Hellclimb participants gather in Ashcroft before setting out on a gruelling 18km course.

Cyclists face one heck of a climb on challenging course

Fifth annual Ashcroft Hellclimb attracts three-dozen cyclists

The 5th Annual Ashcroft Hellclimb was held on Sun. June 29. This year there were 36 cyclists challenging the 18km climb of 3000 feet from Ashcroft to the brake check at the top of the hill leading down to Ashcroft from Logan Lake.

Each year this event becomes known to more and more cyclists, with some challenging themselves accomplish the climb itself, and some challenging each other to see who makes it to the top first.

Right after the start a small group of four riders from the Interior Grasslands Cycling Club broke into the lead, which they maintained until the steep section on the hill by the turnoff to the Sundance Guest Ranch. An attack was made by the leader, and suddenly the group of four was down to two. These two cyclists battled it out until the top, with Aaron Weiss of Kamloops leading  with a time of 51 minutes.

Melissa Lowenberg of Kamloops came in first among the women with a time of 62 minutes, and was able to maintain the “Queen of the Mountain” status she also received last year.

Melissa is a very accomplished cyclist and triathlete who went to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii last year. She used the Hellclimb as a training ride to help her qualify once again to go to Kona after she races the Ironman in Whistler in July.

This event attracts so many different people from all different age and skill levels. Participants included a boy of 14 and a man of nearly 80, while two paraplegic athletes tackled the hill as well.

Some of this year’s cyclists ride almost 10,000 kms a year, while at least one hadn’t ridden their bike since last year’s hellclimb. There was even one local who brought his dog, although a special rule for him was that his dog couldn’t pull him up the hill!

There were many local athletes, as well as others from Kamloops, Vernon, and Kelowna. They all have one thing in common, though: they want to get to the top. The Hellclimb is one of the steepest paved climbs in the province.

After the event everyone headed down to the Heritage Park on Railway for a barbecue, with awards and some good old-fashioned mingling. All of them had a great time, and will return next year for the 6th Annual Ashcroft Hellclimb.

A special thank you goes out to Spoke ‘N Motion of Kamloops for donating some draw prizes, as well as to Ian Aitken and my family for volunteering to assist with the event. With their help I was able to race this year, and made a personal record time of 55 minutes for a 4th place finish.


Wayne Little

Just Posted

Cache Creek landfill extension set for September completion

Project has been delayed due to wildfires and floods over past two years

Drag races set to return for Graffiti Days weekend

Annual event features old favourites like the smoke show, and new events like a drive-in movie

Bonaparte River fishway, Thompson steelhead among projects awarded grant funding

More than $9 million will help 170 fish and wildlife projects around B.C.

Wellness clinics provide free, drop-in health information

New service in Clinton helps patients manage their health care and stay out of hospital

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read