The 2013 Hotter 'N Hell Hill Climb @ Mt. Baldy...

"I didn't realize how steep it was until I came back down." That statement uttered by one of the racers at the post-race gathering, really is true about the Baldy climb. I mean sure, you huff and puff heading up, sweat does not so much drip off you as it does rush in a torrent, there is no question you are going up at a steep pitch. But it is not until you turn around, and then 20, 30, 40, even 50 miles per hour tick by in a matter of seconds.

morning registration

racing, with West Baldy in the distance

relaxed before the climb

go Gauchos!

climbing fixed

Jun Hoshino, Cat 4 victor

all effort - Herb Johnson

Greg Leibert, Masters 45+ victor

Seth Britton, Cat 3 victor

Anyway, more than a few people came out to give the mountain t.t. a try. Summer made a grand appearance, as it should; no point in making it any easier than necessary. I settled in with my camera on Shinn Road at the bridge, and just below that first steep ramp, and awaited the first rider. This is the one place along the course where the road doubles back on itself and you can shoot riders coming toward you with Baldy in the background. It is also still within the first two miles of road, so when the riders reached me, all but one were still mostly fresh, had not yet begun to suffer. I heard more than one racer say this was their first time on the road, so kudos to then for giving it a go. That's more dedication than I exhibited today.

Some quite respectable times were set, and some familiar names took home the honors: in the Pro/1/2 race, Alexander Kusztyk finished first with a time of 1:03:03. Seth Britton won from the Cat 3's in a time of 1:08:50. The Masters 35+ went to Peter Smith with a time of 1:03:05. Richard Mull took the Masters 60+ in 1:11:19. Hannah Swan finished ahead of the Junior Women in a time of 1:21:42. Pua Mata finished first of the Women 1/2 in 1:03:58, while Alison Jones with a time of 1:13:27 finished first of the Women 3/4. Greg Leibert won the Masters 45+ in a time of 1:08:08. The Cat 4 was won by Jun Hoshino, 1:06:05, while Anthony Tintelnot won the Cat 5's in 1:03:54. The Masters 55+ went to Jeff Moreton in a time of 1:15:14. Sean Bird finished first of the Junior Men 17/18 with a time of 1:06:52, Nicholas Castelano, in a time of 1:08:32, took the Juniors 15/16, and Massimo Lucidi in the Juniors 13/14 finished with a time of 1:18:26. Not bad at all. More photos are here on flickr, though not all - I pretty much got two or three of each racer.

ah, the post race chatter

back of Jax

grilling the dogs