Mt Olympus (saddle)
Olympus trail to the saddle. Really wanted to make it up to the summit, but being alone and without crampons made that decision pretty clear that I shouldn't. Trail was pretty good all the way to the top of Blister Hill, after that it turned into more of an adventure rather than a run.
Dec. 31 PM
Rattle Snake Gulch + Pipeline to SL Overlook
The snow packed trail was pretty fast today. A lot of people out getting in their last run of 2012.
Jan. 1 - Happy New Year!
Mt. Wire + Shoreline Paths
Freezing! Ran from the Zoo TH. Temperature reading on my car was 15º when I parked, but that could be off by great margins since it's a 1999. It felt like 10º. Standard Shoreline path and up the South Wire Ridge. Snow was very much packed down and running was pretty quick until about the midway point where the kick steps vanished and the snow got much deeper. Still managed to summit in 41min and descent back to car in 22min. Took the paths around for a bit to get warmed up after the descent.
Standard Wasatch drive TH. Went up as far as I could get through the snow and ice before the timer went off at 45min.
Standard Wasatch drive TH. Much faster trail today, thanks to the added foot traffic. The upper section was mostly packed down so it made foot placements certain and rapid. Summit was there, but sans metal spikes and being alone… I'll leave that icy scramble for another day.
Jan. 4 ~ Off
Wasatch Blvd standard TH. This started out at a really fun pace on a much faster trail today. I kept everything under control, turning over my feet and running most of the way to the top of Blister Hill. I continued the push into the first forest section where I was definitely at huge PR margin for myself. - But… I passed a small group of hikers in full snow gear, glissading down on their snow shovels. Which turned the the trail into a 23% grade hard packed, icy luge. One of them stopped to say that he was jealous I was out running, then noticed I was sans spikes and mentioned what they were doing "probably wasn't helping the trail for anyone else coming up?" Well, being that I was still at the bottom of a relatively steep 1200' + remaining vertical, I wondered how I would manage to get up this new "Mt. Olympus luge path" AND THEN make it back down safely. Plus the other far less–nimble people descending behind them (which was totally the case). Normally this section of the trail goes at roughly 10-15 minutes to the saddle, but after the Mt. Olympus Bobsled Team came through, it was closer to 40+minutes. Oh well. Ended up grabbing branches to stay upright. Toe-pointing on hard/icy snow, in sneakers, basically gets you nowhere. Sucking it up as extra training (for something… not sure what as of yet, maybe an Ultra?). Luckily I still had a few of those Sole Spikes inserted so I was able to get a little bite here and there. Got turned back from the summit by less than 100' vertical due to a good chunk of ice and snow that broke loose from south face baking under the sun all day. It released in the drainage to the east of me, but it was a big enough warning sign to get off of there. Running down was tricky and slippery on the luge path.
Mt. Superior (11,040')
Leisurely tour with Brody. By saying "leisurely" I mean we travelled at regular pace (no rush) and conversed (the entire way) across some spicy hot moves on the refrozen and rocky boot pack up to the summit of Mt. Superior. Crampons today would have been real nice as we both found ourselves on all 4's crawling over a few airy sections. Neither of us had any sort of set plans we just wanted to go ski tour. Little did we know we would end up on Mt Superior, on a soupy gray day with marginally good snow… actually, now that I think of it, it sounds pretty normal for us. - Our route in a nut shell was; Leisurely ascent to Pole Line pass and gaining the E. Superior Ridge to the summit. Skiing down the N. Facing chute, traversed a little ways and skied one shot (400' vertical) of really good snow down to the meadows. Back out over Pole-Line pass on Cardiff peak and down to the car.
Overview: Really hoping all of this running in snow is going to pay off once we're back to dirt. Also, when is this damn inversion going to lift!? It's really bad. We're at 10 days in a row of air quality warnings in the valley.
Gain: 20,300' (16,900' running)
|Mt. Wire trail and descent in the snow.|
|Mt. Olympus saddle with the inversion settling in below.|
|Mt. Superior ridge line. Photo: Brody Leven.|
|Mid conversation... probably talking about the weight of crampons and ice axes, which would have been real nice to have used right here . Photo: Brody Leven.|
|Crossing the Sidewalk. Photo: Brody Leven.|
|Resilient little tree near the summit of Mt. Olympus.|