About a year ago I was standing on my front porch, thinking how amazing it would be to run every peak and pass that I could see from where I stood. A point-to-point trail run that requires a car shuttle. I mapped it out. Titled it "The View". I mentioned this route to Brody last weekend and his interest spiked, he had to join. We made some last minute edits to the route. The new trick was not to use any trail twice.
5:30am - Hit snooze on my alarm.
5:35am - Wake up. Feed the dogs and cats. Make coffee and oatmeal. Get things ready to go for the day. Lube up to reduce chaffing and situate gear. I opted to take a medley of GU gels, PowerBars. I wore the La Sportiva Anakonda's and an Ultimate Direction AK vest.
6:05am - Text from Brody (a great friend whom became quite interested in the project over the past week.) BL: "It got colder than expected last night. I don't think we will be able to start without layers if we start at sunrise"… I agree, it's chilly out. We are hoping to keep our loads light for the day. We decide to push our meeting time back to 7:30am
7:34am - JE: "I'm at the Zoo TH. No Rush." – It's still dark and a bit brisk outside. Brody parks his car in the lot, we shuffle gear around and we take my car back to the Olympus TH to start.
7:55am - We pull into Einsteins bagels for a quick bite to eat. It's silent inside. All 18 people in line are staring at the case of bagels behind the glass like a funeral viewing. It was awkward at best, and smelled of burnt coffee.
8:21am - We park at the Olympus TH and lace up. Brody's "Furkeling" with his gear a bit, but not bad. I'm antsy to start.
8:30 am - Start! GPS Watches are on and we take our first steps of the day up the relentless Mt Olympus trail. We were feeling good and wanted to push, but we kept our cool and focused on a steady time to the summit. It is indeed a little brisk in tee shirts, but once we get up to the saddle we're in the sun and feeling good.
9:46am - Summit of Mt. Olympus. Stopped for a few minutes to take some pics and head off towards Wildcat Ridge (a lengthy ridge line that connects Mt Olympus with Mt Raymond) which peppers in some fun scrambling moves, some spots go up to Class IV+, and include interesting segments of down climbing.
12:40pm - Neffs Spring. We stop for a couple of minutes and top off our water supply. Brody's pretty ecstatic the way the spring is set up. Water flows out of a metal pipe and right into a decrepit tub. It is actually a pretty nice set up for a spring, and the cold water feels great to drink.
12:51 pm - We crest over Neffs Pass and head down into Thaynes Gulch and into Millcreek Canyon. The trail is perfect and we're back in the shade, which feels pretty nice after being in the sun on Wildcat for the morning.
1:08pm - We spot a winded Adam Clark running up Thaynes Gulch. He was excited to see us and, if I recall, he may have jumped up and down a little bit in excitement to see us, too. He turned around and followed us back to Church Fork where his truck was parked.
1:30 pm - Adams truck. He had made chocolate chip cookies the night before and offered Brody and I a couple. We politely accepted and proceeded to drink all of his water and use a good bit of his sunblock supply. Adam decides to head out with us for a few miles and keep our energy up.
2:32 pm - Grandeur Peak. It's hot! Adam stuck with us the whole way up. We parted ways here and headed down the west ridge at a delicate pace. We started to feel a little fatigue set in with our knees and quads, but once we got down about one third of the way we started to pick up pace a bit.
3:09 pm - West ridge parking lot. Brody and I both head towards the drinking fountain. It's off. Damn! This is my low point of the day. Now, I'm far to hot and I feel completely miserable.
3:25 pm - Chevron gas station. I bought us a bag of potato chips, a Coke and a Gatorade. I sat down. I felt like shit from not taking in enough Salt on while on Grandeur. I'm good at forgetting to take enough salt. It was Brody's first sip of Coke in over 10 years and he about flipped his lid. He was hooked.
3:40 pm - We leave the gas station and head towards the 2100 So. stop light. We turn east and up to Jacks Peak TH. It's hot, steep, and neither of us feel like jogging that paved hill. We hike quickly and finish off the bottle of Gatorade just as we get to the TH.
4:33 pm - Jacks Peak. That was tough. And hot. I started to feel quite fatigued on the climb and had troubles breathing. On the summit I took a few Salt Sticks and felt better within a few minutes of leaving. We followed a deer path north off the summit along an adjacent, steepish, ridge. It went most of the way down, thankfully.
4:56 pm - Vista View road. Mt Wire was directly in front of us now, and it looked so far away. We ran a pretty decent clip on the road to the Zoo TH where Brody's car was parked.
5:12 pm - Zoo TH. Brody's car. We both were unsure how the climb would feel up to Mt Wire. Would it get dark? Would we be cold? Would we want to go further along and try to hit Van Cott? We grabbed headlamps, jackets and gloves. Filled our water supply again and ate a bunch of food.
5:27 pm - I got called out for "Furkeling"! After a few more handfuls of potato chips, I get my stuff together in a hurry. We left feeling pretty solid and ran into Emigration canyon on the lower shoreline trail. Spirits are high and, surprisingly, we don't feel too much fatigue.
6:19 pm - Mt Wire summit!! Ugh. We're elated and ecstatic to be on the final summit of the proper route. Descending down about 200' vertical, we decide to stay true to the mapped route of The View and call it with Wire being the last summit for the day. We both look pretty beat up for only going 24 miles here, and I sure as hell feel like I just ran a 50 miler now that we're descending through Georges Hollow.
6:25 pm - We bounce back onto the BST when we cross paths with local legend, Quintin Barney and his friend, Jeff. Quintin is fanatical about our new route, they both give congratulatory offerings and head off on their own journey for the night. Huge energy boost to see them getting after it just at dark.
6:31 pm - The Zoo TH. We run to Brody's car and stop our watches. Any more time on the trail would have surely meant turning on our headlamps. We're exhausted and are craving Chinese food. We sit there in a daze for about 20 minutes before making any moves towards leaving. We discus the route and go over some play-backs of the day.
Time: 10hr31m (elapsed)
Vertical Gain: 13,146'