Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The run ended up being a cruel 16-18 miles and about 4 hours long. I GOT WORKED!
Well...while we were driving to Las Vegas on Friday night we found out that Ashley became very sick and she was probably going home on Saturday (she did indeed go home on Saturday). This changed some plans because now I was to be the only one with a car. Susan and Andrea had no vehicle after Ashley left so I became apart of the girls big Valentines Day weekend. This was definitely not in the plan for anyone, but we made it work and had a great time bouldering in Calico Basin (near Red Rocks) for the weekend. We even got a little sunshine when the weather called for a wet weekend.
Wish I took a few more photos of the great problems we climbed...here are a few. First shot is Susan working the moves on a V4 and the rest are of me climbing a silly dyno problem.
Poor Ashley...get better soon!
Oak Creek Canyon
Sedona Spires with snow!
It was probably o.k. for my training to have an easier week for recovery but I need to keep tackin on the miles. This week I am getting back on track with already about 20 miles logged. I will try to add another 10-15 miles before the weeks over. I need to be running between 30-40 miles each week for the next little while and then keep adding miles...
I'm not sure I mentioned why I am training... Last Fall, I attempted to run the Hole to Hump and didnt finish. I made it 75 miles in 16 hours but had to admit defeat because of mental and physical exhaustion and looming bad weather. I was only about 18 miles from the peak of Humphreys but still had at least 3,500 to 4,000 feet of elevation yet to gain. It was a very difficult decision to stop and tough emotionally. To run for 16 hours and then quit before reaching the finish is a very difficult choice to make. I learned a ton from that effort and ever since then I have wanted to go back and finish what I had started. I am convinced I can do it.
Hiking down into the Grand Canyon the morning of the Hole to Hump with Jason Boyd (he helped support part of the run) and Susan.
What is Hole to Hump you ask? It is an "off the radar" ultra run that starts at Phantom Ranch elevation 2,550' (at the bottom of the Grand Canyon) and finishes on the summit of Humphrey's Peak elevation 12,637' (near Flagstaff, AZ). The run is about 92 miles (give or take a few) and gains about 11,000' in elevation (accounting for ups and downs along the way). The goal of a run like this is to not only finish but break the 24 hour mark along the way. That is my goal.
Very few people do the run. It is not very well known and has complex routefinding on trails and dirt roads which you follow mostly at night. This adds alot of spice to the adventure. You have to do alot of planning and check out all the sections of the course so that you feel comfortable and don't loose your way. This run is way out there and there are no crowds cheering you on. In fact, there are usually only a couple people crazy enought to help with support for an event like this (THANK YOU SUSAN FOR BEING THERE LAST YEAR. I WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT AS FAR AS I DID WITHOUT YOU! Boydo too). They are the only people you will see, except for hikers in the first 15 miles (S. Kaibab Trail and on the road in the Grand Canyon) and the last 5 miles (Humphrey's Peak Trail). This is definitely something you have to do for yourself-to see what your made of. You can't care what other people thing because they mostly think your crazy.
Gotta keep training...
Maybe sometime I will post the blow by blow of the last Hole to Hump and note what I learned and will change for this attempt in June (if weather permits).
Mathieu Brown did the Hole to Hump last year. Read about his adventure here.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
On Sunday we snuck away to the desert to catch a little good weather and go for a hike. Our choice was to go to Cave Creek Trail located northeast of the town of Cave Creek (near Phoenix). Suprise, there was some nasty weather in Cave Creek too. Thundershowers, although hit and miss, threatened the whole time we were there.
Cave Creek Trail is located way back on dirt roads so we ended up bailing on it for fear of getting stuck in a wash (flash floods are not something to mess with). We opted for another trail that was closer to the town of Cave Creek called Spur Cross Trail. This trail ended up being quite a pleasant suprise. It is located in the Tonto National Forest and the landscape was hilly desert with Sagauros and all the other classic cacti of the Arizona desert. The creek near the trail was flowing because of the rains offering a nice addition to the dry desert. Beautiful.
Here are some shots from the hike...
Crossing Cave Creek. We had to cross it quite a few times.
Shiloh getting to play...and then spray us with water.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Another view of the end of the canyon. Huge walls!
Susan and I enjoying the last bits of light in the canyon.
On Friday Susan stayed home to work and do school work and I went down to to Grasshopper Point again to boulder. We have been ticking away at the projects there and a few more went down. Here are a few photos of our day at grasshopper.
Tony C. climbing Viva La Revolution Stand V5