Critical Section

Palomar in snow

Sunday,  01/24/10  11:23 AM

Today I made my annual pilgrimage to the top of Mount Palomar, accompanied by my British colleague and friend Peter.  We start at Lake Henshaw, ride about 10 miles along the base of the mountain, then ascend the South Grade, 8 miles at 8%.  (Yee haw!)  Visit Mother's, visit the observatory, and then descend the East Grade, 13 miles at 5%, for a nice little 40 mile ride with about 4,000' of climbing.  This year's incarnation was made more interesting by the fact that Palomar is presently shrouded in snow (!), and in fact we were unable to go all the way to the observatory because the roads were closed.  We also shared the day with hundreds of families who thought to take their kids to the snow.  And yes, it was a bit nippy at times, but all in all it was a great day. 

Anecdote of the day: Peter rented a [nice] Cervelo from Nytro in Encinitas, which happened to have a 36x25 as its low gear.  We're climbing, and he says he wishes he had a 27, and I said yeah I have a 27, wish I could give it to you, since I'm not using it.  (What I didn't tell him, I didn't use my 25 either; did the whole climb in my 23.)

Some pictures:

on a clear day you can see for miles and miles and miles and...

yes this is a real climb, an epic climb, Lance even said so :)

self-portrait, top of Palomar in the background (going around a switchback)

relaxing in the "front yard" at Mother's
the back yard was filled with white stuff

surreal scene descending the East Grade, Californian winter wonderland

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