15 March 2015

Stardate 2015.203

Some early snow blankets the Sawatch Range on the east side of Cottonwood Pass.

2015 Ride the Rockies and Cottonwood Pass

Viewing northwest at the Three Apostles from the summit of Cottonwood Pass.

Day Six of Ride the Rockies will be a 102-mile ride with only one pass to cross - Cottonwood. The catch? The west side of Cottonwood Pass is dirt, gravel, usually pot-holed and saturated in places with dust inhibitor. It'll be a hoot! The above pic is the northerly view from the summit of Cottonwood Pass.

The Three Apostles, with Huron in the background, catching early sun .  The pic is taken from just below Cottonwood Pass, on the west side.

The pass is quite scenic and surrounded by mountains. Rising to the northwest, the Three Apostles are popular with climbers, especially Ice Mountain, the Middle Apostle. I took the above shot while "lizarding" around the west side a bit. We had pedaled up the east side early to secure a good vantage point for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. As a result, we had to wait awhile. At this point, the riders had not even left Gunnison.

The Three Apostles have their heads in the clouds, Cottonwood Pass, Colorado.

The Apostles have been known to be on the shy side.

Snowcatcher is standing on the Continental Divide at 12,126 feet above the sea.

Cottonwood Pass is on the crest of the Sawatch Range, 12,126-feet above two seas. Yes, the pass sits on the Continental Divide.

The east side of Cottonwood Pass.

The first handful of turns heading down the east side of Cottonwood Pass.

The east side of Cottonwood Pass.

The east side is paved, has seasonal moods and provides a fun descent through numerous sharp turns that continue to pop up well below treeline.

The summit of Cottonwood Pass several hours before the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge rolled over the top.

Cottonwood Pass is a popular climb with cyclists. It's occasionally crossed by Ride the Rockies, and often used as part of a Stage in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. In the above pic, we were several hours away from the expected summit time of the peloton. Being monsoon season in the high country, the weather went south several hours later.

Looking east from the summit of Cottonwood Pass.

Winter comes early here, and the pass usually is closed during the snow months. The above photo was taken in late September.

Looking up at Cottonwood Pass from the west side.

In the above pic, the view is toward the west side of the pass on a frosty fall afternoon. The pic was taken from below the final switchback before the narrow traverse to the summit.

Until next time...


1 comment:

  1. What great shots showing the grandeur of the pass! Can't wait to do this one again with you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...