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Ben FR 03-14-10 08:11 PM

Fernwood Alternative Route
So we all know the steepest of the Santa Monica climbs are in alphabetical order: Corral Canyon, Deer Creek, Las Flores and Tuna Canyon. Each of these has sustained 15%+ sections and I think Tuna has a 1/10th mile section at ~25%. Well, having done all these climbs I know for a fact that I found a STEEPER climb.

So Fernwood is probably one of the most climbed climb in the Santa Monicas. Convenient located near Santa Monica, it is a favorite among many of the climbers in the area. However, I have NEVER heard anyone mention the ALTERNATIVE way of climbing Fernwood. Here it is:

This alternative start begins just south of the official start. It lasts 1.53 miles and gains 840 ft, which is an average grade of 10%. In the aggregate it doesn't appear that it would be bad as the four I mentioned earlier. However, on this route, there are two ~1/10th mile sections which I think average 25-30%. Both sections look like a wall. I've never been authentically afraid at a steep gradient until now. In my 34x27, I was off the saddle pushing as hard as possible and zig-zagging to overcome them.

The ride itself is very pretty. It's like Fernwood's start only more quaint. The road is narrower and the it's more shaded.

Anyone else do this detour? If not, try it out.

endoverendo 03-14-10 11:33 PM

I've been climbing Fernwood a lot recently for the awesome views at the top. I'll definitely try this route. Thanks.

dolophonic 03-14-10 11:58 PM

I have gone up there. It joins Fernwood about half way up, yes?
Its steep..

lesiz 03-17-10 04:38 AM

And Fernwood is quite a descent. My hands get sore from holding the brakes.

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