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  1. #1
    Senior Member JC 911's Avatar
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    Hardest Climbs in Seattle?

    Anyone have any thoughts on the hardest climb in the Seattle area is? Not talking about driving to the Cascades or Olympics but in the local area.

    Obviously there are some 20%+ grades in the city but I'm thinking about climbs that are longer, say 1 mile plus.

    I have heard that Zoo Hill in Issaquah (Cougar Mountain) is a beast at 2.5 miles+ at avg grade of 8.8% and max at 20%. I did that last weekend and didn't think that was too bad.

    Anyone have any nominees? Looking for some tough climbs to do.
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  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Routes that will get you enough hills:

    SiR's Mountain Populaire (6000+, 100k)
    Summits of Bothell (3500, 40mi)
    SiR's Big Time Urban Populaire (6000+, 100k)
    7 Hills of Kirkland (7200+, century)
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  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    without heading to the eastside to ride the hills there, some of the biggest/steepest hills to climb in Seattle are Innes Arden Road behind Shoreline community college and simply riding up QA hill. Ever ride straight from the Fremont Bridge instead of swinging onto Dexter or Westlake?

    I'm sure there are pockets of steeper climbs but innes arden is the toughest long climb in seattle i've found.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member JC 911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    without heading to the eastside to ride the hills there, some of the biggest/steepest hills to climb in Seattle are Innes Arden Road behind Shoreline community college and simply riding up QA hill. Ever ride straight from the Fremont Bridge instead of swinging onto Dexter or Westlake?

    I'm sure there are pockets of steeper climbs but innes arden is the toughest long climb in seattle i've found.

    I live in Edmonds so that climb is only a few miles from my house. I do intervals using that hill on the weekends.
    I think its about mile long with an average grade around 8-10%. It's a nice climb.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member northbend's Avatar
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    start riding a fixed gear bike

  7. #7
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    i rode fixed 48/17 up queen anne yesterday.

    not necessarily the fixed gear, just the one big gear makes it a workout.

  8. #8
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    There are some killer hills around Issaquah in addition to Zoo Hill. Squawk and Tiger are pretty tough, and there's another I haven't tried around the interesection of SR900 and Issaquah-May Valley Road going up the back side of Cougar Mountain that I've heard is the toughest climb in the area (some of our climb-addict customers call it "the eliminator").

    Graham

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    Zoo hill is going to be hard to top, though there is the Idlywood climb that I think it is a bit harder:

    http://www.bicycleclimbs.com/climbde...px?ClimbId=283
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  10. #10
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    i rode fixed 48/17 up queen anne yesterday.

    not necessarily the fixed gear, just the one big gear makes it a workout.
    Nice... I did that once, ouch!

    Was that the north or south side? I think the south side (counterbalance) is a little steeper, though not very long indeed.

    Other good city climbs include:

    * Yesler from 1st ave up to Cap Hill
    * Yesler off Lake Wa Blvd up to Union (~7% grade for 1/2 mile or so)
    * Queen Anne of course
    * Almost any of the streets off of Lake Wa Blvd north of Leschi and south of Madison - the 705 showed 30% for one of those! (though it was only a block or two long)
    * And of course this page can't be forgotten: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/steepest.htm (Roy St at 22% is a nice one, but just a block long. Though the blocks leading up to it are 10+%.

    But as for longer climbs, yeah the Issaquah area seems to be the best w/out getting in the mountains. If you thought Cougar was easy, perhaps a fixed gear is in order? =]
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    If you've got a fat-tired bike I'd say head to the Tolt Pipleine Trail in Woodinville. It's got a couple killer climbs and a lot of up and downs. It's a good workout and a pretty fun ride. Not technical but nice a nice dirt/gravel trail where you can keep up a good speed.

  12. #12
    Member jasyn's Avatar
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    I spent yesterday making my way up the hills on Upper Queen Anne. Even in 34/25, I felt like I was getting my ass handed to me.

    Hats off to those ov you who can climb the counterbalance without dying.

    If you live near the Seattle metro area, I highly recommend riding around the Queen Anne area if you are looking to work on your climbing skills.

  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    The SiR 300k on August 8th has a good climb:

    35 mile warm up to the town of Glacier @ 950 feet. Then a 24.5 mile, 4090 foot climb to Artist's Point at 5140 feet. Then finish it off with another 210k.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    The Native Planet Outdoor Club has two routes that encompass a lot of the "best" hills on the East Side -- the "Torture Century South" and the "Torture Century North" (both are metric centuries). The also have a ride (which was in June) that puts both of them together - 200k with 13,000 feet of climbing.

    I did the "Torture Century South"; it was plenty of climbing for me.

    Here are the routes:

    http://www.ride4areason.org/nptortur...tury_map.shtml
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 07-19-09 at 06:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Just thought about the climbs to Sammamish plateau and to Redmond Ridge:

    228th from Redmond Way/202 = 1 mile @ 10%
    Inglewood Hill
    Louis Thompson Hill
    Black Nugget Rd

    208th to Union Hill from 202 = 0.4mi @ 14.7%
    Union Hill from Avondale (currently closed from 196th to 208th)
    Novelty Hill from 203 (the Avondale side isn't too tough)
    133rd/Trilogy Rd. (3 mile climb with the last 0.4 @ 9%)
    Woodinville Duval Rd (from 203) to Old W'ville Duvall to 232nd to Trilogy
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  16. #16
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    How about in the South End?

    You know, by Kent/Renton/Auburn, etc.?
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  17. #17
    Rat Bastard mcoomer's Avatar
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    Ride out to Fall City then head towards I-90 on the Preston-Fall City Road. On your left after a mile or so is Lake Alice Road SE. Prepare for pain! Don't know the numbers but it's a monster.

    You can really get deep in the pain locker out in that area. Tolt Hill Road, Snoqualmie Falls, Ames Lake Road, Cougar Mountain, Tiger Mountain Road, Issaquah-Fall City Road, Duthie Hill, Sahalee Way, etc. are all within riding distance of one another so if you want to hurt you can string a few together. I promise that by the end you'll be hearing voices telling you to walk towards the light.
    Last edited by mcoomer; 07-20-09 at 09:38 PM.
    It's better to burn out than fade away...or slip out of your pedal and face plant on the side of the road!!!

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Old'N'Slow's Avatar
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    Cougar Mountain and the Zoo Hill

    I rode these hills today with two guys who are doing RAMROD this Thursday. I've have done Cougar Mountain previously, but not the Zoo Hill. We left my house near Seahawk Headquarters, went up Cougar Mt. (the upper portion to the towers), down the Zoo Hill, then back up the Zoo Hill and home.

    Had I known before hand what the Zoo Hill held in store for me, I would have opted to do that climb first. You know the hill is a tough mother when you realize you're trying to recover on a grade that levels off to 8-9%! Some of the inside portions of the switchbacks are brutal.

    All totaled, is was a little over 20 miles with just shy of 3000 feet of climbing. I think my buddies feel they are ready for RAMROD. With any kind of luck, I'll get in next year...

    To all that got in RAMROD, have a good, safe ride!
    It's time to ride...

  19. #19
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    Anybody got directions to this Zoo hill? I've got to give that a try.

  20. #20
    Senior Member northbend's Avatar
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    directions to the cougar mtn academy (the hill's namesake)

    http://www.mapquest.com/maps?name=Co...SS&id=12526684

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by northbend View Post
    directions to the cougar mtn academy (the hill's namesake)

    http://www.mapquest.com/maps?name=Co...SS&id=12526684
    Thanks. I headed out there today to check it out....killer climb (the fact that it's over 90 degrees didn't help things!). I parked up near Sammamish Eastlake Hills and first climbed up Lakemount Blvd up to the summit of Cougar Mtn. Wow....great views and a sweat dripping workout. After that I went down the Zoo hill, turned around at the bottom and climbed back to the summit, then flew down the mountain back to Lake Sammamish. I think the hardest climb was that last one up to my car! In all about 20 miles...half crawling in low gear, half flying full speed. I live in Seattle so I don't get out that way often but I'll definitely be back.

  22. #22
    Perpetual dmoney19's Avatar
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    Not to super close to seattle, but for one of the bigger climbs in the area, checkout hurricane ridge, about 6k in shot.

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