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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got to try the biggest paved-road climb in the Hudson valley and it was somewhat interesting. It's from Ellenville up to Cragsmoor (by the southern border of Ulster county on or parallel to Rt 52, can find it on this map)
It goes on at least four different roads, so I'm just calling it "Cragsmoor West" -- because Cragsmoor is the named village at the top, but there's another worthy climb to it from a different direction. (somebody else called it "South Gully", but there's no sign out there on the roads with that).

Total climbing is about 1700-1750 vertical feet. (I think the second highest is Sugar Loaf at 1650-1700ft, third is Slide Mt rt 47 at 1450ft ... or perhaps Rt 44 Minnewaska from east side, depending on how choose to count it.)
lots more details about "Cragsmoor West"
That page has some others of my favorite climbs in the Hudson valley (also shown on this map). I've been doing climbs up there longer than in New Jersey, but there's so many in southern New York that I'm not going to attempt to make a list ranked by steepness difficulty like I've tried for NJ.​
"Vista Maria" was the climb that got me to come to Cragsmoor that day. Thought I grew up in the Hudson valley and was an officer of a Hudson valley bicycling club for several years, the only way I ever heard of it was on the NYCC website -- thanks to Hank Schiffman for putting it out there (and also the "Cragsmoor West" climb under a different name).

Vista Maria Rd has a very steep section, 450 vertical feet at 14%, and much of that is 16% of more. The whole climb is about 1300 vertical feet together with three other roads, and two of those roads have steep sections of their own.
Toughest in the Hudson valley? Vista Maria is a good candidate -- I'm open to more nominations.
lots more details about "Vista Maria"
Whoops -- "Cragsmoor West" is not the biggest climb in the Hudson Valley. Turns out that Mt Greylock in northwest Massachusetts is surrounded mostly by land that drains to the Hoosic River, which flows into the Hudson River. The climb on paved roads up the north side of Mt Greylock is almost 2800 vertical feet. So I'd better say, "Cragsmoor West is the biggest climb in the Hudson valley south of Albany".​
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
stoked said:
What gears are you running during these climbs? Compact? triple ring? 53x25?
My chainrings are 52, 39 and my cogs are 13-26, so my low gear is 39 / 26, a gear ratio of 1.5 -- I guess that's lower than lots of serious road riders.

I'm actually kind of surprised I can get up some of these steep climbs. I've never been a racer, I'm not real fast. When I ride popular long climbs which are not real steep, most people pass me.
My theory is that I've got pretty strong leg muscles, but not fast muscles. And I've been focusing my training on steep hills, so I've developed good balance and control for going pretty slowly up them.

I saw this article today on nytimes.com quoting this racer as saying he doesn't have to train on hills in order to do well in races with hills. Doesn't fit for me on seriously steep hills. I'm convinced I'm succeeding on steep hills this year because I've been riding lots of steep hills this year.

Ken
 

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South Gulley to Sam's Point and Vista Maria are the two best climbs in Ellenville. If you head out to Grahamsville you will find the mentioned Sugarloaf, along with Glade Hill, which I think is the toughest climb in the area. Denman Mt. Rd. offers a gut check 28% grade for 100yds after you finish the 1000 ft climb to get there. Moore Hill Rd & Greenville Mt. Rd round out the 1000ft climbs around Grahamsvillle. If you head a little further west towards Livingston Manor/Roscoe you will find Back Shandalee, Huber, Dutch Hill, Shandelee, White Roe Lake, & Tennanah Lake Rd. all worthy climbs.
I'm local to the Grahamsville area so I know all the climbs intamently. There is one other local rider who hits the climbs with me regularly. If your in the area again feel free to look us up (send pm).
 

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I'm in southeastern dutchess county and there are some cute ones around here. Not sure of the elevation gain (nor the mileage), but Carter Road off of Route 7 in CT (just south of Kent Falls, CT) is an HC climb used frequently in the Tour of CT, also nearby are CT 45 up from Rt. 7 and also CT 341 from Kent to Warren, Skiff Mtn Road (also out of Kent) is over 1000 vertical feet.
Further north, there's Mt. Washington (MA) from the NY side-- from Taconic State Park up to Bash Bish Falls and then over into MA.
Staying in Dutchess County, there's Wingdale Mountain (blueberry hill), which is the finish for the Unionvale RR-- the other side (Pleasant Ridge Road - from Wingdale) is also a good climb-- In Pawling, Blackberry Hill goes up to Pawling Lake- not very long, but almost the entire run is at 18%
That's all I can think of offhand (at the moment)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mdeth1313 said:
In Pawling, Blackberry Hill goes up to Pawling Lake- not very long, but almost the entire run is at 18%
Yes that gets my attention -- looks like the steep section goes on for 375 vertical feet -- hope I get to try it. Blueberry Hill could be a good warmup.

Mdeth1313 said:
Skiff Mtn Road (also out of Kent) is over 1000 vertical feet.
Further north, there's Mt. Washington (MA) from the NY side-- from Taconic State Park up to Bash Bish Falls and then over into MA.
I remember long ago Sharon and I getting ready to start riding from Kent, and some guy walking by told us there was some nice bicycling roads up on top of Skiff Mt. So we said thanks, we'll ride up there. He said, "No, you can't ride up Skiff Mountain Rd -- you take your bikes up on your car."
I know some people like to climb the Bash Bish Rd, but somehow I haven't been able to get into it.​
catskillclimber said:
Denman Mt. Rd. offers a gut check 28% grade for 100yds after you finish the 1000 ft climb to get there.
Last time I was out there I'm remembering that I wanted to try Denman Mt Rd just after climbing up Glade Hill, so I started going down it, but my memory is that the upper part of Denman starting from Moore Hill Rd was very rough (maybe rocks?) so I just gave up and went back to Moore Hill + Glade Hill. Does the lower part pf Denman Mt have a better surface?

Ken
 

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there is a very short stretch of 100ft that connects Moore Hill Rd. to Denman Mt. Rd.. There used to be 3/4mile stretch (seasonal rd) at the top of Denman that was dirt but had been graded and covered with chip stone a couple of years ago. Very rideable except in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks -- so next time I should try riding Denman Mt road from the bottom.

catskillclimber said:
there is a very short stretch of 100ft that connects Moore Hill Rd. to Denman Mt. Rd.. There used to be 3/4mile stretch (seasonal rd) at the top of Denman that was dirt but had been graded and covered with chip stone a couple of years ago. Very rideable except in the winter.
 

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Mdeth1313 said:
Staying in Dutchess County, there's Wingdale Mountain (blueberry hill), which is the finish for the Unionvale RR
That climb is killer after 3 fairly hilly "regular" laps (it's a good thing to be cat 4 35+sometimes - wouldn't want to do more!). No shade with a near midday sun and mid-summer temps. I once had to stop due to leg seizing cramps. I'm not nearly the only one this has happened to.
 

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I live in ulster county, so when I really want to suffer, or just punish an out of towner, i just go to Platte clove:thumbsup: . you can put together a great hill hunter ride anywhere between New Paltz and woodstock.and woodstock.
 
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