Having done well at the Eastern Sierra Double Century, I am aiming for #1 at Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge Double Century. I am reasonably lean with deep aerobic fitness, so I just need to be rested and strong and have a good day to have a shot at it.
This is the toughest double century in the country. And the best. No other double century has the quality miles, the awesome views, the excellent pavement, the perfectly spaced rest stops, the heat and the cold and the sheer challenge. It is awesome, a must-do.
The Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge is substantially harder than the Death Ride, with 5300' more climbing and 69 miles longer. The Devil Mountain Double is hard, but not this hard, and at much lower altitude.
- 198 miles with 20,300 vertical feet of climbing (6187 meters).
- Half of the course above 7000 feet / 2133m of elevation, altitude up to ~10,000' (3048 meters).
- Can be very HOT and FREEZING the same day.
- Kingsbury Grade aka Daggett Pass (East) + Luther Pass (South) + Carson Pass (East) + Blue Lakes Road + Ebbetts (East) + Ebbetts (West) + Monitor (West) + Monitor (East). Regrettably, eastern Sonora Pass is not included (26% grade).
- Start/Finish at Turtle Rock Park in Markleeville, CA.
You can design your own ride with any number of passes, a terrific way to slide into the event, working up to all 8 passes in subsequent years.
There are other ride variants, including the 5-Pass Challenge. But the 8-Pass jersey is available only to finishers of the 8-Pass Challenge. Fastest finishing time in 2011 was 12:23 for 8 passes— that’s fast.