Posts Tagged ‘donner pass’

Countdown to Hardrock

Wow, I can’t believe May is almost over. It’s been almost a month since I’ve had time to post any updates here. I’ve been too busy trying to keep up with work in between training and have been spending all of my spare time obsessing over weather reports, snow levels, maps, and split times.

Overall, May has been a great month. Unfortunately our record snow pack conditions have prevented me from getting up in elevation very far so I’ve tried to concentrated on increasing the quality of my training with a little better effort on my long runs, speed work, and strength training.

I started the month with a great 50 mile run with Victoria at Collegiate Peaks.

Victoria at the Collegiate Peaks 50 Miler

Got a couple good back to back long runs in with Nick’s Crosier Triple Bagger and the Round Up with Nick, Alex, Rob, Slush, Cat, and all the rest of the usual FCTR suspects.

Round Mountain Round Up

This weekend I got out to do some exploring to see how far up I could get from Dunraven. I made it up to 9750ft almost to Donner Pass before getting bogged down in solid shin deep snow. Hopefully the 80 degree days on the forecast this week will melt this off – I may make another attempt to get up and over the pass next weekend.

9750ft on the Donner Pass trail.

And here’s a really good reason that I should never attempt any solo route finding and probably shouldn’t ever enter the Barkley Marathons or any other race that requires the use of a map and compass. Nick and I tried to make it up Crosier via the Sullivan Gulch trailhead today just to try something new and have fun exploring. The trail disappeared after a mile and we spent the next several hours wandering around in circles in the fog. We "found" the trail again just by dumb luck. Our original plan to get in a nice 15-20 mile run ended up at 5.5 miles in just under 3 hours. Fail.

(Click here for a larger map.)

I’ve still managed to keep up with a regular running schedule with Animal House. This month I’ve been working with Mickey but he already has someone interested in adopting him. If it falls through, I’ll post more info about him later.

Mickey from Animal House.

Tomorrow is the start of the final count down to Hardrock. Next week is hell week. I’ll be running more than I plan to work to put in as many long, hard miles, as I can. After that I’ll scale back down to another 100 mile week before winding down a very gradual 3 week taper. If the race were next week, I think I could run it. So I’m feeling really good about having one more opportunity to push some quality training and several weeks to sharpen, taper, and rest up to be ready to go on July 8th.

Fall Colors and 100k Routes

I headed out to Box Prairie with Nick today to run the loop around Monument Gulch, Old Flowers Rd, and West White Pine mountain. As many times as I’ve run up in this area, I’ve never made it around this particular route. This loop is a possible segment for a 100k route that Nick is cooking up so we figured we’d take advantage of some gorgeous fall weather and dry ground while we still can.

The entire area is literally a maze of jeep roads, atv trails, and some single track – all of which change depending on what map you’re looking at. Fortunately, the route we took turned out to be fairly straight forward and well marked. We only passed a few side roads that weren’t identified on any map and only stopped to guess at one fork in the road which turned out to be just a split that reconnected back together a few hundred yards later.

The total round trip turned came out to be 16.3 miles by my GPS with 3,800ft of climbing between 7,800ft and 10,300ft. For a possible 100k route, I think this loop is ideal. Almost all of it is accessible by ATV or a 4WD vehicle so it won’t be difficult to set up regular aid stations and if anything goes wrong, it won’t take long to get help to anyone out on the course. But the route is still challenging and scenic with some great views of Lookout, Signal, Stormy Peaks and Comanche.

And the fall colors today were spectacular. It would be great to run an event here during the peak foliage but it would be fairly risky to organize. Last year, this area was already buried in snow by mid-October.

Click here for the detailed map, elevation profile, and route info.

Here are a few photos from the run today:

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