Mindy and I are having the time of our lives in the Spanish/Andorra Pyrenees. We’ll write a formal post soon when we’re established at our house in Andorra, but for now check out the pictures here.
At 8:39PM on 5/26/2013 after 28 hours and 2 minutes, Buzz, Ryan, and I finished a route we call “Zironman”. Zion National Park has held a tight grip on my soul for most of my life and in the recent decade has lured me in to experience her multi-faceted beauty. This route embodies the type of excitement, adventure, effort, teamwork, and requisite planning that I have come to look for. The idea of this route sprouted out of past adventures the three of us have had together, which adds to my satisfaction with the fact that it was the three of us that executed it almost perfectly.
Buzz wrote a great account of the adventure, so if you’d like to learn more check it out! In an effort to not repeat the details Buzz captured so well, I’ll simply focus on several of the aspects of the adventure that stand out to me.
Spring-time in Zion is something I always look forward to. So far, I’ve had 3 fantastic weekend trips that are worth quickly jotting down.
- Trip 1
- April 13 - Fat Mans Misery Loop, Deertrap to Weeping Rock point-to-point run
- April 14 – Mt. Majestic
- Trip 2
- April 25 – West Side Pentaverate fast : Pine Valley Peak, W. Northgate, N. Guardian, S. Guardian, E. Northgate
- April 26 – East Rim trail run, East Side Linkup (E. Temple, Twin Brothers, Mountain of the Sun, Deertrap peak, Hidden Canyon descent)
- April 27 – Squirrel to Water Canyon
- Trip 3
- May 18 – Imlay
- May 19 – Deertrap to Hidden Canyon
More details below
I’d like to thank everyone who came out to participate in and/or support this year’s Running Up For Air – Grandeur Peak Challenge, it was a real testament to the strength of community, human will power, and the importance of setting lofty goals. This day was focused on outdoor enthusiasts challenging themselves to sumitting Grandeur Peak as many times as possible, however, let’s not forget the motivation behind the event, which was to bring awareness to the fight for better air quality and raising critical funding for Salt Lake City’s incredible non-profit group, Breathe Utah. If you haven’t donated yet, please do so now!
Wow, what an incredible day we were blessed with! The morning twilight was magical for those who started early. After an amazing sunrise it was bright and sunny with folks in t-shirts and shorts for most of the day. As the sun began to dip behind the Oquirrh mountains at sunset we got to watch the city come alive as lights below quickly turned on. As the temps dropped and the wind picked up, the upper portion of the trail quickly turned icy requiring careful navigation. The moon, lightly veiled by high elevation clouds, kept me company for my final few laps making for a surreal and beautiful experience. I paused on the summit after lap 12 and replayed the day in my mind. So many incredible and inspiring people I had shared footsteps, smiles, and encouraging words with on this special day.
For those who were out all day you got to witness first-hand how rapidly the valley can fill up with haze as seen in the image below.
More details below
3/3/2013 : I finished 12 laps in 23 hrs 10 minutes! More details soon… after I sleep.
3/2/2013 : Follow me via SPOT tracker here.
3/1/2013 : Tomorrow is going to be incredible! With a high of nearly 50F, a low of 38F in SLC, and a yellow “Air Action” alert, we will both have a beautiful day but also be reminded why we’re doing this with every lap. It’s amazing to think that if everyone listed below meets their goal, Grandeur will see over 100 summits, on March 2nd, via the West Side; that has likely never happened before. See y’all tomorrow.
If you’re like me, you LOVE living in Salt Lake City. Nestled closely up against the Wasatch Mountains, this amazing place offers a brilliant combination of city living and rugged mountain lifestyle. Most folks take one or the other while some indulge in both. I’m one of those lucky people who has an incredibly satisfying career and a magnetic connection with the mountains. Thankfully our geography facilitates both. There is one downside, however, which is that the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area is located in the bottom of what was once was Lake Bonneville. Couple this with winter thermal inversions and a society that hasn’t yet figured out how to change its behavior in spite of our unique challenges, and we often have extremely unhealthy air. As such, most evenings after work, I find myself literally Running Up For Air.
Luckily the Fall weather gods have been good to us in Utah, thus permitting me to have a go at the Millwood 100 tomorrow (10/6/2012). Millwood will be the fifth and final long distance battle in my 2012 Summer of Slog Challenge, which consists of Barkley, Hardrock, Nolans, Wasatch, and Millwood. Staged in my backyard, this incredible route has thwarted those who’ve tried it until the incredible Erik Storheim established the first single-push completion on July 7th, 2012 in 38 hrs 56 min. I love every step of this gnarly 100 mile route which boasts a solid ~40kft of gain winding through many of my favorite parts of the Wasatch.
My goal is to finish in less than 32 hrs 17 minutes, which would mean a sub-200 hr Summer of Slog. So, here we go! The fun starts tomorrow at ~7AM. Track me here and feel free to join me if you like.
UPDATE : I finished the Millwood 100 in 34 hrs 20 min. I’m incredibly happy about the adventure and thrilled to etch may name next to Erik’s as folks who have completed the full route! I’ll post a more thorough report in the next day or two.
Mindy polished off the 2012 Bear 100 in fine form. Mindy’s infectious smile and attitude had her sailing through the day and moving well into the night. I joined her at Beaver Lodge, mile 75, at 12:30AM, about 30 minutes ahead of her goal. Pacing can be so much fun, especially when it’s your spouse! (caution : I’m not sure that this applies to all couples, but for Mindy and I it’s pretty awesome) It becomes a game to monitor their progress and try different nutritional and psychological tactics to eek out their best performance. At this stage in a 100 miler it’s purely about moving forward. Nobody is moving fast, and many succumb to the comforts of a chair and blanket next to a warm fire at an aid station. Those people also usually don’t get back up. Not Mindy though! She transitioned through aid stations incredible well and we got her on a trickle-charge nutritional plan of 11 calories every 5 minutes to nurse her back to life after her stomach went south. Remarkably, this tiny intake rate can really keep you moving, which she demonstrated well. We played leap-frog with the amazing Dan Spurlock until he left us in the dust. We crested the final hill just as the sun was rising, which made the descent into Fish Haven absolutely spectacular. I couldn’t believe the fall colors, the perfect temperature, beautiful sunrise, and amazing views of Bear Lake. Wow, this is what doing the Bear100 was all about. Mindy ran super-strong the last few miles, passing several folks and crossed the finish line in 25 hrs 39 minutes, good for 6th woman.
UPDATE : Sadly Wasatoja will have to wait for another year…. I was too slow on the run (23:07), hampered by extreme Achilles and I.T. band pain that flared up fairly early on in the race, presumably leftover damage from Nolans. While Wasatch didn’t go the way I needed it to I still had a great time and got to cross the finish line with my buddy Greg Norrander, which was a real treat.
Well, it’s on again. I’m going after my silly self-titled challenge called “Wasatoja”, which is the logistically challenging combination of running the Wasatch 100 (Friday) and biking Lotoja (Saturday) back to back. I failed in 2010 and didn’t make the Lotoja lottery in 2011. Am I ready? Well, for the footrace I’d say yes. For the bike?…. well, lets just say that every single other biker would surely laugh at how little time I’ve spent on the saddle. This is going to hurt. But, my slogging and suffering abilities are sharply honed so baring any major disasters in the Wasatch, I will do everything that my will power will allow to get onto my bike and start peddling early Saturday morning. If you’re interested in following:
- You can track my progress in the Wasatch 100 here (I’m # 50)
- And I’ll be wearing a SPOT tracker for Lotoja.
- At 8:04 PM on 8/19/2012, 58 hrs and 58 minutes after we started, Matt Hart and I completed Nolans 14, an epic mountain adventure in the Sawatch Mountains of Colorado, becoming the 5th and 6th “official” finishers
- Our route (there is no defined “course”) was 104 miles and ~46,000′ of vertical gain
First off, I need to take a moment and thank those who came up with the idea back in the 1990s. Fred Vance, Jim Nolan, Blake Wood, Charlie Thorn and others came up with the concept; thankfully Matt Mahoney has taken the time to document the route and its history. Rooted in brilliant yet brutal simplicity, the challenge is defined by a starting point and 14 “fourteener” summits in-between, within 60 hrs, on foot. By these rules, prior to our effort only four people had completed the challenge since it started in 1999.
Update : success! We finished in 58 hrs 58 min. Absolutely incredible experience. More detaills soon….
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2012 is the year of the slog…. okay not really, it’s actually the year of the dXragon. But, 2012 is the year of the slog based on my adventure calendar. Keeping with the theme, starting Friday (8/17/2012) at 9AM, Matt Hart and I will throw ourselves at a mountain challenge known as Nolans 14. It’s a linkup of 14 “fourteeners” (peaks greater than 14,000′ in elevation) in the Sawatch Range outside Leadville and Buena Vista Colorado. It has a starting point, an ending point, and fourteen summits to tag in-between. Our route is ~90 miles (provided say don’tgetting lost), with 45kft of up. Quite a bit of the route is off-trail boulder hopping so it’ll be slow-going. We’re psyched, relatively fit, have it moderately well planned out, have the best crew alive (Mindy and Fred Marmsater), and are ready for a good battle. I’ve setup a trackleaders page for easier tracking than the normal spot page. Track our progress here