A New Start

Spring has come, and with it the promise of miles in the Summer high country. Although my volume has remained low, averaging only one run per week this year, motivation to train and enjoy the mountains has returned in earnest. A big change in my life, moving into Seattle with a new roommate, has certainly helped, as I see him heading to the mountains for hiking training every weekend. He’s also inspired me to start using Strava more regularly, and despite all of the issues I have with that site, trying to climb those leaderboards can give an extra kick in the pants.

Highlights of the past few months include a new PR descending Mount Si (34:04 first outcrop to sign), a big new PR descending West Tiger #3 (18:08 summit to parking lot), my first long run (>10 miles) since August (17 miles, 4500′ vert on Tiger Mountain from Chirico to the East Peak), and just this morning my second ever ascent of Mailbox Peak, getting an opportunity to wear my new Microspikes for the first time (pics below).

More than anything, though, I see the long days coming and want to do what’s necessary now, training in the Issaquah Alps, so that when Summer arrives I have the fitness and preparedness to get into the high country, still blanketed in snow, and spend countless hours exploring the wilderness in solitude. Last year I got up to the Pass three times for an 16-mile loop through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and 18-mile out-and-back on the PCT, and an 8 mile run to summit Granite Mountain. Those were three of my favorite runs in years and the promise of more and longer runs got me up that mountain today and will hopefully continue to get me out the door for the remainder of Spring.

With 80º temps in the forecast, there’s no reason to not stay after it!

Looking up the final pitch to the summit.

Looking up the final pitch to the summit.

Jordan powering up the incline.

Jordan powering up the incline.

The snow is steadily uncovering the mailbox!

The snow is steadily uncovering the mailbox!

Lots of awesome mountain dogs on the trail today.

Lots of awesome mountain dogs on the trail today.

So happy I went for it despite the abysmal forecast!

So happy I went for it despite the abysmal forecast!

View down to the valley through a cloudbreak.

View down to the valley through a cloudbreak.

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