Pacific Northwest - High Pass Challenge
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09-25-07, 08:25 AM
The first High Pass Challenge was held this last Sunday near Mt St Helens - a 112 mile ride out of Packwood up to Windy Ridge and back - maybe 6K of climbing. A Cascade event - it had only 500 riders. Super well supported - incredible scenery. It is a tough ride but the opportunity to ride through the blast zone and see Spirit lake is worth it. I recommend you put this on your calender for next year.
09-25-07, 01:04 PM
Sounds like a grueling ride! How long did it take and can you point to a link of the trail? Any pictures?
09-25-07, 01:29 PM
Official link (http://www.cascade.org/EandR/hpc/Details.cfm), which shows the route and an elevation profile. I did the ride, logging 7120 ft of vertical on my Polar. It took me around 8 hours to complete the course (I rode 119.3 miles - took a little detour that added 7 miles) at an average speed of 14.4 mph, max 37.9 - there are some great descents! The temp minimum was 42 degrees, average was 48and max 62. I took my time on the ride due to a knee injury, but still finished in time for a "medal" in spite of the detour. There were lots of high-end bikes and great riders on this event; I'll do it again next year and hope to be in better shape.
09-25-07, 03:51 PM
I did in in 6:45 including stops - which only totaled about 15 minutes because it was so cold! The turnaround/highpoint was Windy Ridge and it was howling and cold so people stayed only briefly. But the ride up and down is pretty sheltered and temp was comfortable once you got off the ridge. Lots of good riders so pacelines at start were safe. Volunteers were friendly and food/support was excellent. My only quibble is toward the end the route went through quite a rough road for maybe 10 miles - it was a nice scenic route and better than retracing the ascent, but definitely rough. It was a nice welcoming at finish with medals and t-shirts and a bbq.
09-25-07, 11:39 PM
From the linked site: "Not a ride for the novice rider" -- I think that says it all :).
Congratulations to those of you who made it! Very impressive. I don't think I'll be doing that ride anytime soon, especially not in under 10 hours and not on my commuter, "the Tank."
09-26-07, 10:28 AM
Sounds like a great ride - this one was on my list this year but the Sunday date made it difficult.
Were there any really steep grades or just long and steady?
09-26-07, 11:59 AM
sorry, no pictures this time - hands too cold to manage ;-). Most of the grades were long and steady (4-5% maybe) - there were a few steeper sections (maybe 8%) but nothing like the Issaquah Alps (Cougar zoo climb).
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