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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge on: September 18, 2011, 10:29:45 AM
zenoiz


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« on: September 18, 2011, 10:29:45 AM »

Since the state of California announced it intended to 'close' Henry Coe park next year as part of budget cuts (together with a depressingly long list of other parks), we came up with a novelty when planning the new edition of our unsupported Henry Coe hundie (aka, the Hard COEre 100):

The Coe Everest Challenge! 29,029 ft of climbing in +140 miles in (more or less) a day, and the goal is to raise awareness for the issue as well as a few bucks for the private fund that is raising money to avert the closure of Coe (the CPPF).

Riders will try to climb - and descend - a Mount Everest worth of elevation gain on this ride - if this sounds like fun, there is still plenty of space left at the lineup. The site has details - basically the existing and unaltered hundred mile course (a single, giant loop) will be followed by a 'bonus loop' or laps.

Some great news: the CPPF has recently managed to secure enough funds and came to an agreement with State Park to keep the place open, at least until 2015. The challenge and fundraising are still on though, as funds are needed for trail work and maintenance, construction of new trails and the various events organized in the park.



Here are some shots from a recon ride yesterday, to whet the appetite:

« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 04:30:26 PM by zenoiz » Logged

  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 01:29:29 PM
Jilleo


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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 01:29:29 PM »

So glad you guys are working to raise funds to keep Coe open. I've ridden there once and while I appreciate its existence and look forward to checking out more of the area, I can't imagine too many things that would hurt more than 24-plus hours straight on those trails. More power to you, for sure.
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 09:05:36 PM
zenoiz


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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 09:05:36 PM »

Those trails can hurt like few things do indeed, but some of them are ridiculously fun too. 29k feet of climbing also means 29k of descending! It takes a while to get to know your way around there (so that you can avoid the most brutal fireroads) and it's easy to get lost, as some of the singletrack is only 8 inch wide and overgrown most of the year. I hope you get to check it out again. If you show up on Saturday mornings (Hunting Hollow entrance) you have a good chance of running into some friendly locals that will be glad to act as a guide. The place also attracts some crazy trail ultrarunners (you're one of those right, at least part-time  Wink) and is perfect for bikepacking (best in spring when there's more water).

So far it looks like 5-6 people are lining up for the 100 miler, and 3 are going for the Everest thing.

Coe park is now saved for the time being but the list of other parks to be closed is still long and depressing (http://www.savestateparks.org/parksincrisis.html)... Annadel, China Camp, South Yuba are just a few other ones with great mountain biking (there is a group of people working to keep Annadel open I believe).
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 02:41:11 AM
Jilleo


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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 02:41:11 AM »

It was the HardCoere 100 write-up and pictures that first convinced me to check that place out back in July. The singletrack we rode was incredibly fun but the fireroads we used to connect the singletrack (almost all uphill) were indeed brutal. It was a warm day as well. I carried three liters of water and three hours later I was out of water. The region we rode didn't seem to have much surface water. I was curious how much you'd realistically have to carry in order to ride 100 miles in that park.

But yes, I find your event super intriguing. The timing is bad for me to participate in any kind of riding capacity (I have pacing commitments at the Slickrock 100 in Utah the following week, and a possible Grand Canyon R2R2R overnight hike days before that, ouch. Not to mention I've been injured and haven't been on a mountain bike in six weeks.) But if you have a place for support volunteers, I would be interested in helping out (I know the 100 is unsupported. Wasn't sure if the Everest event was also zero-support.) But it would be fun to meet some more South Bay-area cyclists and of course have some of the better trails at Coe pointed out to me. I'm otherwise free that weekend. Let me know.

- Jill Homer
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 01:50:30 PM
zenoiz


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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 01:50:30 PM »

It was the HardCoere 100 write-up and pictures that first convinced me to check that place out back in July. The singletrack we rode was incredibly fun but the fireroads we used to connect the singletrack (almost all uphill) were indeed brutal. It was a warm day as well. I carried three liters of water and three hours later I was out of water. The region we rode didn't seem to have much surface water. I was curious how much you'd realistically have to carry in order to ride 100 miles in that park.

But yes, I find your event super intriguing. The timing is bad for me to participate in any kind of riding capacity (I have pacing commitments at the Slickrock 100 in Utah the following week, and a possible Grand Canyon R2R2R overnight hike days before that, ouch. Not to mention I've been injured and haven't been on a mountain bike in six weeks.) But if you have a place for support volunteers, I would be interested in helping out (I know the 100 is unsupported. Wasn't sure if the Everest event was also zero-support.) But it would be fun to meet some more South Bay-area cyclists and of course have some of the better trails at Coe pointed out to me. I'm otherwise free that weekend. Let me know.

- Jill Homer

Jill, with regards to the water situation / logistics: on the 100 mile course there are year-round reliable water sources at mile 38 (park headquarters), 62 (Pacheco Camp) and 78 (Dowdy Ranch)... everything is very dry now but there are a number of lakes never too far off course to get additional water to filter. So it is pretty manageable. In spring there is water flowing everywhere, but generally the going is a bit slower then, with numerous creek crossings and creek beds to wade through.

The Everest Challenge is also unsupported indeed, but not as strictly as the 100 miler: we plan to first do the entire 100 mile course, which will get us back to our starting point, Hunting Hollow (the southern park entrance), then do a 'bonus loop' - I plan to have a big cooler with lots of goodies in my parked vehicle there.

There will probably be a few people hanging out on the Hunting Hollow area (big dirt parking lot), looking out for us and you're more than welcome to join - I'd feel bad though having you sit there for hours and get bored stiff. Maybe, if you'd feel up for it, you could join us on the bike for a while in the morning (6am start time) - the first part of the course is pretty nice and you'll get to see a great sunrise while we climb the ridge (or get drowned in fog Wink). On our (fairly) loaded bikes we'll be slow and I will certainly not be in a hurry the first miles. In terms of timing: last year's time would bring us back to Hunting Hollow in the middle of the night (~2am) - in my dreams I'll be able to finish the Everest Challenge around sunrise, about 24 hours after we took off. I think the first finishers of the 100 miler could be a few hours faster this time. Also, we'll probably hit headquarters (the western entrance to the park) around noon.
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 09:20:07 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 09:20:07 AM »

Just wanted to chime in and applaud both the idea (29k climbing!) and the cause.  Wish it wasn't 14hrs drive from Tucson or I'd consider joining the party.

Looking forward to a report.  The best ride I did when I lived in NorCal for a summer was at Coe. 
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #6 on: September 24, 2011, 12:52:02 PM
Jilleo


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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2011, 12:52:02 PM »

Thanks for the info! I'd love to take you up on the sunrise climb. Not sure how long I'll be able to hang on but it would be fun to try. I'll head on over to your Web site to upload details. Hope to see you there.
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 12:32:08 PM
zenoiz


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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 12:32:08 PM »

Just wanted to chime in and applaud both the idea (29k climbing!) and the cause.  Wish it wasn't 14hrs drive from Tucson or I'd consider joining the party.

Thanks Scott; I feel the same about some of your events (AZT...), though Tucson being so far away probably saved me from getting in way over my head!

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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 12:39:00 PM
zenoiz


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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 12:39:00 PM »

Thanks for the info! I'd love to take you up on the sunrise climb. Not sure how long I'll be able to hang on but it would be fun to try. I'll head on over to your Web site to upload details. Hope to see you there.

Great, looking forward to seeing you. I just posted some updates on trail conditions etc. The GPX-file should be final now; there are plenty of ways to cut the ride short as you'll see. A map would probably be useful - they are for sale at headquarters, which is NOT where we will start, but printouts from the web, OSM, or even photos you take of the giant map posted on Hunting Hollow (where we start) which you can look at on the display of your camera should work...
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 09:24:44 AM
zenoiz


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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 09:24:44 AM »

So we had ~9 starters, 5 of whom were going for the whole Everest thing. Three finished the 100 mile course, but Mt. Everest turned out to be a bit too high. Awesome and memorable day nevertheless.

More details, photos and recap coming soon (here and on http://www.hardcoere100.com/results.html), meanwhile there's some chatter in this Norcal mtbr thread.
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 01:06:50 AM
zenoiz


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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 01:06:50 AM »

My recap is below; I've aggregated results, stats, photos and recaps from others on http://www.hardcoere100.com/results.html .
Worth checking out, there is some good stuff there, e.g.:

(Roy)...I get through Burra Burra Trail, walking the hills and soon Center Flats Road is upon me. I walk most of the hills. When I try to ride, I am falling asleep. Delirious. I have no power. The breaks are plentiful and I am grateful. Grueling and painful. How can I continue on and stay on the bike. I catch myself from veering off the trail constantly. If I fall I won't get up. I will curl up and sleep forever. The lateness of the night is a huge factor. I'm normally home asleep and dreaming. I feel like a zombie. Sleep is forcing its way and taking over my body. I shake my head. When I stop, I put my head down and doze instantly, in another land but still there. I have to keep going. If not to finish the route at least to get back to the car. Soon that is all I am thinking about. I can't imagine doing 20 more miles at this point. How?

Hunting Hollow, 2011/10/1, 6.35 am
The contrast with last year's edition (midnight, 3 vehicles on the entire parking lot, near freezing temperatures) is striking: the large lot is now buzzing with activity; the night has been relatively warm with only a few high clouds obscuring the skies. We exchange our hellos, greet new partners-in-crime and prepare to get started. About 10 riders are lining up: 7 of them going for at least the 100 miler, 5 for the full Everest Challenge, among them the 3 veterans of last year. Eric the Nightrider will be embarking on his own solo expedition, which he'll dub the "Four Corners of the Apocalypse"... we don't ask many questions, Coe park has a tendency to attract the adventurous and the eccentric. My buddy Tom is there, providing moral support and spare lights, and Jeff, aka TahoeBC, shares his brave intention to join us as long as his recently-dislocated shoulder would allow him. Some unknowing campers are a little startled by the early hustle and bustle, but take it with a smile.

I hold a short briefing, before we get started with the steep 2 mile/1200 foot climb up Lyman-Willson trail, a good introduction if anything to what lies ahead. On this first climb of the day, I push the pace a bit to see how the crowd responds and it becomes quickly clear that we have assembled a fine and fit group here - once on the ridge, we witness the day break in pretty spectacular fashion and a quick photo stop is in order.




(photo Patrick H.)

Camp Willson
Three guys in the group are Coe-virgins and one is a second timer. While a bit concerned, I'm admiring their gutsy move of taking on this thing as their first (or second) ride in Coe.  From our previous email correspondence and quick conversations in the morning I was convinced they knew what they were doing, so I quickly put my worries about their well-being to rest, and encourage them to go for it and hammer out the course if they would feel inclined to do so - their biggest obstacle would be navigating the often tricky maze of trails in this vast place. I send them off to Steer Ridge, and start the climb a bit later alongside Patrick, Roy and briefly Tom. We reel in Jeff, who took a bit of a head start and he reports back the sighting of some wild boar near and in the pig traps on the ridge. Coe's fauna has a special affinity to Jeff, as we find out repeatedly.



Coit Road
Everyone is loving the Spike Jones / Timm descent, a fast and furious singletrack combo, and the switchbacked Anza trail (fun going both up and down) generates additional grins. On the fireroad climb toward Cross Canyon the bunch regroups, while Jeff plays snakemaster with a small constrictor on the side of the road. Patrick and I lead the group to the steep climb on lower Cross Canyon trail, starting with a tricky left-hander that I was intent on not dabbing. I make it, only to drift slightly off-course and be forced to put a foot down fifty yards farther; a duh-moment, though today would not be about cleaning, but surviving, as Roy will remind me. Soon we reach the crest and are looking forward to a fine descent into the canyon.



Cross Canyon
I'm picking myself up from the steep patch of loose gravel right before the first creek crossing; the crash left me gasping for breath and I feel some dull pain on my right side. During the dreaded fraction-of-a-second of enhanced consciousness right before impact I saw my front wheel jerk to the left after giving apparently too much front brake, anticipating the dried out creek crossing. My bike is set up with two small handlebar bags as well as a stem bag (all loaded with food), so I decide to blame the incident on my unfamiliarity with its altered handling, rather than dismal descending skills. The bike is suffering some minor damage as well: a broken fork remote lockout lever. And my bar mounted LED is whacked off, but I will only notice after I will have climbed out of the canyon.


(photo Patrick H. - yes, he actually captured the crash)

Willow Ridge road & trail
A little shaky and sore, I'm moving cautiously during our passage through the canyon; after the long climb out - the Cross Canyon Wall looking as daunting as ever - we run into the rest of the group again on the ridge and head to Hoover Lake. At the airstrip, Jeff takes a tarantula along for the ride. On Willow Ridge trail, as fine a downhill as they come, I regain my confidence, just in time to dodge the plentiful bushes of poison oak sprouting along its thread near the bottom part.



Coe Headquarters
Some amazing contrasts on this ride: from the dark solitude of our pre-dawn climb to the Tarantulafest party & barbecue at headquarters; this is a benefit event of its own for Coe park, and going on in full force when we arrive. The long climb up here - over the mighty Mahoney Wall (Roy cleaning it as if it was a speed bump), Lost Spring trail (additional quality time with poison oak), China Hole (nice, gradual), and the reviled Manzanita fire road, has been troublesome for me - with sore ribs acting up, and the impending dread of the many more hard miles coming up I start to fantasize about joining the party then calling it a day. We run into the always cheerful Paul L., who's doing some impromptu GoPro video interviews, and he inspires me to put my game face back on. Some caffeine-laden drinks at HQ, the food on the grill, the buzzing activity and the party chatter put me back in business, and after a long break during which the entire bunch has regrouped, we take off again. Scott and his buddy Dane, who were traveling light and fast, decide to peel off at this point. They probably could have gone faster if they'd known their way around here, but weren't prepared for the deep dive into the backcountry at night. Aaron and Sean, the other two relative Coe-newbies, radiate fortitude, are good with the map and stay on course, taking off toward Flat Frog trail - I wonder if we'll see them again.



Middle Ridge
The thrills and adrenaline this trail dishes out never get old; Poverty Flat road and Bear Mountain don't seem that insurmountable anymore... or will the delirium wear off quickly, once confronted with the hard facts? We'll see. Jeff splits off now and heads toward the Creekside trail. He's been going pretty strong, for not having ridden in a few weeks, with a semi-functioning shoulder.




(photo Patrick H.)

Bear Mountain
After we dragged ourselves over Poverty Flat, sporting an odious dusting of cake mix in spots, there would be time for recovery on a few flat miles, before we'd tackle the toughest climb of the day. At least, if the Narrows trail wouldn't be such a bumpy mess. The final stretch of flat fireroad afterwards is easy enough though, an ominous counterpoint to what lies behind the bend. When the first, ludicrously steep pitches of Bear Mountain become visible, we immediately spot Aaron and Sean struggling high up the hill, probably about 20 minutes ahead of us. Until now, Roy, Patrick and I mostly rode together, but during the ascent it becomes clear that Patrick has the most fuel left in the tank, and is most eager to crank out the power. He'll be dropping us on most of the climbs during the remainder of our journey. Roy and I retreat in our respective pain caves and while hiking the steepest pitches of Bear Mountain, I find a receptive audience for my complaints in a rare horned lizard, taking in some sun on this hottest part of the day.




(photo Patrick H.)

Pacheco Camp
The five remaining 100+ mile riders are briefly reunited at Pacheco Camp. Patrick has laid down a fast pace on these past few miles. Heritage trail was a beautifully primitive and fine descent but I didn't quite enjoy the subsequent passage of Pacheco Creek trail. The upper parts were overgrown and rough, and took a toll on me. I remember feeling very strong here last year whereas now, all I can think of is the possibility of some trail angels making an appearance at the camp, handing us out various goodies. Alas, it would turn out Charlie and crew indeed came by here, but missed us by about 45 minutes. The golden hour has almost passed and doubt creeps in again... this place is an easy bailout point. But no, that would make for a sad, depressing and lonely ride home, after having come so far. And thus without further ado I join the others, install lights, filter water and prepare for a long night.


(photo Patrick H.)


(photo Patrick H.)



Dutch's trail
I'm a bit dismayed to see that many snagging branches I had trimmed down on this fine trail months ago seemed to have grown back together. On one of the short steep uphill pitches I feel my chain break and curse. The drivetrain had been acting up for a while, probably a link was bent earlier on. After Patrick's flat on Phoneline trail (quite a trip in the dark), this is our second night-time mechanical. Luckily the fix is quick and we carry on. Approaching the lower section of this fantastic ridgeline trail - a genuine 'Blair Witch project' experience by night, with heaps of weirdly shaped chamise lighting up in our headlights - we see what must be Aaron's and Sean's lights, moving apparently slightly off course.


(photo Patrick H.)

Dowdy Ranch
After we had swept them up, Aaron and Sean decided to stick around with us, probably not a bad idea in this confusing and remote section of the park. I feel somewhat revived on the usually brutal Kaiser-Aetna climb toward Dowdy Ranch and am surprised that Patrick and I seem to be dropping the rest. It must be the absence of heat that makes this thing easier. My helmet light had come off its mount and I thought the mount had broken, so I zip tied it together, making for a slightly more wobbly light spot than I cared for (I found out later that it was just a screw that had worked itself loose - Magicshine owners, beware). A break at the deserted facilities is welcomed by all, but it is getting colder, so we layer up and quickly start to get moving again, onward to Burra Burra trail.


(photo Patrick H.)

Center Flats road
This is the section of the course that can really break a rider. The relentless grades of Center-non-Flats show no mercy. Patrick is still going insanely strong and cleaning an impressive amount of the steep rollers thrown at us; Aaron, Sean and I are limping along, but I'm getting a bit concerned about Roy. He's often falling behind, seems to reside in a catatonic state and hardly utters a grunt when I talk to him. I hand him some chocolate covered coffee beans, my late-night secret weapon. There is talk about bailing. I don't want to hear about it and suggest we'll decide once we hit Wagon, and are back on trails with civilized grades.

Wagon road
The call is made. Roy, who somehow came back to life, Patrick and I continue and take on the final 20 miles of the 100 mile course; Aaron and Sean are running low on lights and batteries and will take a shortcut home. They are a pair of impressive riders, having taken on this challenge in style, on pretty much their first real ride in Coe. I'm convinced they have the capability to pull this off in a strong time, with their newfound experience and some preparation; when we say our goodbyes I urge them to come back and get it done next time.

Hunting Hollow, 2011/10/2, 6.17am
These last 20 miles go by in a dreamlike daze. Slow fireroad grinds alternate with frigid singletrack descents, while sleep deprivation and an immense fatigue take a hold of us. The eerily moonless sky is lit up by an unfathomable amount of stars. When Patrick and Roy, who has made an incredible resurrection, take short naps, I joke with them that lethal hypothermia may set in anytime and urge them to get going again. Not sure why I stay awake; the coffee beans, perhaps. We survive the rutted Vasquez-Long Dam debacle, and climb the tough final 500 vertical feet on Wagon road, ridden clean by all three of us, as a matter of honor. Our final descent home is obscured by a dense fog bank, making for dicey conditions, but we all make it safely to Hunting Hollow road. Patrick hammers out the last three miles, but I don't have the energy to keep up with him and ride my own pace, Roy not being too far behind.

Once we regroup on the parking lot, few words are exchanged and we start to clean up; I'm feeling elation and satisfaction, because of the successful finish in difficult conditions, but mixed in is a slight sense of disappointment, as I knew I was in no shape to even attempt the Everest 'bonus route'. I think the others are sensing the same. Patrick may have come closest to giving it an honest shot, but he seems overwhelmed by sleep, and soon retreats in his car. I look at the time and can't believe it's past 6am; the sky is slowly lighting up. Taking on the long night ride after a full day on the bike had slowly drained our energy and worn us out, more than expected. Last year - with a midnight start - we were able to maintain our pace and finished about three hours faster. I dig out some caffeine, and like Roy, prepare to drive home. The Everest Challenge may have been unmet, but with some new lessons learnt we think it can be done. Some time.

I would finally like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who donated to the Coe Everest Challenge and CPPF; it's people like you who make the difference, and real results can be achieved, as proven by the successful effort in keeping Coe park open.
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  Topic Name: Coe Everest Challenge Reply #11 on: September 22, 2012, 04:42:07 PM
zenoiz


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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2012, 04:42:07 PM »

It is on again! October 6, 2012, 7am at Hunting Hollow (Henry Coe State Park near Gilroy, CA) is the date. There is the 100 miler (aka Hard COEre 100), the metric 100km course and the Coe Everest Challenge.

The Coe Everest challenge is to climb 29,029 feet in (preferably) under 24 hours - or, a bonus 9,000 feet after completing the 100 mile / 20,000ft loop.

Check www.hardcoere100.com and www.savecoepark.org/ for updates and intel.

Right now (Saturday September 22nd), two brave souls have taken off ITT-wise, as they couldn't make the group start on October 6th. One of them (Aaron) finished the Vapor Trail 125 a few weeks ago so he certainly should be in the right shape. Only a handful have and will attempt the Everest challenge - none have completed it so far, hopefully that will change this time around!
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