Sunday, August 30, 2015

Governor Basin to Marshall Basin

We did a 31.5 mile, multi pass loop with over 10k climbing starting at Richmond Trail in Ironton going up and over Richmond Pass down into Camp Bird then up to Governor Basin and down to Marshall Basin then over to the Liberty Bell Trail on into Telluride for a quick snack at Backed in Telluride.  From there is was up and over Black Bear Pass down to Red Mountain Pass.  Big day and it was fun running with Charles of Everrun Racing and Luke from Montrose.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Not a Bad Week

So I got to run Wolverine Peak in Alaska, Snoqualmie Pass and the PCT in Washington and then come home to the local stuff - Red Mountain Pass to Black Bear Pass, down into Telluride, back up Imogene Pass and then summit Telluride Peak.  At the summit I was able to spot a route back over to Black Bear Pass on old and seldom used trails + some cross county running.  A nice loop just short of 30 miles.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

PCT Suprise

I was in Seattle and had to travel to do some work over by Wenatchee.  So I planned to spend a good 7 hours driving, make my appointment and somewhere in the middle get in a run.  I mapped out a loop near Wenatchee but on the way there I found the skies to be dark in smoke from a large forest fire near Lake Chelan.  I could barely see in Wenatchee, it was bad.

On the way over I spotted a mountain pass on and after seeing how bad it was in Wenatchee I headed back to the pass.  Turns out it is a very popular area - Snoqualmie Pass and at Exit 52 I found a trail head.  Not just any trail head either, but one for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT),  which passes right through Snoqualmie.  This was definitely luck for the ages.  I got in another 11 mile run with some good climbing on excellent trails.  It is hard to believe such a great trail system is right off the interstate highway - and I mean right off - the turnoff for parking was ~500 ft. from the overpass.

Mt. Ranier in the distance.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wolverine Peak - Chugach State Park

I had some work up in Anchorage and made a point to get there a day early and check out the local scenery.  10 minutes from the hotel was the Prospect Trailhead at Chugach State Park and I set out for a run up to Wolverine Peak.  The route was 11 miles round trip with 3700 ft of climbing.  However my flight got in past midnight and with the slow moving AVIS counter my head hit the pillow at 2:30 AM local time, 4:30 AM on my body clock.  With the rain forecast and lack of sleep this was going to be a challenge.  
 The forecast was 90% rain for the day with highs in the low 60s down below.  It was pretty cool (high 40's up top), but with the rain gear I made out fine.  The trail had some steep sections but nothing too difficult.  Signs were posted that a brown bear had recently killed a moose in the area, which seemed to scare the locals but my line of thinking was that the bear was probably not as hungry right now.
 Up top, I noticed mountain goats off further down the ridge.  I like viewing wildlife on my own and did not want to bother them by sneaking closer for a photo.  
 I really enjoyed this run and also my visit to Anchorage.  This is a really cool town and the people there were great.  I stayed near the UA-Anchorage which is just a beautiful campus and there were many trails right outside the hotel.  

I finished up the run, got some good local food and went to sleep.  I needed it!

Alaska is a state that I definitely need to spend some more time exploring.  An owner of the company I worked for while up there clued me into some tough running races they have so I may try to do a race adventure sometime soon.  I've got a contact up there now so i may be back.

So to give you perspective, the Prospect TH is one of several trail heads at the edge of the Chugach SP in Anchorage.  There is a lower section complete with stacked loops mountain bikers and dog walkers use and then some higher more challenging trails like this available.  It took me less than 90 minutes to make it to the top and that included some breaks and photos.  There is a really nice neighborhood with homes on large lots below - from $400k to $1M.  Hard to imagine that people have this place year round right out their doors, while living in a city the size of Anchorage.  The B/C skiing there must be phenomenal.  We have all kinds of cool mountains in Durango - but as for a city Anchorage, AK has to be the closest thing you can get to a mountain town.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mini-Mag + Middle Fork

I headed up to Silverton on Sunday starting at the bottom of Minnie Gulch, then over the backside down to Middle Fork on one of the most amazing pieces of singletrack in the area.  From there it was back up to the next gulch over called Maggie Gulch and down to near where I started.  My map is old and showed the Continental Divide Trail down at Middle Fork, but they apparently re-routed the trail at the passes between Minnie and Maggie.  If I had detoured onto the CDT at Minnie it would have been a much shorter run, but the backside of Minnie was well worth it.  This was the first time in a few years that running down a piece of singletrack made me wish I had been on my mountain bike instead of running.  I ski these basins, so this was nice to run in the summer.  Definitely will be back to explore more trails in the area!

Friday, August 07, 2015

CDT Trail Run

Continental Divide Trail run at Wolf Creek pass on the way to Denver for work.  

All the dead trees from a serious bark beetle infestation the area has had over the last few years.  Really sad to see.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another big day!

Up the road from 550 through Brown Gulch meandering to Red Mountain Pass then through abandoned roads leading to straight uphill scree / rock field to the peak - Red Mountain No.3. Dropped off the backside to Prospect Gulch right to the base of Silverton Mountain ski area, then Silverton and paved road back to the start. Big Day!