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Old 07-04-11, 06:59 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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4th of July ride: Snow. A bear! Rockslide. A volcano.

You may have seen BF member Woodway's thread from yesterday on going up the road in Mt. Rainier National Park to Sunrise Visitor Center. It's a great ride, so I went up today. They just opened the road a couple of weeks ago so there is a lot snow.

The weather was *perfect* (50 degrees at the start, clear, and just cool enough on the descent that I wore arm warmers). Plenty of snow by the side of the road.

And, for good nature, today Mother Nature tossed in a black bear by the side of the road, and a mudslide.

First really nice view on the way up...



About 2 or 3 miles from the top of the road, started getting even more snowy...





This is the same sign that Woodway got a shot of yesterday. Under the snow, it says, "Elevation 6400."



Visitor center...



My bike against the biggest snowbank I could find in the parking lot...

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Old 07-04-11, 07:03 PM   #2
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Old 07-04-11, 07:03 PM   #3
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Bear on the way down. I only noticed him because a car was stopped in the middle of the road; I looked over to see what was going on and by time I pulled up the bear was just off the road.

This photo is not cropped or zoomed; gives you an idea how eager he was to see me. I was pointed downhill so I figured it would have been a fair race:









Mudslide! I had noticed this big patch of the mountainside on the way up, obviously the scene of big avalanches and/or rockslides over the winter. It was clear when I was headed up, but on the way down a came across some rangers and a work crew clearing a slide that had covered the road, both lanes.


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Old 07-05-11, 04:52 AM   #4
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What a ride....a little bit of everything Great pictures.
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Old 07-05-11, 04:57 AM   #5
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What a way to celebrate the 4th of July! Over here in S.E. Pennsylvania it was in the upper 80's. The last thing I had on my mind was snow. :~)

Great pictures!
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Old 07-05-11, 08:25 AM   #6
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Started my rides this weekend at 91 degrees. Really it didn't feel all that bad. Except for the one ride we started in the morning and it got hotter as we rode. Evening rides are much better, as it cools down as you ride.
Got in 67 miles in 4 days. That is good for me.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:30 AM   #7
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A fair race? That's not one I'd even want to enter. I'm guessing that should it have turned into a race, you wouldn't have been cruising in zones two and three.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:41 AM   #8
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Nice work Benge! Amazing to see how much snow had melted in just a couple of days.

I think I have the wife talked into riding up to Hurricane Ridge with me...
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Old 07-05-11, 09:52 AM   #9
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I think I have the wife talked into riding up to Hurricane Ridge with me...
Of the climbs I've done, I think Hurricane Ridge is the hardest. Partly because one of the steeper parts is the first several miles at the bottom, when you're just riding through a tunnel of trees before you even get to the park entrance. It takes awhile before you get to see some scenery, but once you do it's pretty nice.

Also nice is the ride up to Paradise from Ashford or Longmire.

The ride up to Mt. Baker and Artist's Point is a bit easier, though longer.

Another great climb is Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island. That's the steepest, but only 5 miles long.
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Old 07-05-11, 07:50 PM   #10
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When you ride Hurricane Ridge - where did you park?

I saw an article the other day that a guy went up to Artist Point on a snomobile a couple weeks ago and measured the snow depth over the parking lot at 40 feet!

The wife and I did Mt. Constitution last year - nice ride, couple of 15% grunts but as you say it's over fast. Come September, I'll ride my Mtn. Bike up and take the trails down. Now that's a descent!

Ever ridden up to Washington Pass from the west side? We were thinking about trying that next weekend.
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Old 07-05-11, 07:55 PM   #11
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Nice. All we had here were mosquitoes and poison ivy.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:19 PM   #12
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When you ride Hurricane Ridge - where did you park?

Ever ridden up to Washington Pass from the west side? We were thinking about trying that next weekend.
I parked in the parking lot at Peninsula College. It's about a mile off the route, so it gives you one mile of flat riding to warm up before you start headed upwards.

As for Washington Pass -- yes, I went over it once from the west side....I did the Native Planet Classic, which starts in Winthrop, goes all the way across the park to Lake Diablo, then heads back west across again. So you did both Rainy Pass and Washington Pass both directions, in a day. Climbing west to east seemed a lot harder than east to west.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:26 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great info Benge! We were thinking of going up to Washington Pass from Newhalem and back. Looks to be about 40 miles each way.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:03 PM   #14
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Great photos B-Boy. And what a great ride.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:26 PM   #15
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Thanks for the great info Benge! We were thinking of going up to Washington Pass from Newhalem and back. Looks to be about 40 miles each way.
Just make sure you're prepared for 3 passes then -- Rainy Pass, then Washington Pass, then climbing back over Rainy Pass on the way back. Also make sure you plan your water -- not much past Lake Diablo (I once read about a water supply somewhere east of Lake Diablo but I forget where it is).
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Old 07-05-11, 11:47 PM   #16
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Wonderful shots of some great adventures!
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Old 07-07-11, 04:21 PM   #17
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I almost climbed Rainier a few years ago with a hiking group from New Hampshire but notice for the climb was way too short for me to get ready in time. I still want to get to that part of the world and think riding a bike up would be the best option. Great trip report Bengeboy.

Rainier is a serious mountain and the link and video I copied from a New England hiking web site illustrates the point. http://www.youtube.com/user/x0s0p0y#p/a/u/0/fzRhLs5GkYs
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