"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SHTA Seven Summits Challenge Completed

I satrted driving at 2 AM and reached Pincushion Mountain just before sunrise. It was cold. There were a couple of snowflakes. It was also dark:

Okay, not quite this dark. No photo from the summit, I guess.
It was dark enough that I started on a snowshoe path before I found the correct path. I discovered a car someone tried to get over the cliff. Start time 6:48, back to car 7:06. The only section I ran.
"The Simpsons have entered the forest."
Next was Lookout Mountain. Started 7:33, peak about 8:00, back to car 8:35. Forgot to sign the register at the top. 
Tourist photo form Lookout Mtn.

What they mean when they say "technical."
Next, starting from the Oberg lot, I did the Oberg Loop and took some time finding the actual high point. Started 8:56, summit 9:17. The scenic cliffs were very windy.
At least the sun was starting to warm things.

Lake I'm guessing is called "Oberg" like everything else here.

I guess I can take a pretty photo if I have to.
Next was the long trek to Moose Mtn. Saw a lot of ruffed grouse. This was the first time I ever ran this section when it wasn't wet. It's still tough. Lots of ruffed grouse and horned larks. Actual summit tough to find and covered in fallen trees. Summit 10:24, return to car 11:20.

Typical view from north end of Moose Mtn.

Typical view from south end of Moose Mtn.

Drove to the Sawbill parking lot for the next section. First time I saw other hikers. Enjoyed the new boardwalks, though it was so dry they weren't needed. Left 11:42, peak 12:14, return 12:38.

View over fire tower remnants on Carlton Peak.
 I hadn't eaten anything up to this point, so stopped for a light lunch, after realizing I drove way past where I wanted to be and wasn't thinking right. Climbed Mount Trudee from Tettegouche State Park, hiking up the high falls on the way. Completely fried going up the Drainpipe, I was discovered sprawled on the ground at the top a few minutes later by a worried couple. The true summit took some bushwhacking. Started 1:41, peak 2:43 (I think), back 3:48.
Thought I should get a picture of Lake Superior. It's hard to miss.
I didn't plan on returning to the area again this year, so I went to the SHTA office in Two Harbors to drop off the challenge logsheet. It didn't have the 7th peak yet, but I wanted to get my poster and figured they'd be closed before I did Ely's. I forgot they're closed on Saturdays.

Last up was Ely's Peak and I'd be doing it as runners in the Wild Duluth 100K were going almost to the top. Val LaRosa was working the aid station with another couple. I arrived just as Chris Scotch came through and went up with a guy that I had to tell not to follow me, as I wasn't in the race. When I saw what looked like a path over a boulder, I started to scramble and thought "jeez, this is harder than I expected." Once at the top, I saw the actual path, which is considerably easier than boldering freestyle like I did. The actual summit is a large boulder, flat on the top; it took me a minute to convince myself it was safe to stand on it in the wind and I planted both feet for less than a second. Started 4:52, summit 5:14, back to car 5:36.
View from Ely's Peak summit.

Actual part of the course! Notice the blue blaze.
So, time from Peak 1 to Peak 7 was 10:16 elapsed (6:40 running, including pauses), making me the first to accomplish it in one day, though I took it leisurely. What did I think about all that time? Not a thing. Turned my brain off completely for a change.


wildknits said...

Congratulations on achieving your goal! Wished I could have fit this one into the schedule.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Turned my brain off completely for a change.

Turn off your mind, relax, and climb some peaks ... it is not pointless ... it is not pointless ...

Little known fact: Lake Superior used to be named Lake Arugula-Eating East Coast Elitist because Michelle Bachmann mistakenly believed it was in NH, right next to Lexington and Concord, near where John Wayne Gacy lived.

In other news, I am not sure which team I dislike more - the Rangers (because they're Dubya's team); or the Cardinals (because Tony La Russa truly has no class and is a whiny crybaby).

We'll find out when one of them wins the World Series. Which will mean that was the team I dislike the most.

Wayne said...

That's an incredible picture for the amount of time you planted your feet!! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice job. That didn't take nearly as much time as I thought it would. Although I was a little disappointed that there was no fudge to be seen on the WD course. I think I might try doing it in the opposite direction.

Katie said...

excellent work! loved the pic of the van in the woods. my bf keeps telling me we're going to get married on the top of carlton peak. i told him i want to stand in lake superior. we'll see how that works out.