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Attempting to climb Mt. Evans in the morning - advice?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Attempting to climb Mt. Evans in the morning - advice?

Old 08-11-10, 10:08 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
Actually, if he just got out there... the next day is a great time to hit that climb. If you don't want to wait a couple of weeks at altitude.... doing the ride almost immediately is best.

That is the opposite of everything I've ever read about altitude acclimatization.
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Old 08-11-10, 10:28 AM
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I met a guy last week who was new to Boulder, training for Tour of Utah. He was a pro, but with his 2nd day in Boulder he said he "Felt like death."
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Old 08-11-10, 10:55 AM
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Eeeekkk--you didn't leave Denver until 7:30?! I'd want to be to Echo Lake by then! Best of luck!
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Old 08-11-10, 12:26 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post

That is the opposite of everything I've ever read about altitude acclimatization.
Then it sounds like most things you've read are incorrect.

It really takes ~2 weeks before things settle down when changing elevation greatly. Going somewhere and waiting a couple days to do a ride like that would be a huge mistake. Once your body starts adapting, your performance will suffer for about a week and you will actually do worse than just showing up and hitting it right away.

This is why most people racing the MT Evans Hill climb or Leadville 100 that are from out of state show up the day or night before the race if possible. It's your best shot of having a good performance, if you don't have 9-12 days to hang out before the event.
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Old 08-11-10, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
Then it sounds like most things you've read are incorrect.

It really takes ~2 weeks before things settle down when changing elevation greatly. Going somewhere and waiting a couple days to do a ride like that would be a huge mistake. Once your body starts adapting, your performance will suffer for about a week and you will actually do worse than just showing up and hitting it right away.

This is why most people racing the MT Evans Hill climb or Leadville 100 that are from out of state show up the day or night before the race if possible. It's your best shot of having a good performance, if you don't have 9-12 days to hang out before the event.
https://www.sportsscientists.com/2010...-altitude.html
https://www.sportsscientists.com/2010...-altitude.html

There are more posts on that blog on altitude and acclimitazation, but I'm too lazy to find them. If it's not in one of the two that I linked, the conclusion of studies is that performance improves more or less linearly until adaptation is complete, but people feel the worst from a couple days after arriving at altitude until they're acclimated.
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Old 08-11-10, 02:16 PM
  #31  
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Oh. You need $3 to ride up from Echo Lake.
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Old 08-11-10, 03:01 PM
  #32  
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Not if you get there early enough
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Old 08-11-10, 03:27 PM
  #33  
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I few of my friends rode up Mt Evans during the triple a few years ago, did not pay, and were caught by a park ranger. They only received a warning but still...
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Old 08-11-10, 03:31 PM
  #34  
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Hey, I'm back. I did pick a good day to do it but unfortunately didn't make the summit parking lot. I stopped just after the first hairpin above Summit Lake. I was feeling pretty hypoxiated and my fingers were numb. I tried to buy full-fingered gloves at Performance Bicycle last night but they only had Women's Medium and I couldn't get them on my hands or I'd have bought them. Honestly I'm a little disappointed but not overly so. I didn't expect to make the summit until I was a ways up the climb and then I thought I could do it. Wasn't until shortly before Summit Lake that the light headedness started getting pretty intense. I decided to turn around at the lake and I did...then I felt good so I turned back up the mountain and kept climbing until I felt like crap again. Anyway, I'm happy with my performance. I was slow as a turtle but I know I have the legs to summit this thing...just gotta work on the altitude and clothing stuff. I'll try to get up some video and gps stuff soon. I need a sandwich and a shower. Oh yeah, the GPS batteries ran out shortly before Summit Lake if I remember right but I have the video evidence to prove I went further.
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Old 08-11-10, 03:47 PM
  #35  
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Ummmm, if the batteries in a Garmin 705 die in the middle of the ride, do you lose everything? Cause it seems like I just lost my whole ride...
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Old 08-11-10, 03:47 PM
  #36  
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So did you get passed by any runners above 12,000'?
That is the most humiliating part.
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Old 08-11-10, 03:49 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
So did you get passed by any runners above 12,000'?
That is the most humiliating part.
Haha, yes...but they were going the opposite direction so it was not so demoralizing...just impressive.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Here's a weather link for next time.
https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...Type=graphical

...
Awesome. Thank you.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:12 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Copperhed51 View Post
Hey, I'm back. I did pick a good day to do it... I stopped just after the first hairpin above Summit Lake...
Excellent job - especially considering that you're not a climber or hardly a bit acclimated. This is my 1st summer in Denver since moving here 4 years ago and I need to get my arse on this climb ASAP. But my job is doing its utmost to ensure I have no life or time to ride --- I hate it.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:18 PM
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What happens after noon? Thunderstorms?
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People here don't get it.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:20 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
What happens after noon? Thunderstorms?
Not always, but that's when the chances of them (or even hail) greatly increase and rolling the dice at 14k ft. probably isn't the best idea.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post
Excellent job - especially considering that you're not a climber or hardly a bit acclimated. This is my 1st summer in Denver since moving here 4 years ago and I need to get my arse on this climb ASAP. But my job is doing its utmost to ensure I have no life or time to ride --- I hate it.
Thanks, whenever you get a day off and the weather is decent, just go for it. It's not as hard as it looks on paper. It goes quicker than you think it will and it's never particularly steep. I think the steepest I ever saw was 7-8%. It is relentless though. It almost never stops going up. There's a little relief at Echo Lake and a little downhill portion at Summit Lake. Once you get in a rhythm, you just kinda go into autopilot mode and before you know it, you're pretty damn high in the air. For the record, my gearing was fine. My average HR for the whole climb when the GPS died was 180bpm. That's a heart rate I can hold for a very long time. When it crept into the 190's i had to back off and get things under control and was surprisingly able to do so even while climbing up a 6% grade with no more gears to shift into. Anyway, like I said I was slow but it's a ton of fun...and that descent is a blast too...at least once you get below the tree line again.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:24 PM
  #43  
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That looks like a fun climb. I've done Grand Mesa, Independence pass and a handful of others in the 10k-11k range, but 14k? yum... I remember from the Independence Pass climb last year that life got more interesting (and by interesting I mean really slow) above 11k ft, at least for the sea level peeps...
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Old 08-11-10, 04:39 PM
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My advice is to not forget to charge your Garmin. I fear it may be too late already...
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Old 08-11-10, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Copperhed51 View Post
Thanks, whenever you get a day off and the weather is decent, just go for it. It's not as hard as it looks on paper. It goes quicker than you think it will and it's never particularly steep. I think the steepest I ever saw was 7-8%. It is relentless though. It almost never stops going up. There's a little relief at Echo Lake and a little downhill portion at Summit Lake. Once you get in a rhythm, you just kinda go into autopilot mode and before you know it, you're pretty damn high in the air. For the record, my gearing was fine. My average HR for the whole climb when the GPS died was 180bpm. That's a heart rate I can hold for a very long time. When it crept into the 190's i had to back off and get things under control and was surprisingly able to do so even while climbing up a 6% grade with no more gears to shift into. Anyway, like I said I was slow but it's a ton of fun...and that descent is a blast too...at least once you get below the tree line again.
That's, IMO, a pretty high avg HR! Should go down should you try again in a few weeks(?).

Yeah, I'm dying for a chance to jip work on a nice day, but it's been impossible.

I think I could make it at least most of the way up w/ a low gear of 34/25 I have on one bike. I love descending, but have heard the wind, cracked/potholed and narrow road can be a bit gnarly coming down.

Anyone know what traffic's like on a weekend on Mt. Evans?
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Old 08-11-10, 04:57 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post
That's, IMO, a pretty high avg HR! Should go down should you try again in a few weeks(?).

Yeah, I'm dying for a chance to jip work on a nice day, but it's been impossible.

I think I could make it at least most of the way up w/ a low gear of 34/25 I have on one bike. I love descending, but have heard the wind, cracked/potholed and narrow road can be a bit gnarly coming down.

Anyone know what traffic's like on a weekend on Mt. Evans?
Great question? Are weekends a zoo, even early in the morning? If so, I'll have to find an excuse to ditch work for a day too.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
Not if you get there early enough
How early is early enough?
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Old 08-11-10, 05:01 PM
  #48  
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if you leave IS by 8am, weekend traffic isnt usually that bad. i typically notice as many or more cars than bikes ont he way up. the later you go the worse the traffic t hough.
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Old 08-11-10, 05:37 PM
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I've been at the top (in a car) and there was no place to park. It can be a zoo. I would never ride it on a weekend. Weekdays are so much better.
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Old 08-11-10, 05:41 PM
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There are usually more cyclists at the weekend, increasing your chances of getting assistance if you have a mechanical. I went up "early" last weekend (7am from IS) and was surprised by the sheer number of motorcycles even at that time (mostly coming down towards IS). Above the pay station at Echo Lake the traffic is a bit lighter. Coming down is when you notice the traffic most, IMHO - but it's kind of fun passing all the tourists in their cages.
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