Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
(Not sure who the guy is who filmed this, but thanks for putting it up on Youtube so quickly and nice work on shooting the footage while riding a bike and not having any mishaps in the process! It's nice for us humans to see what that last mile was like for Geoff.)
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The snowpack on the west facing side of Table became solid around 9,500 ft and was riddled with suncups. Not very big or deep, but could become akward if they continue to grow. And there already were pronounced channels where melting snow had carved out a trough in it's quest for the easiest possible way downhill. These are one of the most fascinating features of snow to me.
Ok, so this is a little late, but I still wanted to post it just for the record. Yes, I did summit Table Mtn on Wednesday, May 26th, which marks my seventh month in a row with an ascent up Table. This was my final prep for the Pocatello 50 three days later. Taper? Nah.
As you can see, it was as gray a day as all of May had been which is a good reason why I hadn't made it up there sooner. I prefer going up in clearer weather to enjoy the views, but this was probably my last chance to go up for the month and I figured going to 11,000 ft three days before a 50 miler would be good altitude training.
Nearing the summit, it really wasn't all that cold (as far as cold can be in the Tetons), but it was practically a white out in a cloud with a bitey south wind.
It cleared just enough at the top to be able to see the big peaks.
I took this photo facing south and I used the flash to light up all the gale-driven snow particles. (I didn't realize it at the time, but training in these conditions would prepare me well for what was in store for us at the Pocatello race that weekend.)
Three days earlier, I drove over to Jackson with a bad case of cabin fever (since it had been pouring rain almost every day the prior week and all the trails in Teton Valley, ID were greasy clay). I was hoping the trails around Snow King and Cach/Game Creek would be in better shape. And they were!
Five years ago, when I first began this whole running journey, this was one of my favorite routes:
Begin at the Town Square. Run to Snow King on King St. Run up Snow King. Run the ridge going E/SE from the top to the trail that drops down into Game Creek. Run up Game Creek to Cache Creek. Run the Put-Put trail down Cache Creek to the end at Nelson St. Then finish up with the last mile down Broadway back to the Town Square. I need to measure the distance, but I think it's somewhere around 18-20 miles most all of which are on beautiful, blissful singletrack.
A week prior to that, I spent the weekend in Boise and got in a long 4 1/2 hr run on Saturday starting from Fort Boise and following the Shafer Butte 50 route all the way up to Bogus Basin. It was a warm day and I was able to get in about 5,000 ft of climbing. On dirt! Mostly...
In short, the race was cancelled due to blizzard conditions on top of the first two climbs which caused a number of runners to become lost, hypothermic, confused, miserable, and in need of much more assistance than they had planned for. Jared and Ryan, the race directors did a wonderful job with the decision-making recognizing the need to make sure any lost runners were found and focusing their rescources on making sure everyone was safe rather than continue the race into even more remote and dangerous conditions. Nonetheless, it was a sweet 50k and I'm already looking forward to next year!
On Tuesday, June 8th, Mike Ehredt arrived in Driggs on his cross-country Project America Run. I caught up with him the following Saturday and ran with him in two different sections (the first 10 miles out before I ran back to the car and the last 9 miles after I drove to his finishing location for the day and ran back to meet him and ran with him back to my car.
And then it was the long climb up Togwotee Pass.