Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Brink and an Asian Invasion

Returning home from nearly two weeks in Colorado, I have a renewed amazement for our home at the foot of the Wasatch. I thoroughly enjoyed the new trails and endless peaks of Colorado but many of ours are every bit as good and closer to home and work.  The real bonus is the relief right out of town.  Mount Wire gains 2200 vertical, Grandeur Peak 3300, Olympus 4100, and Lone Peak 5500!

The Brink (a new classic):

While our trails are steep and rocky, as one moves east away from the front, the rocks give way to dirt and the angle lessens, making for more sublime running.  This is embodied by a new instant classic that was shared with me and Jason by the immortal Tom Diegel (what is it with these "old guys" that faster and stronger than most in their so called prime?).  Last Thursday Tom's invitation kept getting passed along and soon we were a pack of five, heading out to the Brink.  

The Brink is really the Big Mountain trail but makes a loop by starting on the Mormon Pioneer trail or at Affleck Park, climbing to the Big Mountain Pass, and continuing onward and passing just under Lookout Peak before descending back to the park.  The distance was around 14 miles with 3100 gain and with monikers like the "Brink" and the "Woods of Despair", it sounds intimidating but with the right weather it's as peaceful as it gets.  It's so good that one of Tom's legendary friends has actually ridden this trail over 700 times and regularly takes naps at many of the sunlit scenic overlooks.

Tom Goth heads home from a day at the Brink

Asian Invasion (on an old classic):

Saturday morning Jason and I joined forces with the Inouye clan of Jared, Sam, Aaron, and their uncle Roman to make a group solo of the West Slabs of Olympus and then scramble to the true summit and run down the standard hiking trail.  This incredible backyard "run" rivals anything in the western United States as it gains 4100 vertical from some lucky bastard's back door, while covering miles of semi-technical terrain.  Taking many pauses for Jason's impromptu photo shoot, we enjoyed the fluid movement over easy rock before tagging the true summit.  Standard sh** talking while lounging around on the summit boulders ended up in a startling scene when we suddenly all took off our shirts for an old fashion juvenile flex off.  Ages 24-50 something, this was true regression from our obviously matures selves.  A couple of poor hikers happened upon this embarrassment and tried to laugh it off.  They are probably still laughing.

Tired of the shenanigans and late to get home, a game of "Chinese fire drill" ensued as we raced each other down the mountain.  On the brink of disaster nearly every moment, we tried to "put the pass on" at every opportunity.  Normally, I hate hard descents but by adding the spice of competition, this was pure fun.  The lead changed multiple times before we all landed in the parking lot, sweaty and laughing at our silly games.

All photos shared reluctantly by Jason Dorais:

Approaching the Slabs

Another beautiful Wasatch morning

More slabiness

We weren't the only ones billy goating around

Once done with the slabs, a lot of slow going ensues

Laughing at my discovery of a nice blue windshirt.  If you can identify it, I'll gladly get it back to you.

Six adults acting like six adolescents (where's Shingo, Brandon, and Xien?)
I hear rumors of up to two feet of snow in the mountains by the end of the week!  Let it snow!


  1. Man, that's a lot of yellow skin on the summit. Makes me suspicious you guys are planning something. Chinese, Japanese,'s a great continent love fest. Nice to see you all getting along for a change. Ha! I guess me and round eyes are banished from the club. Sad. Looks out of control fun. Are wearing slippers on the slabs???

  2. Great pictures! You look like you had a lot of fun over there! And hey! There is no such thing as old age if you continue to feel young. Old are those who can no longer appreciate the beauty of life and what is has to offer. :D I hope you have more stuff to share. I am sure it will be just as fun as this.