Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Somewhere between heaven and hell
Bikes: '09 Jamis Komodo, '09 Mirraco Blend One, '08 Cervelo P2C, '08 Specialized Ruby Elite, '07 Yeti AS-R SL, '07 DMR Drone
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I've run it, never biked it. I don't remember it being all that technical...a couple stairs at the top and lots of switchbacks like corvus said, but that's mainly it. By now I doubt there's any ice up there still. Altitude affects everyone differently. Sometimes I'll be fine, sometimes I'll get a little bit of a headache, but nothing major. Sometimes people have more severe altitude sickness reactions, and a friend of a friend (who was in great shape and acclimated too) got herself into trouble up there once and apparently had to be taken out (but I don't know the entire story...just that it came from a pretty reputable source). But it's a really heavily traveled trail, so there'll be someone there if you get in trouble.
If you're riding up, you probably want the XC bike. Even if it's a little less great for descending, the first 13 miles is straight up, with only one short kind of downhill break, and it gets steeper at the top (or maybe I was just tired and at 14,000 feet and thought it got steeper). But if you choose to shuttle, there's a road you can drive up.