I have ridden this road before. But it is a horrible road that leads to nothing. It is steep, rocky and rutted. So it has been avoided for a long time. Until yesterday when I got the idea that would it would make a great training climb. So I venured to the bottom of what I now am calling the “Stairway to Pain”.
The stairway starts at the parking lot at the mouth of Dry Canyon. It is a jeep road that get a lot of water down it from melting snow and rain. It gets rutted out easily, and has big loose rocks covering it. Right now though, it seemed to have fewer rocks than I remember. I expect that as the summer months approach this roads condition will worsen.
There is a section of the stairway that is absolute torture. It is very steep, and there are a couple of false summits. You reach one only to realize there is more lung busting thigh burning suffering to be had before there is relief. But the relief is short lived. This is not a meandering mountain road. This more or less goes straigt up the hill.
Throughout this upcoming season I will do periodic timed climbs on the route. I think it wil make for a great off-road TT. Sort of the dirt version of Squaw Peak Road. I didn’t time yesterdays climb, as I was mostly exploring the route. Once you reach the gate at the top, you are done with the stairway. I ventured on beyond the gate, but it quickly became unridable due to mud and rocks. Perhaps in dry conditions that section will be more accomadating.
A real feat I think would be riding the entire way without dabbing, stopping or peeling out. It would be tough, but it will be a fun thing to incorporate on future rides up the mountain.