Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day + Yosemite Trip

Monday - rest day

Tuesday PM - Ran 4.1 miles with Lucy after work, on the construction area/trails behind my house.  Energy levels are pretty low as I've been recovering from a pesky cold. + 453 ft.

Wednesday AM - Ran 12.1 miles before work.  Followed the "El Dorado Hills county line" trail to the top of Beatty, then to Sophia Parkway, onto the Brown's Ravine trail, and back.  Took a lot of effort, considering I ran at a pretty slow pace.  Still feeling the cold, but I felt accomplished after knocking out another mid-week medium-long run.  +1,591 ft.

Thursday AM - Happy Valentine's Day.  Ran 6.2 miles with Lucy on the construction roads/trails behind my house.  I think I'll refer to this area as the Deer Trail, since there are a couple of fake deer  propped up on the hillside along the trail, and because there are plenty of real deer in the area as well.  I feel myself overcoming the cold, but still labored a bit on the uphill portions.  As always I enjoyed watching how thrilling it is for Lucy to run around on trails.  I reminded myself that even though I wasn't feeling well, one day I will not be able to get out for a run and to enjoy my time. +727 ft.

Friday - rest day.  Heading to Yosemite tomorrow!

Saturday AM - Sluggishly pounded out a long run.  Ran down Broadstone to Iron Point, onto the Lake Natoma trail towards Hazel, over to the American River trail, up to Folsom Lake Crossing, the E. Natomas street to Golf Links and back to Broadstone.  Drove to Yosemite after the run and kicked off the long weekend with some sight seeing.  22.1 miles +993 ft.

Sunday AM - Headed out at 6:30 am, planned on hitting Upper Yosemite Falls and North Dome and making it back to the lodge by 11am.  I got to the Upper Falls by ~8am and strapped on my Kahtoola's.  This is the first real use I got out of them and they were great!  I plowed through snow and ice that I wouldn't have gone through without the spikes and made my way up to Yosemite Point, but after about 2 miles of wandering through a heavy snow pack, I gave up my hopes of reaching North Dome and headed back.  I ended up with about 14 miles and 5,000 ft. of climbing.

Weekly Totals: 58.4 M +8,773 ft.

Being in the mountains, specifically being alone in the Yosemite high country, in winter, constantly reminds one of their mortality.  Standing at the edge of a 2k+ ft. cliff as  rushing white water, surrounded by snow and ice, plummets over it.  Walking across ice on steeply sloped large swaths of granite above massive cliff faces, where a slip would lead to certain death.  Being out in the forest, in the snow and the cold, completely isolated, knowing that survival is not possible without the gear you have, and that that gear would not support you through a cold night.  I experienced all of these things yesterday and am thankful I was able to.  Memories like these are what my life is made of.  We lost a friend on 02/16/2013, who I grew up with and was a good person.  That I am here today and he is not is a clear reminder of how fragile and precious life is.  R.I.P. Josh Hanson, you will be missed.  My condolences to your family and friends.

A view of Sunday's planned run.  Upper Yosemite Falls on the left, North Dome on the right.

This is the map I brought with me.

Great view of Half Dome and Glacier Point from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail.  ~15 minutes before sunrise.

Bumped into (almost literally) a deer on the trail ~2 miles in.

First time I've seen the ice cone below the falls.  It was a breathtaking view and was hard to walk away from!

A lot of the mist from the falls was freezing before hitting the ice cone (or me).

I got COLD at the top and had to toss my extra layers on (light jacket, running pants).  I contemplated whether or not it was too cold to go on, but I knew I would get out of the shade soon and that they day would warm up, so I pressed on. :)
Time to stick the Kahtoola's on!

Yosemite Creek, heading over the falls.

Half Dome, Mt. Clark and more, from Yosemite Point.

After blazing my own trail for a couple of miles and a lot of post-holing (in  New Balance MT110's and short socks... ouch), I decided it was going to take too long and would've required a bit more risk than I wanted for the day, so I turned back.

Here's a nice sample of what the "trail" was looking like for me, past Yosemite Point.

Nice thing about Yosemite, there are usually nice landmarks around to help keep your bearings straight.

Half Dome behind one if its favorite logs.

The Kahtoola's were literally life savers up there!  The ice was INCREDIBLY slick without them.  They stuck like glue on the ice as well as the bare granite.

You DO NOT want to slip here.

I swung by the sketchy trail down to the Falls overlook on my way back.

Horsetail Falls, getting hit by the sun "just right".  Only happens a few weeks a year, and when a lot of water is flowing (and with the right camera/photgrapher/angle) it looks like this.
Lower Yosemite Falls

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley, looking good on our way out.

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