Sunday, July 8, 2012
Visiting the Lady in the Clouds
A summit of Mount Lady Washington (13281 feet) this morning. I've run around this summit countless times on my way to Longs Peak and other destinations, so I thought it was time to finally pay the Lady a visit. I've been told that the views from this summit, especially of Longs Peak, are amazing. All I could see of Longs today is shown above. I took the Keyhole route up past Granite Pass and almost to the Boulder Field before hanging a left and scrambling to the summit. Actually two summits and I wasn't sure which was higher. I visited both and found the summit register tube on the summit to the east. Pretty fun up there in the clouds, still warm enough for a t-shirt. I descended blindly through the fog shooting for the Chasm trail junction. I ended up hearing waterfalls and navigating a bit of Class 4 downclimbing as I think I was getting closer to the Camel Couloir route to Chasm Lake. Praying I wasn't going to do something stupid and injure myself five days before Hardrock, I steered to the left and got to some easier downclimbing, coming out on the Chasm Trail only about a quarter mile from the junction.
All systems go for Hardrock. The dominant piece of advice I have received from several Hardrock veterans (including one I ran into on the trail today) is to GO SLOW. I know I have gone out too fast on both of my previous 100's, so I am taking this advice to heart. Besides, there is only one guy I have to beat. I plan to be very efficient and will spend as little time at aid stations as possible. Aid station time (or time not moving) has been a killer for me. Since the conditions in those mountains can change in an instant, I will actually be carrying all of my needed gear with me. I am only using a few drop bags for restocking my fuel. No pacers and the only thing I ask of my crew (Deanne, Megan, and Madison) is to let me see their smiling faces a couple times, most importantly the finish line. That's all the motivation I need. We're leaving the Fort for Silverton Wednesday morning. Look forward to seeing many of you there.
Pics from today:
The last time I ran in the San Juan Mountains (June 2009):