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Sierra Climbs: Onion Valley & Everest Day 2 Climbs

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Sierra Climbs: Onion Valley & Everest Day 2 Climbs

Old 08-02-10, 01:33 PM
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Sierra Climbs: Onion Valley & Everest Day 2 Climbs

Planned on doing the Day 2 EC climbs on Saturday but was late getting into Lone Pine so I did Onion Valley Road instead.

Onion Valley is everything they said it would be. By the time I made the approach the temp was over 108 and the switchbacks are straight up - no breaks, just one tough climb. Topped out at 9200' and rolled back to Lone Pine in a nasty headwind and 108-110 degs. Totally worked after 60 miles and 6000' of climbing. My plan to double and do Whitney Portal seemed like a waste of energy, given that I had a lot more to do on Sunday.

Saturday: Onion Valley Road














Sunday: Big Pine - Everest Day 2 Climbs

Started with White Mtn (Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest) and completed. Topped out at 10,200'+ (rode the dirt trail past Schulman Grove (the Everest Finish). Great climb. The best I've done out here. 24 mile climb. The rollers for the first 5-6 miles are 9-15% and just work you hard. The climb/views changes completly at about 6300' - beautiful views, tough switchbacks and plenty of vertical for another 18 miles. Met a good number of riders training on this one. Nice to have company and share some stories. One of the great climbs in California. (So many good climbers out here - rode with a couple of 60+ guys and it was a real lift to see what you can do at this age. Big ups to you guys from Bishop - was a pleasure talking with you & really lifted me to dig down and push that last mile.)

White Mountain







The Rangers were doing an open house/interpretive session and had free lemonade/cookies at the center. Nice - full support ride courtesy the USFS.

Went back to Mendenhall Park in Big Pine where I was staging this day. Temps were 108-110 across the valley and I decided to wait for a crack at Glacier Lodge & Waucoba Valley.

By 4Pm no real drop in the temps so I did remote starts for both climbs. Did about 3 miles up Glacier Lodge. Tough climb. Not very scenic - rocks, narrow road with big exposure and fair amount of traffic (horse trailers). This is short (9 miles) but the it's all up and the first 6 miles are plenty tough - 8-14% most of the way.

Took the truck to the turnaround and headed back over the other side of 395 to Death Valley Road and did about 3 miles up towards Waucoba Valley. Big heat, rocks, not much else to say. The descent looks a lot better - Death Valley- like visuals and no traffic. At the point you hit Waucoba and then do the rollers up to White Mtn. this day is going to be a real test. I'm getting a triple.


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Old 08-02-10, 01:40 PM
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Onion Valley is still my favorite climb that I've ever done. That Glacier Lodge descent is something else, isn't it? In EC I was doing 40-50mph down the 10% grade as close to the centerline as I could to stay away from the thousand foot sheer drop...
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Old 08-02-10, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by umd


That Glacier Lodge descent is something else, isn't it? In EC I was doing 40-50mph down the 10% grade as close to the centerline as I could to stay away from the thousand foot sheer drop...
Really. I told myself if one of those horse trailers rolls up on me I am not giving up the road - that's a crazy looking descent given how bad that road is and the exposure.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:02 PM
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I have to agree that Onion Valley is really nice. Great scenery and a fun climb. But I have yet to do Horseshoe Meadows and it's been 20 years since I did Whitney Portal. I should go back and do them too.

On Glacier I try to focus on the road and not look at that drop. If you go over it they'll find you only because of the vultures circling.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
On Glacier I try to focus on the road and not look at that drop. If you go over it they'll find you only because of the vultures circling.
wow. wish I'd skipped this thread.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
On Glacier I try to focus on the road and not look at that drop. If you go over it they'll find you only because of the vultures circling.
I don't have the experience up there that you guys have but, this has to qualify as a "technical descent" yes?

I agree - if I looked over the edge I got a bit jittery.

I wonder if they stop traffic when you head down or they have to some SAG vehicles to ride the back and slow it down? Really curious how you get 200 riders off that hill with traffic too.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by obie
I don't have the experience up there that you guys have but, this has to qualify as a "technical descent" yes?
No, it's straight with only some sweeping turns. Technical descent usually means lots of cornering, slowing, apexes, etc.

Originally Posted by obie
I wonder if they stop traffic when you head down or they have to some SAG vehicles to ride the back and slow it down? Really curious how you get 200 riders off that hill with traffic too.
No, but there is very little traffic there, the road doesn't really go anywhere. On the descent you're pretty going faster than/as fast as cars anyway.
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