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  1. #1
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    RR (with pics!): Sunrise Mt. Rainier

    Rode to Sunrise in Mt. Rainier National Park with my wife today, and thought I would share a ride report and a few photos.

    Today was one of those heavenly Seattle days we dream about during the dark days of January. The bluest of skies, low 70's temperatures, gentle breezes. I suggested to my wife that we take our road bikes to Mt. Rainier (about an hour and 45 minute drive), drop the car outside the National Park, and pedal up to Sunrise. From where I planned to drop the car, this would be a 20 mile pedal with about 3,600 feet of elevation gain. Happily, my wife agreed and off we went! Here are a few photos from the ride up.

    The park entrance is at about 3600 feet, and we pedaled up the road through a thick forest. Not much by way of views yet.


    We saw two Black Bears along to road! Here is one that was eating grass. I took this photo as I was pedaling past - did not want to stop as the bear was no more than 20'-30' feet from me.


    I had to chuckle when I saw this sign. 35MPH was no problem going up, as the grade was pretty much a steady 6% until you got near the top. Going down was another story all together. I was so proud of my wife today. She pedaled to the top without a complaint. a real trooper.


    We saw patchy snow starting at about 4000 feet, when we got to 5000 feet the snow became more persistent. That's Mt. Rainier peeking through the trees straight ahead.


    As when we got near the top and broke out of the trees, we were treated to eye-popping views. That's Mt. Rainier on the left.


    Here is a shot of Mt. Adams (in the distance) from Sunrise point.


    Another shot of Mt. Rainier just before we arrived at the top.


    There was an amazing amount of snow at the Sunrise parking lot (6400 feet). Here the path to the restrooms. I should have put a person in the photo for perspective - those snow walls are almost 10 feet high.


    And finally, I wanted to get a photo of my wife and I in front of the Sunrise sign, but we had trouble finding it for all the snow. Here is my wife by the sign, which say "Sunrise Elevation 6,400".


    No photos from the trip down because I was going to fast We flew down at around 35MPH, hardly pedaling and rarely touching our brakes. It was a sweet, sweet descent!

    This is a fantastic ride. highly recommended if you are in the Seattle area.

  2. #2
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    Looks like you both had a great day!!

    The pics are georgeous, thanks for taking the time to share!!

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gonna be taking a few "New riders" out today and if they even see a slope- then they will not be happy. So a 20 mile up a mountain is not on the cards for me today. Wish it was but here I am waiting for the others to turn up- sitting in the garden with a cup of coffee in the brilliant warm sun and you show us pics of your Wildlife and snow. The snow may be OK- but you can keep the wildlife.

    But I think it is time you took on a more considerate rider protocol. Don't think I will be riding with you often if you sit at the back all the time. Just shows the strength of your wife to have dragged you all the way up that slope.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Great ride report and wonderful pictures Thanks for sharing.

    What a great place to ride.
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  5. #5
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    That sounds like a great ride. A 6% grade is about my cutoff between enjoyable and work. You can move fast enough where you feel like your making progress, still a lot of work particularly when the miles start to pile on.

    Really liked the pics, a sunny day in the Cascades is a real treat.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing it. Hard for me to imagine snow in July.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Great photos. BTW, I wouldn't mind if that's the only place you could ever see snow, above 4000 ft.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I used to live in Enumclaw, that brings back great memories. Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
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    Great looking ride. Looks like you go into another climate zone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for the pics! I'm thinking about doing that ride tomorrow.

    Here's what the elevation sign looks like w/no snow:


  11. #11
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Very nice, Thanks for sharing.

  12. #12
    A Mountaineering thing Hillbasher's Avatar
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    Have driven to Sunrise after being up on the mountain trying to summit. That trip we made 2 attempts, got stormed off the peak on one of them and ran out of time on the second try. The ride to Sunrise made it all worth while though, and we did end up hitting the summit on the next time we were up there. Love the idea of having the bikes along and riding up there, as you say, the views are increadable.

  13. #13
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    Very nice! The amount of snow still up there is amazing!

  14. #14
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missjean View Post
    Very nice! The amount of snow still up there is amazing!
    The road to Sunrise is right around the corner from the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort. Ski lifts are still open this weekend for "soft spring snow skiing."

    My son was up there two weeks ago (Crystal Mountain) and he said it still looked like winter on the slopes.

  15. #15
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your comments. It was a very memorable day. My wife has been talking today about how much she enjoyed it - whoo, I can get her to go again!

    Benge - we parked at the Crystal Mountain cutoff and rode 410 up to the park entrance. Riding on 410 was no fun as usual, but once we got onto the park, traffic was pretty light. Supposed to be a good day tomorrow - have a great ride!

  16. #16
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Benge - we parked at the Crystal Mountain cutoff and rode 410 up to the park entrance. Riding on 410 was no fun as usual, but once we got onto the park, traffic was pretty light. Supposed to be a good day tomorrow - have a great ride!
    thanks, that's my normal parking spot...

  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    The road to Sunrise is right around the corner from the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort. Ski lifts are still open this weekend for "soft spring snow skiing."

    My son was up there two weeks ago (Crystal Mountain) and he said it still looked like winter on the slopes.
    I was there in January and it was like summer, a very rainy summer, didn't get the skis out of the car.

    Great pics Woodway, your wife should be proud, it looks like she pulled you all the way! Where do I find a fine woman like that???
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  18. #18
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Great pics Woodway, your wife should be proud, it looks like she pulled you all the way! Where do I find a fine woman like that???
    I bought my wife a road bike in 2009 when I convinced her to ride Cycle Oregon with me. She is a strong rider, but not fast. I quickly learned is that she is going to ride her own pace and not be hurried along by anyone - most of all me. So in the interest of marital bliss, I just fall in behind her and enjoy the view and the conversation The only time I get out in front is when we ride into the wind and she needs to be pulled along, or on a long, fast downhill where I just cannot help myself.

    I consider myself damn lucky to be married to this woman who will not only tolerate my biking sickness, but will actually partake in it as well. I should mention that she Mountain Bikes with me too - oh what a woman!

  19. #19
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Nice pictures! The snow is unbelievable!

  20. #20
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    Nice pictures! The snow is unbelievable!
    At this time of year, the runoff feeds the best blueberry bogs in the world.
    Ionnsaich aig casan latha an-d, bi be airson latha an-diugh, bi an dchas airson latha a-maireach.

  21. #21
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    Wonderful! Envious!

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    +1 on Ken's comment.

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