Cactus to Clouds

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Various Hikes & Runs 2014

Mt. Hood from Timberline

Mt. Hood from Timberline

Welcome to my list of hikes & runs done in 2014, the most exciting blog post of 2014, except for every other blog post in 2014. Enjoy! Or don’t! Why are you reading this?

Dec 15 / R2R2R (IV) (Kam’s 1st)

This was Kam’s first R2R2R. She rocked it but for some coldness at the North Rim. Came back like a champ.

Some Photos
https://goo.gl/photos/PvYPhAxWbMsGgZQj6

Dec 6 / Boucher Hill via Nate Harrison (Kam)

Ran up this mountain! Yep, ran it. First for me; pretty stoked. Took about 2.5 hours from the start of the Grade to the peak fire station lookout up Nate Harrison. Walked part way down then hitched due to injuries of various parties; and easier on the body! Next time, R/T run!

Nov 27 / Mt. Langley via Tuttle Creek (Kam)

Got a chance to hike one of the routes up from Tuttle Creek on Thursday while normal people were gorging themselves on Turkey and pie.

Nov 15 / Boucher via Nate Harrison (Kam)

Did a completely spontaneous climb up Boucher on Saturday via the Nate Harrison Grade, which is apparently a popular local bike ride — despite being a dirt road for much of the ascent. It was a beautiful day for a hike, not too hot or cold, but from the parking area at Pauma Valley School, the ascent looked pretty intimidating. This was probably because Kam was talking about us running the thing, which she apparently had done a few years earlier. To me, it looked like a long slog uphill and well beyond my running abilities.

A short while later we had walked up the lower paved section of the Grade and were climbing steadily on the dirt road. Apparently it was time to “run” or at least try. We started off at a slow, steady pace and six miles later I was still going. It was an amazing feeling to be able to keep going for so long, never really pushing that hard, just slow and steady until my legs started dying on me.

We hiked the last few miles to the top, enjoyed a cloud impeded view of the valley from the lookout tower, and headed down (note to the reader — there is no water at the top anymore). The run down was actually harder to my mind — not as aerobic, but a lot of impact and increasing heat — but soon enough we reached the tarmac by the organic farm sign, and walked from there. Kam was running along just as happy as a freakin’ clam except for a little cramping. Impressive.

By the time we were back at the car, we’d done some 22+ miles in total, 16 of it running. This was the longest cumulative run I’d ever done in a day, and all things considered, it wasn’t that bad. Even if the next day was a bit brutal. Next time, need to run all the way up. Then spit up a lung.

Oct 25 / Mt. Langley via Horseshoe Partial (Kam Froze 🙂 )

Went for what was to be a hike-run up Langley via the usual Army Pass route from Horseshoe Meadows, but the it was colder and windier than expected and “someone” froze solid. Turned around before things got ugly and, fortunately, this gave us the rest of the day to explore. We regrouped in Lone Pine and headed over to Tuttle Creek to explore a surprisingly beautiful canyon.

Oct 18 / Cactus to Clouds (Kam+) – 11:11h

Another great C2C, this time with Kam, Gary, Jim and Ben. Well done, everyone! Just like last year, we ran into Mike at the top, which is pretty weird, but on the other hand it is his mountain.

Oct 14 / San Jacinto via Tram (Kathy) – 2:38h

Ran the trail from the tram again, after nearly missing 1st tram, then met Kathy back at tram and walked up to Wellman with here. Fun day, beautiful weather, and 1st time ever seeing ocean clearly from the top.

Oct 11 / Nowhere Near Lone Pine Peak (Kam / John)

I think I wrote about this somewhere. John fell and scraped himself up. Going to dig it up…

Oct 5 / Mt. Woodson via Lake Poway

No recollection of this at all. I think my time up from the lake to the peak was under an hour, which is nice, but no idea what else may have occurred.

Sep 26 / Ellie Lane to Iron Mountain – 2:35h

Ran this via the Ellie Lane out-and-back, which his something like 10.5 miles, in 2:35. Best time so far despite pretty awesome faceplant coming down the switchbacks on Iron. I suspect that to improve the time I’m going to need some kind of leg workout regime, b/c my quads are always dragging on the way back, but it was still a beautiful day and fun run.

Sep 21 / Skyline Trail (C2T) (Kam) – 5:45

This was Kam’s second or third time up to the tram from Palm Springs. Much improved time of 5:45. Great day

Sept 14 / Olympic National Park

On a day when I was supposed to be doing some epic hike, I slept in and instead from here from my cousin’s in Tacoma to go for a short run. Gorgeous. Someday, I should go back…

Aug 31 / Meysan Lake (Kam)

I think this was the first or second time we’ve ever done this hike. Let’s say first. It’s a great trail out of Whitney Portal without any of the crowds on the Mt. Whitney Trail. There are great views of Lone Pine Peak, and the lake itself is beautiful. I seem to remember this being a hot day, and the lake water felt pretty awesome on the feets.

Aug 30 / Pine Creek Trail (Kam

Fun little hike up and run down to the pass, or some pass. On the way down, did our obligatory ice bucket challenge in a chilly lake. Or at least I did. Kam just kind wet her hair. She was not having it.

Aug 23 / Ellie Lane Trail to Iron Mountain – 2:49

Ran this again on Saturday via Ellie Lane Trail (Iron to Ellie to peak and back). According to All Tracks, perhaps the least accurate app in the world (sorry guys, but damn), it was 11.94 miles. According to my Garmin, R/T time was 2:49, which is about 4 minutes slower than the last time I did it in 2014.

Started off feeling great, legs not as heavy as usual, but had only brought 1 Gu and 2 Gin Gins along with water and electrolytes. Splits seemed fine to the top of Iron, then the lack of food really started to hit me, so the usual post-2 hour energy crash was not helped by the lack of food.

To improve this, obviously need to put in more miles and work on both lactate threshold and peak aerobic capacity. On a good note, Achilles was fine and I didn’t die, so all good :).

Aug 16 / Death Valley & Badwater (Car, Kam)

On the way back from our epic traverse, we took a detour through Death Valley so Kam could see it for the first time. It was about 115, so it made for a fun day by Badwater and then south to the dunes.

Aug 9 / White Mountain (Kam)

Climbed this yesterday with Kam, and by climb I mean walked up the very nice road. It’s a bit of a drive to get here, but the views and relative isolation and peace are worth it. I ran for a little bit at around 13,000′. It wasn’t that bad.

Aug 2 /Deer Springs Trail Partial (Kam)

One of those days when we should’ve checked and/or believe the weather report. We started up Deer Springs toward San Jacinto, but within a few hours the clouds turned gray and thunder started rolling about. We kept going until the rain was coming down hard and it was clear the peak would be possible only by risking lightening strikes. Turned around and ran down, passing numerous people hiding under various natural objects (trees, rocks, large bears) without any apparent rain gear.

July 26 / Mt. Hood Timberline Trail Loop

Mt. Hood from Timberline

Mt. Hood from Timberline

See trip report.

Jul 25 / Oregon Eagle Creek Falls

As a quick warm up for the Timberline Loop the following day, and to see a pretty waterfall, I drove east of Portland and found a random trail to follow.

Jun 28 / Mt. San Jacinto via Tram (3-Peak Challenge #3 w/Kam)

This was the third peak in our Adventure 16 3-Peaks Challenge. Can’t say I wasn’t tired, but it was great to finish all three in under 24 hours.

Jun 28 / Mt. San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek (3-Peak Challenge #2 w/Kam)

Peak number two on “today’s” 3-Peaks traverse. Started in the dark, summited in the dark, finished just after dawn. Spooky. Actually, dusty is more like it. One of the first times I’ve seen Kam wipe out on the trail.

Jun 28 / Mt. Baldy (3-Peak Challenge #1 w/Kam)

Beautiful climb on a great day with Kam on the 3-Peaks Challenge. This was our 1st peak and we probably went a bit fast on accident, but it was a blast.

Jun 22 / Mt. Woodson via Blue Sky (Kam)

As I recall, it was hot.

Jun 14 / Mt. Langley via Horseshoe Meadows (Kam)

Great dayhike with K. from Horseshoe Meadows to Mount Langley and back.  Something like 18 miles.  We had “planned” to do a 45 mile traverse from Onion Valley to Whitney Portal via Mount Whitney, but that just seemed like a lot of work, so we did this instead.  Still a lot of work, but a great day.

Jun 8 / Elvin Forest / Way Up Trail (Jaden)

Did a quick hike up with Jaden. Go, Jaden!

May 25 / San Jacinto 5-Peaks Loop (Kam)

Did a loop with K. via Deer Springs trail, taking in Newton Drury, Marion Mountain, Jan Peak, SJ and Miller. Thought about Cornell but not for long. Perfect weather. Lots of haze down below, maybe from fires in Arizona? Finished pretty tired. K. finished looking like she could run a marathon. Must put rocks in her pack next time.

May 17 / Skyline Trail (C2T) 2x (Kam 1/2)

Kam kindly agreed to help me to Skyline 2x in the same day. She dropped me off at 3am or something at the trailhead and went back to bed in the hotel. I made it up to the tram in time to catch the first tram down. Kam picked me up at the bottom and I promptly drank too much water and upset my stomach. Made the second round kind of annoying.

When we got back to the trailhead at 9 or so for my second lap and her 1st, it was already in the 90s. We packed six liters of water each, three liters being frozen solid. Or at least I did; I think Kam took only five. Silly girl.

Anyhoo, we started up and I could immediately tell it was going to be rough. It was hot. I was sick to my stomach and couldn’t eat. We found random peole hiding under rocks in the shade near the picnic tables, but otherwise no one was out.

I kept thinking my stomach would settle or the heat would go down as we climbed, or both, but neither happened. The temperatures rose into the high 90s / low 100s and stayed that way for most of the day. At just below Flat Rock, Kam (who I’d never really heard complain about heat) made long hooting sound.

“Wow, it’s hot,” she said. And she was right. I was a little worried about water, but we’d just passed the cache and hadn’t taken any (never have, and didn’t occur to us), but in retrospect it might have been good to taken an extra liter.

We rested in the trees above Flat Rock that have since fallen down, and then began the steep trudge through the manzanita. The temperature didn’t seem to drop until we hit the traverse and then it dropped suddenly by at least 10 to 15 degrees. Felt amazing.

Made it to Long Valley and the tram and then back to San Diego in time to attend some climbing fund raiser.

Next time, three-fer? Maybe, but on a much cooler day.

May 11 / Mount Woodson Loop – 2:30

Did this today, leaving out the meander from the bottom of the main trail around the lake, primarily b/c it just looked boring. My R/T was 2.5 hours exactly from gate on Ramona side to turn around, but it was way harder than I expected. Think I was still beat from spinning classes yesterday.

The initial push up to the peak felt fine, but I still pushed hard to get there in 28 minutes — surprisingly slow — and then starting jogging down. Could tell my thighs were thrashed when I started back up. Struggled to pass a guy in his 60s (?), then had to take a break near the top and he passed me. Very odd. Then quads felt fine on second descent.

Suspect I was dehydrated. Weight Friday morning 206.7. Weight Saturday morning 204 something. Weight Sunday morning 200.1. Weight after Woodson 197 something. All changes are probably water weight loss, meaning I lost nearly 10 pounds (5%) of net weight in a little over 48 hour. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. 🙂 Now, to drink some water.

May 5 / Skyline Trail (C2T) (Kam) – 6:20

Did this with Kam, of course. Go, Kam! I think this was her first or second time ever.

This was John’s second R2R2R. Took the longer BA-NK-BA route for 46 miles. I think it took about 23 hours, so definitely an improvement for John.

Apr 6 / Grand Canyon R2R2R (III) (John) – 23:00

This was John’s second R2R2R. Took the longer BA-NK-BA route for 46 miles. I think it took about 23 hours, so definitely an improvement for John.

Some pictures
https://goo.gl/photos/MCgqqmA8MQguKP4X8

Feb 15 / Leatherneck Ridge Partial (Huy) – Drove to See Jim @ Hospital

Well, I attempted this anyway. Was planning a triumphant return with H. to conquer Miller and get back in time for a birthday / brew party. Was not to be.

Turns out that going to a work related wedding the night before, drinking a fair amount, getting up at 3am and hiking in the unseasonal heat is a bad idea. Made it up 3,000′ to 5,700′ or so and then fatigue turned into nausea turned into a revisiting of the morning’s foods and liquids in reverse order. Very entertaining. More than anything, felt bad that I as slowing H. down.

Thought I’d feel better after the purge, but another hundred feet up or so and I realized that there was no way I could eat anything or drink much, and that meant going any further was a bad idea. After a quick conversation and some winging on my part, I headed down and H. continued up (with my encouragement).

On the way down, it was actually quite beautiful and peaceful, and much faster. Until it got hot, then hotter, and hotter. I arrived at the creek bed at the bottom a dusty, sweaty mess. Came up out of the drainage to find a security guard waiting for me.

“You know it’s a $6,000 fine and 3 months in prison if you’re caught here,” he said. “This is a protected watershed.”

“I did not know that,” I said, which was mostly true. I thought there was something out of bounds about the creek bed, but couldn’t remember what I knew when. “How are we supposed to access Letherneck Ridge?”

“What’s that?” he asked.

I waved vaguely to the towering ridgeline behind us. He shrugged; whatever.

I trudged back to the car, feeling surprisingly worked but grateful to be back early and san prison time. I took one last look up at the rock faces below San Jacinto and wished H. well — knowing he would be mocking me about this for freaking years — and then cranked the air conditioning. It was worth it.

On the way back, I picked up donuts from Sidecar and took them to Jim at Chock Children’s hospital in Tustin, where James was fighting for his life. Glad I was able to do that, and that James is now just fine.

Feb 1 / Leatherneck Ridge to Tram (Huy)

SJ from Leatherneck

SJ from Leatherneck

See trip report.

Jan 11 / Leatherneck Ridge I (Huy)

Great hike today with H. Took us around 6:20 from the parking lot to the top of the ridgeline, after I wasted a half our trying to find my sunglasses.

Really beautiful hike. Much harder and more scenic than, say, Skyline Trail, in no small part b/c there is no trail at all and no parade of hikers heading up and down. Amazing views of Chino Canyon and the tramway most of the way up, and great views to the north once higher up.

Hit my head really hard on a rock.  Important note about this hike; it’s very steep, and you tend to spend a lot of time looking at your feet. Look up  now and then, or you’ll get a lock or rocks and branches embedded in your noggin. I have a nice scab on my head from the first one. Saw mountain lion tracks. Nice. And deer.  Related?  Nahh.  The perspective on this hike is very, very misleading. The last ridgeline takes forever, but the views are fantastic. Especially looking way, way down.

More Stuff

2013 Hikes & Runs | 2015 Hikes & Runs

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