Saturday, September 8, 2012

The man who climbed up a mountain and came down still, I guess.

For the last couple of weeks I've been running the trails along the Wasatch Front, and it's been a blast.  Every day I pick a new place and just explore.  And now that autumn is in full swing, the scenery is gorgeous.  I started in the Spanish Oaks Reservoir and decided to run up the small mountain just behind the lake:

There were two ways to the top, and first looked pretty dang scary:

This one looked a little tamer:


It was still a monster, with long stretches of 40 percent grade.  To give you an idea, after six minutes I had already climbed this high above the lake:

But I could barely notice my heart pounding because the trail looked like this:

Once I got to the top things leveled out a little and I could actually run instead of hike/climb/crawl.

By the time I made it to the peak my lungs were ragged so I took a short photo break.  This is the trail I had just wrestled into submission...

...and this is the view from the top.  Not a bad climb in just twelve minutes!

I decided to take a different way down by running along the ridge and going down that scary trail I considered going up.  I don't know why but there is a big white cross at the end of it which looks rad perched like it is.

When I reached the cross this was the view back up the canyon.  This is why I love this spot so much.

The way down wasn't actually a trail, but some kind of dried up river bed.  It was crazy steep and made of this loose, crumbling clay which was about the most dangerous terrain possible.  I walked most of the way down to keep myself from snapping a leg.

At the end I could cool off by jumping into the reservoir and unwind by sitting in the sun sipping an ice-cold Arctic Shatter Powerade.  So, yeah, it was basically perfect.

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