What's the worst climb you've ridden (Or hike a biked?)

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  abegold 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #242190

    I’m curious to know what everyone thinks is the worst climb they’ve done is?

    I live in Golden, Co, and there are a few local grunts I tend to avoid if possible (Belcher Hill in White Ranch, Mt. Falcon, the fire road up North Table), but they aren’t the worst I’ve done.

    The Storm Peak climb in the Steamboat resort is awful.

    The climb up to Doctor’s Park in Crested Butte can be rough, especially from the very bottom, sans shuttle.

    Anyone else have any climbs that stick out to them as particularly rough?

  • #242210

    The climb I do everyday to get out of bed and go into work. lol

  • #242212

    The climb I do everyday to get out of bed and go into work. lol

    +1000!

    Anytime a bike or hike is involved, I don’t mind climbing and actually enjoy it…even the climb out of bed. ūüėČ

  • #242213

    Two come to mind.

    The first is the Canyon Creek in Colorado. It’s about a 3,000 foot climb up to 12,500ft. The climb starts out nice but just gets steeper and steeper, until you’re hiking your bike above treeline. The hike-a-bike is demoralizing because you can see the top, which seems so close, but your progress is so slow thanks to the lack of oxygen and the loose, fist size rocks.

    The second is actually two different trails, but essentially the same climb (and part of the Singletracks Brutal weekend). The Mountaintown Creek trail is beautiful and remote, but riding it requires either hiking up the trail, or riding a good 13 miles (mostly uphill) on gravel roads. The push up to Potato Patch on CCC Camp Road is particularly brutal, though there are other steep pitches along the way as well. Similarly, riding the Windy Gap descent requires climbing up to Potato Patch, then climbing some more. Riding UP Windy Gap (about 2,000 feet of vert in 4 miles) would just be silly. Pretty sure that the climb that put my friend CK in the hospital during the Drama Queen race a few years ago.

  • #242222

    Two come to mind, both on the same route. Last summer I rode the¬†walker ranch loop, and there are two horrible climbs here that stood out to me. I started the trail on the left and rode the loop clockwise, probably the best way to do it, so the first bad section is a climb up from a valley that you have to walk up, unless you’ve got some serious trials skills. This climb is only around 200 feet but it’s nearly straight up; stone and wooden stairs, carrying my bike, grunting and groaning the whole way. The second is the climb back up to the parking lot at the end, because at this point I was almost out of water and completely exhausted from the rest of the ride. To add insult to injury I was riding clipless pedals at the time with the most horrible shoes for walking in, plus I’ve lived my whole life at a whopping 850 feet above sea level, so the high elevation in Colorado was not kind to me.

    I can’t wait to go back and ride it again.

    I also crashed, which you can see in this awful video at around the 3:40 mark.

  • #242259

    Rode N-S on the GDMBR (supported, I’m old) from Canmore to Antelope Wells last summer.¬† The legendary descent down Fleecer Ridge (south of Butte) terminates at, reportedly, 37%. Stupidly, one other rider (a tough 69 yo Aussie racer, yes still races-sponsored by Santa Cruz…take a bow, Ray) and I on my 3.0″ wide summer rubber, rigid, fatbike descended with both wheels locked up the whole way, groin firmly behind the seat post (except the middle third when my baggies got hooked on the saddle nose)…would have been less of a white knuckler with my current Bike Yoke dropper….keep in mind, the folks traveling S-N have to ascend this 3/8’s of a mile serpent.

    Still on the official GDMBR (N-S) north of Steamboat Springs (where I live) between North Sand Mtn and Meaden Peak, on FSR 42 is a pretty brutal 4 mile heavily rutted, jeep road climb. The last 2 miles has some very steep sections all at about 9000′.¬† Self supported beasts with 20+ lbs of gear manage to do it all without stops or wobbles (but it is bad enough without additional gear for me).

    (and yes, since one mentioned Stormpeak….Stormpeak challenge from above the gondola is a doable grinder, particularly the last 300 meters of heavily rutted, steep double track to the Desert Research Institute weather station, ~10,500′, beginning just beyond the intersection with the Mountain View trail at the top of Bar-U-E lift).

  • #242260

    The Mill Creek Trail in Virginia’s Sherando Recreational Area is pretty bad. It’s a nice, gentle climb and then BAM! In the last mile, the trail rises a little more than 1,000 feet. The average grade at that point is about 20 percent. At least great views accompany you!

    The worst climb I’ve ever done, however, is Mile Creek. Situated along the Montana/Idaho border, it skyrockets 3,000 feet in 6 miles. In addition, the switchbacks of the trail are almost impossible to clear; indeed, you have to have some mad track-standing skills. While I was riding it, a snow storm happened to be raging (in July). The rewards are sweeping views in every direction, including the distant Tetons.

     

  • #242271

    There are so many brutal climbs in the mountains of Mongolia that I cannot select just one.¬† The number of climbs that rise 800 – 1200′ per mile seem countless.¬† Fortunately, most of the climbs are only 1-3 miles long.¬† But frequently in those short miles you will hit some 30-50% slopes. However, as we all know, what goes up must come down, and oooooohhh is the reward worth it.

  • #242273

    There is a hill so steep here in Ohio that I had to shift down to my middle ring for like a half mile.

    • #242388

      Vapid,

      I used to live in Ohio. That comment just made me lol pretty good. Thank you for that.

       

    • #242404

      +1 Rob.  I too used to live in OH and I loved that comment.  But then again, Mohican has a tough climb or two, and if you get to SE Ohio, you have to put on your climbing shoes for several trails.

  • #242305

    A few comes to mind right away. The steepest I rode was on Slickrock in Moab. Hike a bike was Deer Canyon near Denver (2000 feet in 4 miles) and climb to the top of Ten Mile range on Colorado Trail. Both seemed to me endless at that time and was hard not to turn around and take paved detour

    • #242320

      As of today, Horse Thief Bench trail, KoKo area.

  • #242378

    21km climb to Vrsdic, our highest mountain pass here in Slovenia. You climb 887m to 1611m.

    Also hike a bike all the way from Baska to Crna prst, where you can do downhill afterwards. Very steep, very technical.

  • #242427

    Well, there was that one ~12 foot embankment that I couldn’t climb back up to get back onto the trail.¬† Couldn’t get a single foothold in the mud, let alone drag a bike up with me.¬† Then I got lost trying to find my way around and back out.¬† Had to leave the park and ride the road back to my truck.

    I live in SW Ontario, Canada.  This is flat land.

  • #242454

    @mongwolf there are definitely climbs that I can’t do but 30 seconds of walking and you are at the top. There is one at Vultures Knob called “Cheaters Hill”. I laughed at the name but ended up walking it. It comes right at the very lowest elevation of the trail system and after a hard right hander that would be very hard to carry momentum through.

    Looking back at a map of the trail it may not even be the steepest climb there. Oh well. Always room for improvement.

  • #242474

    @vapidoscar562, I suck so bad at climbing I probably never should have left Ohio. =)¬† But that was more than 30 years ago, so what’s done is done. I love going back and visiting.¬† I love southern Ohio, but I’m glad I left and I have never looked back.

  • #242477

    Rattlesnake Gulch: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/rattlesnake-gultch/

    I screwed-up and climbed it the first time I rode the Pipeline Trail. The worst part is I had to descend it on my hardtail at the end of the ride. Not a good time in either direction…

    Singletrack Sampler did it at the end of his Wasatch Crest ride (starts at 12:53 in case the vid doesn’t mark it) https://youtu.be/Nt5Jkl91tuE

     

  • #242479

    @mongwolf aside from the occasional jog I hadn’t exercised in 15 years. If I had to climb (even 400 feet) to get to the trails, there is no chance I would have started.

    My kids finally got their first bikes about 3 years ago so my parents brought up my old Rockhopper so I could ride with them. All it took to get the bug was I noticed a little opening into the woods. Don’t know why I never figured out what fun it was before I was 35. I used to ride my BMX bike every where and I had a mountain bike in high school but it never hit the dirt.

  • #242571

    The second is actually two different trails, but essentially the same climb (and part of the Singletracks Brutal weekend).

    Those climbs were just silly, Jeff! However, that Mountaintown Creek trail made the 13 miles of gravel climbing totally worth it! The Windy Gap descent was also fun, but the Mountaintown was my fave by far.

    The longest climb I’ve done was at Sheep Mountain in Montana. Around 3700 ft of climbing in just under 10 miles. It was an absolute grid up that trail but it was a bit of fun as well. There are a few mandatory hike-a-bike sections (for us mere mortals) so it was fun to see who could get the farthest up the trail before having to hike.¬† I’ve also done a few Forest Service roads that were pretty steep as well.

    That said, I think the worst climbs I’ve done are those that are either long and not very techy or don’t really have a good payoff at the end. I’m not a fan of climbing, but if the trail is techy enough to keep my mind off of climbing OR the downhill erases the climb from my memory then I don’t mind at all.

  • #242592

    Upper Black Mountain and Farlow Gap at Pisgah are both insane! I also recently rode North Mountain in Roanoke, VA which has a BRUTAL climb up to the ridge!

  • #242698

    #1 is above Libby, Montana, a 2900′ climb that had me so winded at the top I had to do a double take when I saw a moose on the road coming right at me. It ran by 4′ away before I could even react. Then the deer flies decided they wanted fresh meat and left the moose to attack me. You have to kill the vicious biting blood suckers.

    #2 is the San Juan Trail in southern California. Hot, steep and dusty this climb just sucked.

    #3 is Tewksbury Trail in southern Colorado. Totally torn up by ATVs you’re climbing up a long hill of loose dust, cough, cough!!! Stay away.

    Next to those Porcupine Rim was easy.

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