Sunday, September 28, 2008

Running Parts of Bear 100

<--- BROTHER DAVE at about mile 35.

My brother Dave invited me to pace him once again on parts of the Bear 100 Mile Run.

I ran two segments, a 14.94 mile segment from Right Hand Fork to Tony Grove, and a 14.34 mile segment from Franklin basin to Beaver Lodge. Thus, about 30 miles.

It wasn't too tough; I suffered from some shin splints in my right leg but the next morning neither legs nor feet were worse for wear. I suffered more from lack of sleep than anything else. This will be a good tuneup for the St. George Marathon, one week away. I will be forced to run with shin splints, but running on the road is less impactful on the shins than running on a trail.

The race crisscrossed Logan Canyon Road, which runs between Logan, Utah and Bear Lake. My first segment started at the Right Hand Trail Fork about 3:00 p.m. The second segment started at the Franklin Basin about 10:00 p.m. and ended at 4:00 a.m.

The second segment was naturally longer because my runner, Dave, was now in his 70th mile and pretty shot. I very much enjoyed hanging with him; he was in incredible shape and especially in the first segment I had to work to keep up (it didn't help that he was trying to smoke me).

The run through the night was beautiful but occasionally cold. There were parts of the run, especially in the basins, where it was in the 20s, and we were both running in light gear. Stopping for more than 5 minutes meant great trouble.

I so much loved the night running. We pulled into the Beaver Creek Lodge at 4:00 a.m. and it was about 24 degrees. Dave's crew was there to help him. I didn't want to stop and wanted to push to the end for another 25 miles, but Dave picked up another pacer and told me to rest myself for St. George.

My brother eventually came in 30th place with a 30:51:00 finish. This seemed like a tougher race than last year. There were lots more ups and downs, as well as trail obstacles.

I ran 39 miles last year with Dave from mile 50 and he seemed to be doing much better that year. Lots of vomiting this time. (Gee, do I really want to do my own 100? I don't know. I don't like to barf.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Smoked Again

OK, son-in-law Casey and I ran up from SR14/San Fernando on September 6, 2008 to the Nike Base at the top of Bear Divide. After beating him in the July 4 Santa Clarita 5K, I thought I'd have a chance, but he smoked me to the top and to the bottom. It was about a 16 miles round trip and was hot at the end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nebo Peak

Son Rob and I made the western ascent of Mt. Nebo near Mona, Utah on August 31, 2008. See a good map of the area and the Willow Canyon trail head yonder

We arrived at the trail head around 4:00 a.m. The trail head is at around 6500 feet; the peak we were aiming for is at 11,877. It was dark but we had headlamps. We got off to a bad start, thinking the creek bed was the trail. We spent 20 or 30 minutes on that fruitless exercise and got wet, returning to the trail head only to see that we had missed an arrow pointing to the real trail.

So we were off. The trail followed the creek bed for a short way but then started ascending and it was very steep. The trail was loose, so footing became difficult on the steep terrain.

The trail then took a sharp bend to the west but we lost the trail when we became misdirected into a campsite. Instead of backtracking to find the trail I made the error of pushing off up the hill hoping to find the trail. We didn't, and instead bushwhacked to the top of the ridge -- a ridge very apparent on the map. We then bushwhacked for a mile or two north along the ridge. At that altitude, 10,000 feet, the conditions were spring-like. The vegetation was lush but, fortunately, there was no scrub oak at that altitude. We spent lost of time following elk trails, but they weren't all that organized.

We finally connected with the trail on a saddle on the ridge, where the trail from the eastern slope connected with the ridge trail to Nebo. The ridge trail to Nebo wasn't all that difficult, in terms of obstacles, but it was steep and at over 11,000 feet the air was thin.

Mt. Nebo is really not the highest peak in the area; South Peak (or what is called Mt Nebo on the map I reference above) is about 50 feet higher. Mt. Nebo (or Nebo Peak), the one we climbed, was for decades considered the highest peak until a recent geological survey fixed the error. At the top of Nebo Peak is a mound of rocks that climbers are adding to in the hopes that some day Nebo Peak will reclaim its glory. But, the mound is only about three feet high today.

It would take an experienced mountaineer to climb the ridge between Nebo Peak, where we were, and the South Peak. It was a very narrow razor-thin ridge with steep talus slopes on either side.

The descent was not all that fast due to blisters and the very loose soil which caused me to slip and fall several times. Rob was in pretty good shape, so it was a great day. I think we may have lost a couple of hours or more with our getting lost.