Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Timp: The Everest Ridge "Run"

This glorious Indian summer has made for spectacular running with most of the early storm snow now only adding some flavor to the trails.  We have managed to put in a solid block of training over the last 10 days with my monotonous but effective log looking something like:

Total miles: 95
Time: ~ 24 hrs
Vertical ~42K

Grandeur x 7.33
Wire x 4
Sugarhouse runs x 2
Timp x 1

While not putting in numbers like this guy, my goal has been to build volume and try to put in a couple hard efforts each week.  Over this stretch, I managed to set my PR on Mount Wire (28:56 for the Strava Segment) and on Grandeur Peak (45:32, Jason went 42:38 on the same day).  As can be plainly seen, we've lacked imagination in our route selection, although this is also out of convenience with busy work and family schedules.

Today however, after 9 days of monotony, enough was enough and we needed to get out of the foothills and onto something bigger.  Timp was calling and we settled on one of our favorite games of trying to summit the Sleeping Maiden from our parent's house (5000) in Pleasant Grove.  After a tempting invitation from our sisters to skip the run and get some breakfast, we shouldered our packs (conspicuously short on rations), and took off jogging down the pavement toward Battle Creek Canyon.

Both of us felt rather flat but we took a short detour to summit of Big Baldy (~8800) where Jason started to feel revived and I started to crater (I blame this on poor sleep, high volume, and eating Pho last night).  This continued as we bushwhacked our way onto the Everest Ridge and fought the decaying talus toward the summit ridge.  Easily the slowest I've moved in the mountains, I probably should have turned around early but the thought of descending the scree back into the scrub oak prompted me onward.

During the ascent I ate everything I had, including one gel, a pack of sport beans, and a Little Debbie cookie and drank the last of some stupid zero calorie sports drink that Jason had handed me on the way out the door.  Relying on snow for the remainder of the day I landed on the summit to find Jason celebrating election day with a bona fide American Flag.  

Now stuck 11,749 feet, I couldn't think of a good way down.  The scree sounded horrible as did the standard trail to the Timpanooke TH followed by a long traverse back around the mountain and out Grove Creek Canyon and back to our parent's house.  We opted for the standard trail.  Even though I was bonking my way through mile after mile I actually found the snow packed trails quite peaceful until I came upon Jason spying a moose blocking our path.  After a little yelling and a couple false starts, we made it passed the gangly thing and on to the trail head.  Here, we faced another decision and opted for the easy way out.  

Hitchhiking out of American Fork Canyon to the closest restaurant, we then guzzled Coke and ate delicious overpriced "express gourmet" food and waited for our sister to bail us out with a ride and some money.  

Jason nearing the summit of Big Baldy with Timp and the Everest Ridge in the background

See, he really is American!

With a couple days of fine weather remaining I'm sure we'll be back up Wire and Grandeur a few more times before conditions take a drastic change for the better (hopefully we'll be skiing again this weekend!)

Timp Run:
17.5 miles
~7000 vertical
One moose
One goat
A skiff of snow
Some bushwhacking
And a lot of scree

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