Friday, November 22, 2013

Final peakbag in the Carribean

The final big peak of the trip (I "bagged" a bunch of minor St John hills) was the highest point in the British Virgin Islands.  Sage Mountain at 1,700' is the uppermost point on the island of Tortola.  This one was also pretty much a walk up, so again the logistics of travel were the hardest part of the day.  This time the ferry dropped us in West End on Tortola.  I chatted with a taxi driver and told him of my goal.  No argument this time, he was quite knowledgeable and talked about island history along the drive.  The parking area at Sage was only about 100'  lower than the summit.  After checking with the attendant at the gift shop and getting some advice on trails I took off and got in a nice 3 mile run on the roof of the Caribbean.


The only real epic run I had on the trip was a 14 mile run that took just under 3 hours to complete.  My quest for this run was to run all of the trails on the south side of the island and to visit the southernmost spot on the island.  The run involved 1.2 miles of beach run, 3.3 miles of trail, 1.5 miles of dirt road, and 1 mile of paved road in each direction.  I headed out just before sunrise and had a very enjoyable run (at least the first 7 miles).  I had one stretch of trail with 470' of climb over 3/4 of a mile, which then lost all 470' in the next  3/4 mile.  The paved road stretch was also tough with 350' of climb in less than 1/2 mile.  On that climb I nearly wiped out not being able to get traction with my Loco shoes.  That was a bit shocking, as most of the trail running was fine.  The final trail part on the way out included a 200' climb to the top of Rams head which ended at cliffs dropping straight down to the ocean.  I took a 5 minute break at Rams head taking pictures and hydrating before making the trek back.


I definitely felt the heat, humidity and distance and although I was taking it pretty easy I was beat by the time I hit the last 1.2 on the beach.  Nothing like struggling in the sand in a blazing sun to end a run.  Ugh.  It took me a good 1/2 hour of floating around in the pool to get my core temperature back down to a reasonable level.  Ah, life is tough... :-)

No comments: