I’ve biked up to Lost Lake twice before. The first was part of an 80mi, 80K day back in 2016 in the hot August sun. It was kind of brutal. The second time was just about a year ago and it was… fine. It’s not my favorite ride, even though it is objectively a good ride with great views.
But we knew we wanted to get some skiing in, so that necessitated a bike ride somewhere near Mount Hood. So the plan was two laps of biking from Dee to Lost Lake Resort, and then a skin from Timberline Lodge to Palmer (plus maybe a little more).
The day started with us leaving the house at 5:30 AM with the goal to be done biking between 12-1:00PM.
The ride started chilly, damp, and a bit cloudy. It was super quiet, which was amazing. Almost no cars.
My legs felt tired, but I had high hopes (based on past experience) they would shake out. Unfortunately, it felt like a long slog to the top for me. I ended up with bad cramps in my hamstrings and discomfort in my quads and calves. The same thing happened on this ride the first time I did it, so I don’t know if I started too hard, or bad timing, or what. But I definitely was not smiling OR flowing. Mostly just this face a lot 😬😬😬
The summit was a welcome site, and the snow a nice distraction as we got higher. The gate was closed, so we stopped there for a quick snack before a fast (but not too fast, because… wet roads) descent.
We paused at the car, we snacked, and Paul made standard ridiculous Paul poses:
Then back on the bikes and off to round two, adding in some sunshine and mountain views.
This climb was slightly easier, but not my much. I still had some cramping, and it still felt like a slog. We actually sat in the middle of the road at the top just to take a break.
But then we were off on the downhill again. Unfortunately for me, even the slightest uphill on the way back felt hard. The car was an extremely welcome site. I was VERY ready for a change of sport. So, we threw the bikes in/on the car, and headed up to Timberline just past noon.
Getting on skis felt GOOD! Like really good. Way better than biking. The only downside was we spent some time playing hide and peek with the sun around this fascinating low lying cloud layer. Mostly that meant we were sweating, and then chilly, and then sweating – rinse, repeat.
We took a slow and steady pace up to the top of Palmer, and I felt pretty darn great (especially considering how very NOT great I felt on the ride). Opposite from our usual strengths, Paul lagged behind me a bit on the climb after having a great ride. The sun melted him a little I think.
At top of Palmer we enjoyed the view, then stripped the skins, and skied down. I knew we were just shy of tagging another 10K day, and it didn’t take much talking to get Paul convinced to do another partial lap (“just enough to hit 10K!”).
Though we had plenty of daylight left in theory, there was a WALL of clouds coming in, so we got to it. We headed up about 1,300ft, but somewhere around Silcox the cloud wall caught up to the sun and it got cold real fast. Our stop to rip off skins and add more layers before the ski down was a quick one.
Shortly after we started down we found ourselves in a mini whiteout. It wasn’t the best ski down, but we made it without too much ado.
Burgers and veggie chili at Mount Hood Brewing awaited us, and were a delicious end to the day.
By the numbers:
Biking: 53miles, 6,100 ft of elevation
Skiing: 7miles, 4,250 ft of elevation
Total: 60miles, 10,350 ft of elevation