Friday, November 27, 2009

Newhall's Los Pinetos Peak

The view from Los Pinetos Peak (the top of the "Beast") on three different days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rim to Rim to Rim Run, Grand Canyon 2009 -- 55th Birthday

Yes, once again, I went with Brother Dave (and with brother-in-law "Mr." Ed and Dave's friend John A.) to the Grand Canyon to make a rim-to-rim-to-rim crossing. Friends, do not attempt unless you are not quite sane.

We left our motel at Jacob Lake early in the morning of November 21,2009 and started the descent on the Bright Angel Trail from the North Rim parking lot at about 4:00 a.m. It was below freezing.

Within 15 minutes we arrived at Supai Tunnel, where it was warm enough to strip to summer running gear. From there, and within the hour, we arrived at Roaring Springs, a place I had run to earlier in summer. We stocked up on on water, knowing it would be a waterless run to the bottom of the canyon. Off we went for another couple of hours to Phantom Ranch. The box canyon approaching Phantom Ranch was a great place to run at full speed for three or four miles.

At Phantom Ranch, we hid our excess gear for the ascent. Folks were beginning to awake in the dawn. Up we went on the ascent to the South Rim. I had difficulty keeping up with the other three, but came within a hundred yards or so with Brother Dave once. Past Indian Gardens, as the ascent became much steeper, the trail was crowded with hikers and mule trains. We passed dozens of people.

I started experiencing quite a bit of nausea and my enthusiasm for the adventure flagged. The higher I went the colder it got. Arriving five minutes after brother Dave at the South Rim, we all stopped at the lodge to down a quick meal. I bought a technical long-sleeved shirt. My hot dog, however, wanted to keep coming up the next several hours. On the ascent down from the South Rim, I wasn't so much interested in going as fast as I had on the descent from the North Rim because the harder I worked, the more I wanted to hurl chunks.

Again, at Phantom Ranch at about 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. However, the Park Service confiscated our stowed equipment, including our flashlights. BIL Ed and Friend John had to negotiate with a officious bureaucrat to get our stuff back.

Up we went; I was dragging behind as usual. Up and up and up. As my hot dog disappeared from the stomach, and I relied solely upon Hammer Gel, my nausea began to abate. At Supai Tunnel, BIL bonked with what appeared to be slight hypothermia. We got food into him and got his warm clothes back on -- within minutes he sparked up and roared past me to the top.

On the top -- wonderful victory! Forty-eight miles; sixteen and one-half hours, with 2 1/2 of those hours goofing off - shopping, waiting for the Park Service.

The other two blog posts are at: Davy:; Jon:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nov. 14: Another 50+ Week

Today's run was capped off by a tough technical downhill; up the fire road at Whitney Canyon and then down the Los Pinetos trail, through Placerita Canyon, up the Mt. Manzanita Trail, and down Viper.
Picture 1: Los Pienetos Descent off of Manzanita Mountain. This descent starts at about four miles up the Whitney Canyon fire road; the descent is about two miles.

Picture 2: Los Pinetos. At the bottom of the run in the 2.5 mile segment in Placerita Canyon.

Picture 3: More Placerita Canyon.

Picture 4: Manzanita Trail ascent out of Placerita Canyon, a one mile segment.

Picture 5: Viper descent, about a two mile segment

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another 50+ mile week

I ran another 50+ miles this past week. I particularly enjoy the stress runs I have been doing; did a 15-mile run on Saturday in the heat on an empty stomach and no water.

Two runs are coming up; a 48-mile rim to rim to rim run in the Grand Canyon Nov 20, and a marathon in Death Valley on Dec. 5.

I've done the R-R-R once before; it was my first run beyond marathon distance at the time. I've done a lot of running since then, so hopefully the stress won't be the same as it was before. The R-R-R is particularly tough on the feet and a particular tendon in my right leg. Keeping water in the system seems to help, but I hear the spigots along the trail have been shut off.