Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Camp XStream - Moab

I went down to Moab from March 13th - 17th, primarily to attend Camp XStream and get all of my Primal Quest certifications taken care of in one fell swoop. I also visited my father for a day on either side of the camp. I arrived on Thursday afternoon and my father and I hit the Slickrock Trail practice loop for a couple loops on a beautiful sunny 60 degree afternoon. Friday found me back at the Slickrock Trail with the camp participants, many of whom were surprisingly beginners. One of them went down on the first steep hill after being told by the group leader to "go for it". He made it almost to the top and then turned right as he stopped and put his right foot down onto ... nothing. He tumbled head over heels and sprained his ankle. There was more carnage, especially in the bike area. A heavier set guy hit a downhill pretty hard and managed to break his seat clean off. Someone else got two flats, and someone else managed to heavily kink his break cable so that it stuck in the brakes locked position. I felt good and gained a little more cofidence on the really steep stuff, to which I haven't had much exposure.
Saturday we went kayaking in inflatable doubles. I thought I was an excellent kayaker, but inflatables are finicky beasts, and I was all over the river. I think I improved from beginning to end, but I still felt like a rank beginner at times. We ran some class 2-3 rapids.
Sunday was climbing day. Although I have extensive cragging and alpine climbing experience, I had never used mechanical ascenders before. I put in several laps on a free hanging rope up an overhanging cliff, and really feel like I got a good feel for it. They are much easier than using prussiks, that's for sure. I also had never used a figure 8 descender before, having always used an ATC, so I learned a couple figure 8 tricks, like how to lock it off.
The best part for me was, however, the presentations given by the Salomon/Crested Butte team on their AR experiences. As I have somewhat limited Adventure Racing experience, I found a lot of their tips and tricks to be very helpful, and I feel like I have a bit more to offer my team on our upcoming races.
After camp was over, my father and I went out to ride Amasa Back. It started to sprinkle, so we turned around about halfway. Later in the evening, rain and sleet came pouring down, so our Monday biking plans got cancelled. Over all, though, it was a great trip.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Northwest Trail Run 3 hour / 6 hour

Kathy and I went down to Des Moines Creek Park to do the Northwest Trail Run race put on by Eric Bone. I've only been to Des Moines Creek Park once before to go mountain biking in the dark. It has a lot of twisty trails and rolling hills, and the four mile loop that Eric set up definitely had both.

I ran the 6 hour race and after finishing 10 loops, I decided to stop 20 minutes early, as Van Phan, the second place runner, was a full loop behind me. I ran for a loop or two with Kyle McCoy who was new to town, and seemed like a solid runner. He ran the 3 hour run and looked solid. I expect I'll see him at more of these trail runs. Kathy finished four laps for a sixteen mile run, her longest run ever! This was good training for her Vancouver marathon in May. She could have run further, but slowed down a bit at the end so that she didn't have to run another loop. That's kind of how I felt too towards the end of my run.