Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Mt. Olympus Time Trial, Part 3
Today we went out for another round on Mt. Olympus to try and hit the season ending goal. See the previous Mt. Olympus blog for all the dirty details. Basically the route starts at Dan's supermarket on Wasatch Dr. then follow the moutain project driving directions to the new trail head. Solo the West slabs, run the ridge, cross at the saddle summit, run down the trail and back to Dan's.
Today Michigan Madness joined up for the attempt with his always eager personality, climbing shoes, and a camel back. We started out from Dan's at about noon at an easy jog toward the slabs. Michigan wanted to push it in the beginning but was able to hold himself back for the meat, when trail gets steep and the rocks get big. After quickly dispatching the trail section we slowed considerable through the boulder filled drainage as I couldn't quite remember exactly where to go on every section. Upon reaching the toe of the slabs we found a furry white friend who was desperately in need of a shower. He seemed to me to be the guardian of the slabs.
I strayed a bit West of the normal route (the Exum rap route) for a little variation and because I was going to use just my running shoes and was a bit nervous about the friction on some of the section on the normal route. The new section turned out to be just as fun and maybe slightly more user friendly, at least at the bottom. Upon topping the ridge with a small wait and we where both on the move through the complex system of knife edge ridges, gullies and North facing ledges. As I had anticipated, this was the place to make or break your time. I think I nailed to about a 90% efficient route. It still may be better to go all the way to the peak before crossing over to the true summit. Still, it was by far the quickest I've ever done this transition section putting us on the summit at in about 2:45. Michigan finally changed into his running shoes, and we where on the way down. We struck asphalt at about 3:53 and turned towards Dans. The road is always the most painful, and once we knew the season end goal was attainable, we hit it hard to make the finish.
I had in my mind the time 4:17:53, we finished at 4:18:00. Unfortunately after returning home and checking, it was actually 4:12, so we didn't actually get it. But close enough as far as I'm concerned. We easily could(and should) have made up the time in transitions. Michigan will probably make up that time in the climbing section alone next time, as the was his first time on the West Slabs. Also, if we cut the shoe to slipper change. I think the under 4 hr mark is very attainable at a similar level of fitness.
Distance: 13.2 miles (gps)
Ave HR: 140
Max HR: 188
Cal Burned: 2612
Elevation: about 4200ft (per USGS 7.5 topo)
The next goal is under 4 hours. Photo's provided are from 2010 about this same time, except for the Goat.