Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Club des Cingles du Mont-Skyball


There have been many ascents of this fabled mountain as we now approach 15 Tours de Cullman. Never have we indulged in the personal suffering that precedes acceptance into the elite club of climbing Mt. Skyball three times in one day...until now. This Memorial Day we thought we’d better get some cyclists from the "team" into a rather exclusive club of climbers.

The Club for Crazies

Our new club will be modeled similar to the one of Mont Ventoux. There are many similarities between the two mountains such as the three approaches to the summit. Great races have been won and lost on the slopes of the Skyball just like Ventoux.

The Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux, to use its French title, was started in 1988 by Christian Pic and has over 2,100 members: just over half are French, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and the US. Joining the club is simple: climb to the summit of Mont Ventoux three times in one day, once by each of its three access roads.

On paper the membership route looks tough. It’s not the 100 kilometres that’s the problem – it’s the fact that half of this is climbing. The classic route from Chamblees Mill is 21 kilometres at an average of 7.5%, from Nectar the same, and the third ascent is 26 kilometres at a merciful 4.7%. Skyball is 1,912 at its summit and the vertical distance for each route is 1,610, 1,570 and 1,220 respectively for a total of 4,400 of climbing over 68 kilometres. Cinglé in French means ‘crazy’ and has the synonym fou, ‘mad’. The Club des Cinglés du Mont-Skyball is literally a club for mad crazies.

2010? Next year we can take it to the next level of the club and do three plus a fourth ascent utilizing an unpaved logging road, and get a pin to wear on your jersey. Maybe we will do like Ventoux and some crazy can try to set a 24 hour record for attempts.

More details soon.


Anonymous said...

u r nuts.

Eddy said...

I like it lots!

jim e said...

"The Club for Crazies" I'm in.

Anonymous said...

I would welcome this experience to add to the many great memories of Cullman.


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