack over to the AZT. You will be momentarily sad that you missed the Boulders segment, but soon enough will be dropping down into Ripsey Wash and facing Switchback Hill. Once you reach the Ripsey ridgeline and marvel at how fricking big Asarco Ray Mine is, you’ll be heading toward that final epic downhill.
In a race of this length and remoteness, water is a concern. Bring as much as you can! We’ve done some scouting and found some possible water sources – non of which are 100% reliable. Water sources are marked (as waypoints) on the GPS files.
For the A loop the Freeman Road cache “usually” has water – but that is totally dependent on kind people restocking it. If you happen to be in that area (EVER) it is good Karma to bring a few gallons for the cache.
Both A and B loops go by “Bathtub Spring”. This has always had water when I’ve been through there, but a recent report said it was dry. This is a cattle trough, so you’ll want to filter any water you get from it.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you bring, and know how to use, a GPS for this race. There are some sections on the AZT where the trail is not terribly well marked. Using a GPS and paying attention are the best ways to stay on course and not get lost. GPS files for both courses can be obtained at the links below.
A course (61 miles)
B course (34 miles)
Bring a chair, beverages, food, whatever. Hang out and watch the folks doing the longer routes come in. Spend some time getting to know the super cool people who share this strange compulsion to push themselves to their limits. Witness the pain, utter exhaustion, and sense of accomplishment of anyone who finishes the A loop.
Old Time Pizza in Kearney (520 363-5523) will deliver to the trail head. There is a $10 delivery fee, so it is a good idea to do a bunch of orders at once. Bring cash.