Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 13, 2011 – Camelback “Mountain”

I was in Phoenix for work, so I decided to run up one of my Phoenix favorites.. Camelback.  There are 2 trails; Cholla & Echo.  Echo = 1.2miles one-way & Cholla = 1.5 miles one way.. each one-way trip includes 1,264ft of elevation change.  The trail ranges from technical to down-right “unrunnable” (for me at least)…

It was a super beautiful day.. 75degrees and clear.  I was able to sport the short-shorts and no shirt, which is a great feeling in January considering that I have been wearing gloves, jacket, and a hat for the past 3months..

As I got started on the Cholla side, I began passing the “multitudes” of winter hikers.  Many of them are sporting Camelbacks, rugged-hiking boots, and an I-Pod… most of them look at me in my skimpy shorts, NB 101’s.. and nothing else… with looks that range from.. “what a dork”.. to.. “that guy is going to hurt himself”.. I am usually too busy drooling from the steep climb.. and focusing on each “technical” step to pay much attention.. The time seem to fly-by and I got to the top in 18min 50sec - - a new record for me.

Then I careful took off down the Echo side… hopping from rock to rock.. Things went pretty smoothly excluding a few runs off trail down some “mystery” washes…My goal for each descent is to “not fall”.. I achieved that goal.. and  I got to the bottom of the Echo trail in 17min 13sec  - - about average.

After a quick drink, I headed back up the Echo trail… I was working pretty hard up each steep section and trying to keep a consistent push during the few flat sections.  Up the final steep climb, I shifted to a power-hike.. cutting the trail and going into full blown boulder-hopping.. huffing & puffing, I got to the top in 19min 25sec - - another new record.

Heading down the first section of Cholla is a bit tricky.. gravel, steep drops, and a “trail” that consists of blue dots on a giant rock face. Once down that, the trail is very runnable, so I put it in cruise and hit the bottom fairly quickly.. 18min flat. 

All together, that was my fastest Up-Over-and-Back on Camelback.. which a positive sign that I am starting to get my “steep legs” back.. just need to keep climbing.  


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