Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The New SVBR Website

Sun Valley Backcountry Runners
has been liberated from Blogger. Please visit the new (yet eerily familiar) site at www.backcountryrunners.com.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vorberg in Play

Looking to reach beyond the old Carbo up/back? Well, you're in luck. The Vorberg gulch loop recently opened up, and it's running really well and getting a lot of visitors. Although there is a bit of snow on some ridge sections, the large majority is bare and dry and feels like heaven in these rapidly warming days of spring. Multiple laps were nabbed this weekend by some SVBR runners, who would shout "hurrah, hurrah" if they weren't so darn tired.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Local Trails Update

I ventured onto the Toe of the Hill Trail yesterday followed by the Quigley single track and ending with a climb up Deadmans Gulch Ridge. The Toe Trail is in great shape with very little snow left only on some north facing/shaded sections. I was also informed from Becki Keefer that the Toe extension on the south end is in the process of being restaked and construction will begin very soon (also good news for those that need volunteer trail hours). The Quigley single track is in fine shape as well with some snow on the far end but not enough to deter the trail runner in search of dirt. The Deadmand Gulch Ridge, a name we have given this feature due to lack of a formal name for the peak, is clear all the way to the top. This ridge was recommended by local backcountry guru Mike Stevens as a good 2500' climb to practice some much needed power hiking legs. I'm here to say, its off trail, steep, rocky, and will take a solid hour to climb. The descent can prove to be just as difficult and almost take as long due to the rocky steep grade especially near the top. If you venture to this ridge be aware that Deadmans Gulch is private property. The ridge climb is split by the boundary fence most of the way up so one can easily stay on public lands. Now get out and enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sun Peak Climb

Climbed Sun Peak today. The ridge trail is in pretty good shape. Snow will be encountered on the upper portion but if you go in the morning it will be hard enough that you shouldn't post hole. I continued over the first peak down to the saddle. At this point the snow was starting to loosen up and the post holing was driving me nuts, so I turned. If you are looking for some climbing it is definitely worth it up to the first peak. Stats: From the trail head to the saddle - just over a mile climb w/1600' of vertical.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Dirt: Carbo Report

Tempted by its bare south slopes every time I make my way out to Rotarun, I  made my first assault on Carbonate of 2009 today. The bare hills were a bit of a Siren song, luring me toward the Scylla of extended deep snow in the draws and the Charybdis of some slick compact snow on the descents, but, I made it to the top via the switchbacks and even got to enjoy some decent sections of bare trail.  

I started by hiking up to the foundation, then began the switchbacks where there was as much walking as running because of a lot of long snowy sections.  The Jones-Wilkins cornice is still in place but not as aggressive as last year and once over that, it was pretty easy up the Jeep trail to the top -- again, some walking, some running.  At the top, short on time and patience, I just came down the spine, rather than return on the switchbacks.   

Unless desperation takes hold, I think I'll give it a bit more time before doing it again.  Yet, it still felt really nice to be climbing on bare earth in February.

Happy trails.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Top Ten Signs You May be AJW

Running this morning with AJW on the very clear Elkhorn/Trail Creek paths (thanks, Brad), he said I should visit Craig Thornley's choc-full, Western States 100-obsessed blog, Conduct the Juices. And it's well worth the visit, if just to see today's lead photo of the 1989 Western Sates start: short shorts and very few water bottles in sight.

Explore a bit further and you'll come across the well-commented post, Top Ten Signs You May be AJW. Number 9: "You have an automatic email filter that rejects anything that doesn’t contain 'AJW.'"

Check it -- and the comments -- out for some good natured ribbing of our palmares-laden training partner.

Run Report: River Run, Warm Springs, Baldy Loop

This weekend, I finally got to test out a winter training route I'd been thinking about in the abstract for a while: A loop beginning at the River Run parking lot, with a road run to Warm Springs, then a climb up to the top with crampons, and then a run in crampons down to the River Run side (see route map below, click it for detail).

For those familiar with the trails, I went all the way up Warm Springs, then down Ridge to Blue Grouse, over to Roundhouse then down the Olympic cat track to Lower Olympic then finished off with Lower River Run.

All in all, it was about 9 miles car-to-car, with about 3300 feet vertical. Great winter quad seasoning. (For details on my times, check out my Attackpoint entry for January 9). It was also a great stress test of the Kahtoola KTS crampons, which are made specifically for strapping on to running shoes and attacking steep, groomed trails. (For more, check out my Run Junkie review).

With the high elevation gain Coyote Two Moon 100k looming for me in March, this (or a variation) will likely be a somewhat regularly January/February workout. Anyone interested in the next assault, let me know, and we'll try to coordinate.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brad Mitchell Named "2008 Athlete of the Year"

SVBR runner, Brad Mitchell, was named 2008 Athlete of the Year by the Idaho Mountain Express (story). It's great to see broad recognition for what we've always appreciated: his talent, determination, and great character. Congratulations, Brad.

(Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Case the Hardrock 100 Just Isn't Hard Enough

Two new ballistic ultras launch this spring and fall in the Santa Barbara area. The DRTE 100 miler in early October 2009 has 35,000 feet of vertical. The Blue Canyon Trail Race 100k set for early June 2009 has 18,000 feet of climbing. Check out Hank's Run Junkie post for details and links.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Training for 2009 Season Set to Start

As the snow and ice finally seem set to hit the Wood River Valley, SVBR runners will begin to coalesce in Sun Valley for weekend runs on the relatively clear Elkhorn paths. With some big early season tests on folks' race calendars, it's setting up to be a big year for winter running. So be sure to stay tuned and check the site for details on upcoming group runs.