Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Colorado High Country Double Century

Early morning views of Rabbit Ears Mountain from near Muddy Pass
Inspired by the RMCC Colorado High Country 1200km, the Colorado High Country Double Century is the first Colorado Triple Crown event for 2016. This challenging route travels from Boulder to Steamboat Springs along some of northern Colorado’s less traveled roads. Like the other Triple Crown events, the Colorado High Country Double Century is definitely not a flat course, climbing over 12,000 feet in 207 miles. It will be an excellent kick-off event for the 2016 Triple Crown season! Here are the event highlights:

Date: Back in the near future! 

/Start: 3:00 am/4:00 am

Start location: Boulder, CO: East Boulder Recreation Center, 5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO 80303

End location: Steamboat Springs, Rabbit Ears Motel. Host motel: Rabbit Ears Motel, 201 Lincoln St. Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, phone: 970-879-1150. Please make your reservations ASAP! Please note that the RMCC does NOT provide transportation back to Boulder after the ride.

Map: Colorado High Country Double Century

Registration: Registration is open! To register, click: Colorado High Country Double Century Registration. This event has a $50 registration fee. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes June 9, 2016. Participants may withdraw by May 28, 2015 for a refund. After May 28th, no refunds will be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

The climb up Poudre Canyon is gradual but long,
gaining over 5,000 feet in 58 miles! 
Brief description: An EPIC single day journey from Boulder to Steamboat Springs on some of Northern Colorado's less-traveled roads. This new point-to-point route passes through the picturesque Poudre Canyon, Colorado's longest Front Range canyon, to its summit at the beautiful Cameron Pass, before plummeting into the North Park Valley. The route finishes with a short climb over Rabbit Ears Pass and a blazing descent to the mountain resort town of Steamboat Springs. 

Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 207 miles, a point-to-point route from Boulder, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO
  • Climbing: 12,000+ feet
  • Course map: Colorado High Country Double Century
  • 2 crossings of the Continental Divide: Muddy Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass
  • 3 categorized climbs:
The spectacular approach to Cameron Pass after 58 miles of nearly continuous climbing1

Cameron Pass via Poudre Canyon, Hors Categorie (HC). (The HC classification is a bit misleading for this climb. Historically, the HC designation was used for mountain roads where cars were unable to pass. HC climbs are typically very long (> 10 miles), very steep (grades > 8-10%), or very high (>11,000 ft). The climb up Poudre Canyon from Ted’s Place is long (58 miles of nearly continuous climbing!), but never steep (average grades of 1-2% for most of the climb, but a bit steeper, 3-8%, in the last 10 miles). The climb up Poudre Canyon over Cameron Pass gains over 5,000 feet. The summit of the pass is 10,276 feet, placing it at high altitude. Given the distance and high altitude, the climb up Poudre Canyon reaches HC status. It is a true "grind" that will test your mental and physical fortitude!

Muddy Pass (elev. 8,772 ft), Category 5. Muddy Pass is one of the lower crossings of the Continental Divide. Muddy Pass marks the western terminus of CO-14 at its junction with US-40 after a lengthy grind through the North Park Valley.

Riders will encounter nearly 7 miles of rollers near the top of Rabbit Ears Pass
before making the steep plunge into Steamboat Springs.
Rabbit Ears Pass (elev. 9,426 ft), Category 4. A moderately steep 3-mile climb, gaining 650 feet from Muddy Pass to the southeast.

Time limit: 16.5 hours (to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit)

Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail:

Additional Notes:
  1. Some ultra-distance experience is encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event.
  2. Pre-qualification: Please refer to our updated rules regarding pre-qualification: What's new for 2016??
  3. Given the exposure to high altitude, severe weather is a major concern with this event. As such, riders need to be prepared, bringing their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. The RMCC is not responsible for transportation back to Boulder from Steamboat Springs. Please start working on arrangements ASAP to get you and your bike back to Boulder after this event! 
  5. Lights and reflective gear are required!

The ski resort town of Steamboat Springs is the finishing location
for this spectacular new Colorado Triple Crown event.

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