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Everest Challenge Climbs — Upper Rock Creek
Related: Eastern Sierra, Everest Challenge, Hard Core, Rides, Rock Creek
Rock Creek / Mosquito Flat ==> 10, 250'
22 miles long, average grade 5%, max grade 12%, elevation gain 5825'.
Starting in 2011, this is now the LAST climb of the day. It also has an oddball neutralized no-pass zone. Details.
The alpenglow at dawn is a glorious experience not enjoyed by some rider categories, so enjoy it prior to the suffering to come.
Can be near-hypothermic the first 30 minutes for ultra-lean riders if the morning is near freezing, which it was in 2004. Take a windbreaker, and toss it/stash after the neutralized start, since real climbing beings not long after.
The first 8 miles are neutralized, so save your energy and let someone else break the cold wind.
Route up upper Rock Creek
The climbing route shown just below does not include intervening miles and the 8.3-mile neutralized start from the Millpond start area (shown further below).
The approach to this climb entails about 2800' of elevation gain and about 18.5 miles to get to the start of the upper Rock Creek climb at Tom’s Place, with nearly as much elevation gain on the approach as the Rock Creek climb itself.
Here is the full “climb” from the Millpond start area. The start is neutralized until Lower Rock Creek Rd / Sherwin Grade Rd at mile 8.3 (“The race field will be led out by an official race vehicle at a moderate pace”). Since it can be cold, this is an excellent way to warm up; bring a jacket which you can stash or otherwise dispose of prior to the end of the neutralized start.
There is a short section that requires cycling on Hwy 395, but the wide shoulder area makes this reasonably safe in spite of the traffic going 65+ mph.
The start of the upper Rock Creek climb. You have just crossed Hwy 395, and Tom’s place was to the right just behind you.
The aid station is usually found just ahead to the right at pullout.