Hill of Life Triple Step

One of the reasons that my wife and I moved to a Barton Creek home in Travis Country is because I was riding the green belt, a lot. It’s a joy to be able to roll out of the house and be in the trails in less than a minute.

I’ve been riding the green belt since my wife Brenda bought me my first mountain bike (sometime in the 80’s I think), and the toughest challenge has always been the Hill of Life. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a .8 mile 250 foot climb over loose gravel with lots of steps. I spent one summer working on my goal of cleaning the climb, and I still regularly attempt it, although my success rate is pretty low.

The obstacle that usually stops me is what I call the triple step about two thirds of the way up the hill. By that time I’m tired, and the steps are at just the right spacing to catch your front and real wheels at the same time.

This video shows three lines, in increasing level of difficulty, that work for me. The first is a relatively new cheat around the left side. I don’t like to use it, but hey, it works.

The second is my old standby, a right to left diagonal that spaces things out and takes advantage of a couple of rounded edges to smooth the ascent. The biggest problem is staying out of the tree at the top.

The last version is one that I’ve been using with my new 29er. I figured that for as much money as I spent it should go straight up, and it does, (sometimes).

Do you have a favorite line? Post it here and we’ll see how many variations there are.

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