Last Saturday (7/30), Mick set off on the Summer 400K pre-ride from the Best Western Arlington (3721 172nd St NE, Arlington). In short, this is a beautiful and challenging 400K (I know, all 400K’s are challenging), which will require planning to ensure riders have enough calories, electrolytes and water. Mick had two bottles and a camelback, and needed all of that capacity.
I’ll expand on this below, but here are the significant points where riders will have to opportunity to take on fluids and calories:
Darrington (55K)- store, restaurant
Marblemount (100K)- store, restaurant
Newhalem (123K)- water, toilets at Info Ctr
Colonial Creek (139K)- water, toilets in campground
Canyon Creek Trailhead (156K)- water, toilets (SIR staffed)
Washington Pass Overlook (191K)- water, toilets, snacks (SIR staffed)
Colonial Creek (242K)- water, toilets in campground
Newhalem (259K)- water, toilets at Info Ctr
Marblemount (282K)- store, restaurant
Concrete (310K)- store (10pm), restaurant
Clear Lake (353K) Clear Lake Market (10:30pm), Evelyn’s Tavern (midnight)
Big Lake (362K) Big Lake Grocery (10:00pm)
The start takes us out on Smokey Pt. Blvd, and within 5K we’re on WA-530. There were wisps of fog still in the fields on our way to Oso and Darrington, and not much traffic at that hour. The store at the gas station in Darrington is at 55K, at the left turn to stay on WA-530, but some riders may choose to wait to refuel until Marblemount (100K, 100m off course).
It’s river grade climbing following the Skagit river to Newhalem, where everyone should stop to take on water for the climbing to follow. There will only be water available at the Info Ctr, the store there is closed.
After Newhalem, the climbing starts in earnest. Earlier in the day, much of the climb is shaded. Take advantage of the occasional waterfall close by the road to cool off! There will be water and toilets available at Colonial Creek Campground, 100m from entrance on either side of the road. We will also have water available at the Canyon Creek Trailhead, in a shaded gravel parking area.
The turnaround is at the Washington Pass Overlook. There are toilets, and it will be SIR- staffed with water and snacks. Mick arrived there with approximately 9 hours on the clock for his first half of the ride.
Riders should be able to make better time getting back to Marblemount, possibly stopping for water at Colonial Creek and/or Newhalem. All riders should find a couple choices for food and restaurants in Marblemount (282K) and Concrete (310K).
In Concrete, we’ll take Concrete- Sauk Valley Rd and S. Skagit Hwy, shadier and quieter alternatives to WA-20. Near Sedro Woolley, we’ll take WA-9 to the Nakashima Barn and the Centennial Trail back to Arlington. Note that most of the stores after Concrete close by 10 or 10:30.
The finish is back at the Best Western where cold beer and pizza will be waiting for you. I hope to see you at the 0500 start on 8/6! Registration is online here.