In this situation the smartest riders have some respectable tread on their wider tires. Even if you are able to find a safe line going up at a slower speed, your descent may prove challenging at perhaps a faster clip. If you arrive after the snows already started, cars have compacted the snow on the road to make it rather slippery. In this case you also may not be able to see where the residual icy spots remain (usually in the areas that are shady all day at that time of year) from the last blast of wintry mix.
The attendant picture of Ray Bolton was taken when a squall started while we were having coffee at Pahaska Teepee. It blew in quickly. One of Ray’s personal rules was that he could not count a ride unless he rode up AND down the mountain. Since he had already ridden up, all he had to do was keep himself upright until he arrived at the bottom. Had he slid half way down, we would have counted on the guardrails to keep him toward the middle of the road and prayed for no uphill traffic. Rick and I followed him in my car with Rick’s bike in the back. Ray managed to stay pretty close to his uphill speed on the descent. He never put his left foot into the peddle. (Not that his plastic cleat would have provided much braking power had he decided to put his foot down on the show covered pavement.) In the car we were constantly commenting and betting on his ability to keep the rubber side down. At each hairpin he would practically come to a stop to negotiate the 180 degree change in direction. The car occupants stayed well behind him while taking the pictures necessary to document what we considered to be a death defying attempt worthy of writing up some day.
He made it. And he smiled through very rosy cheeks to prove that the challenges of riding Lookout in excessively bad conditions may not be for the faint of heart, but in this case the one out of ten odds were in Ray’s favor.