Monthly Archives: July 2016

Pot Pourri Videos (Part 2)

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

 

52 Peaks

 

Suilven: The Trail Runner

 

Life on the Fells

 

UTMB 2015

 

Zion National Park FKT

 

And to finish this Part 2, 2 record attempts of the legend Marco De Gasperi :

The Enchantments

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.

Nutrition: Water, HoneyStinger Chocolate Waffles, HoneyStinger Fruit Smoothie Chews

GPS Track available here (22.5 miles, 7,120 ft / 9,240 ft elevation gain/loss)

 

Note :  With an average of 751ft/mile, this run is a “HardRock” certified training run 😉 (HardRock100 has an average of 661ft/mile)

 

Long’s Peak

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… 😉

Nutrition: Water, HoneyStinger Chocolate Waffles, HoneyStinger Fruit Smoothie Chews

GPS Track available here (14.5 miles, 4,480 ft elevation gain/loss)
**: As my watch seems not to have directly picked up the GPS satellites, the mileage is NOT accurate !

Note : A good inspiration about Longs Peak can be found in the movie “In The High Country“. Though Anton Krupicka climbs Longs via “Alexander’s chimney” and not the normal route, it’s a good inspiration and contains beautiful scenery about Long’s Peak.

 

Sawtooth Vista

 

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