The retroactive collection of stuff I did but barely remember so I remember at all. Which is to say, welcome to stuff you should only read if were part of it. Random hikes & runs of 2013!
Dec 14 / Skyline Trail (C2T) (???)
We did this. I swear.
Nov 15 / Grand Canyon R2R2R (II) (John’s 1st) – 24:00
This was John’s first R2R2R, and was entirely impulsive. We had planned to do a quick jaunt down to Phantom and up to BA on Friday, then climb Humphreys on Saturday and then drive back to SD on Sunday. But sitting at the table at Phantom, John saw others heading north and wanted to know where they were going. And then he wanted to follow them. And then we ended up doing R2R2R. Took us exactly 24 hours. There was no Humphreys the next day.
Nov 10 / Mt. San Jacinto via Tram (Juli)
Fun hike with my friend Juli up from that Tram. Her first time up. Couldn’t ask for a better day for it.
Oct 26 / Cactus-to-Clouds (Gary, Kam+)
See trip report.
Oct 19 / San Gorgonio 9-Peaks Traverse (Andre, Kam)
See trip report.
Oct 12 / Rabbit and Villager Peaks (Mike, Huy)
This is a long, tough hike from the desert floor up to Rabbit and Villager Peaks. We started just after dawn and finished just after dark, and we were baked. On the way, Mike had some dehydration or energy challenges and discovered the wonders of electrolytes and rink mixes. Great day with great friends.
Oct 6 / Cactus-to-Clouds-to-Cactus (C2C2C)
See trip report.
Sep 21 / Skyline Trail (C2T) with Huy
This is an awesome trail, if not an awesome hike. Sort of the trail we did today on the way to do C2C, but instead ended up doing only Skyline Trail to the tram. I’d like to blame H, but it was not he but I that crashed and burned at 7000′. Bonked. Big time. Beautiful day, but no C2C or C2C2C to be had.
Sep 7 / San Jacinto via Marion Mountain with Huy
Hail! See trip report.
Aug 17 / Ellie Lane Short (Kathy, Laura)
It was a hot day for a quick hike, but we rallied.
June 20 / Mom Takes the Happy Hikers to Denali
My mom led a group of Happy Hikers on beautiful hikes in Denali. I did the same hike Cathedral Peak hike with her a few years back, and the views off the back of the ridgeline and deeper into Denali are truly gorgeous. I was not there, if that’s not clear 😉
Jun 15 / Tram to San Jacinto Peak Run – 2:50
Wasn’t sure what today would hold as far as hiking or running. Tried to plan something rather late with a friend, but the universe was mean. So I ended up taking the Palm Springs aerial tram up to Long Valley and trying to run the peak. This is exactly as random and odd as it sounds.
The trail from the ranger station (where you get your permit) is a little more than 5.5 miles from the summit on the main trail, making for a round-trip of 11 miles with 2,000’+ of vertical up and down — almost exactly what I ran last weekend on the Ellie Lane route up Iron Mountain. Still, I was a bit sick and the average altitude is 9,500′ or something, so my goal was just to run as far as I could and then lie down for a nice nap.
I took a small camel back with about 1/2 liter of water, 6 Gus and 6 Gin Gins. Turned out to be just about right in the end. So nice going light.
Strangely tired right now, so no energy for details, but I made it running, all 11 miles. No one was more surprised than I was. About 2:50 R/T. Cool.
May 25 / Iron Mountain Trail Run
I tried a new variation today, parking at the Iron Mountain lot then traversing over to Ellie Lane and running the full loop that way. The idea was to allow for a longer warm-up on a flatter part of the trail and make it impossible to bail out on the last part of the run by putting it at the bottom fo the hill. Worked out pretty well.
Goal for the today was just to do the run without stopping. This was my third time trying. I’d made it the first time in 1:50+ and hit a high HR of 206 or so, and while I’d probably felt better after that run than ever after running, it seemed odd that my heart rate was so high. On the second attempt, I more or less made it but felt like stopped in and walking the whole time; no energy, no power in the legs, and I walked a few times, for a time of about 2:10 (not to mention a peak HR of 217 (!)). All I wanted today was to do it the fully loop without walking or feeling like I was going to hurl a lung.
Woke feeling tired and unmotivated. Didn’t feel much better when I parked. From the first step, my Achilles felt a bit off. So, ambition was there but hopes were low. however, about half-way up the first climb to Table Rock I settled into a 155-165 HRM at a mellow pace and just kept it there. Felt fine.
Running down and up the next section, which seems like the crux of the run, I tried to just keep my pace at a level that kept my heart rate below 170, and it worked out to generally lower than 160. Felt great. At that pace, I felt like I could run all day. Maybe a nice high calorie breakfast was helping (which was nice as I’d had 3 little coffee cakes and some bananas for breakfast, and I wouldn’t mind an excuse to eat more baked goods).
I was just thinking as I ran down from the second ridge line how I had accidentally achieved something I hadn’t really thought was possible: I was enjoying the run itself. Not just the goal, not the work out per se, but the run. Felt great. And I was just thinking what a bummer r it would be to lose that feeling when I re-tweaked my left foot and ended up wincing in pain on every step for the next half mile. Self fulfilling prophecies are really annoying.
Still, on the way up Iron Mountain proper, i kept the heart rate down again, never getting about 165, and reached the top in no time with very little feeling of fatigue or effort. Had my third Gu on the way down, and reached the car in 1:49, not only feeling better than I ever had, but beating my best time. I honestly thought about doing another shorter loop up the mountain, but then, well, I didn’t ;). Not 100% sure on distance; maybe 9 miles? Love to do a half marathon soon, at least on the trail. Probably my best running day ever. Now, off to REI for some new trail running shoes…
May 18 / San Jacinto 4-Peaks Traverse with John, Huy & Mike
John and I met up at the Idyllwild Ranger Station to register and then head over to Marion Mountain trailhead for a hike up to San Jacinto. While there, we bumped into my friend Mike (we always run into each other here) and his hiking buddy Huy. Turned out we had planned on more or less the same route, so 30 min later we were all headed up the trail together.
We quickly made it up to the peak of San Jacinto, with John trooping along as always despite the fact that he has no time to train. Made the climb up in about 3 hours, arriving at 11:30am on a gorgeous day. Couldn’t have asked for better weather. Well, it could have been slightly cooler, but for me it can always be slightly cooler.
Took a wee break on the summit then traversed over to Jean Peak, which is alway a bit anti-climactic, then down and over to Marion Mountain. The summit block on Marion takes a few minutes of scrambling, but then you’re up and enjoying some of the best views in the area — not as panoramic as the view from San Jacinto, but a more isolated a scenic viewpoint otherwise.
From here, we traversed over toward Newton Drury, but somehow ended up climbing most of the way up Jean Peak again and didn”t realize we were off course (despite climbing WAY more than we should have been) until we saw the valley outside Palm Springs. Bad. Huy had earlier decided to claim victory on a false summit, probably the smart move, but instead we descended again, traversed over, and climbed the real ND. Hurray. Actually a pretty cool little summit. Never been up there before.
On the way down, we ran or stumbled almost all the way, Mike driving a great pace despite the heat. Back at the cars around 4:40 (roughly 8 hours R/T). No idea mileage or vertical b/c no one was tracking, but a fantastic day with great group. Definitely better than working 😉
Apr 28 / Cactus to Clouds (C2C) with Andre+
Done! Andre, Ben, Tony and I showed SJ who’s boss. Namely Andre, but aside from that, it was a great climb. We did Cactus to Tram in less 4.5 hours, cutting a full hour of my prior best time, and go to the top in 6:40 (Andre in 6:35). Great day. Great crew.
Some of the usual stomach issues, but no biggie until the way down. Time for a nap! Think I’ll avoid Nuun electrolytes next time and see if that helps.
At the peak, we ran into two PCT through-hikers, and Andre asked them where they were from. One said, Texas, and for some reason I can’t place, I knew he was from Lubbock. Accent? Bearing? No idea. So I said, “I though you were from Lubbock” and he looked totally stunned. He was from Lubbock. I think he thought I was warlock or something. Ha.
Andre ran all the way down to the tram. Awesome. The rest of us jog-walked. Less awesome, but easier on the knees 😉
At the tram, I mentioned that I wanted to do C2C2C someday but it never worked out. Andre said, “I’ll do it,” and I laughed. Of course he would. But no way was I hiking back down with my stomach all messed up. Turns out, it would have been a terrible, awful, possibly lethal decision — it was 105 in Palm Springs. No fun hiking down into a furnace. C2C2C will have to wait for cooler weather.
Apr 6 / Skyline Trail (C2T)
I have no recollection of this day, but there are pictures, so it must be real. I think it might have been challenging, and wonderful. And perhaps salty.
Mar 30 / Ellie Lane Trail
One of my bucket list items for the year is to be able to run Iron Mountain R/T without stopping, even if it’s not exactly a blazing time. So, I figured I’d start out this morning trying to run various parts of Ellie Lane and see how it went.
To be perfectly candid, I’ve never really run up anything; I’ve run parts of trails up and down, but never really up anything more than Torrey Pines or any long distances. The odd thing is, I’ve done day-hikes exceeding 40 miles, but never really been that big a runner. So for whatever reason running 6 miles R/T on the regular Iron Mountain trail seems more intimidating than R2R2R in the Grand Canyon.
Anyhoo, I started off running slowly from just after the parking lot and managed to run, slowly (and I do mean slowly) all the way up to Table Rock without stopping. Surprising, and awesome. My heart might have tried to pull the rip chord at one point, but I shoved it back in and all was good. My heart rate peaked on the way up here in the mid 170s. I kept running down into the valley and started the next uphill without stopping.
Until the stone stairs on the climb. Then I stopped running. After that, I walked about 1/3 of the way up, and then ran the remaining third and down all the way over to Iron Mountain and up the first several traverses. Then that was about it for the run up. I walked the rest of the way up, then ran all the way back down to the Iron Mountain parking lot (where my heart rate was about the same as running up EL, so I may have been a bit dehydrated) and walked down the 67 back to Ellie Lane. I think this adds up to about 9 miles, but not really sure, in about 1:45.
So, taking this as my baseline, I figure I ran up a bit less than half of the total vertical, and down all of it. If I can connect the second climb (on EL) without stopping, that’s probably a good next goal. Need to do some research on target hear rates and such. But all in all, it was a good first try at the running part. Plus I got to eat Pho afterward. Yum.