Inferno Weekend Update (The Race and GOSx2)
As is typical with my posts, photos will be added later (should be tomorrow). However, bradbradstreets photos from 4/19 pretty much sum that day up!
My 3-day weekend started at Pinkham at 7:30 on Friday. Met up with footlong and his friend for a take 2 of our GOS trek from 3 weeks prior (just slightly different conditions).
We bumped into Jean and surf88 in the parking lot. They were still getting their gear ready, so the 3 or us started up. Footlong's plan was to take 1-2 runs in what I'll call the left main gully (one to lookers left of the center main gully that leads up from the cache). Then possibly hike over the ridge to Hillmans area. We had a nice skin up with beach-like weather. I just took the one run and bid them adieu then bumped into surf88 once again on my ski out. His pics in the GOS 4/18 report pretty much sum up that day.
Day 2 (Inferno). After our final planning strategy, my teamate and I decided to drive my car to Pinkham Friday night and leave it, which turned out to be a VERY smart move.
Out of the condo at 6:15, dropped off Mark's kayak then over to Storyland for the start. I finished the 8.4 mile run just under 53 minutes later (either the 7th or 8th fastest run - quite a competitive run field this year). My support vehicle (ie the parents) then drove me to Pinkham to get geared up for the hike. Meanwhile, my sherpa had already started up with boots, skis and pack.
Mark put in an exceptional kayak, ending up with the 5th or 6th fastest time on the water. A solid bike brought him to Pinkham and we're top 10. I maintained our position on the hike. Made it to HoJos in 35 minutes, putting me right on pace for my goal of 45-47 minutes. Unfortunately the crowds made it REALLY tough on the final stretch and I also got taken down by a dog!
Yes, a dog came out of nowhere, clipped me right below the knee and sent me sliding off the trail down into the bushes. Just a few scrapes, but lost time there. Made it to the base of left gully in 52 minutes (ended up also being the 8th fastest hike). So now for the ugly part. I knew I was getting dehydrated so I took some extra time to down a couple waters. My right quad was beginning to cramp a bit (no thanks to the dog and my fall). I finally get my boots and skis on when a buckle breaks. My first thought is forget it and go, but then I realize I can fix it. Overall though wasted way too much time in the transition. I was figuring on 4-5 minutes but it ended up being over 10. The climb up Left Gully, usually my favorite, was pure torture. The ski down even worse. Quads cramping every other turn.
40 minutes later I cross the finish (last year when I did just the ski I went up and down in 25!)
I crossed the line, fell over and then literally had both quads seize up. I could not bend my knees for the next 5 minutes or so, just laid in the snow guzzling gatorade and water.
But.... it was all worth it as we won the 2-man division in just over 4:30. Interesting in that we had figured a "best case" time of 4:15, and had I not had my issues we'd have been real close.
Unfortunately I had to pass on another run, despite the fact my teamate hiked up with his equipment. The other great thing was that we had a group of 30-35 participants and support in the bowl. The group I was with also had the 3rd place 2-man and the 2nd place woman's team. Anyway, I waited and watched my teamate climb the Chute and rip down Chute variation north. Skied together down the Sherbie (going real fast on the bottom 1/3). Lots of reloading (some Tuckerman Ale, some Pig's Ear Brown) and a great awards ceremony at Wildcat afterwards. Back at the condo I sat down on the couch about 9:15 and didn't get back up, waking at 5:30.
So, this morning I felt better than expected so cleaned up the condo while all others slept and got back to Pinkham for 7:30. My original plan had been Dodge's and then see. But I was not confident in how my quads would handle steeper terrain. Plus, I was thinking of those gullies we saw Friday off Boot Spurr. So skinned back up to GOS and continued skinning up the slide path. Ended up doing 3 of the Boot Spur gullies (once I get the pics up will show more detail). I definitely did the one farthest looker's right, the one if you continue straight up the slide path (instead of taking an alternate right detour) then one other in between. Snow was quite heavy down low, but the upper 2/3 or so of each run was wonderfully deep and soft. Quite a bit cooler temps and a bit of wind actually felt good. I felt 3 runs was sufficiently pushing it, so started the ski out. As I reached the point where the slide path intersects the main GOS trail, I bumped into BladeGirl and BladeGuy with Windy in tow. Tig also arrived a couple minutes later. Great to meet all of you!
The trail out is still a fun ski, but there are some sketchy sections. I refused to take my skis off until the one mandatory stream crossing that surf88 referred to in his 4/18 report. The snow bridge is gone and search as I might there was no was to cross on skis.
Back at the car at 2:45 to end an AWESOME weekend. Legs now quite tight and tired, but I'm not complaining one bit!!!