Friday, May 24, 2013

Thoughts On Going Fast: Adams and Olympus West Slabs


I am sure I am not the only one that gets a thrill out of a PR on a certain trail or gunning for a Fastest Known Time.  Having a meter stick really gets me out on to the trails more and makes me push harder and harder.  I don't believe it to be an ego thing, because I get just as excited about friends times and elite runners times. This last week I put up two PR's one of which I believe to be a FKT.  

West Slabs 

Last week the gang, Court, Spence, Pete, and I met after work at the Trail Head for the West Slabs of Mount Olympus.  This time of year is primo for speed Car2Car scrambles due to the perfect balance between minimal snow on the climb, and plenty of snow on the decent for a fast butt glissade down 2000 vertical ft of mountain via the Apollo Couloir.  Check out the pics, courtesy of Jared Campbell's blog. 
Climb up Right and descend Left
The Climb and the Glissade up close 

  Jared did this route in a flippin 1:01 hrs, which is the FKT. My buddy Spence had gone up a couple of days before in like 1:20 or something.  I have solo climbed the 5.4 (easy) slab a couple of times before, but both times continued on to the summit. This was my first go at a fast C2C.  Spence took off ahead early as we ran up the gully. By the time we got to the snow field and donned microspikes, he was half way up the snow.  Pete and I stayed together until the rock started and then I took off climbing as fast as I could and caught up with Court.  We both agreed that our lungs and heart were red lining harder than we had pushed em in quite some time.  But despite the cardio-respiratory pain I soaked in the loveliness of the route the whole way.  Great climbing, with awesome (yet safe) exposure.  I would climb the slabs every day if I could. Court and I made the ridge and skirted into the decent couloir (chute) with exactly 1 hr on the clock. So crazy that Campbell would have been 60 seconds to the car by now. We never saw Spence nor Pete till the car.  Glissading half out of control down the steep couley, sans ice-axe, tickled more that just my frozen buns.  By the end, my buns were so frozen I didn't even mind the rocks and cliffs as I flew over and off them.  As the snow ends and the river swacking begins. I dove, lunged, fell, and slid, through trees, off waterfalls and down cliffs for another 3 minutes; still redlining it as I tried to catch Court. As I got back on trail and bulleted to the car I thought I could catch him.  He unfortunately knows that my forte is technical down-hilll trail and went all out.  What a blast of a route.  Final times:
Spence- 1:10
Court- 1:21
Steve: 1:23
Pete: 1:50 ish
Court half way up the slab climb

Adams Canyon:

This fun trail up to a 40 foot falls is right in my backyard.  I have been hiking it often since high-school.  This summer I decided to start tracking my times and try to go fast.  The trail starts with gnarly sandy switch-backs. Then you hit the Bonneville trail and slide up into the shady canyon. 1.5 miles later you reach the falls (or the pseudo-designated big tree right before the river and wrap around to the falls.)  My last go at a fast time I did in just over 39 minutes.  This morning I left the dog behind and went all out.  23:46 min to the falls and 37:26.28 C2C. (3.5 miles and 1335 ft of vertical climbing.)  Which might be a FKT, but I doubt it, due to the fact that the Davis Cross Country runners train on these trails. And the JV squad probably goes faster than that. But at least it is a fun PR for me.
Later in the afternoon cool down ascent with the pup-head