Friday, December 10, 2010
Today’s out and back ride up Mt Diablo via North Gate Rd meets up at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. I lead the group out on San Carlos to Los Lomas and Walnut Ave. We continue on Oak Rd to North Gate.
Mount Diablo stands 3849′ tall. The climb up on North Gate from Oak Rd to the summit is 11.2 miles. Going up from the north side to the junction is shorter than the going up from the south side. The average gradient is also a bit higher; it’s 6% compared to 4%.
The gradient does increase to 9-11% as you near the Burma Rd trail at the 1000′ elevation sign. The road then levels out a bit and the climbing starts up again.
The gradient kicks up again when you can see the white fencing along the road leading up to the next switchback. You get some pretty fabulous views on the climb up to the junction.
Water and restrooms are available at the Junction Ranger Station. The climb up Summit Rd from the junction is 4.6 miles. The average gradient is 7%. The road does get a bit steeper as you approach Blue Oak and Oak Knoll picnic areas. It eases up once you pass Pioneer all the way to Juniper.
It’s a steady grind all the way up to the Devil’s Elbow. The road eases up for the next mile to the false summit. You hit the “wall” from the lower parking lot. The last 200 yards to the parking lot at the top is steep; it starts off at 13% and maxes out at 18%! Water and restrooms are available at the summit.
Once we get to the summit, we only stay long enough to put on extra layers for the downhill. Riding in these conditions up Diablo creates a very mystical experience and is very beautiful at the same time. You also must proceed with caution. The descent is very slow, foggy, cold and wet!
Thanks to everyone who showed up for this ride!
12 people in attendance
30 miles with 3811′ of elevation gain
Weather: Cloudy, cool with overcast skies. Starting temp of 60. Mild and muggy on the climb up to the junction with a temp of 58. Foggy, misty, wet with rain on the climb up to the summit and on the descent.