Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
While Amasa Back is one of the long-time classic Moab mountain bike rides that most riders have heard of, in reality--like most of the classic Moab routes--it's just a really rocky 4x4 road.
In recent years Moab Trail Mix has taken the Amasa Back area and transformed it into a true mountain bike masterpiece by employing modern trail building techniques to build a network of non-motorized singletrack around the Amasa Back 4x4 road.
Captain Ahab is the new crown jewel of the Amasa Back Trail System. Captain Ahab wouldn't be nearly as excellent without the sweet climb to get to the top, which now takes place almost entirely on the non-motorized Hymasa trail.
For a climbing route, this trail is an absolute gem.
While it gains some serious vertical and features big up-and-over moves and slickrock slab traverses, this route is 100% rideable uphill, making it one of the most entertaining climbs ever.
As you pedal up the slickrock, be sure to look up from your front tire and soak in the epic views of this incredible zone! Once at the top, Captain Ahab begins to drop immediately through challenging rock rolls and never-ending features.
The top portion of Ahab is mostly a descent, but it's quite pedally, with short climbs mixed in.
Take advantage of the slow pace and enjoy the views from the top of this ridge, because soon you'll be dropping much faster. Once Ahab drops into its primary descent, the ride is fast and furious! Hugging the rim of a cliff, this trail passes through some extremely exposed zones, where a fall will most definitely be fatal.
One spot even has a sign that commands all mountain bikers to dismount.
While this spot actually isn't that technical, the consequences are deadly. Above and beyond the sheer exposure, the trail itself is both well-built and highly-technical.
However, riders can choose to make the ride more or less technical depending on their abilities and the ride quality they desire.
Every rock feature can be rolled without getting air, but expert-level riders can opt for B-lines that open up 5 to 10-foot rock drops, gaps, and all other forms of gnar.
The variety of options built into this trail shows off the next-level trail building skills.
Whereas most builders might just envision one line or one type of rider, the builders of Ahab have designed it to serve a vast array of abilities.
That said, even the easiest of lines are worthy of a black diamond rating. With a very rideable yet entertaining climb up Hymasa, a brutally-technical yet totally-rideable descent down Captain Ahab, and jaw-dropping views the entire way, this loop has become one of the must-ride routes in Moab in just a few years.