Monday, April 22, 2013

A New Kind of Adventure

I've spent the last few years trying to push my limits by learning to climb and ski and run in the mountains.  As I've pushed my proverbial boat farther out to sea, I've found joy in the rewards of learning efficiency and finding endurance.  Now, I get to watch my boy do the same, except his little boat doesn't go that far.  We just took a quick trip to Castle Valley and it was fun to watch him explore a small circle around the fire.  He would never go too far without casting a quick glance back at momma and papa for reassurance.

Lars (R) with cousin Kyler (L) starting out the trip as all good trip should...with ice cream.  

A painful view from camp with the unfinished portion of the La Sal Traverse visible

The boy, his momma, a little chair, and a big tower

Which way to camp?  I took a picture almost just like this one a number of years ago after being introduced to Castle Valley by a good friend, Andy Carmen.  Exchange Lars for Jason and it would be nearly identical. 

While making breakfast, the sun rose such that we caught a nice tower eclipse of the sun.

Tower eclipse
With camp packed, I decided to beat up my legs on a long pavement run back to Moab.  The first 5 miles are rolling and then mostly flat along the river road.  Actually, it's all down hill but only very subtly so, losing around 75-100 feet over 15.5 miles (from the Castle Valley turn off).

En route, the canyon walls must have screwed with the GPS signal as I broke a world record in the mile.  I put it up on Strava and even created a segment.  For those unfamiliar, is an online resource to record training, be it running, cycling, or skiing.  It keeps track of distance, pace, vertical ascent per hour and a ton of other parameters.  It's most unique feature however, is the ability to create segments from your GPS track, name them, and then keep a public record of everyone that travels over that same track.  For example, in Salt Lake, the west side of Grandeur Peak has become quite the test piece for those wanting to go up hill fast.  Many segments have been created but a couple start from the parking lot and follow the trail to the summit.  Everyone that has done this and uploaded their data to Strava is now ranked and it's easy to compare how fast each person went through every step of the way.  I realize this is just another way for people to spray about how good they are at stuff but it sure does flame the fire of some friendly competition.  As I type, I wouldn't doubt it if Tom Goth is out trying to take down the speedy Burke Swindlehurst on the fastest known Grandeur time.  But Burke's incredible 41:13 (1511 VAM) is still to date the fastest Strava time up this steep trail.  Unfortunately, the rumor of Jared Campbell's sub 40 minute effort up Grandeur doesn't count because it's not on Strava.  Nor does Jason's 42:30 or my 45:XX...everyone know's that if it's not on Strava, it's not legit.  

So join up (Jason).  Seeing my buddies do impressive things is really motivating.  And, in return,  it's fun trying to break personal bests or improve on a friend's time and I think it makes us all better.  
BTW, I have no affiliation with this stupid website... 


  1. Meh on Strava....Yay on awesome adventures with the little one!

  2. Guys in my high school summitted Mount Grandeur in around 40 minutes all the time. It was no big deal.