ASC 2021: road race, Raton Pass

The American Solar Challenge has reached the 7,840 ft (2,390 m) Raton Pass. The updated chart above shows my best estimate of the current state of play in the SOV class. MIT has climbed the pass, as has Principia (and App State in the MOV class).

The Pass is tough, climbing 558 m in 22 km (2.5%), with a maximum grade of 6% on the steepest sections. Marion Sloan Russell, in her memoir Land of Enchantment, writes:

Breaking camp while it was still early, our cavalcade began the steep and tortuous ascent of the Raton Pass. Today we glide easily over hairpin curves that in 1860 meant broken axles and crippled horses. The trail was a faint wheel mark winding in and out over fallen trees and huge boulders.

Principia’s Ra XI climbs the Raton Pass (credit: PrinSolar)


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