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To ride from sea level to Pico Veleta summit

edited April 2019 in Tour & expedition
I'm heading to Motril at the end of the month to attempt a bucketlist ride or 2 from sea level to the summit.
I won't have any altitude acclimatization and half expect to fail the full height ride on the first attempt - playing safe if I start to feel any effects of medium intensity cycle exertion high up......but will I?
The peak is 3350m.
Can anyone advise if this is likely, after taking it steady until perhaps descending, or not at all?
I've felt the effects of low oxygen at top of cable car lift near the top of Mt Tiede (3600m), that had quickly risen from 2400m, in Tenerife, but was surprised how normal it felt at the Cime de la Bonette peak (2800m) - am I worrying too much, when i'll be rising much slower on Veleta cycle ascent?

Bought some Altitude sickness Acetyzolamide tabs as a precaution and test try now (for side effects), but hoping to not take any on the rides.
Aiming to ride up the main 2 different routes to the peak on separate Solo rides (no one else I know is up for the challenge :-S ).

Thinking I might have more trouble with the weather - cold up high vs heat below & wind-chill. Hoping snow hasn't started just yet.

Are there likely to be other riders heading to the peak, at this time of the season?

Nb I live at sea level, in UK

Posts

  • What's your biggest climb to date?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • What's your biggest climb to date?
    Hi SS, Puig Major in Majorca is my biggest to date c.1000m. It was my chosen slope for my Everest ride last year: https://www.strava.com/activities/971569016#23796605749
  • I rode up the Galibier(2645m) during this years La Marmotte and didn't notice any altitude sickness or change. It was obviously hard as part of that event but I wouldn't attribute any of it to the altitude. However everyone is different so you don't really know until you try. Best advice is take it steady and stop if you need to. If in doubt turn back as you don't want to make yourself ill or get in to trouble in those sort of areas.
  • Cheers Jethers, and well done getting through the Marmotte slog! I drove up Galibier years ago and didn't even think to be prepared!...then on up to cime de la Bonette (2800m) when I WAS happily surprised that I wasn't out of breathe, on a wander and jog around the loop road, after remembering my experience at Mt Tiede in 2004.

    After reading www.medex.org.uk/v26 booklet.pdf and many other reports of rides etc around Veleta, go steady and turn back if in doubt,like you say, will be the plan. To be loaded up with a few Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Acetyzolamide (not to be taken at the same time) too.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,239
    Nice one!

    Yeah, never had any altitude sickness problems on any climb..

    How was your trip planned? Fly to? Stayed at? Hired bike?
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • durhamwasp wrote:
    Nice one!

    Yeah, never had any altitude sickness problems on any climb..

    How was your trip planned? Fly to? Stayed at? Hired bike?

    Cheers Durham!
    Was....a slog!
    Went down with a snotty nose and cough 2 days before flying out, but luckily it didn't get below the neck.
    Had an idea 4 years ago to want to do big climbs. Not just the few local 600footers, not 2000footers up north, not 5,000footer alpine types but the world's biggest tarmac (i don't ride mtb) climbs, and to maximise the climb, it had to be from the seaside, all in one ride (that didn't kill me!). Highest I’ve found, under 100miles from the coast is Ticlio (4850m), Peru, which was my Ambition. But after the Veleta ride and with life’s other demands now, the Ticlio epic is now shelved. So thought, I’d start by trying a more local highest tarmac climb: Veleta: highest tarmac in Europe, which just so happens to be 70miles from the nearest Med Coast.
    9 weeks ago, after asking others for a few years, realised no one else fancied it, so better get on with it, especially as conditions on the Granada to Veleta-top route are best ridden only in certain months (June, Sept) and flying to Spain after next March could be different to what it is now, at least for a while. So had to ride before the snow comes onto Veleta in October >> go go go now!
    Flew with my Cannondale CAAD10 everything bike and all weathers clothing, Bournemouth-Malaga
    Drove Malaga-Charca de Suarez Beach (near Motril)
    Stayed Hotel Estrella in Charca: very Spanish – food was bit rubbish, but area was like a deserted, but decent beach resort – odd!
    Easy, short ride around first afternoon.
    Attempt to ride south side of Veleta on 2nd day to get a feel for altitude and see how useable that route was to get to top of come down after riding up the better side – see my Strava report in above post.
    Big ride day on 3rd day – back in the dark – too late….! Should have researched bus transport from Granada to Charca. After achieving the ride-to-peak mission success I didn’t need to ride ALL the way back.
    Recovery ride on 4th day.
    Up extremely early on 5th day > back to Malaga > Bournemouth.
    Mission success, but I don’t need to do 12+ hour rides anymore!...

    Are you planning something like this Durham?
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 806
    I love these rides too! There's the Blockhaus in Central Italy; 100 km from the beach at Francavilla (near Pescara) to the top, around 2200m above sea level.
  • When Australia had its bicentenary in 1988, I decided to see out the year by organising a 31 December Audax ride from sea level to the top of Australia's highest mountain (Mt Kosciusko, 2228m). There were about half a dozen riders crazy enough to join me, and we started at 6am at Tathra wharf, the closest bit of coast with a road leading inland, and finished just after sunset. The final 8km from Charlotte Pass to the Kosciusko summit was unsealed, and we had all sorts of weather, from over 30C temperatures around Cooma to a hailstorm near the finish. The total distance was 242km with ~4800m of climbing.

    We saw out the New Year in a cabin we had booked at the Sawpit Creek campground.
  • DaveP1 wrote:
    I love these rides too! There's the Blockhaus in Central Italy; 100 km from the beach at Francavilla (near Pescara) to the top, around 2200m above sea level.

    I'd still love...quite like.. them(!)...if it wasn't solo, had more time to prep in the area and had better food (trying to stay Vegan in Native Spain and also not speaking much spanish was the other big challenge!).

    Nice riding in Italy. There's gotta be plenty of happy high explorations to be had there
  • Nick Payne wrote:
    When Australia had its bicentenary in 1988, I decided to see out the year by organising a 31 December Audax ride from sea level to the top of Australia's highest mountain (Mt Kosciusko, 2228m). There were about half a dozen riders crazy enough to join me, and we started at 6am at Tathra wharf, the closest bit of coast with a road leading inland, and finished just after sunset. The final 8km from Charlotte Pass to the Kosciusko summit was unsealed, and we had all sorts of weather, from over 30C temperatures around Cooma to a hailstorm near the finish. The total distance was 242km with ~4800m of climbing.

    We saw out the New Year in a cabin we had booked at the Sawpit Creek campground.

    A long way inland Nick! Good effort. Veleta summit wasn't tarmac at all...track of mini boulders for the last 300m and v broken before that for last kms. Great having a team around you.
  • Unfortunately roughly since this epic ride I've now got regular lower back pain that I'm trying to remedy and my knee, that was occassional and quietly clicky, is now permanent and louder, everytime i descend on the left leg :? :(

    Chiro for back ongoing. Stretches, all sorts. Hopefully it'll fix soon
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