Grand Canyon: Rim2Rim2Rim

I lost track of days while we were out in Arizona. Taking one day at a time. We explored Camelback mountain, Pixie Peak, South Mountain, Sedona, then what we all came there for: The Grand Canyon.

The night before our trek, I wrote some thoughts:

Tomorrow/in a few hours we traverse the Grand Canyon. A 48ish mile trek from South Rim, to North Rim, and back to South. Confusing weather will be both cold and comfortable. Snow/ice patches but mostly nice trail.

What am I thinking this adventures eve?

– I’m about to spend a solid and long day with a group of people who will be hard to leave at the end of this. A group of people I didn’t really know at all.

– I’m not sure how I got here. 1 month ago I had no plans of the Grand Canyon. Just a testament to great friends and opportunities. And just saying yes, and letting things happens.
Thank You Rochester Running Co


We started at 4am going down the Bright Angel Trail. Starting in traction due to a solid covering of snow and ice until about 1.5 miles down. It was in the 30s. And expected warmer down in the canyon.

We planned on having two groups. A lead group, and slower group. Our fearless leader Greg was sticking in the back, and planned to be the last out of the canyon for the finish. I was sticking with the lead group. Greg and I each had Garmin Delorme’s in case of emergency.

Grand Canyon trails are not all that challenging. They are smooth and groomed. And starting on a down hill and switch backs is amazing. Once in the canyon – It’s basically an awesome trail run. With real bathrooms every few miles! and water. Got it pretty good there. I was tempted to stay forever and be a homeless canyon dweller.

Things changed as we got closer to the North Rim. We crossed the RedWall Bridge, and soon after were getting showered by little waterfalls (from snow melt). As well as crossing over a bunch of rock slide sites. Many places had the paths washed out, and we had to hop over little boulders.

Redwall Bridge

Soon after we reach the Supai Tunnel. As we approached we start to see snow for the first time since the start. And immediately after going through the tunnel – we were trudging through snow.

Supai Tunnel

We had heard there would be snow on the North Rim. But assumed the trail may be broken by the time we got there. It took us a few hours to get from this tunnel to the Rim. We found ourselves breaking trail and post holing up to our hips.
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Our original plan was to turn around at 1pm – no matter where we were. We wanted to make sure we would finish this thing today. And also make sure were making safety a priority.

We kept looking at our watch. We were so close. 1pm passed. We saw the other half of our group still following. So we kept going. I had no idea we were the ones breaking trail, till I took the lead, and half my body was buried. 1:30PM passed. We had one switch back to go. But I was stuck in a hole, and called the turn around. This was stupid.

It was not worth this massive effort. And also frozen feet. We were there – we just didn’t touch the sign. It would have taken another 30 minutes to go .2 miles. At this point – it had taken us 10 hours to reach the North Rim.
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Relieved to be heading back. But also slightly worried about the next 10 hours if my feet didn’t warm up.

Coconino Overlook

I was too cold to get any photos in the deep snow. I wish I had some tho. It was a mix of epic, hilarious, and frustrating.

Our groups stayed together most of the day. Re-grouping when we needed water at Manzanita. It would be about 8 miles till the next water – and food at Phantom Ranch. We ran this whole section. I was impressed.
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At Phantom Ranch we would be about 38 miles in. I was starving. But since we ran this last hour plus – I was not not coordinated enough to eat and run. I also knew we were getting real food at Phantom Ranch. What I didn’t know is that I would bonk hard.
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I ate an apple and almond butter at Phantom Ranch. And that was it. We got water and headed off. Still running. I was in the lead group. Being the tail and Jen setting the pace up front.

I knew I was going to have trouble with this one last climb out of the canyon. And I started to lose them. I was dizzy, and tried to take salt tabs, and eat again. I panicked because I had the car key. I didn’t want them to finish and wait for me and stand around freezing at 12am.

I kept moving. Knowing Indian Garden would be coming up. And assuming they stopped for water or bathroom.
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Thank god – They were there. I handed the car key over incase I couldn’t get my act together. We took off together again. But I was not recovered. I fell behind again.

It’s times like this I question things. But I couldn’t dwell too hard. I needed to get back in this group. What kind of leader ends up being the straggler?

I kept moving. I could always see there headlamps. Or hear there voices.

I passed the 3 mile rest house. Caught them at the 1.5 mile rest house. We put our traction back on, and took off for the home stretch. We knew we would go through 2 more tunnels. And counted down the half miles.

I was finally back. And we finished as a group. It was 11:58pm. We were all very chilled, and piled in the van and I drove us back to the lodge.

I turned around and went back to see group 2 finish.
They were only 30 minutes behind.
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Pizza was waiting in our hotel room – Thanks to Katie our Media Coordinator. We sat around until 2am or so. Some people went straight to bed. Most of us were not hungry at all, just so sleep deprived.

Post ultra sleep was not great at usual. I was up at 5am. Made coffee and sat on the floor starting to pack – quietly making sure I didn’t wake up roomates. Usually sleep is something I care about. But not here. Not on trips like this. I’d rather spend every minute awake.

I’d rather still be in that canyon.
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So that’s it. We worked for 20 hours to finish our little Grand Canyon (double) Traverse. Definitely slow due to ice at the start – and snow in the middle. But perfect conditions and temperatures the rest of the day!

South Rim 7,000 ft — North Rim 8,000 ft

What’s next?

  • Breakneck Point Marathon in April
  • 5k pizza challenge in May
  • CUT 112 mile May 31st – June 2nd
  • Italian Dolomites in July (75 mile traverse of Alta Via 1)
  • Twisted Branch 100k in August
  • A long list of other adventures in between!

Seeking Peaks

Simplicity and confusion
and 122 hours.

I knew this would be an epic year. Training and completing my first 100 mile. Running more than I ever have before, and my body putting up with it. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen after finishing my goal race. How do you top a 100 mile out west? 

The quick answer to this is — Mountains.

— This is a list of all the climbs I’ve done this year – Big or little. 

MAY

I agreed to join Mertsock and Strat in a Catskill Bushwhack. My first ever bushwhack. I was worried when it took us 4 hours to go 4 miles. And it was HARD hiking. Hardest I’ve done. But once on the trail from Big Indian, it was quick and easy and only 4 hours to go the rest 10+ miles.

May 20th 2018
 – Catskills – 15.6 miles – 8 hours and 15 minutes
1. Fir (Bushwhack)
2. Big Indian (Bushwhack)
3. Eagle Mountain
4. Balsam Mountain

The next weekend Strat and I planned to do a bushwack in the high peaks. But due to snow/ice/monorails, we opted for hiking the Seward range. 

May 26, 2018- ADKS
5. Donaldson +
6. Emmons +
7. Seward – 17 Miles – 9 hours 12 minutes 

May 27, 2018  –
ADKS
8.Big Slide – 7.7 Miles – 3 hours 34 minutes 

May 28, 2018 – ADKS- Tupper Lake Triad:
— 2 hours and 10 minutes (Including drive time)
— 7 miles
10. 8:47am Start on Mt. Coney
11. 9:24am on Goodman
12. 10:30am on Mt. Arab

JUNE

June 3rd, 2018 – Connecticut
13. Ragged Mountain +
14. Higby Mountain- Crewing Ben Nephew during The Cut

June 17 2018
 – Catskills – Devils Path – 25 Miles – 12 hours
15. Indian Head Mountain
16. Twin Mountain
17. Sugarloaf Mountain
18. Plateau Mountain
19. West Kill Mountain

June 29, 2018- ADKS
20. Seymour – 14.4 Miles – 4 hours 30 Min

JULY

Big Slide during Strat’s through hike

July 1st, 2018
21. Big Slide again for Strats through hike. – 7 hours

July 2nd
22.
Cascade finding Strat again during his through hike.

July 15, 2018 – ADK day trip
I met a boy and planned this epic date. It was indeed a great day – and wins best date ever – I think.
23. Panther Mountain
24. Blue Mountain
25. Bald Mountain

July 20, 2018 – White Mtns-  Presidential Traverse:
Strat and I had a perfect day in the Whites – by far my favorite hike–
— 10 hours 35 minutes
21 miles
– – – –3:28am start (No sleep/ drove straight to start from Rochester, NY)
– – – –Finish 1:32pm
26. Mt. Madison
27. Mt. Adams
28. Mt. Jefferson
29. Clay
30. Mt. Washington
31. Mt. Monroe
32. Mt. Franklin
33. Mt. Eisenhower
34. Mt. Pierce

July 21, 2018 – White Mtns – 9 miles – 4 hours
35. Mt. Tom
36. Mt. Field

Sunrise on Mt. Madison (Presi Traverse)

August

August 10, 2018 – Pemi Loop:
– With Strat and Mertsock – Counter clockwise
— 14 hours and 36 minutes
— 32.6 miles
– – – –3:14pm start — Drove straight to start from Rochester, NY
– – – -Overnight hike
– – – -Finish 5:32am (8/11)
37. Garfield
38. Mt. Lafayette
39. Mt. Lincoln
40. South Twin
41. Mt. Guyot
42. Mt. Bond
43. Mt. Liberty
44. Mt. Flume
45. Little Haystack
46. Bondcliff

August 11, 2018
47. Mt. Jackson – 6.3 miles – Still sleep deprived after the Pemi

August 25, 2018 – ADKS –13 miles – 6 hours
– Tackled these with Dan boy. He moved to NYC so were trying this long distance thing with some adventures in between.
48. Iroquois+
49. Algonquin+
50. Wright

August 26, 2018 – ADKS –
14 miles – 6 hours
51. Gothics+
52. Armstrong+
53. Upper Wolfjaw

Sunset on Pemi Loop

September

I’ve been away almost every weekend since May. Whether it was races or mountain adventures. I found myself craving some time relax – but when that time came around…. I couldn’t. 

I wanted to be outside. With nothing to do other than see how far I could go. And didn’t really want anyone else there. So I decided I’d venture to the High Peaks alone. And tackle Saranac 6.

September 15, 2018
Saranac 6: 
Solo – Self Supported
— 12 hours and 43 minutes (Including drive time)
— 29.5 Miles
54. 7:43am Start on Ampersand
55. 10:00am on St. Regis
56+57. 12:27pm on Haysack and McKenzie
58. 4:22pm on Scarface
59. 7:08pm on Baker
Finish 8:26pm at the Bell

September 21, 2018 – ADKS
60. Kane Mountain – 2.3 miles – quick run

September 22, 2018 – ADKS – 12.8 miles – 6 hours
– Met Dan in Albany and we drove up for some High Peaks.
61. Whiteface Mountain
62. Esther

September 23, 2018 – Lake George – 7 miles
63. Buck Mountain

September 29, 2018 – Catskills – 26 miles – 6 hours 57 min
— Cats Tail Marathon – Race
64. Panther Mtn
65. Slide Mtn
66. Cornell
67. Wittenberg
68. Cross Mountain

September 30, 2018 – Catskills
69. Hunter mtn – 2 hours – 5.1 miles

TOTAL: 72 Peaks
272.9 Mountain Miles
130 hours and 5 minutes
(5 days 12 hours and 5 minutes)

And still time for more – the years not over yet!

October

122 hours of some of the best days. Hours of simply walking on these rocks, that reward you for patience and hard work.

Hours of asking yourself – What am I doing? This feels terrible. Feeling like you can’t move, can’t catch your breath, and can’t slow your heart rate down. 

Hours that leave you drenched – not from rain, streams, or mist. But from your own sweat. 

Hours spent with the friends that make life so much better.
And couldn’t live without. 

Hours just so you can see something. Feel something.
And hear nothing. 

My First weekend home in a while. Months maybe. And all I am is confused. The rest of October is busy. Away every weekend. And It’s all planned. I cant tell which is my mind, and which is my heart. But ones telling me to ditch everything. And ones telling me to keep hangin on.

NOVEMBER (adding on 🙂 )

November 4th, 2018
– Strat and I attempted to hike the Lake Placid 9er – starting at midnight. It was also Daylight savings – So we relived 1am – twice. On 2 different mountains.

  • We bailed – I was sick. But we hiked:
  • Cobble Hill
  • Mt. Jo
  • Catamount Mountain
  • Big Crow Mountain

DECEMBER
Coming soon – A winter White Mountain Adventure.



The End.

Antelope Island Buffalo Run – My 100 miler to kick off 2018

What really matters? 
Nothing. Just do things
– and be happy. 

Me. 

2015

I ran 2235.75 miles.
I raced 322 miles (16 races)
I raced 4 Ultra’s (3 of them 50+ miles)… and ran 3 50k training runs.

Comparing 2014 and 2015:
2014                                    2015
Ran 1610.9 Miles                 Ran 2235.75 Miles
Raced 306.5 (24 Races)         Raced 322 (16 Races)

That’s the simple way of summing up 2015.
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January – I started training with Mike. Each month we would hit 200+ miles. This is also when I started running with the crew (Mike, Chris O’brien, and Matt) – and Jeff Green appearances became more frequent.
FL50

February – Feb. 1st was the first run/meeting of Jason Vidmar. This is where I told him of our Great Range traverse idea, and he was immediately in.
– Ran Cast a Shadow relay with Matt and Kirsten.

Me, Kirsten and Matt

Me, Kirsten and Matt

March – Started doing Bikram Yoga.

April – Ran Muddy Sneaker. Also ran my first 50k training run – with Mike, Jeff, and Matt. Ran a 20 mile PR on the greenway with Mike and Jamie.

May – Ran 58 miles at MTD, and 2nd place. Watched Chris run Sehgahunda. Volunteered at OSTM.
Ran Cayuga Trails 50 — So far my all time favorite race. Cayuga was overwhelming, and the first time I didn’t want to come home. Cayuga will always be a special memory.

Final laps of Mind the Ducks 2015 with Coach Mike and Mertsock.

Final laps of Mind the Ducks 2015 with Coach Mike and Mertsock.

Photo by Matt B

Cayuga 50 2015 – Photo by Matt B

June – Ran the 2nd 50k training run of the year – with Mike, Jeff, Matt, and Josh. Ventured in the ADKS, with 4 days of hiking… 1 day being the Great Range Traverse – with Danielle, Jeff, Jason, Matt, and Kyle. (Ron and Mark joined for the pre-traverse hike).

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the backround.

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the background.

July – Found myself hiking in Taughannock Falls the day before FL50 with Jeff. Watched Jeff run FL50. Ran the 3rd 50k training run of the year – With Jeff, Mike, Dan-o, Matt, Josh. Ran O SPF (Trail Half). Watched Mike and Daven run Burning River 100. Paced Daven for 20.
— Burning river is when I discovered I loved to crew and pace just as much as I love racing.

Burning River finish

Burning River finish

twisted.jpg

Twisted Branch 100k – Me and Jeff

August – Ran the crescent trail with Dan-O, Jeff, Kendra, Lesher, Matt, Josh. Ran 10 mile sunrise run in OCP, then first slack line party – with Jeff, Matt, Josh, Jason, Ron, Chris, Mike Mertsock. Spent 2 days watching Mighty Mosquito and running 42 miles (35 saturday, 7 Sunday). Started Bouldering at Red Barn. Ran 20 miles with Jeff in Alleghany – after waking up at 3am to drive there. Bouldered on real rocks. Ran Twisted Branch 100k.
— I had a lot of time to think at Twisted Branch. I was not prepared for the emotions that day would bring. It started out as a joyous run through woods in the dark with friends. Quickly turned into a day of battles. Endless leg cramps. Couldn’t breath. Lung pain. Chest pain. Abandoning Jeff – who had stuck with me for over half. TB was soul sucking. I was pretty fine post 100k. But it took weeks to recover emotionally.

September – More rock climbing. Ossian Mountain run. Ran Virgil 100 relay – with Jeff, Jason, Danielle, and Katie. Ran in Hi-tor with Ben, Ron, Mertsock, Jeff, Jason, Chris. Ran in Canada with Jeff. Rock climbed real rocks in Canada.

Virgil Relay Team photo - Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

Virgil Relay Team photo – Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

October – Spur of the moment ADK trip with Jeff and friends (Peter, and Liz). Watched Daven run Oil Creek 100 – with Mike and Jeff. Paced Daven for 13. Ran Watergap 50k and started 30 minutes late. Jeff stayed with me the whole race – paced me to a 50k PR and 2nd female overall, with the 30 minute penalty. Ran back to back 5k and 12k trail races the weekend after Watergap.

Water Gap 50k

Water Gap 50k

November – Ventured back to the ADKs for some winter backpacking. Met up with Danielle, Mark, and Stacey for a day of hiking. Hiked Phelps Mt. for the 3rd time this year. Then Jeff and I set out for some Lean-tos by Avalanche Lake. We Jet boiled bag food. Did 3 days of hiking on 2 Nalgenes of water (this water also used to boil bag food). Hiked Mt. Skylight. I froze. Winter is pretty. I moved.

On our way to Skylight

On our way to Skylight

December – Started doing Bikram again. Crewed Hobbs at Hellgate 100k – with Jeff, Chris, and Ron. Driving in Virginia is awesome. Crewing this race was awesome. Hellgate is in the top 5 best days of 2015. Ran a 5k PR at the Reindeer run. But still not sub 20. Started going to Fore Performance and doing Muscles for Mileage with Josh Rossi.
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Thats all.

So now im figuring out what im going to do in 2016…

Run a marathon? on roads? yeah…

Run 100 Miles? yeah.

Run 4000 Miles? yeah. wait… probably not.

“You only live once” seems to be an overused statement. But it’s what I keep telling myself. It’s how I justify any crazy event. You know. Why not. In the end, all that matters is what you did, and how you lived. Do whatever you need to do to be happy.
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2 years ago I started running with Matt Bertrand. Shortly after followed Mike W. Life is significantly better thanks to these 2. Thanks to the running fam. Which seems to keep growing. Thanks Chris, Jason, Mike M, Dave J, Josh, Daven, Jeff. Medved peeps. Trailsroc. Goose.

2016 should be good.
The End.

 

Lost and Found on the Great Range.

On January 1st 2015 I created an event for traversing the Adirondack Great Range.

This is something I’ve wanted to do since 2011. I had a failed attempt – and luckily only got to Lower Wolfjaw with 1 other friend. I don’t think either of us would have been capable back then.

The plan was to hike around the summer solstice – so we’d have plenty of daylight. So I chose June 25th – 29th. Plenty of days to choose the best weather. Cause good weather is cool. Also the Whiteface Skymarathon was that weekend – so lots of other runner friends were already planning on being there.
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Here goes: This is about to contain 4 days and about 30 hours of hiking. I might be able to condense it into an hour of reading. If you read as slow as I do. If your lucky it might take 15 minutes.
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Day 1 – Thursday – June 25th, 2015

Phelps. With Kyle and Jeff. We ran about 4 miles of this (round trip) from Heart Lake. Kyle hiked in his Luna Sandles. I totally underestimated the distance. Thinking it wouldn’t take much more than 2 hours. Took almost 4. A good pre-view of how the weekend would go.

Kyle hiked Phelps in his Luna sandlesIMGP1101
We got back to camp and were eventually joined by Mark, Matt, Jason, and Ron. Had some bagels and peanut butter for dinner. Came up with a plan for Fridays hike, since we decided we would be doing the traverse on Saturday. Jeff had mentioned an Avalanche Pass loop that went up Algonquin and Iroquois. I like loops. I liked the idea of a long scenic hike by the lake. It wouldn’t be too much the day before the Range. Right?
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Day 2 – Friday – June 25th, 2015

We met up with everyone around 7am. Trails were easy up by Avalanche Lake. Cool walkways and ladders and things.
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Eventually it gets more technical, with climbing and waterfalls and stuff. I hadn’t seen much of Kyle. He was either way ahead of everyone, or way behind. I was having fun. I wanted everyone to have fun. I hadn’t seen him smile, or laugh. How could someone look so miserable in a place like this? I was concerned. Something was up.

Hiking up waterfalls.

Hiking up waterfalls.

Long story short. Kyle was in a mental state that I recognized. I’ve been there. It was dark. It was the worst day we’ve ever had together. He was breaking down. It took every part of me not to join him.

There’s really no way of pulling someone out of their own head. I felt helpless. Things that you hold in on a daily basis get amplified. The truest thoughts come out. Honest things are spoken. It’s one of the worst places to be, but I think a necessary thing to experience.

Kyle and I hiked at the back of the pack up towards Algonquin. We eventually reached the others before they went over to Iroquois. Kyle started heading up Algonquin and was planning on continuing to the campsite. I was torn. Do I get one more high peak? And let Kyle hike alone? I went with Kyle.

Intersection between Iroqious and Algonquin

Intersection between Iroquois and Algonquin

Top of Algonquin

Top of Algonquin

We looked back at one point and saw the others already up on “Iroquois”. I thought… “that was fast”. So I dropped my bag and ran down Algonquin, and up what I thought was Iroquois. Got to the top, to find I would have to go down and up again… so I ran back over to Algonquin. I tried.

Kyle said he wouldn’t be joining us on the traverse Saturday. I still wanted to do it.

We ended up with about 13 miles of hiking. We got back to camp. Set up our hammock. Jason and Ron eventually came over, we talked to them for a bit. The rest of the crew got back. We started to figure out who was still up for the traverse, and how it was going to work.

At one point Kyle asked… so what time are we getting up? – 3am.

I was relieved. and slightly terrified. Kyle was gonna come. But I don’t think I could mentally handle another day like today. Once you reach the bottom though, you never hit quite as hard again.
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Day 3 – June 27th, 2015

The Great Range Traverse.

I woke up before my alarms, at about 2:48am. Started getting ready, and boiled some water for some french press coffee and hot cocoa. Kyle actually got up. So did Matt – who said he would be playing it by ear this morning.

Jason, Danielle and Ron drove up to our site. Jeff, Kyle and I piled into Matt’s car. We were on our way to Roostercomb trailhead. The sky was already bright at 4:30am. So much for needing headlamps.

We said fair well to Ron. Began our hike at about 5:15am.

The beginning - at Roostercomb trailhead.

The beginning – at Roostercomb trailhead.

I had hiked from here to Lower Wolfjaw before, and knew it would be the most annoying part of the day. It’s a lot of nothing. Nothing exciting. For 3.5 hours. We accidentally hiked up Roostercomb mountain.

Things started getting more exciting from Upper Wolfjaw and on. It became a series of scrambling, climbing and sliding down rocks. I had decided as soon as Kyle said he was coming – that I would always stay in the back. Trying to prevent any mental events by making sure no one felt like they were being left behind.

View from Armstrong.

View from Armstrong.

We really did have a random group of people. I didn’t know Danielle or Jason too well. Kyle was there. He doesn’t do much running stuff or know many of the running people. Matt, Jeff, and I…. not so random I guess. It was perfect though.

We left Armstrong Mountain, and before we knew it we were summiting Gothics. I thought Gothics had sweet cables and stuff? Part of me was disappointed, it wasn’t the Gothics I had hoped for. Until we started to descend. 🙂

Favorite photo of the trip.

Favorite photo of the trip.

Cables!

Cables!

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The summit to Saddleback came up pretty quick as well.

Saddleback.

Saddleback.

The decent from Saddleback was some of the funnest.
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Miles were slow, conversations were ridiculous and awesome. Hours flew by.

Hard to remember what peak is what now - I think this is Basin?

Hard to remember what peak is what now – I think this is Basin?

After Basin it’s a long stretch of hiking before you reach another high peak. We were on our way to Mt. Haystack. The talk of water being low started to come up. I was excited that we might actually need to try out one of the 3 water filtering things I brought.

We got to a trail intersection, and Jeff said we could drop our packs and hike up to Haystack quick. I liked the idea of not carrying anything for a bit – so heck yes.

We got to the top – to find out we were on Little Haystack, we’d have to go down and up again to Haystack. Thanks Jeff.

The view from Haystack was so good. Amazing. So far my favorite in the ADK.

On little Haystack, looking at Haystack.

On little Haystack, looking at Haystack.

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I was scared to ask Jeff what time it was on our decent from Haystack. I liked not knowing. Also had no idea how long we’ve been hiking. He eventually told me. 12 hours.

It was a long hike to Marcy. At this point we were playing it by ear, whether we would actually hike it or not. I was starting to see glimpses of the day before in Kyles face. We got to a trail intersection, and decided we would hike up to little Marcy and check things out. Everyone wanted to do Marcy. We’ve gotten this far – what’s one more.

Little Marcy was strangely windy. Real Marcy was not.
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Yayyy were done - now a 4.5 hour walk home...

Yayyy were done – now a 4.5 hour walk home…

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the backround.

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the background.

It was getting late once we were on Marcy. 6pm ish? Headlamps and night hiking would most definitely be happening on our walk home.

I was secretly excited for it to get dark. The trails would be easy by then, and it would make things slightly more interesting. I was not prepared for everything to look completely different. It felt like it took forever to reach sections of a trail we recognized. We kept second guessing whether we were on the right ones or not – but we had to be. Pretty much everyone was out of water. I had given Kyle the last of my water at Marcy. At some point on the night walk, I started to feel really dizzy.
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I stayed with Kyle and Danielle for most of the hike back. Jason eventually joined us. Matt and Jeff were up front – and eventually took off running(!?). I figured Matt had decided he would run his Mile (He runs everyday and has a streak of over 500 days – Has to run at least a mile). Jeff was keeping him company. My nose started running like crazy. What the heck! I eventually looked at my hand to see it was all bloody. Random nose bleed. Dizzy. Dieing – probably.

We eventually saw 2 headlamps in the distance. Matt and Jeff!!! They came back for us. Turns out Matt had a mental freak out and wanted to be done – so he ran to the finish. Then felt bad. He’s awesome.
We reached the trail head at Heart Lake. A strange feeling to be done after almost an 18 hour day. This was by far the longest and best day I’ve ever spent in the woods. Days and weekends like this make me wish I could live off blueberries and sweet potatoes, and live outside. In a hammock. Run and hike everyday. Running is the job. Or as Matt, Jeff and I decided – we would become professional hikers.
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We walked back to the campsites. We still had to go back and get Matt’s car from Roostercomb trailhead – a 30 minute drive. So an hour round trip. It was already around 11pm. We took our time though – and ate left over pizza from the day before and the infamous garlic knobs (They were actually called knots – but over the course of the traverse became known as knobs).

Jason shuttled Matt and I back to Roostercomb. I made sure Matt didn’t fall asleep or drive us into a mountain. We watched Jason pull into a gas station, and 5 minutes later became worried that we should have waited for him. It had to be open…. right? (apparently all gas stations close super early there)

I was hoping Kyle and Jeff would still be up when we got back – I didn’t want to go to bed. We got back and Kyle and Jeff had made a fire. It was starting to rain though, so eventually we all retreated into Matt’s tent.

Matt’s tent. Had a hinged door. A bucket for dirty sneakers. Light switch controlled lights. AND a cot. And a sleeping bag, with another sleeping bg opened up so to act as a blanket. As we sat and talked and drank cider and beer, I would notice Matt inching closer to the pillow. Eventually we looked over and Matt was out. The 3 of us sat on the floor of his tent until Kyle was folded over, and Jeff was horizontal. I wasn’t tired. Or. well – it was more like I didn’t want the day to end.
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Day 4 – Sunday July 28th

The original plan for Sunday was to watch people run the Whiteface Sky Marathon. 19ish miles on the slopes of Whiteface Mountain. This included watching Jeff race after the full 3 days of hiking. Plans changed when Jeff decided he wasn’t going to race. Also when the weather decided to be terrible that morning. Instead we met up with Jason, made sure he didn’t run out of gas (it was also his birthday) – and went out to breakfast.

We took down Marks tent. Witnessed tent homicide. Ron’s tent got stabbed (It was leaking and were given instructions to throw it out).

We said bye to Matt. He left his bachelor pad at the site incase our tents were too wet. We ended up using it as storage.

Mark stopped by to get his tent – He had just been running on Whiteface. Told us tales of 40 mile/hr winds, pouring rain, and hand numbing cold. He reported that many of the racers cut it short due to the conditions, and that it was a ridiculously hard course.

Eventually Jeff and I decided to hike/run one last high peak. So we picked Cascade – pretty quick and easy. Under 2 hours and 5 miles round trip.

Cascade in a cloud.

Cascade in a cloud.

The run down from Cascade was one of the coolest runs I’ve done. We were running down a creek bed. Lots of water, mud, rocks. I was wearing hiking pants that were falling down and a button up long sleeve shirt. Less than ideal running clothes. Just adds to the randomness of this trip and epicness of things.

We made a fire. It wasn’t raining (It was supposed to rain all day). Then boiled some water via Jetboil. We had 2 boxes of starwars mac and cheese, and pretzel bagels. Plenty for Kyle, Jeff and I. We toasted our bagels like marshmallows. Kyle and Jeff ate their mac and cheese with spoons. I used a fork.

Our fire was awesome. Another night a didn’t want to end.
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Cliff notes.

  • Carry more water than you think you’ll need. If you don’t need it someone else probably will. – I gave Kyle half of a nalgene of water, 1 full bottle of water, and half of my Gatorade bottle. Leaving me pretty curious about how much water I actually drank. I almost brought 1 more bottle – and should have.
  • Bring food. Real food is even better. We stopped at each peak and would eat something. And at one point actually called it “lunch”, which was cool.
  • As proved by Kyle – you don’t have to be a runner or hiker to be able to complete the range. He does have a running and endurance back round though, which is something you’ll never lose completely.
  • The Traverse is definitely not something anyone can do though – well at least not in one day.
  • The Traverse is more of an obstacle course.
  • Jason is officially THE nicest guy I know.
  • Jeff is an awesome trail guide. And loves maps. And is almost as easy to talk to as Matt.
  • Danielle is a super strong hiker, and strangely daredevilish.
  • Matt bought pants. Wore them for the traverse. Destroyed them. Returned them.
  • Danielle found a stick, used it for a while. She got tired of it, and Jason decided he would carry it to the end. Until Jason discarded it – and Jeff couldn’t let it go. The stick made it half way through the range, but the rock climbing and scrambling became too much for it.
  • Casualties from the Great Range – Matt’s pants. The stick.
  • Kyle was awarded MVP of the Great Range. Mostly because he kept his winter hat on the entire day.
  • No one died. No broken limbs.

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I seem to be gathering multiple days that qualify as “best days of my life”. Cayuga was one. This ADK weekend was totally. I was glad Kyle could finally experience one of these epic adventures with me. It makes it hard to have normal weekends, when all I want to do is spend days in the woods. I also like being around people? what?

There are two other tales of this hike on the Great Range. Read Matt’s story – which is probably the freshest, as he spit it out within 2 hours of getting home. Or read Jeff’s video game style, with accurate drawings of how the day unfolded.

I think thats all.

The end.

 

 

2 more high peaks down

Last Saturday we were camping at Wilmington Notch in the Adirondacks. I must say it is a great campground – Nothing fancy, simple and cheap ($18). We had a group of 7 people and 2 sites. We all gathered at one site for food and campfires. We lucked out on the weather too. I had been watching the weather all week – and all I saw was rain. The drive up to the ADKS was all rain…. but then we got to the campsite, and NO RAIN! Saturday was our hiking day, and it was a bit cloudy, but we still had great views. Most importantly no rain!

We hiked from Marble Mountain road, up to Esther (4240 ft), then up to Whiteface (4867 ft), then down to Connery Ponds. The hike took about 10 hours –
8:30 am – 6:30 pm, and about 12 miles.
Here’s a map – Not the correct trail routes, but just to give you an idea of the path we took.
hike

Here’s some more pics…

Esther Summit

Esther Summit

Me and Kyle on the way up to Esther

Me and Kyle on the way up to Esther

Nearing the top of Whiteface - Apparently you can drive to the top...

Nearing the top of Whiteface – Apparently you can drive to the top…

The top of Whiteface in sight

The top of Whiteface in sight

Whiteface Summit

Whiteface Summit

These stairs go down to a parking area... we went down them looking for the trail.... then discovered it was up and over the other side

These stairs go down to a parking area… we went down them looking for the trail…. then discovered it was up and over the other side

Still on whiteface

Still on whiteface

Going down was steep and Rocky. Also see those lakes? That's where we had to go.

Going down was steep and Rocky. Also see those lakes? That’s where we had to go.

Kyle and I getting ready to descend Whiteface

Kyle and I getting ready to descend Whiteface

Hiking up a mountain seems hard, but nothing compared to hiking down! Going down just seemed endless, and steep, and rocky! I fell a couple times. Other people fell too. By the bottom, my knee was killing me, and my feet were aching. Which I totally expected, but it was all from the downhill.

Sunday morning we had to drop our friend Nick off at the Adirondack Regional Airport. I had no idea how small it was!

ADK Regional Airport

ADK Regional Airport

They pretty much only fly into and out of Boston. Lucky for Nick!

Nick and Kyle

Nick and Kyle

5 high peaks down – 41 to go! The end.

Quick Niagara Falls Training Update

Training Update:

Week of Rochester Marathon: I ran 31.2 miles (includes Rochester Marathon)
4 weeks till Niagara:  I ran 26.5
3 weeks till Niagara: So far I’ve done 6.5 miles

I feel like I haven’t been doing anything, but at least I’m getting miles in. I’ve been working 10 hour days the last 2 weeks, to make up hours I missed while camping in the ADKS. Yesterday was a pretty good gym session, I ellipticalled for 30 minutes (4 miles), then treadmilled for 20 – about 2.6 miles. The night before I did a bunch of weight and strength workouts… I wasn’t sore during the day yesterday, but after the gym… yeah. Deadlifts and walking lunges… never fails at making me sore.

I have less than 3 weeks till Niagara Falls Marathon… game plan is to elliptical pretty much everyday. Saturday I have the day off, so I’ll try and do my long run – probably the only long run i’ll be able to do.

We hiked 2 more high peaks over the weekend while camping in the ADK’s. Esther and Whiteface – We hiked from Marble Mountain trail head to Connery Pond, about 12 miles. It was cool not having to do an out and back. I’ll post a recap of the trip soon.

 

Training Cont’d – onto Niagara Falls International Marathon!

Training Update:

Rochester Marathon Training
Week 1: Goal 31 miles – I ran 28.6
Week 2: Goal 41 miles – I ran 40.4
Week 3: Goal 46 miles – I ran 22.25
Week 4: Goal 46 miles – I ran 42.4
Week 5: Goal 51 miles – I ran 36.3
Week 6: Goal 36 miles – I ran 21.3
Week 7: Goal 51 miles – I ran 28.1
Week 8: Goal 53 miles – I ran 46.6
Week 9: Goal 52 miles – I ran 31.3
Week 10: Goal 41 miles – I ran 32
Week 11: Goal 57 miles – I ran 31.3
Week 12: Goal 55 miles – I ran 33.3
Week 13: Goal 49 miles – I ran 24.5
Week 14: Goal 44 miles – I ran 20.8
Week of Rochester Marathon: I ran 10.25
–Niagara Falls Training Starts – 4 weeks–
Week 16: I ran 31.2 miles (includes Rochester Marathon)

It was a hectic week after the Marathon – I wanted to jump right back in and start running, but something would keep coming up and I’d run out of time. Yesterday I could finally go for a run and I wanted to make it a long one – I felt good for 3 miles, but then started getting these weird sharp pains in my calf. So I stopped and tried to stretch it out, but nothing helped. I decided I would cut my run short – but I was still about 4 miles from home, so I ran another mile or so, and had to stop again. I walked, then I’d get tired of walking and try to run, then I’d have to walk again…. it was the longest 2 miles ever. I got home and I’ve never had a muscle hurt like my calf did…. It hurt to move my leg, move my foot, I could barely touch it – it was so sensitive. I tried to roll it out, but that was an awful idea…. I iced it, that didn’t help. Finally I took a shower, and that seemed to loosen it up. It’s still sore and I can pin-point the spot…

I don’t think I’ll be doing much running before Niagara – Were hiking some high peaks in the ADK’s next weekend. I’m going to the gym today to elliptical, and planning on the gym all this week. Need my calf to get better before the hike – and don’t want to risk injuries for Niagara.

Other things I accomplished this last week – I made an Adventure Time cake for a friends birthday. Made out of 4 different kinds of cake, AND a brownie on the bottom. The character is Jake.
jakecake3jakecake1jakecake2
I made a very similar cake for Kyles B-day last year. I think this one is the best I’ve done so far. His eye’s are birthday cake oreos.
Also – here’s some pics from the Rochester Marathon.
rochestermarathonrochestermarathon2rochestermarathon3

The End

3 high peaks down – 43 to go

Starting from the Adirondack Loj, also where we camped, we hiked Mount Marcy on the first day. It’s 14 miles round trip, and also the highest of the 46 high peaks. However it’s definitely not the hardest. The hike was mostly enjoyable, with just a couple moments of never ending rocky uphill climbs. We lucked out on the weather too – it was the perfect day for this hike. According to a 46er list, this hike should take 10 hours – we killed it by doing it in 6 and a half.

Our goal for Day 2 was to hike Algonquin peak, then Iroquois peak, then maybe Wright peak. Since all three are pretty much in a line – but plans quickly change. The hike up to the intersection of Wright and Algonquin was much more strenuous than Marcy. The weather also seemed to be changing as we got higher. The signs really don’t lie when they say the weather is unpredictable. We decided to go ahead and climb Wright Peak since it was only .4 miles from the intersection. Nearing the top of Wright we were surprised by strong winds and zero visibility.

It was kinda scary, we hadn’t seen anyone else hiking this day yet, we were all alone on the top of this mountain and couldn’t see 100 feet in front of us. And as we kept hiking to the top, the winds just got stronger until It just seemed like a bad idea to go any higher. We were probably like 200 feet from the top, but I was scared of being blown off the mountain. We also decided to head back to camp instead of hiking up to Algonquin, since there were no good views. Ended up being a good plan. We got back by noon, still got a good 7 mile hike in, beat the rain, and decided to go hang out on main st. in Lake Placid.

The hike to Wright Peak should take around 7 hours – we did it in under 5 hours.

ok foot… here’s a week off…

I’ve had top of foot pain and some arch pain for a while now – but never hurt while running. The first steps in the morning are always the worst then goes away quickly. But now to add to that, my achilles hurts… on the same foot. I blame the half marathon. I ellipticalled yesterday, and also went for a 5 mile run. After the run was the deciding point that I need my foot to get better or i’ll never be able to get in some longer runs before chicago.

Also a good time to take some time off because my friend Jenn that I run with is away for 2 weeks… so no peer pressure to run. I will be on the elliptical as much as possible tho. I hate the elliptical…

On a more exciting note – I made camping reservations for the Adirondacks on Heart Lake. Kyle and I plan on hiking a couple high peeks, which are to be decided. Most likely Mt. Marcy, and I really want to hike the Gothics. But we’ll see. I hiked Lower Wolfjaw last year with Jenn, it rained the entire time. I’m hoping for better weather this year. I don’t think I ever mentioned my non-running goal of being an Adirondack 46er. Got a long ways to go.

I made this checklist last year to keep track of things.

Also ordered another pair of shoes to add to my New balance Minimus collection –  I ordered the road version of the NB Zero’s. I plan on them being my marathon shoe.