It occurred to me today that before learning about John Summerson’s list of the toughest climbs in California I would just go out and do repeats on Palomar Mountain. Palomar ranks 9th on the most difficult climbs in California and 10th in the country! How convenient to have such a storied climb in my backyard — San Diego. But since learning about his book I have made the effort on several trips to climb the hardest climbs in California. Yesterday I climbed Mosquito Flat and another climb Pine Creek. Today I climbed Onion Valley Road. I PR’d Mosquito Flat yesterday and Onion Valley Road today — check back for a ride report.
The graph above was back in 2006 when I was getting ready for my first Everest Challenge. The first day of the race has over 15,000 feet of gain with little flat (read recovery) in between the climbs. So why not do repeats and get the same cumulative gain with short recovery? Made sense to me and so I embarked on FOUR REPEATS ON PALOMAR MOUNTAIN.
To say this was a hard day on the bike is an understatement but mentally and physically I was more than ready to take up the challenge of the toughest two day stage race. The 100F temperature also played a big factor in my overall fatigue. In case you’re wondering I kept my climbing repeats between 1 hour 20minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes. By the third descent I could have descended the upper half blindfolded 🙂 The fourth climb was a bear. The fourth descent was the sweetest!!
Most Difficult Climbs:
1) Onion Valley — DONE 6/10/10 !!
2) Horseshoe Meadows — DONE 6/10/10!!
3) White Mountain– DONE as part of Everest Challenge Stage Race
4) Sherman Pass– DONE 6/24/10!!
5) Whitney Portal — DONE 6/10/10!!
6) Mount Baldy– DONE- too many times to mention
7) Shirley Meadows– DONE 6/24/10!!
8) South Lake– DONE as part of Everest Challenge Stage Race
9) Mount Palomar– DONE 6/06/10!!
10) Mosquito Flat– DONE 09/02/10!!
Greatest Elevation Gained:
1) Horseshoe Meadows – 6,234 feet– DONE 6/10/10 !!
2) White Mountain – 6,204 feet
3) 190 – 6,199 feet
4) J21/245/180 – 5,750 feet
5) Mosquito Flat – 5,548 feet DONE 9/-2/10
6) Dantes View – 5,475 feet
7) South Lake – 5,445 feet
Sherman Pass – 5,316 feet– DONE 6/24/10!!
9) Emigrant Pass – 5,309 feet
10) Onion Valley – 5,169 feet DONE 6/10/10!!
Highest Elevation Attained:
1) Mosquito Flat – 10,220 feet- DONE 9/02/10
2) White Mountain – 10,152 feet
3) Horseshoe Meadows – 10,034 feet DONE 6/10/10!!
4) Tioga Pass – 9,945 feet
5) South Lake – 9,852 feet
6) Sonora Pass – 9,624 feet
7) Kaiser Pass – 9,184 feet
Onion Valley – 9,163 feet — DONE 6/10/10!!
9) Lake Sabrina – 9,141 feet
10) Sherman Pass – 9,126 feet– DONE 6/24/10!!
Additionally, here is the list of the 10 toughest climbs in the US.
Below is a list of some of the top cycling climb bike rides that are listed in the bookBest Cycling Climbs In The US. The book lists the 100 toughest USA road bike climbs from 1 to 100.
- Mt Washington, NH
- Haleakala, HI
- Onion Valley, CA
- Horseshoe Meadows, CA
- Mt. Equinox, VT
- White MTN, CA
- Mt. Baldy, CA
- Mt Graham, AZ
- Mt. Lemmon, AZ
- Palomar Mountain, CA
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