I often travel to the left coast for work and always try to squeeze in a side trip back through Denver or Salt Lake City (SLC) to visit friends. This time the flip of the coin went to SLC so I rang up my buddy Mike to see if he was up for a mountain bike weekend. Mike and his wife Jane transplanted from Denver 20+ years ago and now call Park City home (PC, just 30 minutes up the hill from SLC). They live right outside the front door of PC Ski Area and the Olympic Training Facility. Needless to say there are some hardcore athletes in them 'thar' hills!
I haven't ridden at altitude since moving back to the east coast (we lived in Denver for 12 years and have been back on the right coast for 6) and coupled with my flat land training while recovering from cancer treatment, I was a tad bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle the altitude, but I was up for a good climb. Day 1 was a nice warm-up ride - 15 plus miles @ 10k', just enough to remind me that living at sea level really sucks! We awoke to another bluebird day on day 2. Since Mike felt I survived day 1 ok, he decided we would make the climb to the top of PC ski area. It turned out to be a 4k' climb from the trailhead up 'Puke Hill', aptly named to scare off the tourists, no doubt! After a brutal 60 minute climb in unseasonably warm weather, I made it to the view you see here!
The effort was clearly worth the result. Next time though, I think I will try it later in the day so I can be there for sunset.