I'm surprised this list hasn't been closed yet. I have finished the run
both ways plus an additional 90 mile tour in the counterclockwise
direction. As Charlie Thorn would say, both ways are just as easy.
Seriously, I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both ways in
terms of difficulty. I am just glad that the direction is switched every
year because it really does feel a lot different going one way over the
other and makes the event that much bigger. In order to truly complete
Hardrock, you have to do it both ways, right?
I would have to agree with most that the CCW direction at least feels more
difficult. Not only do you have more opportunity to be using all four
limbs on the climbs but it seems that after many of the climbs the descents
are such that you don't get much of a break because they are often too
rugged to have an easy, restful run downhill.
I do have a preference though, I like the CCW direction. Since Ouray is a
major stop, I like to have 7 climbs behind me when I reach it, as opposed
to in front of me. The views are spectacular in all directions but I like
looking in the CCW direction for some reason and the whole sequence of
events better. This is in spite of having my first and only DNF while
traveling in this direction.
I will have to admit, in a high snow year, going clockwise is a hoot. You
have the steep descents that are fill with snow so that you can do some
high speed traveling on your butt. Since it was so dry this year, maybe we
will have some snow next year to add to the fun.
tieline: 419-7020, 6-7020
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