Monday, May 16, 2016

Sandia Park Cibola National Forest.. Snow!

Albuquerque New Mexico was the last place I rode on our journey from Pisgah Forest North Carolina to Mesa Arizona, which had terrible WiFi, making uploading video impossible. 
A lot was going on with travel, new digs and job and all, so I am just getting to this now on a rainy day in Durango Colorado.

10,250 feet was, by far the highest elevation that I had ever ridden to.  The ride up was mostly in the sun and warmer than the 50 degree temps suggested.  Nice stiff climbing with some technical features that were a challenge as the climbing added up and the air thinned out, There were some spectacular view on the way up and at the top in the Scandia Peak Ski Area.  The descent was the polar opposite, pun intended, as I plunged, so did the temps, down to almost 28 degrees by the end as I chased the light.  As I started, I could see the shadow of the mountain meet the sunlit valley, but at each and every chance I got a glimpse of that line, it was receding, faster and faster.  I was descending in the snow shadow and at times the snow riding was tough or even required a little hike a bike.  Needless to say, my descent was not nearly as swift as anticipated, but my Bulldog fleece bib knickers and long sleeve jersey and jacket (carried to the top in anticipation of chilly descent) kept me warm until time ran out.  I exited the ski area and bombed the road back to the trail head, quickly exceeding my kit's insulating rating!  Nearing hypothermia, i made it back to the car with little light to spare, started the car and shed my wet clothes for dry ones, making it back alive one more time.

Route description: Climbing; Sulfur Springs, Faulty, Oso Corredor, Tree Spring, 10k, Golden Eagle. There was some snow before Golden Eagle, but it was sparse. Golden Eagle had alternating sections of snow and melt, both slowed me down. All of KOM was in the snow shadow and there was plenty of powering  through/walking on the uphill parts of the mostly DH,  down KOM and then it was getting dark, so finished on the road.

 View from the Top
Full Frontal for the Pups

Different angles

On the way up
Zoom Zoom

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