Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cougar Mountain Climb, with Photos

The Cougar Mountain/Zoo climb is one of the Seattle-area's premier climbs. Sure, it feels great to crest Queen Anne, but how about three of those in a row? Now that's a climb! At about 1300 ft at the top, the view is pretty sweet.

And if you go, don't think that the painted finish-line at the top means the climb is over; take a left on Cougar Mountain Way for another 300 feet or so of steep climbing!

The view looking East towards the Cascades and Cougar Mountain (which is probably one of the peaks in the skyline, not sure which one)

About 15 km later in Eastgate on Newport Way, heading towards our destination:

A view of our speed (in kilometers/hour) going down Newport Way (only about 30 mph).

Here's the beginning of the three mile Zoo climb, on 54th St just off of Newport Way:

Maybe a half-mile into it, getting into a great part of the climb - on a wet day, the shoulder is slick here, so be careful:

Here I am struggling around the crazy hairpin turn (that I almost crashed on once going down). Thanks to Dennis for the great shot!

A short video of part of the climb:

Heading up towards the top of the climb on 60th St., here's where the rollers start:

Dennis cresting the almost-top - note the cliff behind him, that's what we just climbed! It's gotta be a good 20% in that last little section..

You might think you've reached the top when you see this, but you haven't; take a left on Cougar Mtn Way for more pain. With no undulations, you'll miss the 'rolling hills' you just came up to get to this point, but keep going, you're almost at the top.

The view is so much better after you get a bit higher; here you can see Lake Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, and snow-capped Mt. Baker in the distance:

My machine, complete with bell, soon to be replaced by a Ciocc:

Climbing up Madison St back in Seattle. Note the slow, slow speed of 6 friggin km/h!! Yeah, that's like 3.4 mph if you're keeping track. But hey, it's steep on that part of Madison!

It's always a tiring ride when I do Cougar Mountain, but not as much as doing the two-lakes loop & Cougar Mtn, that's a real killer. Good training for the HPC!


Anonymous said...

nice pics of the climb..

Anonymous said...

The pictures don't do it justice. Last time I came down in my SUV I wasn't paying attention and was riding the breaks, all the way down from the "Pinicle" development, and when I got to the bottom and stopped at the stop sign, this cloud of smoke enveloped the SUV. Oops.

Tell me about the Ciocc! I've got a vintage steel frame Ciocc - my first expensive racing bike from 1987...

Kent Peterson said...

Yeah, Zoo Hill is a nice climb. We've strung it together with a few other climbs for a 110 km route. See: