Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baden Powell FAIL

Wasn't it just last week that I posted about playing in the snow for the first time in 10 years?  That was nothing!  Fast forward one week and I'll tell you about snow...

We knew well in advance that yesterday's training run was going to be up Mt. Baden-Powell.  We also knew well in advance the elevation (9000 ft) and that there had been a storm only a week ago. We knew from the route posted that we would be running the ridge line and that it would be windy.  We all knew all that information well in advance.  

Look at us... We were all physically and mentally ready for both altitude and cold.  

At least so we thought...

The climb up was completely covered in snow with drifts knee deep.   Footing was often unpredictable and super slow going.  (Mental note to self:  Gaters & YakTrax.)  It actually never even occurred to me that I would be trekking in snow the entire time and that there would be icy patches that would take me out no matter how well I managed my footing... and no, I wasn't unique.  Maggie and Jacquie hit the ground their fair share too. Although I never saw Phil hit the ground and Eric said he never fell either, so whatever. lol

Everyone on the team made it to the top where we were greeted by our fearless and cold-impervious leader in his Ranger Panties.  (Obviously they even ward off frost bite, so I need to get me a pair!)

After we summitted Mt. Baden-Powell, some of the team went back down the way we came, while the rest of us stayed on the PCT with the intention of coming out at Islip Saddle.  Our team actually had it easy...  All we had to do was follow the front runners.  Sounds simple enough and it was as long as we stayed in the snow.  

Our Arrogant Bastard front runners are fiercely powerful athletes!  Our group never saw anything but their footprints after we started.  Their trail was clear and easy to follow until after we passed the Dawson Saddle fork.  We stayed on the PCT heading toward Windy Gap.  We crossed to the south side of the mountain came out of the snow then crossed over again and moved back in to the snow.  The footprints were gone.   

We were maybe an hour past the Dawson Saddle fork and temporarily misdirected with no discernible trail.  Damn it!  Yes, I was leading with Jacquie right behind me and Phil pulling up the rear while keeping an eye on Maggie. No, Phil and Jacquie had no idea how we lost the trail either, but recommended we stay on the ridge line until we reconnected with the trail.  

No problem!  After a bit of trail blazing, we found footprints and trail and were sure we were back on the PCT coming up on Islip Peak.  Wrong.  Somehow or the other, we had turned north and ended up down on  the Dawson's Saddle trail.  A couple hours later we found ourselves back on the road... just a tad bit sooner than planned. Oops.  

What a riot!  I can't really say any of us gals were terribly sorry to miss the last few miles of frigid ridge running, but I suspect Phil was a little bummed.  Here's the GPS results he sent me last night.  The file is named "BadenPowellFAIL".  Haha!  (The red is our team, the blue line is where we were supposed to go.) Sorry Phil... If it's any consolation, you'll definitely be leading us on the B50K!

When we reached the road, we realized our mistake and that we were smack in the middle of the course with a good 3-4 mile run in either direction to reach one of our parked cars.  Ugh.  Then our Steel Stallion pulled up with three Heroic Bastards inside.  We were saved!  They took Phil back to his car at Islip and he came back for us whiny wimps.

Oh, and as for the gory details I promised in my Facebook post last night...  Jacquie who is normally so wonderfully photogenic...

really needs to learn to wear long socks on her runs with the Bastards!

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