What is it that makes Climb to Kaiser such an amazingly challenging ride? Three main factors:
It’s not just the amount of climbing, it is the degree of climbing. The first real climb, the Wildcat Climb, averages 10% grade. Then there is the Tollhouse Climb that has segments of 15 and 19% grades. After that, is the Big Creek Climb with segments of over 20% grade. The biggie, the Climb to Kaiser, entails 7 miles of climbing at gradients up to 20+%.
You would think this would be enough of a challenge, but then you throw in the climate issues and that can make a big difference. There have been years where there were hail storms in the mountains and sweltering heat in the valley. This year's ride will be the 44th event, having missed the last two years due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The past several years have presented many challenges in order to hold the event. Besides the impact from COVID, there have been severe storms that washed out roadways, which had to be repaired and finished in time to have the event. There has been heavy snow on the pass that didn’t get cleared until a week before the event. One year, the event had to be rescheduled due to event scheduling conflict with Shaver Lake community and their fireworks display for Independence Day.
We have been keeping track of the Climb to Kaiser (C2K) Finishers via computer since 1997. During this time there have been 2,281 riders that have finished the C2K. Of that number, the following is a breakdown of the number of times riders have completed the ride.
Not categorized is the number of registered riders that either “DNF’d” (did not finish) or “DQ’d” (disqualified), for violating C2K rules such as using personal SAG or taking a shortcut.
- 1,492 completed it 1 time,
- 401 @ 2 times,
- 180 @ 3 times,
- 96 @ 4 times,
- 41 @ 5 times,
- 27 @ 6 times,
- 15 @ 7 times,
- 5 @ 8 times,
- 6 @ 10 times,
- 5 @ 9 times,
- 4 @ 11 times,
- 2 @ 12 times,
- 3 @ 13 times,
- Tom Braner @ 14 times,
- Wayne Hotzakorgian @ 16 times,
- Nick Lucich (Kaiserman) @ 17 times
- Larry Hubert @ 18 times.