Grandeur Peak Utah - 7:00 a.m.
clear, 80's, dry trail
mind/body - not really willing
Relentless, brutal, unforgiving, Achilles breaker, quad masher. These are all terms that could define Grandeur Peak loop.
I traveled to Utah to attend a week long meeting in SLC so I took advantage of getting out on the trail with good friends. My initial plan was to take Aric on the first 40 myles of the Wasatch course but because of snow levels we were unable to see any part of the course. Christian Johnson was nice enough to invite us to a small gathering organized by Erik Storheim to run the Grandeur peak loop on the East bench of SLC. When he sent me the email the two words that popped out at me was "unrelenting climbs". I knew I wanted some climbing so Aric and joined in on the fun. To my surprise this was more of a race to some, even with a couple of aid stations. I knew I wasn't racing so no big deal, I just wanted to spend some time on the trail with Aric. And this is just what the doc ordered for Aric as he prepares for the mighty Wasatch.
The loop is around 10 myles long with just about 5000ft of elevation gain. That is one steep mutha-humma! We took our time going around, catching up, and just enjoying being on the trail together. Took us just over 3 hours to do the first loop and then we headed out for another as the day heated up quite nicely. The second loop we went in the opposite direction just to mix it up. We ended up going over the first steep climb, dropping into Millcreek canyon then going up the aid station about 5 myles in. We then turned around and headed back down Millcreek canyon road, bypassing the other climbs because our legs we toast. In all we climbed just over 8000 ft and got a little heat training in.
Going into this run I was really nervous about my Achilles because it had been sore and with all this climbing I could have done some serious damage. I'm happy to report that my Achilles held up and wasn't any worse than when I started.