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Everest Challenge Climbs — Bishop Creek / South Lake

Bishop Creek / South Lake ==> 9835'

20.4 miles long, average grade 6%, max grade 17.5%, elevation gain 5410'

NOTE: the start is neutralized up to the second turn onto 168, which is 2.7 miles.

Key points:

  • Temperatures ascending and descending to/from South Lake could be cool to the point of being cold and thus sweat-soaked racers might want a vest for the South Lake descent.
  • The very fast and very long descent from South Lake is part of the race timing for 2011, so plan accordingly, such as ingesting a suitable amount of fuel and liquid prior to descending. The very high speeds are also worth noting; stay alert.

The last 1/4 mile or so is a 15% grade, so just get it done and remember you need legs for the rest of the race, too.

Watch for maniacs in pickup trucks when descending— you’ll be tired and there are real idiots on the road, though the vast majority are respectful of cyclists.


Old comment since in 2011 the course was reversed: The bottom of this climb can be like a tandoori oven; the sun is beating down, and the cliff is baking the pavement from the side as well. It can be really, really hot. OK to back off slightly here, as conditions improve after a few miles.


The real climb to Lake Sabrina (South Lake) starts at the intersection of E Bishop Creek Road and Ed Powers Road.

Route shown does not include intervening “junk miles”.

Everest Challenge Stage Race — Bishop Creek / South Lake

Ed Powers Rd on the way to the South Lake climb via Hwy 168.

Be advised that local weather can change rapidly, with temperature drops of up to 30° as clouds and rain move in.

Everest Challenge Stage Race — Ed Powers Rd approaching Bishop Creek / South Lake ascent
Everest Challenge Stage Race — sudden onset of rain

The route steepens just after turning right from Ed Powers Rd. An almost 5000 foot climb awaits, and it is often very hot for the first half of that ascent.

Everest Challenge Stage Race — Bishop Creek / South Lake near Ed Powers Rd — the real climb begins

The left-hand turn to South Lake.

Everest Challenge Stage Race — the left hand turn to South Lake
Everest Challenge Stage Race — the last steep mile to the South Lake finish for Stage 1

The last mile to the South Lake finish includes some very steep grades.

Everest Challenge Stage Race — steep grade to South Lake finish
Everest Challenge Stage Race — South Lake as seen from the summit finish of Stage 1
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