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Has anybody made it to the top of the McKenzie pass (Oregon) yet this year?

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Has anybody made it to the top of the McKenzie pass (Oregon) yet this year?

Old 02-16-15, 05:09 PM
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CliffordK
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Has anybody made it to the top of the McKenzie pass (Oregon) yet this year?

The mountain snow zones on the West Coast are quite high for this time of year.

Mom went over the Santiam pass last week and said there was no snow in sight near the road level. I made it up to 3000 feet on the McKenzie pass yesterday with a clear road, but ran out of time before getting to the pass.

I've got an offer to drop me off in Sisters for a ride back to Eugene later this week. But if I don't make it over the pass, and have to back-track to Sisters, then head over the Santiam pass, it would be a major hassle. Unlike a round-trip where I can always turn around.

Has anybody made it to the top yet this year? Over the top?
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Old 02-16-15, 07:01 PM
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No, but this would be the year to give it a shot. Hopefully, we wont see another year like this one for a long time. I can't remember a February like this! We ate lunch out on the patio today, with only a sweatshirt on.
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Old 02-16-15, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
No, but this would be the year to give it a shot. Hopefully, we wont see another year like this one for a long time. I can't remember a February like this! We ate lunch out on the patio today, with only a sweatshirt on.
Please send that east.
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Old 02-16-15, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
No, but this would be the year to give it a shot. Hopefully, we wont see another year like this one for a long time. I can't remember a February like this! We ate lunch out on the patio today, with only a sweatshirt on.
Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
Please send that east.
Yeah... I don't think we've even had a hard frost in January or February yet.
Last year we had the coldest weather since about 1972.

Hmmm... Perhaps another option would be to get my ride to drop me off at the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station. That would save me about 45 miles of riding, and keep me out of any place I can't just turn around and reverse course.

Of course, the west side of the mountain is a harder climb than the east side, but it would be a lot easier if I'm not 50 miles down the road when I hit the bottom of the mountain.
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Old 02-16-15, 07:51 PM
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The highest elevation is 5400 feet. Niether Santiam or Willamette Pass have any snow. WP is 5100", about 300 feet lower than Mckenzie Pass. There are a few through cuts on the east side where the road does not get any sun all winter. However, they should be just short stretches.

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Old 02-16-15, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
No, but this would be the year to give it a shot. Hopefully, we wont see another year like this one for a long time. I can't remember a February like this! We ate lunch out on the patio today, with only a sweatshirt on.
Yeah, it's weird to go for a ride without tights and with a short-sleeve jersey this time of year, but that was today's fun. I may have to find my sunglasses if this keeps up.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:58 AM
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We rode up from the Sister's side on Sunday (Feb 15). Road was clear all the way to the summit with only a bit of snow in some shady areas near the top.



blog post here if interested:
bluekat's Journeys
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Old 02-17-15, 03:24 AM
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Thanks mudmouse, it looks like you had a wonderful ride Sunday.

I wonder if ODOT will actually open the road early this summer, or if they will choose to keep it reserved for hikers and bikers (more or less).

I do think the climb around the gates is a bit treacherous if they actually intend for people to head up there.
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Old 02-17-15, 07:33 AM
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I was down in the Southern Cascades near Tiller last weekend. At where I was there was no snow in sight at about 5300ft elevation. Hwy 138 near Diamond lake has a little snow. There was quite a bit of branches and debris from the usual winter winds. I'd expect there'll be branches in the road in places, possibly a downed tree or two to have to walk around. If you ride it, please report back!
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Old 02-17-15, 10:50 PM
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This sounds like good news for my ride this year. Long as i get passed Canada, sounds like the passes in the lower 48 are gonna be clear.
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Old 02-20-15, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Turkey222 View Post
This sounds like good news for my ride this year. Long as i get passed Canada, sounds like the passes in the lower 48 are gonna be clear.
The West (USA) is warm.
The East (USA) is cold.

Of course, that can always change in a heartbeat.

I made it to the top of the McKenzie pass today from the west side. WHEW!!!

A few patches of snow near the top, but for the most part it was dry and snow-free.



About 2 miles west of the summit, there were a couple of ice patches. The longest one was about 30 feet, and required stopping the bike (or nerves of steel). One could ride around the rest.



For the most part, trees across the road had been cut and removed, and rocks pushed off the road, but there was quite a bit of small debris in places.
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Old 02-20-15, 11:58 AM
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Way to go!

My wife and I thought about riding it yesterday, but wimped out and drove over to the Coast for a bowl of Mo's calm chowder
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Old 02-20-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Way to go!

My wife and I thought about riding it yesterday, but wimped out and drove over to the Coast for a bowl of Mo's calm chowder
Clam chowder would have been good

But... it was almost like I had the whole mountain to myself.

I didn't see any other bicycles on the mountain, although I did pass a person walking a dog on the way back down.
I was passed a couple of times by ODOT pickups. They just waved at me (so apparently not too concerned about bicycles climbing around the gates, if they only made better bypass paths).

Going up, the lower gate was closed, the upper gate was open. Coming down, both gates were closed. However before the upper gate, a stick was strategically placed in the middle of the road with a piece of caution tape... perhaps in hopes of warming me from slamming into the gate at 30+ mph. Anyway, the obviously expect non-motorized road users.

It looks like we have another week of good weather forecasts. After that... who knows.
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Old 02-22-15, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mudmouse View Post
blog post here if interested:
bluekat's Journeys
Nice pictures on the blog. Those are some serious mirrors you have!! I was thinking of a helmet mirror but don't want a tiny thing. I was looking at a HubBub, but yours are even larger.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The West (USA) is warm.
The East (USA) is cold.

Of course, that can always change in a heartbeat.

I made it to the top of the McKenzie pass today from the west side. WHEW!!!

A few patches of snow near the top, but for the most part it was dry and snow-free.



About 2 miles west of the summit, there were a couple of ice patches. The longest one was about 30 feet, and required stopping the bike (or nerves of steel). One could ride around the rest.



For the most part, trees across the road had been cut and removed, and rocks pushed off the road, but there was quite a bit of small debris in places.
That looks like a great ride!! I love US20, all the way across OR. I've always wanted to go the MP route but in a big truck, from Sisters had to go to 126 to get to Eugene.

One dream is to ride from Ontario to Eugene.
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Old 02-22-15, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
One dream is to ride from Ontario to Eugene.
The McKenzie Pass is a great ride when there are no cars on the road

Highway 126 gets pretty gnarly with all the traffic. However, there are quite a few side-streets that you can take to get yourself off of the main road, if only for a mile or two, but it gives a nice breather.
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Old 02-22-15, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Nice pictures on the blog. Those are some serious mirrors you have!! I was thinking of a helmet mirror but don't want a tiny thing. I was looking at a HubBub, but yours are even larger.
Thanks. The mirrors are new. I went from a little eyeglass one to this one. It is big and sometimes intrudes on my view. The jury is still out on which one I prefer. Name on the mirror: Efficient Velo Tools with a website: BIKETOOLMAKER.COM if your interested.
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