Friday, August 16, 2013

Utah Triple Crown

I discovered the Triple Crown about a year ago by stumbling across Craig's blog post from his first speed attempt here. This led me to the FKT proboard for for the route here, and I of course had to read Crockett's go at it here.

I had just moved to the SLC valley after living in.... the middle of nowhere Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Idaho... etc. I was enthralled. The route looked spectacular. At this time I was transitioning out of being a rock climber and into being an ultrarunner.
  I was familiar with the climber's obsession of finding a line that speaks to you, and the way in which it belongs to you, then training to accomplish it. 
So, before I had ever run an ultra distance or been above 12,000ft, there it was: I was to do the Triple Crown.

When? Who knew. I was not in shape for something like that! I didn't know if/when it would be possible for me. All I knew was once it WAS physically possible for me, I'd be all over it.

Well, a few weeks ago I had never been above 12,000ft but I decided, hey! I was ready. I spoke with all those I knew who had done the route. I wanted to mentally prepare for what I would physically endure. I asked the guys to see if any would want to come show me around (otherwise I knew I'd lose at least an hour in navigation. It was, after all, to be my first real run out there.)

Well, Craig volunteered for the job and so at 6:45am on August 9th, we were off.

for the short trip report, watch the video below. otherwise, you can keep reading.


It seemed my partner in crime was eager to goad me into traveling quickly, telling me times (which I usually LOVE on a run.) This time I honestly tried to tune him out whenever he gave me the splits. I didn't want to know. I purposefully avoided making pacing charts or even estimating when I should be summiting. I was more concerned thinking I'd get on the ridge for Gilbert, puke my guts out, sprain my ankle, get struck by lightning, and die.

None of that worst-case-scenario happened. Instead I was treated to lovely majestic white mountain goat on my first time above 12,000ft!

I focused on breathing easy and enjoying the ride. I was ecstatic at the top of Gilbert, practically skipping up the boulders because I wasn't sick. This meant I could do it!

pretty sure this was the happiest summit of Gilbert in history.

I felt great throughout the day. By the time we hit Kings clouds were swirling over South Kings, and it looked like the projected storms were moving in earlier than expected.

atop King's Peak
I pushed as hard as I could to summit South Kings, nixed 3 eating times, tagged the peak and got off as quickly as I could. We had a bit of hail on the way up, then a bit of snow as we crossed the loose talus/boulder field that was on the face of Kings. It was here that I lost my lead on the men's time. I easily lost a half hour, I bonked hard from missing calories for a couple hours, and mentally I was exhausted from hearing the thunder and watching the storms approach. Trying to push when every boulder I stepped on surfed out underneath me was a bit of a joke while I was in that state. But, an hour bonk in a nine hour run isn't unexpected, especially after being anaerobic fleeing storms for a hour or two.

see the nasty behind me? that's where I bonked. traversing that.
I made it to the pass and my mood lifted. I did a "homestretch" cheer and bombed down happily.

The last 5 miles were quite painful. If I did it again I think I would stash one two red bulls there. I needed a shot of something that I didn't have. The legs didn't understand turnover on technical trails after peak bagging. We decided to back off the pace and hate the finish a little less.

I came in at 8:46:30. Not as good as I feel I could do, but a good enough time for me to be happy with my first three 13ers. Next time it will be familiar territory.

peace!

I am so grateful for the route, the line, and those who pieced it together. New opportunities have been opened for what I believe I can do.
In the end it was the best day in the high mountains 
a girl could ask for.


Gear I used: 
Terramar Helix Tee: did great with all the moisture (rain, snow, hail, and sweat), never chaffed and looked classy. A win for sure!
La Sportive Helios Shoes: Took me a long time to decide on "the shoes." These shoes are still fairly minimalist, but I enjoyed feeling what I stood on and felt it reduced the trip/fall on the loose talus fields. Feet didn't get tired until about 8 hours in.
Nathan Vaporshape Vest: Was able to carry 10 hours of stuff in something small enough to fit a 5'1 105lb gal. What's not to love?
Fuel: My secret powerballs, honey stinger chews, probar bolt chews, and of course.... a big bag of bacon (a whole package, actually)



3 comments:

  1. Come ON! That is a great, great video that you three put together. Ladies will be finding that and using your information the same way you used Craig and Davy's and will dream dreams of their own. You did it, Jennilyn! So proud of you.

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  2. You put up a monster time. I'd love to see other people go after it. They will be hard pressed to come close to it. Nice work. It was a fantastic day in the mountains.

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  3. I loved the video and the report. You are so incredibly strong and fit and it showed out there on the TC. Congrats on your finish and fast time. For the record: Gilbert still sucks!

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