This week I was thinking about summer.
Gosh, it was hot in the Columbia Gorge in August. On a Friday night I was having trouble sleeping. I decided I was not going to lay awake in the 85 degree heat, but do something.
In July, Two friends and I spend a weekend up Mt Adams. As I was walking down, it crossed my mind that much of the lower trail was run-able and for the most part, not super-steep. The next two thousand feet could be climbed on microspikes with an ice axe. The summit plateau, though at 12,000 feet, was also runable.
So I got out of bed, made three cheese sandwiches, filled a water bottle, grabbed my running pack, an ice axe and a pair of micro spikes a windbreaker, hat, running tights, gaiters and spare socks. It took me two hours to get there and at just before 7. I hit the trail, to save weight I ditched the axe and spikes and decided to use my hiking poles for balance. That was a error of judgement, but not a huge problem.
I did a light shuffle to start and tried to not sweat too much, it was cool which was nice. I got in the zone and to my surprise reached the lunch counter in just over two hours. I wondered if my clock had stopped but it hadn't. It was a beautiful morning and my only problem was that I was running too early and the snow was still icy.
I wished I had my spikes but there wasn't anything to do about it so I headed up the snowfield and did the best I could. After a while I decided to get off the snow and scramble up the rocks. I stayed on those all the way to the false summit and then started running again. My clock/phone was in my bag so I was gauging time by the height of the sun and it seemed super early still. I reached the top and was amazed to see the clock say 3 hours and 47 minutes. It's not the fastest anyone ever got up there, but I was still surprised. It was cold, so I did a quick video and a 180 degree turn.
Coming down the snowfield was a bit sporty. I was wishing I had my axe as I could have glissaded the whole slope in minutes. Instead I ran and shoe-skiied the best I could.
I started to get a bit tired on the way back and overshot the trail junction. So after a mile or so of making my own trail, I joined back on the super smooth trail back to the parking lot and beat feet as fast as my legs would carry me. The air at 6,000 feet felt rich and I was really happy at how the day was turning out.
I arrived back just before 1 pm. So 6 and a half hours.
Was an enjoyable morning. One of the most memorable outings of the summer.
For interest here is the Strava data and map.