Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buffalo 50

After a long fun winter of ski mountaineering and ice climbing the time arrived to to lace up the Hokas and run some trails. Weather was iffy all week and Friday's snow flurries made me happy with my choice to run the Antelope Island 50 Mile Buffalo run instead of the 100 mile run.  The hardcore 100 milers braved a long cold night.  As I arrived at the starting line at 5:40 am  Speedgoat Karl had already completed the 100 miler, setting a new course record at around 14:30 hrs. Smoking fast, so quick that his first 50 mile lap/split, in 6:30, would have nearly won the 50 mile event.  Wow.

Temps were cold at the start line, but even colder due to my lack of gloves.  It was not that I was an idiot and forgot gloves, it was that I'm an idiot and dropped them in the porta jon. (Don't worry I fished them out!)  My legs and mind felt strong the first ten miles as the sun came up, despite tripping on my face twice. (Not my most coordinated morning thus far)  The field of around 120 runners spread out and I hung with a group of Davis County runners that were fun to get to know, Ryan and Derek are fast motivating guys.  I planned on keeping their 8 hr pace but couldn't hang.  Got to see some large Bison out on the slopes and on the trail, super cool.  By the time I got to the aid station at 19 miles I was starting to drag.  I lost almost 4 minutes trying to find my dumb drop bag, to stash my headlamp, and then got stuck in the starting hoard of 25K runners. aaagghh.  Once I got down on the beach I got into a groove and starting ticking off 9 minute miles.  As I neared the ranch I was struggling.   A woman had been gaining on me for miles and I was trying to stave off the charge. She passed me at the Ranch at Mile 32.5 and ended up taking 2nd for the ladies.  
Pete and me getting some grub at mile 39 ish

It was so cool running into the Ranch aid station, Anna saw me and ran straight to me screaming.  I grabbed some piping hot noodles and poured some Gatorade on em to cool em down. Then my buddy Pete and I set off.  My legs hurt so dang bad. I had energy but not the legs.  I guess just not enough long back to back training runs. I walked/jogged until I could open up again and maintain a steady run.  Pete made the torture so much more enjoyable.  I slowly picked up the pace and passed a couple of people then skipped the last aid station.  Finished in 8:20 hrs, 10 minutes faster than my last Buffalo 50. Yay. Yummy Buffalo Stew, Hug from Izzy, then quick drive to SLC for 2 NCAA Tourney Games.  Great Day.  Great Event. Thanks Dad for driving me around all day!     

Final push at Mile 49

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh how swell the Swell.

Mexican Mountain Road, Looking out over the Swell
  I know of no better way to officially shake off the snow drifts of winter than to head to the desert.  In previous years that has always involved a Moab tower, or two, and some fine Indian Creek Crack Climbing.  This year, thanks to Court, we scraped the skin off our knuckles and elbows in the little known Splitter Crack Paradise known as the Buckhorn Wash of the San Rafael Swell.
The quick approach

Fellow desert rats, Pete, Court, and Dan came along to pay homage to the warm sandstone.  We tossed our 3 double racks of BD Camolots into the Elantra in SLC at 10 am and arrived at the Dyllan wall before 1 pm.  No hoards of gente lined up at the cracks and great camping abounded.  No other climbers anywhere.  25 minute approach up to the wall and Dan lifted off on a great corner climb, Blowin’ In the Wind 5.10b.  We all TRrd it as we slowly remembered how to jam and smear again.  Court of course sans tape on the hands. I liberally taped over all of my gym gobies.  We all admired the super thin splitter, Idiot in the Wind, but decided we’ll save it for Spence. Next court fired the first pitch of Isis which is sandbagged at 5.9.  We had all heard the the Swell would feel almost a full grade harder than the creek and we all agreed.  As the sun lowered I lead the huge 5.10 Bob Can’t climb.  By far the most varied and full body work-out of any Trad lead I have done.  Super thin hands off the deck with crimps for feet, to a ledge.  Then wide had with flaring crack at the feet were I slipped off once. Then perfect goldilocks #2 hands for 20 feet to a awkward wide hands for quite a ways.  It finishes with Thin .4 fingers in a body flare that ate me alive.  So so fun.  I placed 19 cams and it took two ropes to get down. What a great climb.  Everybody TRrd as the sun went down then we scampered back to camp.  Then I cooked my New York Steak on the end of a stick over our cozy fire.  Dan kept the conversation going tell pretty late as we discussed modernism, post-modernism, and the apparent lack of a place in the world (yet wonderful serenity)  for single jobless dirtbaggers….( like Court)
The adjacent route with sweet thin finger crack

Pete Marilyn Monroe'n it on Blowin' In the Wind

Luckily it was a little overcast in the morning so we could sleep in longer then we drove down and hi the Private pizza wall.  Climbed 4 more routes there.  The super fun Private Pizza 5.10 and Cheek full of Redman 5.10. Court led the scary moving pillar start to Teeter Tooter 5.10X. Though, it appeared much tamer than in the past, due to Court shoving a rock under the 4 Ton pillar to keep it from toppling.  After the thin fingers you stand on the tower and do thin hands that gets steeper and steeper. On Top Rope I realized that liebacking was 10 times easier and did 3 laps on it.  A couple of other parties showed up later in the day and an elderly couple watched us in awe from there shady lawn chairs in front of their 5th Wheeler.  Other than that pretty much to ourselves.  On the way out we stopped at one more route that Court eyed on the way in. Another great corner with a fun pod in the middle that fit a #5 perfect.   Left at 3pm and got back to SLC just before 5 pm so Pete could “see about a girl” or go to the Temple or some “lame” excuse.   
The X rated pillar rockin route

Court teetered above the Teeter Totter

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Grand White Goblin

Though not as scary as the Great White Goblin from the Hobbit, skiing up Gobblers Knob and running up Grandeur peak in winter, still packs a tough one armed punch.

Today's adventures got started last night with Spence shuttling a car to Porters TH up Millcreek Canyon. This morning Pete, Court, and I met at Spence's house then began up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Bulters TH. Conditions were very icy on the south facing slopes as we cruised up through the crisp forest. Nice sunny temps merged with a fast pace to create a stellar morning. Right up to were Pete's binding broke off his ski. Dope. Were were two thirds of the way up Gobblers where he turned and post holed and sledded on his behind back tot the car. Not a great morning for Pete. We continued up and summited in under 3 hours total and eagerly basked in the sun. The shady North Face made for great skiing up high, then a gully swack, finished off my 2 miles of icy crowded trail going way to fast.

View from Gobblers of Kessler Peak. The left line in God's Lawn mower, which I skied 2 weeks ago.

Mount Raymound

Pete right before his ski broke

Spence tackling the first of many cornices on the summit ridge.

On the way home I remembered that SLC ultra athlete Jared Campbell was having his annual "run as many times up Grandeur Peak as you can in one day" to create awareness for clean air and raise $. So, I stopped and ran up the west face of Grandeur 2.2 miles to the top with 3300 feet of vertical gain, ie super steep. Amazing that Jared was shooting for 12 accents of the peak today! If my day was like unto a big fat white goblin then he is up against Sauron riding a Balrog. He should be on his last couple of climbs as I type this. The run up took 1 hr 15 minutes (2.1 miles, 3300 vert.) The run/slide down took 29 minutes. Then I got to spend the whole after noon and evening with Izzy and A at the children museum. Great Saturday.

View from Grandeur, source door5.com

Total stats for the day.

About 13 miles and 6900 vert