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Old 07-06-09, 10:52 PM   #1
JC 911
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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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Old 07-06-09, 11:29 PM   #2
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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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Old 07-07-09, 12:36 AM   #3
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Here's a great reference http://www.bicycleclimbs.com/ClimbLists.aspx
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Old 07-07-09, 08:01 AM   #4
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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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Old 07-07-09, 08:21 AM   #5
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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.

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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Old 07-07-09, 01:17 PM   #6
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start riding a fixed gear bike
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Old 07-07-09, 01:38 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 07-07-09, 05:55 PM   #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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Old 07-07-09, 09:52 PM   #9
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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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Old 07-08-09, 11:30 AM   #10
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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.
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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Old 07-09-09, 10:35 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 07-19-09, 04:33 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 07-19-09, 05:31 PM   #13
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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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Old 07-19-09, 06:04 PM   #14
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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

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Old 07-19-09, 11:03 PM   #15
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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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Old 07-20-09, 08:04 PM   #16
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How about in the South End?

You know, by Kent/Renton/Auburn, etc.?
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Old 07-20-09, 09:28 PM   #17
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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.

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Old 07-26-09, 05:52 PM   #18
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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!
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Old 07-26-09, 11:53 PM   #19
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Anybody got directions to this Zoo hill? I've got to give that a try.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:24 AM   #20
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directions to the cougar mtn academy (the hill's namesake)

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?name=Co...SS&id=12526684
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Old 07-27-09, 06:22 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:48 PM   #22
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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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