Sunday, June 17, 2012


Mt Diablo North Peak, viewed from South Peak
Last weekend, I climbed Mt Diablo for the first time in about 4 years.

South Gate road: 11 miles to the top
We headed out on South Gate road (nicely repaved for the Tour of California) and I settled into my all-day-enduro pace. Yes, slow as a turtle, but nice and steady.

 South Gate road is mostly quite exposed, with big views. Its relatively mellow grade (5%ish) makes it easy to just put the bike into a gear and spin up the hill. I was pleasantly surprised to reach the junction (with Summit Road) with energy in reserve. After a water break, we headed up the final three miles up to the summit.

Big views at the summit

View from Mt Diablo south peak

I started to get a bit tired, but the summit building and beacon loomed ahead so I had to finish the climb. Plus, there's ice cream at the gift shop in the summit building. I pedaled away, then ground up the final 200 yards, which is a bit of a wall at an 18% grade. I was pretty happy to make it to the top-- the longest sustained climb since I injured myself a few years ago.

 After sightseeing at the peak, we headed down on the descent. Car traffic was fairly limited, and we safely cruised around the corners and back to our starting point. What a great day! And thanks to Dan for climbing Diablo at my rather glacial pace!

11.6 miles of climbing, 3300 vertical feet

Mt Diablo South Gate route map

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