Larch Mountain: How Not To Do A Major Climbing Ride
Today I set off to climb Larch Mt. a few times. This particular climb is Hors catégorie, being 3,100' of elevation gain over 14 miles. I had planned to do it three times today, but failed and only did it twice. Why? First off, I only got about 4.5 hours sleep last night so I was not feeling super great. Then I dehydrated because of stupidity. See I had brought a 3rd water bottle in a jersey pocket to make absolutely sure I wouldn't run out of water. Part way up the climb the second time, my Cytomax bottle got down to about 1/2 empty. I decided to add water from the extra bottle to the Cytomax. It wasn't until I had poured about 2/3s of the water in that I noticed the extra bottle I had grabbed in my pre-dawn stupor hadn't been cleaned and had some lovely sheets of mold floating around. That meant I had to pour out both
bottles, which left me with just ~1/2 a bottle of water. Not enough for 8 more miles of climbing followed by a 16 mile descent back to the nearest store, especially as temps were on the way to 90F. But I pushed on anyway, and as a result, when I finally made it back to the little town I was definitely dehydrated - no longer sweating, (minor) chills, muscles seizing up... I got water and PowerAide at the market (and some food too), but I didn't have enough time to re-hydrate properly (it takes quite a while actually) and still do the third run I was planning. Bummer.
But I got some serious climbing in despite my failures, and it was a fun day. I beat my previous time on the full 14 mile climb by 11 minutes
. Then I beat my previous best time on the descent by 3 minutes. So over all not bad. Total of 67 miles, 7,600'
of climbing, 13.3 mph average, max speed of 50.1 mph. Strava:https://www.strava.com/activities/338492322/overview