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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend and I dreamed of huffing our desk-jockey selves up the 11,000' of climbing that comprises the Cascade Triple Crown. Snow kept us off these trails for much of the summer and we picked today as the day when our fitness and schedules would allow us make it through our little hellfest.

We departed Seattle at 5:00am to allow for max daylight. We were on our bikes and riding from our parking spot near hwy 410 by 7:15.



The plan was to bag the biggest/hardest climb first off which is the southback trail up Crystal. (I'm sure that some people say that the TC is technically the whole loop at Crystal, but riding up and down Southback is almost as hard and a lot more fun IMHO.) The day was looking atmosphere and a forecast of potential rain showers had us watching the weather. Cold weather energized us on the climb and we felt fantastic passing the 3,000' vert mark in no time.



We pondered our surprising chilly toes as we kept a conservative but consistent spin through the lovely meadows.



"Uh, we have visible solids. This could be a problem"



At this point I realized that we were in a September blizzard. Snow was accumulating on my bare arms and legs and we had to layer up even though we were almost at the top. Normally the first snow makes me giddy but this what not what I had in mind.



Energy wise we felt incredibly good. Cresting 4,000' we felt like we had just done a little warmup ride and that the next 7,000' was well within our limits. The problem was that we were already wet and cold.



Luckily we were able to get into the quasi-heated building at the top of Crystal. Yet, we were so wet and cold by that point that even with all of our layers a full set up jumping jacks left me chilly. The second we started the descent our teeth were chattering and I knew we were courting hypothermia with a breeze, 37 degree temps and wet clothing. Trail conditions were mostly very good with the melted snow keeping the summer dust and sand down a bit. Unfortunately all that melted snow and rain managed to get us to new levels of drenched and we spent the descent in varying states of numbness.



After a truly ripping and fun ride down the lower half of the trail we descended back down to the car where we had planned to refuel and then finish the ride. I was freezing and my buddy was turning blue. Even with dry gear we knew that the summit of the next two climbs was likely going to be a frigid, wet, hypothermia-ville and we accepted our defeat. Next time!

 

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Agreed Sagebrush! Good on ya guys!

Had the same issue several years back and the only open door was the ladies bathroom up there. (Who knew they had so many rolls of TP in each stall!)

But, yeah, the oab on Northway (I doubt you really meant South back.) is really the "purist" route.

Next weekend is looking a lot better. Camp up there at the airport so you don't have to get up as early. Stash food at the bottom of Corral and Sun Top road as well.

Then, channel your inner Energizer bunny.... :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Northway! Yes, that's what I meant. I would love to attempt this next weekend but my partner in crime is pre-committed. Perhaps we can get lucky with the following weekend.
 

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haha, a couple years ago a friend and I went to do Ranger/Palisades and got caught in snow on the way up Ranger. He had an extra pair of gloves but was wearing glasses. I had a jacket. We did this ride as a little extra prep for the following weekend in which we were treated to beautiful sunny weather for the 7 Summits ride up in BC.
 

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Dude, confusing the North Back with the South Back…

But, yeah, the oab on Northway (I doubt you really meant South back.) is really the "purist" route.
This makes me feel slightly better.

I'm going to attempt to get out of a dinner with my mother in-law, but this might be more difficult than the Triple Crown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dude, confusing the North Back with the South Back…

This makes me feel slightly better.

I'm going to attempt to get out of a dinner with my mother in-law, but this might be more difficult than the Triple Crown.
That is a truly epic challenge. (Do it.)

In my world, saying the wrong word does not equal mixing things up. Heck, if that was the case I would never know where I was!
 
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