I am putting new wheels on my bicycle and I want to be able to smoothly transition from flat Indiana roads to Mt. Washington, or Mt. Evans, or any mountain in this country (I think Mt. Evans is harder than Washington--I've raced Evans five times) or Pikes Peak?
No comments on your gearing question. But I have climbed Mt. Evans about 10 years ago. Its just a regular Rocky Mountain climb. 5-6-7% grade for 10 plus miles or so. Nothing difficult. Just need a somewhat lower gear and time to sit and pedal up it. 10 years ago I was much younger, and much fitter too. Had a low gear of 30x29 I think. Pretty low. Not sure I used the low gear though. The Rockies aren't steep. Just long. Unless your physical condition is just abysmal, I don't think any special gearing is necessary for Mt. Evans. I'm confident the old geriatric seniors I ride with each Saturday morning could get up it with no problems using a 34x32 low gear.
I climbed Mt. Evans in June 2007. Left Idaho Springs about 1PM or so. I was at the summit at about 4PM. The park ranger said it was the latest in the day he had ever seen a bicyclist at the summit. There were snow flakes, flurries as I descended off the top. Just a couple miles near the top on the switchbacks. The old rule about climbing mountains in the morning before Noon is true. It can snow on mountain tops in the afternoon.