Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Santa Monica
Bikes: SuperSix Evo, R3, F29
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My new favorite climb in the Santa Monicas...
...is Corral Canyon Road. This had been the only climb that I hadn't done in the Santa Monicas, until Saturday. For some reason, I never really had the urge to do because it dead ends and no one ever talks about it, so I assumed it was nothing special. I was sorely mistaken.
I ended up doing this climb with 10,000ft in my legs on Saturday. From Santa Monica, I did Las Flores, descended Stunt, took Mulholland to climb the Rock Store, descended Mulholland, took PCH, climbed Deer Creek to Yerba Buena and then up Yerba Buena, and then descended Encinal back toward Santa Monica.
At first glance, the stats don't seem that bad - the climb is 5 miles long and gains 1950 ft for an average gradient of 7.4%. However, in the first 3.3 miles, the road gains 1600 ft of elevation for an average gradient of 9.2%. After the first switch back, the road gains 1300 ft in 2.5 miles for an average gradient of 9.8%. This is misleading too. There are several flats or false flats on the first 3.3 miles -- so when the grade actually kicks up, it's closer to 12-16%. There are several 16-18% ramps.
Other than the difficulty, it's a beautiful climb. Wide open with great views of the canyons, PCH, the ocean and LA.
About 1.5 miles in, there is a road called Barrymore Drive which goes off to the left. I checked the stats on this one, and there is a 0.6 mile stretch with 525 ft of gain for an average gradient of 16%. I could see this I was climbing Corral but I was too tired to try it afterwards. Next time...