Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Longest "Run" Ever: Crow Pass

I've wanted to run crow pass for what feels like years. Every summer I intend to do the race, then for a multitude of reasons, never do. I don't have many friends that are willing to go for jaunts like this. So when Lynn said she would be up for it, I was super psyched! I feel like these are the last days in the mountains before I switch back to skis and mountaineering boots.

I started out gung ho, but after the 4th switchback was feeling some insane burn in my calves. We weren't racing, so I didn't feel the need to push past the pain, I wanted to enjoy the sunny day. We alternated walking the steeper bits and running what we could. We got to the cabin at the top of the pass in 53 minutes, the race disqualifies you if you take longer than an hour. I was psyched that we would have made the first cut off even with walking.

Lynn Heading up to the Pass


The snow is pretty low down on the Girdwood side of the pass. It definitely slowed us down a bit, but there was no post holing mania, which I was anticipating with dread.

Beautiful White Snow


I think my favorite part of crow pass is at the top of the pass by raven glacier. The views in both directions are amazing.

Me and Lynn


The trail is kinda sloppy from Raven gorge along the mountainside till you drop down to the Eagle River. There was a lot of deep, squishy, shoe sucking mud with roots and rocks sprinkled about.

Eagle Glacier with Fall Colors

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All in all it took us one minute under 7 hours, and was thoroughly enjoyable the whole way. We were slow where we needed to be, took lots of pictures, and wrung our socks out after the river crossing. I'd like to train for it and do the race at some point in the future, but its also nice to just have a leisurely day in the this was the longest run I've ever done!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peters Creek to Eagle River

Ryan and I met up with Hugh and Aimee bright and early Saturday morning (at least for us!). The whole drive out Ry and I were kicking ourselves for not going skiing instead, I can't believe how much snow had fallen in the mountains....all of a sudden my crappy,holey, summer running shoes felt inadequate for the day ahead...but I usually take the optimistic approach and assured myself it could not be more than 6 inches deep, and Ryan and Hugh could break trail for me too.

We parked at the Big Peters creek trail head and were cruising down the wide awesome trail. Which of course after about 7 miles turned into the narrow, muddy, bushy, slippery trail. About this point Ry's ankle started acting up and he opted to turn around. I always wonder when someone tells you to keep going and they can make it back on their own and you should go ahead, if they really mean it...I really wanted to keep going, way more than I wanted to come back the way I already had been. So I went, then felt intermittently guilty throughout the day about letting Ry walk back by himself....but the farther I got, the less I wanted to turn around.

Hugh approaching Mount Rumble


We walked a really long way back in the valley before we saw Peeking, and the valley we thought we wanted to go up.

Aimee starting to gain elevation above the valley


We ran into snow at about 3,500 feet, and it just got a little deeper the higher we went. The mountains back here are amazing. Huge steep lines, it looks like winter up there.

Aimee heading up the backside of Peeking toward Raina Peak


We were super lucky with the weather....if we had been a half hour later up there we wouldn't have been able to see the pass that we needed to cross. It was a lot higher than we had all thought, about 6,200 ft, pretty much right below the summit of Mt. Raina. The clouds and snow were thick as we made our way down into Ram Valley.

Hugh and Aimee heading down into Ram Valley


Hugh lives at the very end of Eagle River Road, so we climbed out of Ram Valley and took a super steep, slippery, trail that went straight down to the road. We dropped the remainder of our elevation in the steady rain, and fading light, it really was good timing! And ended up back at Hugh's front door.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lost Lake

All summer Lynn, Tonya, and I have talked about running Lost Lake. Finally last week the day came.

Lynn's Action Photo's


Tonya, the non runner of us three, did awesome! And she was worried! Both me and Lynn giggled that she looked like the ultra runner among us, with her biceps bulging and zero body fat.


The Top of the Lost Lake Trail


It took us 3 hours and we got to chat and pick some yellow salmon berries. Great day out! After the run, we easily picked up a ride with a Seward Local, and headed back to town.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kasugi Ridge

Kasugi Ridge has been on my "must do" wish list for a long time. Since Kellie and I were in the area, and we woke up to a blue bird day, the stars seemed to be in alignment for us. We started at Little Coal Creek and ended at Byers lake 27.5 half miles later. We did it as a day hike in about 12 hours. Stellar walk through the mountains, but I was surprised at how un-ridge like it was.

Lounging in the Sun in Front of the Alaska Range




Flying Saucer Clouds and Rock


The trail varied from plateau walking to ridges with a long descent to a valley and then back to the "ridge". This is a long and beautiful walk.

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