Author Topic: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?  (Read 2775 times)

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Offline rbeharrell

Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« on: February 14, 2016, 04:03:31 am »
I am going to cycle this route from June - September. I was expecting it to be mountainous but for the first time I've actually added up the numbers for elevation gain in each of the five segments.

The number I have got is 235,000m. This can't be right, can it? Please tell me I have made a mistake.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 09:06:24 am »
I am going to cycle this route from June - September. I was expecting it to be mountainous but for the first time I've actually added up the numbers for elevation gain in each of the five segments.

The number I have got is 235,000m. This can't be right, can it? Please tell me I have made a mistake.
I don't know the correct number, but I will say that the amount of climbing is pretty extreme and unlike any other route I have been on in that regard.

Offline mathieu

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 09:33:20 am »
Looks like someone mapped the route in RideWithGPS. See www.ridewithgps.com/events/Sierra-Cascades
His total elevation gain for maps 1-5 is 40509 meter/133,000 ft.

PS. Looking to the maps, the route is drawn rather sketchy with a lot of straight-line interpolations. This may accumulate to rather large errors. However, those errors do probably lead to an overestimation of the elevation gain, since road makers try to level the grades whereas the interpolations will strike many bumps and shallows.
It would probably take you only 1-2 hours for the whole route to improve the road drawing (using 'follow roads'). You will find the tool very convenient and informative about the main climbs and their gradients.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 05:02:24 am by mathieu »

Offline rbeharrell

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 05:31:22 pm »
This is very reassuring, thank you. Sorry for the late reply - I only just saw this

Offline mathieu

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 06:31:05 pm »
I have to correct my previous comment that the crude mapping in the linked reference would likely overestimate the elevation gain. I remapped Map-5 as best as I could using the 'follow roads' tool, but without access to the ACA maps.  See http://ridewithgps.com/routes/12391500.
The estimated distance for Map-5 is 487 miles, which agrees very well with Adventure Cycling's 486 miles. The elevation gain amounts to 45493 ft, which is a lot more than the 33303 ft in the other link.
It's a significant upward correction. However, in no way will you get near to your initial estimate for the total route.

As I said before, you will learn a lot about the grades you will face, by mapping the complete route yourself on RideWithGPS. Map-5 took me about 20 minutes.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 06:42:48 pm by mathieu »

Offline zzzz

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 09:32:40 pm »
Hi:

I answered this question a year or so ago but strangely when I did a search of my previous replies there was only 6 that showed and the one in question was not there. I don't have the energy tonight to add it all up again but I can tell you from memory that your 235,00 number is wrong.

I started in Bellingham, rode up to Sumas, added about 6000' of  climbing along the way  (for instance I incorporated Makenzie Pass) and wrapped up about 315 miles from the Mexican border when I dropped down to LA on 39. I was at somewhere about 140 - 150,000'. Looking at the topo trace on map 5 I didn't think I would have added another 20,000' if I continued down to Mexico.

I will also add that it's a absolutely stunning route that I really enjoyed riding.

Pete

Offline rbeharrell

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 01:27:28 pm »
I have done it now so I can answer my own question! The route I took was, according to Map My Ride, 195,0000 feet (59,000m).

I started in Vista and cut East over Mt. Palomar to join the route about 40 miles north of the Mexican border. After Detroit, Oregon I took a shortcut to Portland and had had enough of mountains so finished off the ride along the coast and the islands. Therefore the proper route ought to involve more than 195,000' of climbing. I would guess about 235,000', coincidentally.

To check that Map My Ride isn't overcalculating I mapped out the start of my trip to LA in Ride With GPS to compare the elevation calculations of the two. Map My Ride gives 37,324' and Ride with GPS gives 11,009m = 36,119'. The difference is small enough to be caused by a slight difference in my route mapping.

Offline zzzz

Re: Sierra Cascades - total elevation gain?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 02:26:51 pm »
This is very interesting.

When I first saw your post I berated myself for not actually going back and re-adding up my elevations and relying on my memory to give you the 140,000-150,000 number I gave you.

Now that I had some egg on my face I went into Garmin Connect and added my elevation totals again. As I mentioned in my previous post I started up north at Sumas (+the milage from Bellingham), followed the route exactly except incorporating Mackenzie Pass and some extra at Crater Lake (both of which added several 1000' of elevation), and exited the route by taking 2 down to Pasadena & LA, 315 miles from Mexico. I have 139,745' of elevation gain.

Either my Garmin is off by almost 44% or both Ride w GPS & Map My Ride is off by that amount. Any theories out there?

Pete