High Lonesome 100

On the first Friday in August, I ran the High Lonesome 100.  Since the course travels over 5 passes for a total of 23,000ft of climb, my goal was to finish in 35 hours.  The average elevation of the race is 10,433ft reaching a high point of over 13,000ft.   Over the past few months, I’ve hiked almost all of the course.  My race card is below.  The sections in yellow indicate that I can have a drop bag and light blue means that my crew can meet me.

It was a perfect morning and the forecast was for light rain in the afternoon.  My only worry was that Saturday was going to be hot.

Tracy and the dogs were there to see me off.

The race started at 6am sharp.

I came into the first aid station in 1:26 against a predicted 1:45.

A quick bite to eat and a coke and I’ve off for a 4,000ft climb up to the high point of the race on the shoulder of Mt. Antero.

The climb follows Little Browns Creek up a tight gulch to above treeline.  It then drops down a highly trafficked 4wd road that I hadn’t run before, nor do I want to again.  Since it was Friday, there was a lot of traffic, but it was an incredible 5 mile downhill.

I reached St. Elmo aid station, over 90 minutes ahead of schedule.  I now had to climb Law’s pass to Cottonwood where I’d meet Tracy.

A storm started rolling in so it got a little cold in the wind.  Once I cleared treeline, it started to rain.

I made it to Cottonwood 1:50 ahead of schedule and unfortunately, I beat Tracy there by 6 minutes.  A nice couple relayed my schedule to her and took the picture below of me.

I turned around and headed over Law’s pass back to St. Elmo.

Once in St. Elmo, I had to traverse about 6 miles of exposed ground above treeline.  I rolled into the halfway point at Hancock, 2 hours ahead of schedule.  Tracy was waiting with a kiss and I got to pick up Mike to pace me through the night.  Mike and Tina are in the picture below waiting for me to come into Hancock.

Once leaving Hancock, we had to climb Hancock Pass, descend into the Middle Fork, then climb 3,000ft to Chalk Creek Pass, and finally traverse the Monarch Crest into the store parking lot at Monarch Pass.  It was a tough night of climbs, but the weather held and we made it to the parking lot 3 hours ahead of schedule.  There I picked up Mark to take me the next 20 miles which are considerably more flat and at a lower elevation.

I had a very dedicated crew.  All of them turned up at 4:30am to meet me in a freezing parking lot.  From left to right, Mark, Danielle, Mike, and Tina.  I couldn’t have done it without them.

This section turned out to be the hardest for me since there are a lot of up and downs and the temperature climbed into the 80’s.  It doesn’t sound hot for a guy from Austin, but when the sun beats down on you on the dry Colorado Trail, you bake.   I met Tracy and the rest of the crew at Raspberry Gulch still an hour ahead of schedule.

Tracy took me home for the last 8 miles.

I crossed the finish line 70 minutes ahead of my plan.  A storm started blowing in and the wind was so strong it had knocked the sign down.

I was rewarded with another kiss.

 

Out of 100 starters, I finished in 43rd place.  It was my first 100 that I finished in the first half.  My Strava read out is below.  Since my watch was the longest battery setting the pace and moving time gets messed up.  The distance and elevation gain are close to accurate.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
09:49:48 07:37:40 95.56 12.53 48.76 20,885.83
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

 

 

 

Getting ready for the High Lonesome 100

It’s been a while since I updated the page.  I’ve been busy with a new house we bought and getting ready for my 100 mile race, The High Lonesome 100.

CW completed his hike around the Collegiate Peaks and Preston and I met him in Winfield and camped for the night.  We ended up playing some poker and hanging out with the dogs.

The next day, I sent Preston with CW over Hope Pass and I drove around to Twin Lakes to meet them.  Since they were turning off the CT onto a smaller trail, the dogs and I hiked up to meet them at the intersection.  It was a steep climb so the dogs were crashed out while I read waiting for them to arrive.

The next weekend, I went with a group doing a training run on the High Lonesome course.  It was a really fast group and I bonked in the heat so it had me worried about the race.  We went 22 miles and climbed 6k feet in 5 hours.

There were some serious runners in this race.

More visitors

Preston has been here a week and we’ve been busy.  We climbed Midland hill with the dogs.  If you look closely above the mountains, you can see one the tanker helicopters loading up to fight the fires.

Preston wanted to climb this rock, but had a hard time getting down.

Resting on the summit.

Izzy needed a dip to cool down – check out the guy in the canoe going through the rapids.

Mike and Tina came in for a visit.  We did a quick climb on the 4th of July and then went to meet CW for a resupply.

When we got back we walked downtown.  The park had an art fair going on.  They also had they bubbles that little kids get in and bounce off each other in the water.

Preston is a giant.

We still played Frisbee, but Preston managed to get it stuck high in the tree.

This morning I took Mike and Tina up Midland hill.  Tina snapped a shot of Izzy posing.

Preston is here

Preston got here on Tuesday and CW left on Wednesday.  Since Preston is coming from sea level, we’ve been acclimatizing slowly.  After dropping CW off, we drove to St. Elmo with the dogs and hiked 1,500 feet up to Popular Gulch.

Preston was beat, but the dogs were on alert for critters.

After the hike, we took the truck on the 4wd road to the Hancock Trailhead to see how back the road was since it’s an aid station on my August race.

On Thursday, we hiked up Avalanche to the Mt Yale saddle.  Google did a little magic on the picture below.

Later in the afternoon, we headed downtown to the South Main park for pizza and a game of Frisbee.

Today we are going to climb Midland hill with the dogs.

 

Misc stuff with CW over the weekend

We hiked the CO trail for a 4 mile out and back.  The dogs are critter crazy and Darby was fast enough to grab a Pika.  She is blood thirsty and just wants to kill them.  She gets obsessed and nothing we do can stop her from going crazy to get them.

We also did a hike up Midland Hill with the dogs.

Most nights we enjoy an outside dinner with drinks.  The dogs are usually exhausted.

This little girl was on the side of the road as I was ridding by on my bike.  She let me touch her.

 

Brown Creek loop

Today I set out on the 16 mile Brown Creek Loop.  The loop follows Brown Creek and Little Brown Creek to their sources, essentially circling Mt. White.  I went counter clockwise climbing towards the headwaters of Little Brown Creek.  The trail is steep, climbing 4,500ft in the first 6 miles.  Just before tree line, a small meadow appeared with an incredible amount of flowers.

  

The trail wound higher to above tree line, maxing out around 13,000ft.  It was a beautiful day, a little wind, but sunny.

Once I got to the top, the trail followed a forest road to the edge of a lake.  It then was a very runable single track down.   I made the journey a little longer since I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.  After 17 miles and 4,500ft of climb, I’m happy to be heading to Whiskey Wednesday at Deerhammer Distillery.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:27:39 04:58:30 17.13 3.44 16.11 4,481.63
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

 

Some random stuff

I thought I’d add some random stuff…  the picture below is on top of Midland hill.  I’m brave enough to let the dogs off leash on this trail since there really isn’t any place they can go.  Unfortunately, about 1 minute after I took this picture, Izzy found a bird’s nest and of course Darby pounced.  It took me a couple minutes to get the birds out of their mouths.

Tracy had to head back to Austin today but yesterday we went to Leadville.  We started climbing Mt Sherman, but the weather was not good so we turned back about a mile in.  However, we did watch some of our friends finish the Leadville marathon.  D and Mike both won entries into next years Leadville 100.

I also got a text from my friend Dave in Michigan.  When I was there this winter he showed me all the bee hive stuff he’d bought.  In just a month, check out how well the hive is doing.  Also, his garden is booming probably because of the bees.

 

Camping and then Mt Huron with Tracy and the dogs

On Tuesday, we all went camping in the Winfield area.  I had scoped out a spot when I hiked La Plata last week.  It required us to drive the truck about a mile and a half up the 4wd road to a meadow with a creek.

The dogs had a blast digging up every possible hole.

The sunset was incredible.  It got a little cool during the night but we slept decently until around 2am when a bunch of coyotes started howling.  Izzy was growling a bit, but Darby just shook.

We hiked up the Colorado trail to the Mt Huron trailhead.

Once we got to the basin, we decided to let the dogs run.  Darby did great, but Izzy can’t handle all the critters and wouldn’t listen.  In the picture below, you can see Izzy racing off.

Once back on the leash, Izzy did well.

Once we got to the top, there was a lot of dust.  Actions shots below of the dogs licking their noses.

Darby loves the snow – she is like a polar bear and rolls in it.

At the end of the day, we hiked 13 miles and 4,500ft of climb.