"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien

White Mountain Peak / Silver Canyon Epic – ITT

What is the “White Mountain Epic″?

  • It’s probably the most grueling one day mountain bike adventure you’ll ever embark on.  Some feel the Sierra 7500 is on par, but as far as stats go, this takes the cake.  Simply put, it’s an out-and-back of epic proportions.  You start at 4,114′ (Laws Museum) and climb 32 miles all the way to the summit of White Mountain at 14,280′.  Then you turn around, and fly down every turn you earned for a 64 mile out and back with 14,750′ of overall climbing.  It will challenge you in ways you never fathomed.  You’ll probably hallucinate and gain the knowledge of ancient sages.
  • For those that don’t want to tackle the craziness of the full “Epic”, we have a shorter option (albeit still uber-grueling), the Silver Canyon Ride.  This route has the same start and finish as the “White Mountain Epic”.  However, once you reach the junction of Silver Canyon Rd and White Mountain Rd (after 11.3 miles and 6,483′ of climbing) you turn around.  It’s still an incredibly taxing, 22.6 mile out and back, and the toughest portion of the White Mountain Epic, hands down.

When?

  • It’s usually best between July and October, depending on snowfall.  If you’re considering doing it, Contact Us, and we’ll try to answer any logistical questions you may have.  We encourage anybody  to do this “bucket list” item as an ITT (individual time trial) any time or date you like, as slow or fast as you like.  If you complete the challenge, let us know and we’ll put you on the Official Finishers List.

Where?

  • The ride officially starts at the Laws Museum on Silver Canyon Road.

How much does it cost?

  • Nothing.  FREE.  Gratis.  Just bring yourself, your bike, your gear, and a great attitude.

What kind of support is there?

  • This is a 100% self-supported ride.  It’s up to you to bring enough supplies to get you through an exertion-filled day in the saddle.  You should study the route and figure out where to leave supply drops.  We highly encourage you to do this with others as well.

What type of bike should I bring?

  • We highly recommend light xc bikes.  You’ll be climbing for hours on end, so the balance of traveling lightly while having enough hydration and nutrition will be key.

How do I register or make sure I get event updates?

  • There is no “formal” registration.  We do ask that you Contact Us to let us know if you complete the course so we can post your results for bragging rights.

Is the course marked?

  • No.  Since this is not a sanctioned race of any kind, we will not “mark” the course.  We STRONGLY advise you carry a GPS, cue sheet, and maps (especially if doing an ITT).  Most of the course is easy to follow, but there are a few confusing turns.  We will soon post maps and cue sheets, and we can email you a detailed GPX file

How are results tabulated?

  • We will keep track of official finishers on our Results Page for bragging rights.  The only categories are Male and Female, with notations for geared, singlespeed, and/or fatbike.  Ride as hard or soft as you like.  Ride with others or solo.  Submit your time (or link to Strava, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide, etc) via email if you’d like to be included as an official finisher.  We go by the honor system.

Can you describe the route?

  • Yes.  After parking at Laws Museum, engaging in nervous small talk, and applying ample chamois cream, you saddle up.  A peaceful climb eases the nerves and warms the legs.  We are cruising up the famous Silver Canyon Rd.  After not too long, that elementary climb turns into a grueling effort that has your lungs puffing out of your chest like Lou Ferrigno.  From 4,000′ to 10,800′ over 11.6 miles we go.  Silver Canyon is a grueling rite of passage climb in its own right.  If you’ve had enough, by all means, pat yourself on the back, and turn around now.  Make sure your brake pads are fresh and your wits are perky.  The Silver Canyon descent is FAST and DANGEROUS.  Especially when you’re fatigued.  When it was raced in 1986 as the Plumline Ultimate Kamikaze,  they put nets and barricades up around the dangerous turns to keep people from flying off the mountain.  There were also ambulances at the ready, and yes, they were necessary.   There will be no ambulances, no barricades, nothing.  So BE WARNED.
  • If you have grit, climb on.  To complete this EPIC, we’ve still got to make a left on White Mountain Rd. and climb up to White Mountain Peak at 14,280′ over another 7 miles.  At that point, we walk up to the roof of the building, stand on the sundeck, and admire the views- We are officially the Kings (and Queens) of the Eastern Sierras.  Oh yeah, now we’ve gotta descend what we just puked up.  Don’t crash.  Are you up for it?

Any more resources or advice?

  • In addition to carrying a GPS and Cue Sheet, bring a topo map with the route just in case.
  • Contact Us ASAP if you’re thinking about this.  Get to know the course.  This ride can be broken up into sections easily – so you can pre-ride certain portions if you want to get a feel for it.
  • Weather conditions will be variable and change a bunch between Laws Museum and the summit of White Mountain.  Have a game plan for clothing, layers, tools, gear, etc.  Also,  have a game plan for nutrition and hydration.  We will have a vehicle parked at the intersection of Silver Canyon Rd and White Mountain Rd.  and you can give us a drop bag.  It’s your responsibility to be in charge of your own well-being.  This is not a sanctioned race.  People will not be kissing your ass or looking out for you.  BE SELF RELIANT.
  • Both Verizon and AT&T seem to have pretty good reception for most, if not all of the course.  So cell phones are a good idea.
  • There are plenty of bail out options all through both routes.  It is an out and back after all.  Assess yourself and your condition constantly.  If you intend on doing the “full monty” – realistically assess yourself and what time of day it is when you reach the junction to turn left up White Mountain Rd.  Load up on supplies before you head up there.  You will want to consider having lights, just in case.  This ride can take 15 hours easily.  BE SELF RELIANT.
  • Be extra careful descending!!  After all the climbing and fatigue put upon your body, you’ll need every ounce of concentration to descend 15,000′ – and NEW BRAKE PADS and SPARE BRAKE PADS are a must.

Strava Links:

Detailed Cue Sheet – Full White Mountain Epic (coming soon)

Detailed Cue Sheet – Silver Canyon Ride (coming soon)

Check out this comprehensive article covering the White Mountain Epic

Check out Alan’s blog and photos of his ITT of the White Mountain Epic

Check out Alan’s blog and photos of the Silver Canyon Ride

GPX File: Contact Us if you plan on doing either of these rides on your own, and we’ll send you the files.

Check out some of our other Epic Rides:

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Ride Report: Silver Canyon Ride – Bishop, CA |

  2. Gary (4 time finisher of White Mtn Peak in a Day)

    Bring back Rick Wheeler to put this on!

    August 11, 2016 at 10:45 pm

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