Gijs and Han Ascend He Huan Shan (鐵屁股)

by Sabinna on March 25, 2011

Sunday20 March, the day after Taipei Cycle 2011 Gijs Roovers and Han Goes had an appointment with He Huan Mountain. The show was over, the appointment book cleared. It was time to ride.

Han is very familiar with the mountain and always enjoys the challenge having faced it quite a few times in the past. Gijs had attempted the climb once before but just come up short.

To get a better idea of what it takes to cycle up the 50 odd km and 2,800m of climbing check this post out. The destination is the pass at Wuling. Altitude 3275m.

Gijs, 61, is in a little better condition than Han so resolved to climb from the departure point at Puli. Han went a ways up the climb to begin his ascent.

He Huan Shan

Gijs readies himself.

He Huan Shan

Han sees him off. It’s around 1pm but they’ll have to get a hurry on if they want to get to the top by dark in around 5hrs. Here it’s full sunshine and in the high 20s. As they ascend, though, the temperature will drop dramatically.

He Huan Shan

Gijs sets a good pace heading into the first grades. We pass him and go further up the mountain.

He Huan Shan

The bikes are kept at my office for occasions just like these. Han takes his for a test ride around the car park.

He Huan Shan

Just need to dial in the front brakes.

He Huan Shan

Gijs catches us up and takes the opportunity to have a cold coke.

He Huan Shan

Then it’s back into it. Grades get more serious from here.

He Huan Shan

Around a curve and up one of the many steep ramps.

He Huan Shan

A piece of cake.

He Huan Shan

But the last 10km to the top are the ones which hurt. And the clouds are closing in

He Huan Shan

Han, head down, concentrates on the job.

He Huan Shan

Got through that section. But there are many more to go. And the light is fading.

He Huan Shan

Still below the clouds, so the afternoon chill is not yet a problem.

He Huan Shan

Up and up, and on and on.

He Huan Shan

Stretch the left.

He Huan Shan

Stretch the right.

He Huan Shan

The end is within reach.

He Huan Shan

He Huan Shan

But it just gets tougher and tougher.

He Huan Shan

He Huan Shan

A more or less level section.

He Huan Shan

But the cloud is really closing in.

He Huan Shan

The cloud briefly clears but there is still 6 odd km to go. That is a long way on He Huan Shan. The light won’t last.

He Huan Shan

So the bikes having been loaded, we head up to at least set foot on the pass. Gijs laments that he has just missed out completing the climb once again. Actually he lost a lot of time earlier by taking a wrong turn. Otherwise it would have been in the bag.

He Huan Shan

Han pays his respects to Gijs who came so close to making the whole distance.

He Huan Shan

The pass at Wuling. Gijs hopes he can find the time to get back and give it another try sometime in the future. Han has resolved to be back to his mountain for another attempt, perhaps next year.

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