Inferno Weekend (Or HOLY CRAP, That’s a Lot of Climbing!)

A few months ago, my good friend Callie sent me an email asking if I would like to be part of her relay team for the Tuckerman Inferno.  This is an annual pentathlon (kayak, run, bike, hike, ski) whose entry fees help raise money for the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine.   This organization helps to protect and preserve the unique alpine areas and eastern slops of Mount Washington.

She told me that they were looking for a biker, and that the bike was 18ish miles.

Also there was something about free pizza.

I really love pizza, and I agreed right away.  After all, 18 miles isn’t that far for me considering the volume I am building for Ironman training (EEK! 99 days until Ironman Lake Placid!!)

This should be fun.

So what if I have only biked outside two times since October.  And I have only biked outside on my new bike once and still suck at shifting it at the “opportune times.” 

To be honest, I looked at the elevation profile back when she asked me and I thought, huh. There is some climbing there, but it shouldn’t be too bad.

I just looked at it again this afternoon just for kicks.

whimper, whine, gulp

So, miles 2-5 don’t look so bad.

I figure, if I get to mile 7, I am pretty sure I can get to 18.  According to what I read, that first little “hump” is a 16% grade, and the backside is a crazy 19% grade with bad pavement.  Sweet.

That can’t be true.

Now I am just hoping I don’t have to walk my bike up that thing, and that I don’t kill myself going down the backside. 

All joking (am I joking?) aside, I am stoked for this race.  It is a gorgeous area and will be a great time, I am going to hike up to Tuckerman’s after my bike to meet the team at the finish.  Can’t wait! 

Lots of people are racing this weekend, good luck to all of you!

About caratunkgirl

Short spunky girl from the tiny town of Caratunk, Maine. Active outdoor girl. I am a forester, whitewater raft guide, Ironman and 5x marathoner with Ultra dreams. Always ready for the next adventure with my dog Kineo by my side.
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25 Responses to Inferno Weekend (Or HOLY CRAP, That’s a Lot of Climbing!)

  1. Jess @ THIR says:

    Wow, I thought my last big ride was disgusting 🙁
    Have a ball!

  2. Copychic says:

    Sounds awesome, and that climb looks huuuge. Good luck and have fun! 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness that looks intense! You're going to rock it though. I wish I could ride it with you. Good luck, and I can't wait to hear all about it!

  4. Jason says:


    But seriously repeat after me:


    You CAN so you will DO.

    You got this.

  5. Jason says:


    But seriously repeat after me:


    You CAN so you will DO.

    You got this.

  6. I totally agree with Jason but a compact crankset and an 11/27 or 11/28 cassette will help too…what are you going to ride?

  7. Kovas says:

    I'd borrow Cancellara's bike with the motor.

  8. LB says:

    holy cow….that scares me!!! have fun!!!!

  9. DRog says:


    free pizza


  10. OMG, you are in the double digits…i just pee'd a little, did you?
    I'd give my right arm to ride that elevation. I have done it in Georgia and with the right gearing, i never had to get off the bike. The downside is scary fast but as long as you have good handling skills, braking skills, keep you butt back on the seat, you are golden. Have fun!!

  11. Shannon says:

    wow, have fun 🙂

    no doubt you'll rock it though!!!

    and how crazy is that countdown?!

  12. Karen says:

    Oh MY! What a cool race… I am sure you will be awesome as always.

  13. Matty O says:

    Just keep spinning girl. Keep your cadence under control and smile 🙂

    Free pizza makes us do some stupid shit doesn't it? BDD is running 13.1 for free pizza this weekend!

  14. Laima says:

    Sounds like a cool race!

  15. Ya I got tricked into a half mary for free pizza, the stupid thing we do for free pizza

    Ok, I highly recommend your road bike for this, you will never be in your aero because your climbing the 90% of this. Plus your road bike has a easier gearing for climbing over your TT bike. Just sitting in your granny and chug away.

  16. Coy Martinez says:

    You ride on up that hill like it's yo job! HAHAHA! You're gonna have a blast!

    Riddle me though, why don't they give away free ice cream at the finish? Talk about a race filling up!

  17. Christi says:

    Hey you had me at pizza! Have a great time!

  18. Chris K says:

    When I posted recently about the gnarly hill in my half marathon this Sunday, someone said it looked “sketchy”. I thought that was funny. Reminded me of your nice little hill. Good luck with that.

  19. Colleen says:

    Oooh… I would like miles 6.5 – 8! 🙂

    Pizza… totally worth every bitch and moan through it!


    Oh – and have fun!

  20. Jon says:

    Holy Hills Mandy! Where is this route?

  21. Kelly says:

    That picture makes my stomach turn…have fun! 🙂

  22. Maria says:

    Good Luck, First Lady, I know you'll be awesome….but don't kill yourself on the ride!

    I can totally understand the pull of pizza….although you can get me to do anything for ice cream!

  23. Glenn Jones says:

    30 kms of climbing? You deserve the pizza. And other liquid carbs.

  24. Molly says:

    can't wait for the report for this one!! : )

  25. whoa!!!!!! you weren't shittin' … this is nuts.

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