Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back to the Mountains

Teammate Kevin Tilton proposed a run up the Auto Road for this weekend, which isn't all that unsual as he runs up the road quite a bit.  The unusual part would be that the run would be timed to reach the summit at sunrise.  I was "all in" for this run as soon as I got the invite.

I headed up on Thursday right after work and met Kevin at the trailhead for the Kearsarge North trail.  I've always wanted to run up this mountain, it has a lookout tower on top and I love visiting towers.  We hit the trail a little after 5:30.
We had a lot of fun catching up on multiple topics and Kevin described various areas of the trail on the way up.  He's run this trail many times but thankfully has not grown tired of it.  We climbed 2,700' over the 3.1 miles in 48:57, then took a 10 minute break on the summit to check out the views.
We took our time coming down, especially on the very technical rocky sections and got back to the parking lot just after sunset.  It took us 50:05 to navigate the descent.  Then it was off to Kevin's for pizza and a few hours of sleep.
We were up at 3:30am and off to Mt Washington by 3:45 (with a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts).  Our plan was to run easily up and down, but the weather station was predicting winds up to 100 mph on the top.  We figured we'd go to tree-line (about 4m) and see how things were and if we had to we'd bail and run up Wildcat.  We had a nice full moon and crazy warm temps of 70 at the base and 50 at the summit at 4:30 am as we headed out/up.

It was windy but not brutal below tree line and we reached four miles in 48:34 clicking off miles just over 12 minutes.  It was a little slower than I thought we'd run but it was VERY early in the day and it was windy.  It didn't seem all that bad above tree-line so we continued on.  Hitting miles of: 12:16, 12:25, 11:51, and 7:25 for the last .7 which got us to the top in 1:32:33.  We were greeted by sustained winds in the 55-70 mph range and gusts over 80 mph.  We also arrived just in time for sunrise.

We only spent 10 minutes on the summit, it was chilly in the wind, then headed down.  We were pretty consistent on the descent: 710/856/900/900/842/855/855/833 = 1:09:57.  We were done for the day and it wasn't even 7:30am!  I finished out the day (and the month) with a nice relaxing 3 mile run.  Great start to the LONG weekend!

1 comment:

pbazanchuk said...

Summit by sun up. Definitely on my to do list now that I'm a MWV resident (although I'll opt to descend by trail)