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Old 08-15-09, 04:10 AM   #1
rallison
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Palomar Mountain - South Grade Ascent Ride Report

Finally, finally I got around to doing this climb. Way too easy You San Diego folks need to head a bit farther north and do some real climbs.

Ride Report, pics, map, etc

A select few pics:







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Old 08-15-09, 06:44 AM   #2
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I was told that when the Palomar observatory was in planning, the telescope's massive and delicate mirrors had to be transported up to the top and assembled up there. The road was built with that in mind. Maybe that's one explanation why the south slope is easier than the east.

Where's your mom? I guess she didn't want to get up that early for this ride.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:14 AM   #3
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great ride report and pics, but i don't know if i would say palomar is easy compared to the other climbs we have in LA. outside of baldy, there's really nothing else that compares. all the santa monica climbs are steep but way too short and the others in the san gabriels and san bernadinos are as long or longer but not as steep. unless of course, you are talking about much further up north, ie. onion valley, horseshoe meadows and whitney portal! and if not, i think you need to take a weekend trip to lone pine and get those climbs in since you've more or less knocked out everything in the so cal area!
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Old 08-15-09, 11:49 AM   #4
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Very nice report!

It was all dirt trails when they hauled massive chuncks of glass up Mt. Wilson.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:46 PM   #5
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You definitely have to go to the Observatory next time, it is only at 5500 feet, so from Mother's it is only another 300 vertical feet spread out over 4.5 miles...

Also, once you get down to Lake Henshaw you can continue past it and turn up Mesa Grande for a nice little 12% climb...
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Old 08-15-09, 04:53 PM   #6
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I guess since its so easy you did it in around an hour or just under?
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Old 08-15-09, 08:39 PM   #7
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How does this compare to Latigo in Socal? Looks similar steepness, but longer.
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Old 08-16-09, 02:29 AM   #8
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I guess since its so easy you did it in around an hour or just under?
Well yeah, of course. I kid, this is actually a very solid climb. My time was 1:40 - 6.9mph - so I am by no means fast.

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Where's your mom? I guess she didn't want to get up that early for this ride.
She lives in Santa Barbara, so an 8 hour roundtrip was a little out of the question...

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How does this compare to Latigo in Socal? Looks similar steepness, but longer.
While I haven't done Latigo yet, based on elevation profiles, Palomar would be much tougher. Palomar averages 6.5% for 4300 feet of climbing. Making it tougher is the fact that the last 2500 feet (S Grade Rd) average 7.0%. Compare this to Latigo at 1800 feet and 5.1%. Mt Baldy is a more comparable ride, but the last part of Baldy makes it tougher than Palomar.
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Old 08-16-09, 02:46 AM   #9
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You definitely have to go to the Observatory next time, it is only at 5500 feet, so from Mother's it is only another 300 vertical feet spread out over 4.5 miles...

Also, once you get down to Lake Henshaw you can continue past it and turn up Mesa Grande for a nice little 12% climb...
Next time I do the climb the Observatory is absolutely on the list. And I definitely don't mind a few hundred feet of extra climbing - after all, I added 400 feet on by riding to the county park at 5600 ft. Nice park, but I was hoping for some sweet views. Along those lines, I am assuming the observatory has some nice views? Any other parks or stopping points up there for great views?

Mesa Grande looks like a short but sweet (in the masochistic way) climb. Ok, so next time..hit the observatory, get some food at Mother's (any recommendations food-wise?), loop down to Henshaw and add in Mesa Grande. I'm already getting anxious to do this again now!
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Old 08-16-09, 08:32 AM   #10
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Actually the views from the observatory aren't great, but it's still very interesting. The best views are along the top of East Grade. There are a couple of good observation points in the first mile or so of the descent.
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Old 08-16-09, 11:48 AM   #11
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Finally, finally I got around to doing this climb. Way too easy You San Diego folks need to head a bit farther north and do some real climbs.
Harrah's to the store is too short for the drive you made. Next time, try one of these:

Park at the Escondido dog park, east on Valley Parkway, rt on Lake Wohlford Rd, rt on Valley Center Rd, pass Harrah's and do the route you did but when you come back go straight instead of turning left at Rincon Rd, left at Cole Grade Rd, right on Miller, right on Valley Center Rd, back to dog park.

Start at Harrah's, go to observatory, down East Gr, left on 76, right on Mesa Grande, right on 79, right on 78, left at Old Julian highway, left on Main, right on Highland Valley, right on Bandy Cyn, left on 78, right on Citrus, right on Bear Valley, right on E. Valley Parkway, right on Lake Wohlford Rd, right on Valley Center Rd back to car.
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Old 08-16-09, 05:12 PM   #12
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Do I smell pie (ride)?
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Old 08-16-09, 08:07 PM   #13
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Do I smell pie (ride)?
We can all start at my house and use Lake Wohlford as a warm up
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Old 08-16-09, 08:28 PM   #14
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We can all start at my house and use Lake Wohlford as a warm up
Good idea.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:26 PM   #15
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Good idea.
Infact, let's make it the Pie Helmetless Ride!
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Old 08-16-09, 09:31 PM   #16
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The stretch of Valley Center Parkway from Lake Wohlford Road to the 76 is The Suck. Narrower than Kate Moss, crowded with wide tour buses crammed full of old folks on their way to the casinos, and asphalt quality that is sure to administer an astounding @$$-pounding.
Better to start at Dudley's Bakery in San Ysabel, and use Mesa Grande as the warm-up climb, IMO.

What's the date?
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Old 08-16-09, 11:07 PM   #17
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Great pics. I really enjoyed the 1st and 3rd pictures. I heard doing col grade after Mt. Palomar is a thigh busting workout. My Wednesday ride buddy said col grade was even steeper than Mt. Palomar. Definitely a ride I want to do. What was your mileage? For some reason my Mac won't pick up the map or ride information at the bottom of your report.

Being able to escape for a ride during the week is one of the best things about unemployment. While you were riding, I was drowning in a sea of snickers creme brulee. sigh. Lucky guy.

Great report as usual. Enjoyed it!
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Old 08-17-09, 12:11 AM   #18
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the stretch of valley center parkway from lake wohlford road to the 76 is the suck. Narrower than kate moss, crowded with wide tour buses crammed full of old folks on their way to the casinos, and asphalt quality that is sure to administer an astounding @$$-pounding.
better to start at dudley's bakery in san ysabel, and use mesa grande as the warm-up climb, imo.

what's the date?
+1
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Old 08-17-09, 06:41 PM   #19
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I'm up for the next ride up Palomar! Last time I went was the day the Tour of California rolled through
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Old 08-17-09, 07:08 PM   #20
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If there is enough interest I will SAG for a PIE ride if people want to give money as a donation for my MS Ride... I think I know the route...
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Old 08-17-09, 11:52 PM   #21
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Infact, let's make it the Pie Helmetless Ride!
How about a pie-less pie ride? That stop is always way too long.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:12 AM   #22
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i would be down for a pieless & helmetless palomar ride...
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Old 08-18-09, 08:49 AM   #23
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How about a pie-less pie ride? That stop is always way too long.
Will have Extort hand out pie-filled musettes, PRO-style.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:08 AM   #24
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Will have Extort hand out pie-filled musettes, PRO-style.
Genius.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:46 AM   #25
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Seriously now. I'm up for a Dudley's-Palomar assault on Saturday morning (8/22). I prefer the South Grade (especially when descending ) but I'll go along with the group if one appears. What time are we embarking from Dudley's Bakery? (Earlier would be better.)

It's about 71 miles and about 7-8,000 feet of total climbing.
(Here's a map for anyone considering.)

Last edited by calamarichris; 08-18-09 at 09:51 AM. Reason: (Added date.)
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