Saturday, February 22, 2014

North shore in the snow

A snowy day with a little bit of everything and I finally tested out my new Salomon 12L pack for the first time.


Lower Skyline

Getting pretty deep at 2800' on Skyline

Time to head down; about 10" of powder

All clogged up, back at the bottom of Skyline

A very quiet day along the Baden Powell

Top of St. George's, looking down

Mountain Highway

Lynn Loop

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Diez Vista 50k course

Man. The Diez Vista trail always kicks my ass.

I get used to classifying the north shore as technical, and then I hit those three miles of Diez Vista and I feel like I've never run on a trail before. Granted, running is a generous term for the near-death stumbling I end up doing.

And besides that section, most of the Diez Vista 50k course is very reasonable: quite a few miles of smooth dirt roads, ~13 miles of buffed gravel walking trails and some really fun, slightly-technical single track. I did make one wrong turn, but my mileage and elevation ended up being the same as is officially listed.

On race day I will be marshaling at the junction of the Academy Trail and the Eagle Bluff trail. It's easy, turn left when you go up and turn left when you go down (just think of NASCAR).

Pictures of almost all of the trails the course uses:

Sassamat Lake trail; miles 0-2 and the final mile.
Sassamat Lake, looking toward Sugar Mountain and the Diez Vistas ridge (l).
A rocky section of the Suger Mountain trail toward Diez Vistas; mile 4.
Beginning of the upper Diez Vistas trail; mile 5.
Diez Vistas trail; mile 5.
The down portions are just as steep; mile 5.
Diez Vistas; mile 6.
Diez Vistas; mile 6.
Buntzen Lake trail, pretty much like this on both sides of the lake; miles 7-15.
Academy Trail from Powerhouse Road toward the Eagle Bluff trail; miles 17-18.
Eagle Bluff trail; mile 19
The road from Eagle Bluff trail toward the aid station and turnaround of the out-and-back section; miles 20-25.
South side of Buntzen, miles 12 and 27.
Lower Diez Vista trail back up to the Sugar Mountain trail junction; mile 27.
Down, a little up and then down to Sassamat and the finish; Sugar Mountain trail, mile 28.
Lastly, the classic Diez Vista vista. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

January and new gear

Adding Gorge Waterfalls 100k at the end of March to my schedule maybe was a bit earlier than I anticipated in stepping up to a long run, but there generally seemed like a lack of 50-mile races in the spring for the Pacific Northwest. At least a few good friends also are signed up, which will help make the 4am start less of a zombie march.

Having a race in about seven weeks also means trying to put together some solid weeks of running a month earlier than I originally planned when I was only running Miwok in May.

Here's what I did over the first six weeks of the year:

Adam and I even got in a semi-proper hills workout over the weekend. Both Gorge and Miwok have many more miles of runnable terrain than I'm used to:

And what's a new year without some new gear? I grabbed a pair of Hoka Rapa Nui Trail 2 shoes. They are buttery smooth and very cushioned, but obviously feel quite large upon first wear. At some point I'll do a  thorough review of them, as well as a Salomon S-Lab 12L pack I got that I plan on using for longer adventures in the mountains.

Hoka One One Rapa Nui Trail 2 and my trusty Pearl Izumi Trail N2 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Squamish trails with Adam & Liz

Why wait until August? 

With the dry winter all of the lower Squamish trails are snow free and in great shape. The snow level was around 2,000' and that was only a very light dusting. It was a chilly -3c when we started and only "warmed up" to 1c, but a really fun time out on the trails. 

Alpha Mountain from Debeck's Hill
Descending the road on Debeck's.
Plush trail along Stump Lake.
Climbing up Made in the Shade.
Northside Connector.
Word of Mouth; probably my favorite trail of the day.
Word of Mouth.
Word of Mouth.
Lower Stil'halem Sintl'.
Upper Stil'halem Sintl'; reminded me of the climb to Fawn Ridge at White River (just a lot shorter).
Top of Stil'halem Sintl' just before dropping down Angry Midget and heading back to town.