Back in B'ham after three days of ridin' slash book research including mucho hill climbing. Skykomish to Leavenworth via Stevens Pass on Wed., 40 miles near Chelan including McNeil Canyon (steepest hill I've ever climbed) on Thurs., and a fun L'worth-Plain-L'worth 40-miler this morning.
McNeil Canyon, above two pics, is psycho steep! Climbs 2,200 feet in 5 miles. My Garmin Edge was reading 15 percent and above near the top. No less an authority than Seattle's Tom Meloy, who rides 10,000 miles and climbs 500,000 feet a year, says it's harder than the Galibier, Alpe D'Huez and Co de la Madeleine, all of which he's climbed. Personally, I found the descent absolutely hair-raising and admit that I walked a bit of it. (The descent, that is, not the ascent; the broken collarbone still has me a tad sheepish on descents.)
Above, the Columbia River. McNeil Canyon is the large mass to the left. It put the hurt on me.