Sunday, July 24, 2011

Indian Peaks Run - The South Loop

I got out for a perfect day of running with Jaime in the Indian Peaks on Saturday.  We hit up the south loop which takes you up the King Lake Trail towards Rollins Pass, along the Divide, and down from Devil's Thumb Pass.  We added two side trips to Betty & Bob Lakes, and then Diamond Lake.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  Take Jaime with you if you ever go on a trail run out there.  The guy's a living and breathing trail map.  I was simply amazed at how well he knew those trails.  He would frequently say things like, "just around this bend it will get a little steep...or it will get technical in about a half mile" and sure enough, he was right.  It was comforting since I can't even remember the trail I ran on five minutes prior.

There's still a bunch of snow up there (big surprise!), but this was the first run where the snow was never an issue.  When I say perfect day, I mean barely a cloud in the sky, temps in the upper sixties, a gentle breeze, lots of running above 11,000', and almost non-existent people traffic.

I believe we got in about 21 miles over 5.5 hours (my watch battery was dead on arrival, so I think that's what Jaime told me).  Our sole focus was to have a fun day playing up high.  I had a good laugh at how we were breaking all the conventional running rules about tapering and recovering.  Jaime is running the San Francisco Marathon NEXT weekend.  And I'm still recovering a bit from Silver Rush LAST weekend.  Oh well, we had a blast and are just fine after having a recovery soak in an ice cold creek.

A favorite moment was on the return trip from Diamond Lake and stopping at a small creek just below a snowfield at 11,500'.  We were out of water so we filtered some (yeah, I don't like to take chances) and drank.  I'm pretty sure I've never tasted better ice water!

Thought we might have stumbled upon a "Tough Mudder" course.
Betty Lake.  I told Jaime this is where I'd love to have a tiny shack to live for a summer!
King Lake
King Lake from above
Jaime cruisin' the Continental Divide Trail
Perfect conditions for running on the CDT.
Ah, the colors up high.
The Fraser Valley.
The trail down from Devil's Thumb Pass.
Devil's Thumb
On the way to Diamond Lake.  This was THE monster snow field of the day.  On the return trip, we started at the top and ran/slid all the way down.  Awesome!
Diamond Lake
Final fast stretch through the wildflowers.
The BEST recovery!


  1. AHHHHHHH, the jealousy is really kickin' in now! Looks amazing!

  2. Oh how I wish that cold stream were in front of my house.

    Great hanging with you Woody on such an amazing day.

  3. That's such a great loop, and that sky is amazing! Only a few days like that each summer, at least when I've been out there.

    I'll have to try the Diamond Lake detour some time (looks like some good extra vert). Betty and Bob too.

    +1 on the water filter. A bit of a pain but it's nice to have an unlimited water supply no matter the source. It was hot yesterday and I ended up at 7 bottles worth (2 x 3 refill stops).

  4. Oh - curious which filter you have and if you like it. I have the Katadyn Hiker and it's been good. A tad big but pretty light.

  5. Jim - I want to go back after Pb, so let's talk about getting you up there in a month.

    MTR2 - I have the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Not sure what difference the "pro" makes, but I like it. It is bulky, but my Ultimate Direction Wasp pack has a decent size back pouch and I've never regretted carrying it on long runs. Thanks again for providing the motivation to get out there!

    Jaime - So true. If only every run could end like that.

  6. I live on the east coast (Georgia) and we have some great trails with some great views, but NOTHING like this. I am so envious! I have to figure out a way to move my family out there.

  7. C'mon out Wesley! We'd love to have you join us. Just know the trails are not always like this. The running season in the high country is short, so you've got to get out there during these precious weekends to soak it all in. I'm sure your trail running season is much longer in GA (probably year round). Glad you got some nice ones to run out there!