Often there is no better way to loosen up stiff legs than to run fast, and I did my best to do that at the Dolomite Dash, a local 21K on Limestone Mountain. It has a couple thousand feet of climbing and descending on some truly awful trail, but the views are excellent. The pace started blisteringly fast and I struggled to hang on. It felt like it took me the first 10 miles to get warmed up. In the end, I got my climbing legs going and was fortunate to take the top spot for the second time.
|Blustery "podium" on Limestone Mountain for the 5K, 10K, and 21K|
Once the Dolomite Dash was over it was time for the real fun to begin. I headed over to Big Sandy to do run up East Temple Peak. I got stormed off the pass last year, and I was wondering what its like up there all winter and spring. One might say, it rocked.
At 12, 645', East Temple Peak is one of the more iconic peaks of the Wind River Range, with its huge north face and the detached pinnacle of Lost Temple Spire. Scrambling up the southwest ridge is straightforward, and running down the steep loose rock of Temple Pass was a blast.
|Stunning wildflowers and a view of East Temple Peak|
|Chillin' on the summit of East Temple with my partner, Tayo|
|Yo, Temple Peak|
|A little swimming hole above Clear Lake|
|Cirque of the Towers side trip|
I was convinced the entire run my wife who is eight and half months pregnant must be in labor so I ran my socks off. It felt like a race effort and I was totally wiped when it was all said and done. Fortunately, nothing helps recovery like cinnamon rolls! That's right, instead squeezing that watermelon looking thing out of her gut she was making cinnamon rolls. Obviously a much better reason to redline it home.
|Jenny is awesome|
A few days later my buddy Evan and I schemed to run up Fremont Peak in the northern end of the Wind River Range. Fremont Peak is a beautiful mountain that dominates the skyline on the west side of the Winds. For a long time I assumed there were only technical routes up the peak because its sides are so steep and covered in glaciers. Its a big mountain; at 13,743', its only 66 feet lower than Gannett Peak and 33 feet shorter than the Grand Teton to be the third highest peak in the state. I mean, its not a Colorado "fourteener", so its kind of lame, but somehow we make due in Wyoming.
We left Lander at 5AM to run in 17 miles to the summit. We went up the southwest ridge and gully, which are steep, but well featured for 1700' of scrambling. Some slabs were wet from a little bit of mid-summer snow that was just melting off. The summit is very exposed, which probably got my heart rate up a little higher as well.
|Fremont Peak is the broad beast in the middle of the this shot from "Photographer's Point"|
|Fremont Peak towering above Island Lake|
|Wind River Running|
|Evan's a crusher|
|So much stoke in Indian Basin|
|Indian Basin is alpine to the core|
|Clouds rolling in on top of Fremont Peak|
|Fremont Peak's summit ridge is gnarly|
|The sprawling Upper Fremont Glacier, and Gannett Peak in the background (the one with snow on top)|
Recovery this time was aided by 25 pounds of Palisade Peaches! Somebody from Grand Junction drove up to Lander to make a buck or two. I left them my contact information and asked them to tell me when they are coming back with more.
|Someday I'm going to quit everything and own a peach orchard in Palisade|
A few days after bonding with Fremont Peak I made the quick trip up to Grand Teton National Park with the hopes of climbing the Middle and South Tetons with my coach Ty Draney. It was pretty stormy in the Tetons the night before, and as I drove over Togwotee Pass just after sunrise, the Tetons were still engulfed in a thick grey cloud. Thunderstorms were forecasted for the afternoon, so we decided to bail on the summits. I've covered some ground in the Tetons, but I had actually never been to Hurricane Pass, so we decided that was a safer destination for the day. Ty is getting ready for a John Muir Trail unsupported FKT attempt, so he was slogging a 20 pound pack up the pass.
|On Hurricane Pass: Grand, Middle, and South Tetons (L to R)|
|Schoolroom Glacier and its cute little meltwater lake|
|Ty surrounded by wildflowers and heading towards the glacier|
Online distance running coaching is somewhat of a recent phenomenon, but I've got nothing but positives to say about Ty's coaching. I feel fitter than ever and I'm excited for Wasatch 100 in September. My training is bound to get a little disjointed with the arrival of a new little one any day now, plus the start of the school year, but I'm sure I'll squeeze in a little bit more Wind River running.
Also, a few of those Palisade peaches turned into peach crisp. Awesome.
|Why won't Haagen-Dazs sponsor me?|
|She's a magician in the kitchen|