|the smart ones could tell this photo was taken after the ride|
3104' of straight climbing from the end of Pyramid Lake road to the top of the Palisades lookout. Why do two guys drive three and a half hours out west only to punish ourselves with that much fireroad? The views up top are worth every bead of sweat and every hard fought Kilometer.
I did this one before and had pinch flats that made me have to fill my tires with leaves and twigs to get to the bottom. Luckily Jason was up for this ride. We started out (well I did) confident that I could make it up top with no problems, the first 5 km was an easy chore with a grade pushing 10% according to my gps. The grade got tough after that and soon the trail split off into two. One route leading to Pyramid mountain and the other to the top of the Palisades. The grade from that point on was at 15% and higher, my legs and lungs suffered through each pedal stroke. Jason stormed on ahead and I fought my mind as it kept telling me to stop. I can honestly say I suffered very hard going up and wondered what I was doing, as we got close to the top the grade was registering 23% and higher and I watched each point of each minuscule section of kilometer slowly tick by. Knowing it was 11 km to the top I kept my eye on the gps... 10.2.... 10.3... 10.4... Each increment of km stuck around for what seemed like hours when I heard Jason yell out "WERE THERE!" and a sudden burst of energy came and I joined him at the summit.
If you haven't done this ride in Jasper, and I'm sure most people haven't. The thought of 11km's of solid fireroad climbing does not sound appealing. It is well worth the pain and suffering. Once up top you feel rejuvenated. The views are incredible and the danger of falling off the cliff adds a high level of adrenalin at the summit. It is a long way down and the human being sense of "smallness" is truly captured on a ride like this. Looking down at the trains and highway below is worth the trip up.
|if you go up, you will end up where the arrow is, do yourself a favor and don't fall off|
|getting close to the edge, every fiber of my body was pulling me away, it's a long way down|
|king of the mountain|
|the unicorn socks helped with the climb only due to their awesomeness|
|sadly, this bike might be up for sale soon|
|for the descent, we strongly recommend you wear one of these|
|the trail junction halfway up|
|going down, worth every pedal stroke up|
|jason's burnt rotors|
|the greatest potty break ever!|