Saturday, July 12, 2008

HRH - Grouse Gulch AS

No pics this time - too dark - but I was sure wishing for a way to capture the scene of headlamps switchbacking up the side of the mountain next to us, on their way toward Handies Peak (the course highpoint - 14,052 feet!). All darkness except lights moving methodically to and fro. Very cool.

John came running in at 12:45 am, right on time and looking good. He spent a bit longer at this aid station, eating some potato soup (yummy) while we made sure he had what he needs for the next 6 or more hours to Sherman plus tomorrow morning/part of the afternoon before I will see him again with the crewing stuff.

He was thinking it would take all night to reach the top of Handies, and was surprised to hear that it was only 3000 ft. higher than the aid station (although there is some down/up in American Basin first). He did great on the last climb, 5000 ft from Ouray to Engineer Pass. Blake Wood passed him and a group ran down the last hill faster than he did, but he is somehow passing other people and is currently in the high 20's in placing. That's very similar to where he ranked way back on Virginius Pass (Kroger's Canteen), so I think he's doing awesome.

Not to mention that he has tons of time in case of problems - lots of leeway to just make it to the finish line if that's what it comes down to. His primary goal is to finish before dark tomorrow, but he (and I!) would be totally happy with just getting to the finish line in less than 48 hours.

So I get to sleep now :) and with any luck when I wake up John will have made it to Sherman and I can stop worrying about the descent off the backside of Handies Peak. There is a snowfield up there that is icy at night, so John took YakTrax and trekking poles with him - he left the chisel behind, however. I know he'll do fine, I just can't wait to hear that that part is over.

G'night y'all!
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