I had planned on altering my birthday challenge goals as the year progressed. I’m may downgrade a few of my goals but, first, I’m going to upgrade one. Riding the 6 major local canyons is sort of the Holy Grail of endurance road riding around here. While out riding one of the lesser climbs the other day I got the hairbrained scheme of upping the ante for Holy Grail status. Similar to what my friend’s Russ and Aaron did in the Bay Area, when they transformed the Berkeley Death Ride into our Seven Samurai (scroll down) and, finally, Aaron’s unrepeated 10 in 10; I’ve come up with a Wasatch-style 10 in 10 that consists of riding up 10 canyons around here in less than 10 hours (cumulative climbing time only).
Here it is:
1. Little Cottonwood: the continuously steepest long local climb. Often the most unpleasant due to traffic and exposure. However, it’s beautiful on a peaceful day. About 3,500′ in 8.5 miles.
2. Big Cottonwood: the longest climb by far, and hard. Adding Guardsman at the end makes it REALLY hard but that’s not how the “6 Canyons” is ridden, so we’ll call it good at Brighton. 14 miles and a little over 3,800′.
3. Neff’s Canyon: Obviously, the above climbs aren’t happening in two hours of climbing time. Hopefully, time can be made up on the others. This short and steep leg breaker isn’t on the main circuit, but with many ramps well over 10% in its two or so miles it feels brutal every time I climb it.
4. Mill Creek: a super aesthetic climb that’s not too bad until the end. 2,600 vertical in 8.5 miles.
5. Parley’s: No one does this one because it’s horrible, but one has to approach Lamb’s Canyon somehow. 2,300′ in a little over 10 miles.
6. Lamb’s Canyon: Nice secluded offshoot of Parley’s. Rarely done for obvious reasons. About 4 miles and 1,300 vertical.
7. East Canyon: Climb up to Big Mountain via I-80. Might feel somewhat brutal by this stage. I think this profile is from the reservoir, which will make this one probably 2,500′ in around 10 miles.
8. Pinecrest: Around three miles of nastiness into a box canyon. I have no stats but it feels brutal most of the way.
9. Emigration. The easiest climb on the circuit. 1,300′ in 7.8 miles.
10. City Creek. Just getting here is going to feel hard by this time. Then there’s around 1,400′ in 5.5 miles to consider.