Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Today’s PCT run: 31 miles of bliss

I’ve been inspired lately.. to trail run. I have friends attempting unsupported records on the Muir Trail and the Colorado Trail.. and of course there is Krissy. She does amazing things every time she laces up her Montrails.

I have the 24 hour Solo Mountain Biking World Championship coming up Oct 7th – but I can’t help myself. I have a true passion for trail running and sometimes it just takes over and I can’t do anything but feed it. Today I did, and it was stupendous.

I started around 12:30pm at Snoqualmie Pass. I had TOPO’d this route before I left. From the parking lot at the base of Snoqualmie Pass Ski Resort I ran 31 miles with 12,184 feet of gain to the Park Lakes and back. The run was amazing. The weather was 50-65 degrees most of the time, with some dark clouds and wind on the exposed ridges.

Today’s goal was to run everything. With 12,184 feet of gain I thought this would be very hard, especially with all the nasty scree sections on the PCT. But I was feeling great and it wasn’t so bad. As I ran up to the Kendall Catwalk with the Sun on Red Mountain I was in heaven. Running to the Catwalk in about 1:32. I got lots of stares and a few priceless comments from hikers who had most likely spent the entire day hiking to the Catwalk.

From the Catwalk I continued along the ridge and until the view of Alaska Lake took my breath away. They don’t call this the Alpine Lakes Wilderness for nothing. Around the next corner I start downhill to Joe Lake (pictured), which was equally impressive. Along the Chikamin ridge I saw a Mountain Goat!

I got down to the half way point at Park Lakes in about 3:30. I figured since the way out was 6,950’ of gain and the way back was only 5,234’, I’d be a bit faster. I finished in 6:51 elated.

I started the run with about 9 lbs of gear including water, pack and bottles:
Shoes: Montrail Highlines w/Yankz!
Backpack: Gregory Iso
Bottles: Nathan Quickdraw Plus Bottle Straps and two 24oz Hammer Bottles
Fuel: Hammer Gel, Heed, Perpetuem
Electrolytes: nuun

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