Wednesday, March 11, 2015

North Peak Road Climb

Here are the rest of the pictures from yesterday's adventure. This is from the point where North Peak Trail becomes North Peak Road. It's also where the real climb up North Peak begins...or so you think. The real climb is the last few hundred feet of the peak, hidden behind those rocks near the top.
And the climb begins. I'm heading up to those towers.
This is the view to your right as you climb North Peak.

Looking down what I've climbed so far, towards the summit in the background. The pictures in the previous post of North Peak Trail are all taken on the single track trail that makes it's way down the side of the hill you see below the summit.

If you have great eyes and look close, you can see bits of the trail on that hillside.

Back to climbing. Most of this climb is not nearly as bad as you think it would be when looking from far away. However, there is virtually no shade, and on a hot day it would be brutal.

Looking down to the left, you can see the mountain side that hides Bald Ridge Trail in it's scrub.

If you follow the ridge that come in from the left, you can see Bald Ridge in the distance. It's scrub on it's right side, and bald grassland on it's left. Bald Ridge Trail is not the fire road you see so pronounced, it's actually a beautiful, sometimes technical single track that runs through the scrub on the left, and comes out on top of the ridge right where it's half bald, half covered.

Back to climbing North Peak....

Another look at Bald Ridge. It's not the big guy in the back ground, that's Eagle Peak. Bald Ridge is the first little bump on the horizon if you follow the ridge line from the left of the picture. So starting far off in this pic, you have the quarry, then Eagle Peak, then the not bald side of Bald Ridge.
And...back to climbing.


 Not far to go, but it's brutal!

Looking down at Concord and Clayton.

Notice in the background there looks to be a white wall....of trail.

 The whole time I'm approaching this thing I'm realizing I can get up it ok, but how am I going to get back down it? Keep in mind pictures rarely capture the true feeling of how steep something is in real life. This was very, very steep. A 46% grade is no joke. Like, hands and feet in places going up....and sliding on your butt to get back down.

 How are the trail conditions, you ask?? That's broken up concrete with loose gravel on top, again, at a 46% grade.

 Looking down it from the top made me nauseous. I love steep trails. I love Mothers Trail, I love Burma...this is very different. I don't feel in danger on Mothers or Burma.  This one felt extremely unsafe. The thought of a 50k coming up this bit, but more importantly coming down me butterflies and heartburn at the same time.

 My face says it all. Super unflattering, but I felt really dumb for climbing up that last little bit and was about to wet myself contemplating how to get back down it.  But if you want to get to the gotta climb it. There are no alternate trails.

 Looking back at the summit.

 Holy cow. I did make it back down, but it wasn't pretty, and there was some butt sliding involved.

 These are shots at the very start of Bald Ridge Trail. It's that single track heading off into the woods.

I leave you with ground covered in flowers!  These trails are really beautiful right now. The views never get old, and minus the tip top of North Peak, very enjoyable!

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