Saturday, May 16

TR - Guanella Pass from Georgetown

22 miles round trip
3,200' in elevation gain (8,400 to 11,600)
3 hours up, 50 minutes down

I rode my Cannondale because the road was supposed to be rough. It was. I rolled into Georgetown at 1pm and headed through the quaint downtown section and immediately began climbing switchbacks on the edge of town.

The first half of the ride was marred by the hydrology and hydroelectric infrastructure along Guanella Pass Rd., but once past Clear Lake Campground all traces of humanity save the road itself disappeared for a few miles.

Just below the last section of the climb is Guanella Pass Campground. I stopped to fill my water bottles at a pump, but it didn't work, so I pushed on, mind over matter for a little while longer.

Just below the summit area of the pass I met four hikers and as their dog was trying to get tangled up in my front spokes the guy pumped a fist in the air and cried "You're a beast!" with a big silly grin on his face.

It made me grin as I slogged through the silty road sludge just below the top of the pass.

There were great views of Mount Bierstadt and the Sawtooth Ridge, Squaretop Mountain and Otter Mountain.

After taking in the view for a few minutes I turned the bike back to the north and crawled over to the edge slowly...slowly...and then SCREAMED back down South Clear Creek valley to Georgetown.

Great ride! Once I shower the salty crust off of my body the day will be complete.

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