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High Pass Challenge (HPC)
August 31 @ 7:00 am - 5:00 pm PDT
An event every year that begins at 7:00 am on day last of August, repeating until September 1, 2025
The 300-500 riders on HPC will be faced with a challenging obstacle, a strenuous (7,500 feet of elevation gain over 104 miles) mountain climb that leads riders through the beautiful Gifford Pinchot National Forest, via Independence Pass. Including stunning views of Spirit Lake and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The ride starts and ends in Packwood, Washington. The halfway point (summit of the climb) is at scenic Windy Ridge which overlooks the Mount St. Helen’s blast zone. The event does include an (optional) timed to the top segment. Results will be posted online post-event. All riders will receive a finisher t-shirt, lunch/food stops, and road support. The use of this pristine route was made possible by a special arrangement with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Monument. This is one of the most beautiful and unique places on earth, and a ride you do not want to miss!
6 a.m. – Packet pickup and registration opens
7 a.m. – Start Line opens
8 a.m. – Start Line closes
1 p.m. – Finish Line opens
1 – 5:30 p.m. – Free post-ride picnic lunch
5 p.m. Finish Line Closes
Timing to the Top
Medals are awarded at the Finish Line Festival based on how quickly riders make it to the top of Windy Ridge. This is done based on a 7:00 a.m. start time for ALL riders (i.e. if you start at 7:30 a.m. the timing still reflects a 7:00 a.m. start).
The best time to the top is 9:35 a.m. (that is 2:35:41 min.) this was set in 2019.
10:30 a.m. Gold Ribbon Medal
10:31 – 11:30 a.m. Silver Ribbon Medal
11:31 – 2:00 p.m. Bronze Ribbon Medal
All riders must be back to the finish line by 5 p.m. to receive their awards.
The High Pass Challenge (HPC), a ride that takes riders on a 104-mile journey up to Mt. St. Helen’s Windy Ridge and back, was developed for the Cascade Bicycle Club in 2007 by Tom Meloy. Tom became a Ride Leader in 2003 and served on the Cascade Board of Directors in 2007. While on Cascade’s Board of Directors, Tom presented the idea of a new event tailored for hardcore riders; he felt the route from Packwood to Windy Ridge on Mt. St. Helens would be perfect. At the same time, Tom founded the High-Performance Cycling Team for Cascade, and it is no coincidence that both the team and the High Pass Challenge are abbreviated as “HPC.” The goal was to develop both a Cascade event and a cycling team that would appeal to people who like to climb and ride long distances. As the back of the HPC jersey attests, high-performance cyclists like to “Ride Hard, Climb High, and Ride Fast.” The High Pass Challenge provides participants with the opportunity to do all three!”
Event details subject to change; check event websites for details.