Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Peak bagging - USVI

On vacation in the U.S. Virgin islands meant it was time to up the mileage and bag some peaks.  It was hot and humid on St John but I avoided the worst of it by starting most of my runs just before sunrise.  My goals for the week were to run on as many of the National Park trails I could and also to reach a bunch of summits.  If all went well I also hoped to reach the highest point on three different islands.

First up was Bordeaux Mountain which is the highest point on the Island of St John.  I mapped out a route from the villa that would be almost entirely on trail.  The first 1.2 miles was along the beach from Genti bay to Reef bay and it included a short scramble to get around the point.  Fortunately it wasn't too rough and the tide never was high enough to close that route (which was great for me as it opened up opportunities to check out most of the trails on the southern side of the island).  After the beach run (slog), I headed 2.2 miles up the Reef bay trail.  This was one of the nicest trails I'd run on St John.  The footing was pretty good and the climb was gentle (750' in 2.2 miles).
After the RBT I turned onto Centerline road and had a tough 1/2 mile climb.  It moderated a bit when I got on Bordeaux Mountain road.  The 1.2 miles on Bordeaux had some pretty steep pitches and the wet road was challenging.  I found the summit trail (next to phone pole E38) and finished with a dark narrow singletrack trail to the top.  It was also a bit slick due to the passing shower.  I got a couple of pictures of the limited view and of the cairn before retracing my steps back down.  All in all the 11 mile run took 1:56:53 and climbed/descended 1,700 feet.

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