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  1. #1
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    A Snowy Ride up CA-39 to Crystal Lake

    Weather was gorgeous and sunny along the coast today so, since I was having none of that, I headed over to 39 for a climb up to Crystal Lake.

    Started out a couple of miles above West Fork. Lots of threatening clouds part way up:



    Snow was occasionally falling as low as ~2800ft.

    Wet roads the whole way:



    Pretty decent flurry at around 3500ft:









    Yucca + Snow - always a cool sight:



    Getting closer to 5000ft and lots of whiter than usual vegetation:





    The turnoff to Crystal Lake - a true winter scene:

    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  2. #2
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Before taking the turnoff, I figured I might as well ride up to the closure gate. A number of drivers had the same idea:



    As far as I could see (which was not that far, given the clouds), it looked like they plowed beyond the gate (just fyi for those looking to ride that stretch in the near future).

    On up to the lake:





    Snow picking up again - what a beautiful sight:



    Almost there:



    The top (~5800ft):





    The awesome Crystal Lake Cafe:



    Nothing better than a hot bowl of chili on a day like this:



    As for the descent.. Cold. Wet. Definitely not nearly as awesome as the climb. Bibtights, wool baselayer, wool socks, jersey, warm arm warmers, jacket, full finger gloves, cap under the helment - still not enough. Was expecting that though, so it was still more than worth a little suffering to get in a climb like that.

    And, finally, the clouds started breaking open while descending down:



    Nice finish to the ride.

    Rest of the pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/1110041...eat=directlink

    Oh yeah, for some reason, I didn't see one other cyclist on the whole ride. I did, however, get a number of reactions from drivers - one pulled over to take photos, some gave a wave or thumbs up, one gave an approving double tap of the horn (appreciated the sentiment, but the horn is not my top preference for expressing that sentiment), and a catcall (from a guy, driving a massively lifted truck..).

    I never get tired of 39. Such a great climb.

    Cheers!
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  3. #3
    jmX
    jmX is online now
    Senior Member jmX's Avatar
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    Way to go man, I'm jealous of that climb but the descent would have scared me off.

    Anyway, next time I'm wussing out of a training ride because its 55 degrees out, I'll try to remember your photos and story. Inspiring.

  4. #4
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics. I'm going to head up for some snow tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    Way to go man, I'm jealous of that climb but the descent would have scared me off.

    Anyway, next time I'm wussing out of a training ride because its 55 degrees out, I'll try to remember your photos and story. Inspiring.
    Thanks. And yeah, that descent. Would definitely have preferred a ride down. But hey, it made for quite an experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
    Thanks for the pics. I'm going to head up for some snow tomorrow.
    Thanks. Heading up on bike? Where?
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  6. #6
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    Awesome ride!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Nice job taking it up a notch!
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JSMaxwell's Avatar
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    Crazy! I didn't even want to go out in the wind on Sunday. BTW, thanks for the blog. Its been a big help for me.

  9. #9
    lead on macduff!
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    great post! will hafta bookmark it for those 90 degree + days this summer. beautiful pics.

  10. #10
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    Haven't seen or heard from you since we saw you near the top of the Bristlecone Forest last summer. Remember the years when we would be stopped by 10' of snow on the upper part of 39 and AC

  11. #11
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    That's just plain crazy! You're hardcore.
    Great pictures.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  12. #12
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    Awesome - I feel bad for complaining about it being too cold to ride down off the mountain... I'm sure the drivers you came across probably looked like they had seen a unicorn when you rode past.
    _______

  13. #13
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    @rallison I haven't seen one of your posts in a while. Then you throw up a nice snowy one!! Thanks!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Glad you all enjoyed the report and pictures!

    Quote Originally Posted by JSMaxwell View Post
    Crazy! I didn't even want to go out in the wind on Sunday. BTW, thanks for the blog. Its been a big help for me.
    Surprisingly, there was very little wind in the mountains. Was way windier along the coast.

    Quote Originally Posted by vertical bob View Post
    Haven't seen or heard from you since we saw you near the top of the Bristlecone Forest last summer. Remember the years when we would be stopped by 10' of snow on the upper part of 39 and AC
    That Bristlecone ride was quite the ride. One of my favorites and was very cool running into you. One day I want to get a mountain bike and ride all the way to the summit. One day.

    And yeah, it has been a while since I posted here. Work, etc hasn't left much time for ride reports sadly (especially on ToughAscent, long overdue).

    And those walls of snow on 39. I remember them well. Still one of my favorite shots (back in 2009 - seems like so long ago):



    Quote Originally Posted by jimxyz View Post
    Awesome - I feel bad for complaining about it being too cold to ride down off the mountain... I'm sure the drivers you came across probably looked like they had seen a unicorn when you rode past.
    I'm pretty sure they would have been less surprised to see an actual unicorn.

    Quote Originally Posted by allroy71 View Post
    @rallison I haven't seen one of your posts in a while. Then you throw up a nice snowy one!! Thanks!!
    It had been too long since I posted a ride report - had to make sure it was a good one!
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  15. #15
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Well, less than a week and basically all the snow is gone along 39. A few pictures from the much sunnier climb today:









    That one section of 39 with the very tall, very steep rock wall on your right (and a steep drop off on your left) had a pretty decent rock slide:







    Angeles Crest above Islip was closed but looked pretty clear of snow:



    The impending storm was making itself known (looking back down on 39):



    Aside from the rock debris along the closed section of 39, it was quite a nice ride today.

    Full pictures set from today
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

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