Results: Volcano High Pass Challenge

The results are coming in for the Volcano High Pass Challenge. As the name implies, it was a challenging ride with much elevation gain, much gravel, and much scenic beauty.

Fifteen intrepid riders set out from the Packwood Library shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday.

The long gravel climb up to Walupt Lake – more than 3000 ft up – separated the pack into small groups.

Even the race leaders stopped in awe when the forest opened up, and the giant peak of Mount Adams came into view.

The first control was at Walupt Lake, which most riders reached just as the sun was rising.

As proof of passing, riders had to take photos of their bikes at these scenic locations. I really enjoyed seeing the different view of the same places. Cyclotourists always have been keen photographers, and it’s nice that the Challenge brought out that element of our sport.

Takhlakh Lake is perhaps the most photographed spot in the Cascades, but it seems impossible to tire of the spectacle…

…of Mount Adams’ reflection in the beautiful lake.

From Takhlakh Lake, it was a quick descent to Babyshoe Pass, and then further downhill to Trout Lake.

Trout Lake is dwarfed by its scenic surroundings, but it’s a cute town in its own right, with fabulous huckleberry shakes and pies that invite for a rest. But beware, there is a Sasquatch hiding behind the general store…

The climb up to Goose Lake seems to be hot every time I ride it, and the lake invites to a swim.

Several racers took advantage of the cooling waters.

After cresting the last big climb, a sinuous descent brought participants to the finish at the Carson General Store after 166 km / 103 miles. The full route is at the bottom of this post.

As the ride finished, we could see the smoke rising from the Eagle Creek fire that had started on the other side of the Columbia River earlier in the day. The two first finishers returned to Portland that night, having completed a two-day ride/race from Portland to Packwood and back via Mount St. Helens on the way out and via Mount Adams on the way back. Chapeau! Others headed to the campground to join the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting, with great camaraderie and beautiful riding over this long weekend.

Rider continued to trickle in until late in the evening. We don’t have all results yet, especially from the riders who completed the ride over multiple days. Please e-mail your photos and arrival time to info@compasscycle.com. Some riders were unable to complete the ride. Fortunately, Jerry, Pat and Jean from Branford Bike in Seattle were on the course to help riders in trouble. Thank you for the support!

Here are the results so far:

One-Day Ride/Race

  • David Wilcox 8:56 hr (avg.: 18.6 km/h)
  • Ryan Francesconi 9:01 hr 
  • Jan Heine 9:04 hr
  • Larry Kaufman 9:45
  • Tim Clark 11:05
  • Scott Sattler / Daniel Wynn 11:30
  • Brent Shultz 13:10

Multi-Day Challenge

  • Jeff Angeley
  • Chris Behrens
  • Parker Couch
  • Jason Miller
  • Steve Tatge

Here is the full route of the Volcano High Pass Challenge. Click here for a link to the RidewithGPS file. If you missed this year’s event, it’s a great ride on your own.

Photo credits: Ryan Francesconi (Photos 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 14), Tim Clark (Photos 6, 8), Larry Kaufman (Photo 12).

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
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5 Responses to Results: Volcano High Pass Challenge

  1. Edwin says:

    It looks like even among BQ riders/readers there were a few different approaches to tire width, brake style and whether or not to have fenders. I will look forward to hearing how it turned out for everyone!

    • The BQ Un-Meeting welcomes everybody! The BQ editorial team uses different tire widths, brake styles and rides bikes with and without fenders… Among the first riders of the Challenge, you had ti, steel and carbon (?) frames, disc and rim brakes, and tires between 42 and 54 mm wide. No fenders, but other riders did use fenders, and their chains were much less dusty…

  2. JD says:

    Another great story, thank you! Also – do you know the make of the black hip pack in the first photo? Thanks!

  3. feldmanbike says:

    Good to hear that you got out of there before the smoke hit. Here in Vancouver, 30 miles west, our dogs have been leaving pawprints in the ash outside our back door for a couple of days.

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