Bucket List of Bay Area hills- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bucket List of Bay Area hills

    All of this hill climb talk, coupled with the fact that I watched The Bucket List last night has inspired me to start tackling a few of the local legends.

    Help me compile a list, they can be long grinds with hopelessly steep walls like "No Way" Hill @ Wildcat, or just really technical sections like The Manzanita Rock Garden @ Skeggs.

    So far I have:

    *$2 Hill @ Joaquin Miller Park,

    *The Chaparral Switchbacks @ Napa Skyline,

    *FRH @ Rockville,

    *White('s?) Hill @ Tamarancho,

    *Oat Hill Mine from Silverado Trail to Holm's Place without dabbing,

    *"No Way" Hill @ Wildcat Canyon,

    *The Manzanita Rock Garden @ Skeggs Point,

    *The Resolution Root @ Skeggs Point,

    What else is out there waiting???

  2. #2
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    Water dog lake, from the lake, up the pavers to the very top. Try that one sometime. There's also Elevator, bottom to top.

  3. #3
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    Grant Ranch: Halls Valley trail....bonus stupidity points for mid day in the summer
    1000' in 2.1 miles
    Warning: Consumption of alcohol may make you think the person on the barstool next to you is attractive

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    Burma Road up Diablo. The section right after crossing the paved North Gate Road is a killer, I could barely push my bike up that thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zDAP
    Burma Road up Diablo. The section right after crossing the paved North Gate Road is a killer, I could barely push my bike up that thing.
    2nd that, I really don't think it can be done. Too steep, too loose, too long. Which immortal MTBR'r has done this task? Come forward and recieve your glory

    My Bucket List is to ride every mile of the trail system in the Lake Tahoe region.
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  6. #6
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    Here are a few more steep ones:
    (Lower) Fir Trail in Corte de Madera.
    Kennedy Climb to Priest Rock (Dogmeat) in under 40 minutes.
    Sierra Azul trail (Kennedy beyond Priest Rock) aka The Rollercoaster.
    Table Mountain trail in Stevens Canyon/Saratoga Gap
    Any climb in Henry Coe.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Castigador
    All of this hill climb talk, coupled with the fact that I watched The Bucket List last night has inspired me to start tackling a few of the local legends.

    Help me compile a list, they can be long grinds with hopelessly steep walls like "No Way" Hill @ Wildcat, or just really technical sections like The Manzanita Rock Garden @ Skeggs.

    So far I have:

    *$2 Hill @ Joaquin Miller Park,

    *The Chaparral Switchbacks @ Napa Skyline,

    *FRH @ Rockville,

    *White('s?) Hill @ Tamarancho,

    *Oat Hill Mine from Silverado Trail to Holm's Place without dabbing,

    *"No Way" Hill @ Wildcat Canyon,

    *The Manzanita Rock Garden @ Skeggs Point,

    *The Resolution Root @ Skeggs Point,

    What else is out there waiting???
    Mossy Rock in Auburn
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  8. #8
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    Aptos Creek Fire Road to the top of Nisene Marks;

    Paved but notable: Zayante Road to the top from Felton

  9. #9
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    Belmont area.

    Hasting drive, on the way up to top of Carlmont.

    This has to be one of the steeper ROAD I rode up. This is where I tested to see if I was ready for single speed.

    Also, since J mentioned the pavers at waterdog, I will counter offer with the fishbowl jump at the top of Carlmont. After you do the jump, try ride back up it to get to the top again. I made it 3 times, flipped once. Another good set of climbs is from the bottom of Carlmont up to the top. Preferrably SS.

  10. #10
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    Shafter FR (appropriately named) @ Bolinas Ridge
    Gunsight FR @ Loma Alta
    Big Rock Ridge (the short climb up to the 1640' peak)

  11. #11
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    Only scratched the surface

    You could double you list by checking out Briones

  12. #12
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    Rock garden on South Leaf at Skeggs.

  13. #13
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    Marin focused:

    Miwok from Tennesse Valley parking lot up to the ridge in the Headlands. It's gotten easier since they removed a challenging switchback but it's really steep and really loose for a while. Take a good burst of power.

    Gun Shot in Loma Alta. Only made it a few times. Always brutal, loose and ten degrees hotter than the rest of Marin.

    Middle Green Gulch in the headlands on the SS. I made it once running 32:20 and I don't think it's gonna happen again until fall when the trail gets tackier.

    "The Rock" at Tamarancho. Not as tough as some of the others listed here but still a good tech climbing section. I can't even come close on the SS. This is my goal for summer.

  14. #14
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    a couple others, on mt. d.

    prospectors gap road from meridian ridge, then turn left at the top and go (try if you will) up north peak road to north peak

    i tried it years back, when a guy told me it was not ridable....

    it - is - not
    Racerick
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerick
    a couple others, on mt. d.

    prospectors gap road from meridian ridge, then turn left at the top and go (try if you will) up north peak road to north peak

    i tried it years back, when a guy told me it was not ridable....

    it - is - not
    Maybe after a rain - but last time I tried it was way too loose.
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    ....gotta give you credit, just for the effort
    Racerick
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseamp
    Rock garden on South Leaf at Skeggs.
    Yeah. Not really a hill but I'd like to see someone clean it uphill. I'm happy just going down that sucker.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Yeah. Not really a hill but I'd like to see someone clean it uphill. I'm happy just going down that sucker.

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    Isn't that the one Rensho did the uphill endo on during the skegg to half moon bay ride? Not trying to emberass him, just clarifying cuz I don't know trail names real well...
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    I like to climb enchanted loop at Wilder going counter clockwise (well I do it out and back), going over the roots instead of around. I've only made it once or twice without the back tire losing traction. Its tough.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by special O
    I like to climb enchanted loop at Wilder going counter clockwise (well I do it out and back), going over the roots instead of around. I've only made it once or twice without the back tire losing traction. Its tough.
    that's a fun climb, dont think i've ever pulled it off, it gets real steep towards the top. climbing out the other way aint a walk in the park neither.

    climbing tractor in demo towards the end. end of sulfur springs.

    that jackson trail in henry coe is nutz too. steep, loose, off camber, by the time you get to the steep section you have hardly anything left in the tank. cool thread.

  21. #21
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    If all you want is a grind, try Mission Peak from the Stanford Ave. entrance. It's steep, long, brutally hot during the summer, and pockmarked from the cattle. Once you get to the top of the main fire road, you can try to make it up the fall-line trail/rock garden to the peak.

    The only real positive thing about the ride is the view from the top...and the ride down is kinda fun. (just make sure to go down towards Ohlone College)
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  22. #22
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    talking about grinders;

    since you mentioned grinders;
    is there anything in the bay area steeper than mt. d.
    starting from mitchel canyon, then to the summit
    its 3300 feet in 7.8 mi. actually 5.9mi. because its 1.9 miles along the canyon floor with virtually no elevation gain
    THATS a grinder
    not too bad if you just cruise, but try to do it in under an hour.............
    Last edited by racerick; 07-27-2009 at 06:15 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Castigador

    *The Chaparral Switchbacks @ Napa Skyline,

    are you talking about the ones used at the xc race?

    a bit*h to clean 'em all fo sho

    i tend to make the hard ones, then drop my concentration level a bit, then flounder on the less difficult ones
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Yeah. Not really a hill but I'd like to see someone clean it uphill. I'm happy just going down that sucker.

    Photobucket
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    a lot of times pictures don't do things justice, but THAT WOULD be a m.f. trying to climb i'd be walking those
    Racerick
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  25. #25
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    two quarry anndel never can get it all the way up
    annadel is where its at

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  26. #26
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    Racerick I tried it a few times, but one time I ended up falling off to the right - hugged the tree with one arm, and that tarzan'd me back to the trail. Left a mark. Man that's one hard section, gotta commit big time, and be lucky.

    FWIW I think people are talkin' about grind hills here, not necc tech sections but some of those South Leaf climbs are exceedingly difficult.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerick
    are you talking about the ones used at the xc race?

    a bit*h to clean 'em all fo sho

    i tend to make the hard ones, then drop my concentration level a bit, then flounder on the less difficult ones
    The ones on Chaparral above Lake Marie, the first is a right turn on cheese-grater rocks and the second is a left turn on what looks like a nice tacky section of slick rock, only it's this weird powdery consistency that offers ZERO traction. I've made both of them, just never in succession. Here's a lame photo of the first one I found on the web:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  28. #28
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    I would love to see an underground Technical Hill Climb Event.

    I know there are mountain bike hill climbs, but most are based on time up a rideable fire road. Imagine an event where you deduct ONE SECOND for every step you take when you come off the bike. That way you are free to get off and run run, but it will cost you mightily in time!

    Absent from the List:
    Montara Mountain in Pacifica - starts nice, then pitches to a good 15% - 18% for quite a stretch. Weather conditions either bitterly windy and foggy or scorchin' hot with no shade.

    Will second Mt Diablo as having some beastly climbs.....
    It also has some highly technical downhill sections on the way back down.

  29. #29
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    almost overlooked Repack...1250' gain in ~2 miles

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    Isn't that the one Rensho did the uphill endo on during the skegg to half moon bay ride? Not trying to emberass him, just clarifying cuz I don't know trail names real well...
    That was my same thought. That was Southleaf wasn't it? The bike just shot out from under me and all the sudden I found myself about 5-6ft in the air, only to fall straight down on my feet (and damaging my Achilles heel for 8 months. ) It was literally one of those Wile Coyote, just ran off the cliff, moments...
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  31. #31
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    Well maybe its time to do a skeggs crepe breakfast and technical ride again.

  32. #32
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    Some Sonoma county ones:

    Hood mountain
    Bald Mountain at Sugarloaf
    up Rough Go at Annadel
    Most trails @ Willow Creek

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by justsob
    almost overlooked Repack...1250' gain in ~2 miles
    that's a grinder all right
    sounds just like mitchel canyon on mt. d.
    Racerick
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Castigador
    The ones on Chaparral above Lake Marie, the first is a right turn on cheese-grater rocks and the second is a left turn on what looks like a nice tacky section of slick rock, only it's this weird powdery consistency that offers ZERO traction. I've made both of them, just never in succession. Here's a lame photo of the first one I found on the web:

    I made it up those twice at the skyline race, but there was traffic on the first lap so I didn't do it the first time around. The section with the steps was way harder IMO, it was the only spot I didn't ever clean during the race.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bensf
    I made it up those twice at the skyline race, but there was traffic on the first lap so I didn't do it the first time around. The section with the steps was way harder IMO, it was the only spot I didn't ever clean during the race.
    Yeah that's a gnarly section too, I think it's doable on the far right, but haven't seen anyone pull it off yet.

    Good job on the switchbacks though! One of these days I'll link both of them successfully...

  36. #36
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    Great stuff so far, here's what we have:

    *$2 Hill @ Joaquin Miller Park,

    *The Chaparral Switchbacks @ Napa Skyline,

    *FRH @ Rockville,

    *White('s?) Hill @ Tamarancho,

    *Oat Hill Mine from Silverado Trail to Holm's Place without dabbing,

    *"No Way" Hill @ Wildcat Canyon,

    *The Manzanita Rock Garden @ Skeggs Point,

    *The Resolution Root @ Skeggs Point,

    *Water dog lake, from the lake, up the pavers to the very top,

    *Elevator, bottom to top @ Water Dog,

    *Halls Valley trail @ Grant Ranch,

    *Burma Road right after crossing the paved North Gate Road @ Mt. Diablo,

    *(Lower) Fir Trail in Corte de Madera,

    *Kennedy Climb to Priest Rock (Dogmeat) in under 40 minutes,

    *Sierra Azul trail (Kennedy beyond Priest Rock) aka The Rollercoaster,

    *Table Mountain trail @ Stevens Canyon/Saratoga Gap,

    *Mossy Rock in Auburn,

    *Aptos Creek Fire Road to the top of Nisene Marks,

    *Shafter FR (appropriately named) @ Bolinas Ridge,

    *Gunsight FR @ Loma Alta,

    *Big Rock Ridge (the short climb up to the 1640' peak),

    *Rock garden on South Leaf @ Skeggs,

    *Miwok from Tennesse Valley parking lot up to the ridge in the Headlands,

    * Middle Green Gulch in the headlands,

    *"The Rock" @ Tamarancho,

    *Prospectors Gap road from meridian ridge, then turn left at the top and go (try if you will) up north peak road to north peak @ Mt. Diablo,

    *Enchanted loop going counter clockwise @ Wilder Ranch,

    *Top of Tractor @ Demo,

    *Jackson Trail @ Henry Coe,

    *Mitchell Canyon to the summit @ Mt. Diablo,

    *Montara Mountain @ Pacifica,

    *Repack,

    *Hood mountain,

    *Bald Mountain @ Sugarloaf,,,

    Love the photos, keep them coming!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by justsob
    Big Rock Ridge (the short climb up to the 1640' peak)
    For Real!! I just did this one on Sunday, starting @ the bottom of Chicken Shack fire road. It was in the 90's and I tried to middle ring it. I pulled the famous "It's so hot that I'm starting to feel cold" move, and decided to downshift. There are some positively MONSTROUS walls on that climb!

    Some incredible views though...
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  38. #38
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    My favorite punishment fest is Harkin's Ridge trail in Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP. Just when you think you've cleared the *last* steep section, there's another one waitin' for ya. Anyone clear the whole thing? (anyone besides me ridden it?)

    Second the Montara Mtn. one - but it doesn't get steep until the very top, if you go all the way up to the radio tower, up where the crack begins and further. Before that it's a pretty gradual climb.

    Another one is up Indian Creek to the top of black mountain @ Montebello OSP. It's probably not as bad as some on this list, but it's still a good grind.

  39. #39
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    I'd add Jackass and Serpentine at Coe. The Coe regulars know a lot more of the crazy climbs out there.

  40. #40
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    Idk if its possible but Rim Rock Trail at Skyline in Napa. Have walked up it with my bike and can't imagine anybody riding up it though.

  41. #41
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    Easy....

    Quote Originally Posted by racerick
    a lot of times pictures don't do things justice, but THAT WOULD be a m.f. trying to climb i'd be walking those
    ...crank rotation timing is the key.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    I'd add Jackass and Serpentine at Coe. The Coe regulars know a lot more of the crazy climbs out there.
    Yeah, Serpentine. I've only tried to climb it on a bike loaded down with camping gear but from what I remember, it would be a long and steep grind - if you can keep your front end down and actually spin and grind.
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    Easy...crank rotation timing is the key.
    You talking about the 6ft rock wall on southleaf?

  44. #44
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    right. bailouts pix.

    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    You talking about the 6ft rock wall on southleaf?
    Isn't there a flat spot behind the tree after the root section to regroup for the next move?
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  45. #45
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    I would remove Jackson trail in Coe from the list. It is neither technical nor that difficult. CHUM cleaned it on SS. Instead, you should put in there Lyman Wilson, Jim Donnelly, and Middle Steer Ridge (MSR). Now these 3 are real b!athches. Then of course there is the climb from the bottom of the Cross Canyon (on the way to Coit Rd). So far only Plim was able to make it once. I also would not put Serpentine in the same group with Lyman Wilson and MSR, Serpentine is a grind but it is not as steep and not as long as LW or MSR

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    Isn't there a flat spot behind the tree after the root section to regroup for the next move?
    If we're thinking of the same spot(the larger of the 2 pics), once you get past the tree, you're done. The problem is getting to the tree. It is fairly vertical, up to tree. That pic makes it look like you can ride a road bike down the section, but once you're there, I too am happy just to be able to ride down it on my mtb.
    I'd be up for putting up $ to see someone make it.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by poff
    I would remove Jackson trail in Coe from the list. It is neither technical nor that difficult. CHUM cleaned it on SS. Instead, you should put in there Lyman Wilson, Jim Donnelly, and Middle Steer Ridge (MSR). Now these 3 are real b!athches. Then of course there is the climb from the bottom of the Cross Canyon (on the way to Coit Rd). So far only Plim was able to make it once. I also would not put Serpentine in the same group with Lyman Wilson and MSR, Serpentine is a grind but it is not as steep and not as long as LW or MSR
    Chum has ridden Anza-Jackson on his SS, but did he cleaned it? Cleaning it on a gearie is maybe 9/10 in my book. Extremely tough, and I've never done it. Dabbed once on the left hand switchie towards the top.
    CC may be that 10/10 climb. I was there the day Plim made it. Impressive.

    The short, but steep section on Middle Ridge deserves mention.

  48. #48
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    Serpentine is a tough one for sure.
    Plim, Skyline35, and Plymmer could throw out quite a few Coe climbs to tackle.

    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    If we're thinking of the same spot(the larger of the 2 pics), once you get past the tree, you're done. The problem is getting to the tree. It is fairly vertical, up to tree. That pic makes it look like you can ride a road bike down the section, but once you're there, I too am happy just to be able to ride down it on my mtb.
    I'd be up for putting up $ to see someone make it.
    Yeah, those pics make it look simple. I love trying to climb that stuff, but when I get there I don't really even bother with that section. I'd be up for trying though.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Yeah, Serpentine. I've only tried to climb it on a bike loaded down with camping gear but from what I remember, it would be a long and steep grind - if you can keep your front end down and actually spin and grind.
    But it is fairly doable and relatively short for Coe... let's throw in Middle Steer and Willow Ridge; haven't heard of many that are able to clean these puppies.
    They're hard but I think still within the realm of the possible if the stars align, so good for this purpose.

    There's of course a whole bunch of other Coe climbs which are even outside of that (e.g. the section of Hobbs road to Blue Ridge, Jim Donnelly,...)

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Chum has ridden Anza-Jackson on his SS, but did he cleaned it? Cleaning it on a gearie is maybe 9/10 in my book. Extremely tough, and I've never done it. Dabbed once on the left hand switchie towards the top.
    CC may be that 10/10 climb. I was there the day Plim made it. Impressive.

    The short, but steep section on Middle Ridge deserves mention.
    I have not seen CHUM clean it but he claims he indeed cleaned it on his SS. For some reason, may be because it is always my first climb there and I am fresh, I end up making it. I have not been able to clean LW though. Also, has anyone tried to climb Cinderella and Chaparral in JMP?

  51. #51
    Let's ride
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    Coe:

    Not steep, but near impossible to clean is the climb out of China Hole towards HQ. The whole climb is no big deal, BUT, that darn right hand switchback near the bottom. Skyline35 posted a video of Fourarm? trackstanding and hopping around that switchie.

  52. #52
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    How does Poverty Flat rate in terms of steepness at Coe? Whenever these "toughest climb" threads come up I always feel Coe should have it's own category.

  53. #53
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    Coe

    I would say it rates pretty well.
    Definitly agree with Poff and El Hombre about LW and MSR.
    Has anyone cleaned Cougar?

  54. #54
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    Mix Canyon Rd, outside of Vacaville. 3.75 miles long, 2200ft of elevation gain. It is a paved road, but so damned steep you need mtb gearing for the acent and mtb brakes for the decent. Typical time for me is about 45 minutes to climb it.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  55. #55
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsquared28
    Mix Canyon Rd, outside of Vacaville. 3.75 miles long, 2200ft of elevation gain. It is a paved road, but so damned steep you need mtb gearing for the acent and mtb brakes for the decent. Typical time for me is about 45 minutes to climb it.
    I've heard that one is a real MoFo. I need to hit it up real soon, thanks for reminding me about it!

  56. #56
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    Several trails in Briones, but the section of Spengler before hitting Tabletop
    is too steep. I've never made it without one stop to recover, and even then
    it's so steep, I've got to sit on the tip of my seat. ouch
    Every day above ground is a great day!

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