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Stage 503 – Siwash Ridge to Pickhandle Lake

Here’s a stage that finishes a couple of hundred feet lower than it starts, and it also descends a couple of hundred feet more than it climbs. But that’s not the thing that draws your attention to this stage: it’s the big lump in the middle, straddled either side of halfway. In fact, the dip between its two peaks is roughly speaking the halfway line: that’s the focus of stage 503. The stage trundles south from Siwash Ridge to the narrowing of the White River before it hangs a left to head south east for the remainder of the stage: it’s simple but challenging.

The rollout climbs for a few feet over the first mile or so but it’s nothing to trouble the scorers. Then from just short of two miles down to an unnamed bunch of water at six miles, it’s “Hey Ho” time: it’s a gradual descent with a blip at three miles, but it’s also a nice way to start the stage.

Enter the lump. Between miles six and nine, where’s another bunch of water, the Alaska Highway climbs two hundred feet on a lumpy climb. Then there’s a dip down to eleven miles which trims about fifty feet off that. But it’s short lived respite because by twelve miles, you’re back up to the highest elevation on the stage: that’s the second peak of the lump.

Then the fun starts. The descent down to eighteen miles reveals the lowest elevation of the stage. The road crosses the White River at thirteen miles on the aforementioned left hander, before snaking left/right through a series of small lakes, crossing a completely separate stream of the White River at eighteen miles, before climbing, all over again under the watchful eye of a ridge on the eastern (left) hand side of the road. That climb tops out at Wolverine Lake at twenty miles before thankfully, a downhill run in to the finish alongside the top end of Pickhandle Lake.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 650 feet / 198 metres

RGT Magic Road: 08UbTPYNoUiP

Total distance: 21.92 mi
Max elevation: 2512 ft
Min elevation: 2233 ft
Total climbing: 650 ft
Total descent: -823 ft

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