Home > Uncategorized > REVISED: Kick Ass Hill almost accomplished what Kicking Horse Pass (and days of rain) could not… :-)

REVISED: Kick Ass Hill almost accomplished what Kicking Horse Pass (and days of rain) could not… :-)

The previous evening was great — loads of pizza, a full load of laundry now dry and folded away, shower and a shave and a good night’s sleep. We faced the day with the prospect of good weather…and the promise of some killer hills! The first of which we could see rising out of Golden and disappearing into the mountains. And it started just about a kilometer from our starting point — no chance to warm up! The grade was the steepest yet — 10%. And it just kept on rising. Granny gear and laboured lungs and heart rate going through the roof. I was approaching 155 beats per minute — the point at which I had thought I would get of the bike and catch my breath. But the gauge kept hovering just below that number and Bill was leading by example — standing up on his pedals, grinding away.

Lots of ups and downs over the next 40 km or so. And amazing vistas of river and sky. We then pulled into the town of Field, for sandwiches and the best, and slowest to arrive, hot chocolate.

Back on the road. Massive road and bridge construction just east of Field. Narrow lane and no flagmen! We inch forward. An 18-wheeler is charging behind us, blowing its horn, and not slowing down! I ride into the ditch. Bill and Owen, who are behind me, throw themselves sideways out of harm’s way! They are both slightly banged up. Bill’s saddle is all twisted. We are adrenalized and PISSED OFF! Of all the construction sites we saw so far this was the one most in need of traffic control! (Steam is still wafting out of my ears :-))

We struggle up the sharp incline to the Spiral Tunnels — another amazing engineering triumph. When we glance down the road we just climbed what we see is astounding: a huge rain cloud is blowing up from the valley! We donned our rain gear and pedaled furiously up the road in a vain attempt to stay ahead of the downpour. The one positive thing? We got one heck of a tailwind!

Three riders looking like drowning kittens arrived at the Kicking Horse Pass Summit. We were welcomed by hail. Not a hail and hearty welcome and ‘good show’. Little ice pellets thundering on our helmets. So not many photos here.

Down from the summit — to another massive construction project, this time a huge bridge over a swollen river. The road is now a thick gruel of reddish clay soil. Bill is riding in front of me. He sprays me so thoroughly with this colorful paste that I plan to walk into the shower ‘as is’ – to rinse my outer clothes first and the rest of me next. But the rain is getting harder and soon washes away most of the reddish grime.

The last 10 km were a pure test of tenacity — battling a stiff headwind all the way. About a kilometer from the lodge Landen takes over the lead and I am grateful — I feel totally spent. All I want is to get off my bike and get into a warm shower, dry clothes, and pour in some mega-calories before pouring myself into bed!


imageIncredible mountains in all directions
imageWhat vistas!
imageView from the Lodge
imageGirls and boys, repeat after me: “We are in avalanche country!”
imageA most amazing feat of engineering — Upper Kicking Horse Bridge, on Ten Mile Hill

imageEnd of the bridge — note scale of huge slice taken out of the mountain…
imageCruising into the quaint town of Field
imageWhy “Field”? Could have been “Field and Stream”
imageKicking Horse River, near Field
imageNature and Man
imageThe best hot chocolate came from the restaurant in the first house on the right. Too bad it took 15 minutes to prepare… :-)
imageWill we be lucky enough to see this train in Spiral Tunnels?
imageTough to see the twin entrances of Spiral Tunnels. And we did not get to see a train double up over itself  :-(
imageSo the next best thing is the on-site model!  :-)
imageExplanations for this amazing engineering feat

imageIt started hailing at this point…can the rest of the 10 afflictions be far behind?
imageWe saw the rain rolling up the hill in a thick cloud, covering the whole space from ground to sky. Amazing! The bad news: torrential rain, from Spiral Tunnels all the way to Golden, with a bonus of hail at Kicking Horse Pass. The good news? Tail Wind!!!!
imageOne time zone and one province at a time — thanks for the reminder, Adrian!
imageWhy did I take this photo? Don’t recall… LOL

imageGetting close to Lake Louise

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 27, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Beautiful scenery! Hope you’re having an amazing time!

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