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Everest Challenge '07


Friday 9/21/07
The Drive Out
Drove through Yosemite's Tioga Pass on the way to Bishop, CA. A bear ran across the road directly in front of me and gave me the hungry/feed me look as I drove by. I've seen wild bears before in King's Canyon / Sequoia National Parks but this was my first Yosemite bear. Stopped at the Tuolomne Meadows store to stretch and get some snacks. The store's sign said it was closing for the season on Sunday September 23rd.

Saturday 9/22/07
Day 1 Everest Challenge
95 miles, 13,200ft of elevation gain


Woke up at 3am to howling wind and hail hitting the roof and windows. Immediate thoughts were if this is still going on at 6am, I'm skipping Saturday and just riding Sunday. Alarm went off at 5:30am and the wind and rains stopped momentarily.

6:50am morning start.
Met up with Bill Brier and Bob Buntrock at the start. There were no route sheets given. We were to follow the course arrows. There would be no 10k summits today due to snow road closures. Instead of going to the 10k Mosquito Flat summit, we were being rerouted to 9.1k Lake Sabrina summit for the final climb. Stayed with the pack for the first 14 miles and when it got steep the pack split. Since this would be a long day, I planned to keep the heart rate in the 150s so I let them go. Caught up with Bill again at mile 70. Jumped into a rotating paceline for about 10 miles.

At the summmit finish, ate some chicken soup, vegetable soup, and quesidellas while sitting in a chair with a blanket and a heater blowing. It was cold. Real cold. Bill and Bob rolled down while I had another hot chocolate to warm up. Snowflakes began to fall. At that point, I decided to get a ride back down to the start instead of descending through the snowflakes. Lots of others had similar ideas. I didn't get to enjoy the 5k descent back down to the car but at least I stayed warm and dry. It just poured for about 5 minutes on the drive down and those still riding in the rain at lower elevations could only be miserable.

Sunday 9/23/07
Day 2 Everest Challenge
102 miles, 14,500 of elevation gain


This would be the original route as planned with the addition of dropping 6 miles down the backside of peak two and climbing back up to regain the 1500ft of elevation lost due to yesterday's snow reroutes.

It would be another cold day. It was 34 degrees at the start. It was 39 at the top of the first 7k summit before an amazing 45mph downhill with excellent views.

Rode with Bill and Bob for the first three climbs. The fourth and final climb of the day was the worst again. After being softened up with the riding the day before and an additional 8k of the day's climbing, the final climb of the day would be a 20-mile climb with 6k of elevation gain--starting at 4k and ending at the 10k Ancient Bristlecone Forest summit. After suffering immensely turning the gears over, I eventually reached the top. Enjoyed more chicken soup, vegetable soup, and quesadillas at the finish. The blankets and heater were a nice touch again. Plenty of people were getting rides back down to the start but I was determined to ride down this time since no rain was in sight. It was a little cloudy and cool at 10k, but I knew the descent would be fun. The last 10 miles have to rank as one of the 10 best descents in the U.S.: rolling smooth asphalt, banked turns, no cars, lots of visibility, and hitting 47mph without pedaling. It almost made the climb worth it.

Notes for Next Time

  • acclimate by staying at least at 6k a few nights before.


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