Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Triple Crown: Uintah Wonderland

I'm not super fast. 
I don't train like a mad man. 
But I do like to go as hard as I can on unique, steep, and challenging terrain, like the High Uintah. Having done Kings Peak car to car (fast) and Kings loop via Red Castle (slow), I decided to give the Triple Crown a go. I think Craig Lloyd coined the name of climbing the three highest peaks in Utah: Kings, South Kings, and Gilbert. Craig L., MVH, and Ryan L. have done it in under 8:30. With Matt owning the FKT at 8:26. And Jenilynn going 8:46ish is the only woman, that I know, of to have done it. I particularly enjoy doing runs/climbs that involve route finding and a good measure of creativity. Upon consulting Craig and Ryan I had a game plan in my head. 

I slept alone next to my car then got going at 6:29 am. Starting splits went. 
Bridge (5.3 miles up) - 1:12 (pretty slow, fasties hit it in 50 minutes)
Kings - 3:27
South Kings- 4:00

From South Kings I decided to drop east down off the face instead of reversing the ridge. I quickly crossed a basin then did a steep fun glissade down to another lake. I could have stayed high and traversed a cliff band back to the Gunsight cutoff but decided to hit the lower trail fast and run through Painter Basin. I made it back to the pass in 5:12 feeling pretty strong. All I had left was to pick a steep chute after the pass and then tag Gilbert. 

Summit of Gilbert...if you think you are there you're not
So as to not drop as very down I chose an earlier more southerly chute that was a chossfest but went quick.  Not sure if I saved any time over the easier northern chute.  I summited Gilbert at 6:31.  On the way down to $ Lake a storm rolled in and slammed me with some pelting snow.  I didn't care I was dry and warm.  The ridge that drops back down into the Basin is superb.  Mucho flowers, views and very runnable. Next was my only real route finding mistake, I tried to swack across a swamp to cut over to the trail sooner and got all bogged in. Probably lost 10 minutes. I made it to the trail all muddy with 7 miles to run out.  I hit the bridge again at 7:47 and concluded I would not be setting an FKT but still wanted to push hard. Finished the route in 8:38 and made it home to the Church Ice cream social with an hour to spare. bam. Super fun route and loved having one of those days where nutrtion, health, fitness, weather, route, and spirits all seem to play nice together. Awesome.  Maybe I'll give the FKT another go, but meh I'm not fast. 

Storms a brewin!