I was going to wait until I lost another 20 pounds before doing this climb, but I said what the hell and did it today instead. This is Snows Road in Camino, CA. According to this site, it is rated the toughest climb in El Dorado County, with grades up to 20%. I measured lots of grades in the teens and twenties, but I don't trust those high readings because the Garmin likes to go crazy at low speeds on steep climbs.
I started at Carson Road, which is the beginning of Snows Road. It ends at Newtown Road. I forgot to start the timer on my Garmin at first and didn't hear the "movement detected" beep because I was too busy looking at the cyclists you see coming up to Carson in the beginning of the video. Near the top of the first short climb that goes under Highway 50 I looked down and saw the message telling me to start the timer, so I did. That's okay, I made up for my goof on the way back when I overshot the 11% grade sign I wanted to take a picture of and had to go back up the same climb.
The climbs to Newtown Road weren't as hard as I thought they would be when I looked at the grade from the seat of a car last year. Coming back from Newtown to Carson was another story though. I finally had to shift to my lowest gear so I could spin on the steepest parts. I did all the climbing in the saddle, thanks to my ultra-low gearing.
After I reached Carson I made a right and took a nice relaxing climb to Pollock Pines. That climb was painless until the muscle on the right side of my lower back started cramping. Climbing out of the saddle for a few seconds didn't help. What did help was the smile and wave from a descending female cyclist. I returned the favor and the pain magically disappeared. It's amazing what positive interactions with other people can do for you!
Wow, looks like a tough climb, nice video, thanks for sharing.
Originally Posted by goldfinch
God woman, you are tough.
Thanks! Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. I'm always looking for the hardest climbs around, but I make sure I feel I'm up to the task first, as I want to keep my track record of finishing every climb I start. So far I haven't had to do the "walk of shame" on any road climb. I did do it on a steep mtb climb in 1997 when I lived in Auburn. I'm pretty sure I would have made it up that same climb if I weighed 120 instead of the 140 I weighed at the time.
Congrats. Looks like you're now going to have to start taking road trips to get to climbs seeing as you've done all the nearby ones.
Yup. This was a road trip too. It was about a 50 mile drive. There's a few super-steep ones I have yet to tackle: Mosquito Road in Placerville, Iowa Hill Road in Colfax, and Jurgens/Luneman near El Dorado Hills.
I'm off to Nevada City to watch and record the Nevada City Classic bike race. It's a hilly one so I'll park my fat ass right at the steepest part and get some good suffer footage.
I'm hoping the course is open when I get there so I can make a video of a ride around it. It would give people an idea of the kind of terrain the riders have to deal with during the race.