Thursday, August 14, 2008
Saturday, 08/09/08 Mt. Audubon
7.8 miles/2,730 vertical
Jeff, Allison and Sierra Valliere, Jason Halladay
Jason and Bill were visiting for the weekend as Bill was participatiing in the 5430 triathlon, so Jason and I decided to get in a little high altitude training close to home and Allison decided to join with Sierra. We arrived at the TH early enough to get a good parking spot in front of the outhouse. It was cold and breezy and the summits were capped in clouds over the divide. I normally bring a bunch of clothing to the TH and never use it for these runs, but this time I brought little and wished I had more.
After a brief warmup, Jason and I started up the trail at a fast, yet reasonable pace. My vague time checks were good and I was ahead of PR pace without really pushing too hard. A short ways after the Coney Lake trail junction, I stopped to put on my windbreaker, as I was really starting to cool off. Once I stopped, I just decided that I was not really into it. I could easily have pushed through to the summit and probably set a PR, but I felt it best to not push and just read what my body/mind was telling me.
I waited for a bit and Allison came cruising along with Sierra (they got a 10 minute head start), so I hiked with them for a while until Jason caught up. Once Jason caught up, we fast hiked/lightly jogged most of the way to the saddle, then powhiked the remainder of the way to the summit. We arrived there after 1:10 and waited another 10 for Allison. It was cold and windy, but we were able to stay pretty well sheltered behind a small rock wind break. The clouds were whipping from the West toward the summit, hit the rocks and then completely dissipate, really amazing. We took it easy heading down and it quickly warmed. We were the first/only ones on the summit, but passed quite a few people on the descent. Parking is a real issue at Brainard with the sinkhole closure.