HJ Explores the Backside of Mt. Lemmon Rocking the Hip Pack
Video created by Transition Four
Every time we've ridden to the top of Mt. Lemmon and started the short, steep downhill into Summerhaven (home of the famous/infamous Cookie Cabin), we've notice a right-hand turn that tilts precipitously into the valley on the north side of the mountain. Always on road or time trial bikes, we've never ventured there, but times are changing, both in terms of goals and equipment. With training and races altered for the year, many athletes are turning to challenges, and routes they've always said "maybe next time..." about. For HJ and Wattie, that meant linking up the backside of Mt. Lemmon with that turnoff they'd always eyed at the Summerhaven descent. Eric Lagerstrom, of Transition Four and That Triathlon Life, produced the video above, chronicling the ride.
The result? A 121-mile, nine-hour grind with nearly 11,000 feet of climbing. The final pitch up is six-and-a-half miles at a cruel 7% grade. Wattie, as admitted in the above video, ended up "walking shamelessly." The final climb segment is linked below at the bottom of this piece. We hope that you, wherever you are, are using this time period to tackle challenges such as these, using the time you have to tackle the adventures you never thought you'd get to. And if you end up walking? That's just more time to look at the view.
One obstacle in their path? The lack of stores to refuel along the way. Friend of the brand Ben Hoffman gave HJ and Wattie the assurance we've heard so many times: "Oh, there's totally a place to get supplies," only to discover the store closed upon arrival. Fluid was tough, but HJ's new hip pack stored everything she needed for the nine-hour epic. On these race-less days, while you're considering adventures in the backcountry, consider the hip pack as a cool way to carry some extra food or gear, for the unforeseen moments that turn accounts into stories.
The Wattie Ink. Hip Pack in the wild