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Old 03-29-14, 08:02 PM   #1
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So what's harder - Baldy lifts or the PS Tramway?

I didn't see any familiar names on the tramway segments in Strava but I did the lifts last weekend (slowly) and the tramway today (not as slowly, but we're talking decimal differences here).

Any discussion of comparative difficulty is probably compounded by the fact that you have a lot of climbing in your legs before you even get to the village, much less the lifts, whereas you can start right off with the tramway.

I will say the tramway is incredibly deceiving - the whole earth is tilted up about 10% there, so it looks relatively flat. But it's not.

I'm also starting to think that my garmin under reports slope. I know it's buffered and late to change, but I never saw anything like 15% on the ski lift road (despite cal trans signs to the contrary) and today I think my garmin topped out at 14%

OK - different question - for those of you who have done either of those two roads, how do they compare to Onyx or even 39 all the way up to 2. I'm assuming (hoping!) that they're more like GMR, just longer. Really longer.
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Old 03-29-14, 08:55 PM   #2
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I've been tempted to ride my bike out to the tram but when I see those windmill farms I just cringe.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:51 PM   #3
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IMO:

1. Baldy Lifts
2. Onyx Summit from Redlands-330-18 route. (Haven't done it up 38)
3. 39 to hwy 2.

haven't done the tramway.
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Old 03-29-14, 10:36 PM   #4
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Baldy. Switchbacks.
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Old 03-29-14, 10:38 PM   #5
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Roof - what's the general slope like on 39? I think that's next on the agenda.

Ferret - I assure you the wind was not an issue crawling up that damn tramway road today. Actually, it was pretty moderate all day, we did about 70 miles of riding around Palm Springs and rarely had a head wind worth complaining about. I realize that's not always the case in PS. I think the tramway road is sort of out of the general wind flow though.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:15 PM   #6
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Having never done the tram but I have done the others it is hard to compare all the climbs when the mileage is so different! I have done Onyx form both sides and 39 to Dawsons saddle and Baldy has the steepest slopes but onyx from 38 is the longest. apples and oranges?
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Old 03-29-14, 11:51 PM   #7
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i'll take the 3.4 miles of palm springs tram road as the hardest 3.4 continual miles, accessible to the public, paved road. baldy, onyx, 39, forest falls, etc are "different hard" because they are prolonged and steep. the ramps on the 2nd half of the tram road climb are just ridiculous. descent is scary fast for an added bonus with the occasional crosswinds and shimmy potential. try the ascent sometime after 8am between mid-april to mid-november for bonus suffering cred.

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Old 03-29-14, 11:56 PM   #8
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but yah, if you add in the climb from clairemont/upland or gmr/grr to mt. baldy
village and then the to the so-not-aptly-named manger flats and ski lifts,
that's harder overall. different hard. both are horrible or awesome depending on your
mood/bonk.

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Old 03-30-14, 12:27 AM   #9
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LOL... well, obviously everybody is different but I personally am OK with endless 6% hills. I'm not sure about endless 8% but endless 10% is crying material, and that's what baldy and the tram felt like (only worse). I guess I'm just looking for validation that say... 39 and/or onyx are more of the endless lower sloped variety than endless 10%.

That tram was freaky. It just never felt like we were going anywhere, until you look backwards and see the valley shockingly much lower.

Can you get Dura Ace in a quad crank? I'd buy one tomorrow.
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Old 03-30-14, 02:00 PM   #10
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Tramway in 110F > Baldy Lifts with headwind
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Old 03-30-14, 03:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
try the ascent sometime after 8am between mid-april to mid-november for bonus suffering cred.
Noooooooope!
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Old 03-30-14, 03:13 PM   #12
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What do you prefer, jumping from the window on the second floor of a high-rise 10 times, or jumping from the sixth floor 2 times? Total vertical distance travelled is equal in both cases. Same with lifts vs. Onyx (measuring from village & Angelus Oaks respectively).
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Old 03-30-14, 03:21 PM   #13
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When I did the Tram the average temp was 108F for the ride, and yet still it seemed easier than the ski lifts.

I think it's for 3 reasons:
1) There's no significant climbs before you get to the Tram climb
2) On the Tram climb you can see the end goal getting closer. A visual of the finish line gives a huge mental boost.
3) The tram climb is 30% shorter or so.
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Old 03-30-14, 04:44 PM   #14
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If there is anything harder than baldy lifts, I don't want to ride it! lol.
Oynx is a tough climb, primarily because it just goes on forever. But it doesn't seem like it is anywhere near as steep as the switchbacks to the lifts
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Old 03-30-14, 08:40 PM   #15
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IMHO:

1. Deer Creek. Long, sustained claim with no break at all. Always kicks my ass.
2. Baldy Ski Lifts and Tramway are about tie. I prefer doing climbs with switchbacks as opposed to climbing a long alluvial fan. The Ski Lifts are at a higher elevation. The Tramway is hotter and can be windy. The Tramway even steeper at the top, but the Ski Lifts are definitely steeper at the bottom. Howz this ... if it's hot (>100F), I'll give the nod to the Tramway. I did 3 repeats up the Tramway some years ago ... that took some mental fortitude.

39 is along climb, but I don't think it's really comparable to either. It peaks out at 12-13%, but it's 7-8% almost the whole way up (5-7% after the gate). Long, but not a sufferfest.
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Old 03-30-14, 10:04 PM   #16
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Repeats of the tramway? I guess I could do that in my car. ha ha. It was 80 something when we did it... > 100 would probably be brutal. Not one speck of shade.

I didn't even think about the elevation for the lifts, I'm sure that's a factor.
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Old 04-01-14, 06:11 AM   #17
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Tramway, you need to start early to beat the heat and the cars with visitors. Asphalt pavement is pretty new. Stay off the pedestrian jogger path. Going down, the view of the entire Coachella Valley is one of the prizes. Both the Baldy lifts and the Tramway happen to be the finishes in the two recent Tour of California stages. The pro racers seemed to be more "beat up" with the Tramway.
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