Since the first part of this series (see Part 1 here), I have found, discovered and watched many more videos.
Here is a list of the favorite ones I have gathered :
Salomon Running TV : “Outliers”. The best episode of the current season so far (As mentioned in Part 1, the Salomon videos are a must see)
E-Motion Trail Saison 2 Episode 2 – Sur les sentiers des ours avec Antoine Guillon [FRENCH]. I’ve been following this french trail running TV show since its beginning and most of them are really good. I have chosen this one as Antoine Guillon has been an inspiration and an example for me.
A Mountain Journal Short – Nicky Spinks
Suilven: The Trail Runner
Life on the Fells
Zion National Park FKT
And to finish this Part 2, 2 record attempts of the legend Marco De Gasperi :
Last weekend, I checked-off what had been on top of my Bucket list since I moved to the NorthWest : Thru-Hiking “The Enchantments” in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (Washington).
I left Friday after work and headed to Leavenworth, WA.
Arrived at Stuart Lake Trailhead at: 2 AM (5 hours of driving)
In bed at 2.10 AM (10 min to set up the bed in the Van)
On the trail at 7 AM
This route is a Point-to-Point from Stuart Lake TrailHead to Snow Lakes TrailHead. I was once told that the Washington cascades were the “Alps” of the USA and I confirm again that this is true! It offers a mix of technical terrain, snow and smooth trails on eroded granite.
As most people seem to do, I have chosen to travel West to East (Stuart Lake TH to Snow Lakes TH). The advantage is that most of the uphills are done within the first 1/3 of the route. Also, it seems that some people are afraid of going down Aasgard Pass, hence prefer to go up it. However, if I had to do it again, I would definitely try the other way around to enjoy different views(East to West).
The forecast was calling for perfect weather and indeed it was ! For the Peakbagger readers, I climbed as a bonus Little Annapurna and Enchantment Peak (those peaks are not part of the Thru-hike) that both offered a great overview of the lakes basin and a great spot to take a food break.
I also encountered numerous mountain goats with their babies. Like my mom always says when we see wild animals : “It feels good to see animals free in the wilderness!”
When you go do this thru-hike, be aware that you will need to set-up a way to go back to where you started. I have chosen to hitchhike as my road bike would not have liked the gravel road up to Stuart Lake TH (Snow Lakes TH to Stuart Lakes TH is 8 miles and 2400 ft!!). Below are more options:
Have somebody pick you up (Honestly one of the best option as you will likely be toasted. Make sure to instruct them on bringing cold beverages and good recovery food!)
Have friends run the other way and exchange car keys
Park/lock/stash a mountain bike to ride back to your car
Hitchhike but expect not to have a lot of success as your smell/sweat/dirt will scare most of the cars
Run/walk back to your car
The day after, I went up the EightMile Trail and dived into the cold lake surrounded by mountain ridges. Another great weekend in the high country and a solid amount of training.
During our summer vacation, we visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time (And for free thanks to Mr Obama’s “Every Kid in a Park” program). I immediately planned on climbing the very famous Longs Peak (14,259ft).
I chose the normal route a.k.a The KeyHole. I started around 8am and the forecast was listing the typical summer afternoon thunderstorms. I was ready mentally to have to retreat but was hoping to make it to the top before the weather would turn bad.
After 2 hours of jogging/running on high alpine trails surrounded by marmots, I reached the KeyHole were the “run” turned more into a hike/scramble. In 45 mins, I would reach the top to be greeted one more time by a beautiful marmot.
I then went down as dark clouds were moving fast. After passing the KeyHole, rain and thunder noise made me accelerate. I reached the trailhead in 2 hours from the top and lightning/thunderstorm broke while I was having my lunch.
A beautiful day in the Rocky mountains that will constitute my main playground soon… 😉
“I came to love the mountains for their solemn vistas, the struggles to reach their summits, the emotions and the memories they gave me; but perhaps above all for the sense of escape, freedom and joy of living that I could find only up there on the heights.” Walter Bonatti – The Mountains of my life