Monday, November 17, 2014

Second Spring

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  Albert Camus

ridge trail, forest park
corn flakes with sugar
it's bill
johanna
i see winter
leif erikson road
"leaf" erikson road
follow the frost, wildwood trail
a new pr in fartlek leaf catching
st johanna's bridge
nice leaf eh
magic awaits at exit 16
smith rock
i don't know why i'm supposed to take a picture of the top of this post but the rest of this stuff looks fun
wish i had my skis
off hours. morning run through downtown bend.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Silver Star Magic


Crazy beautiful day running to the summit of Silver Star with my daughter.


Radical is as radical does.
Back at the space pod.
Proof of global warming. The phoenix drops a fireball deuce in the PNW.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wonderland Trail Unsupported Speed Record (25h48m)



After failing to complete our Oregon PCT adventure as a duo last year, it was time for Team Dibounelly to claim some redemption. We scheduled a late-season date for an attempt at the Wonderland Trail, the big daddy volcano roundabout in the Pacific Northwest. Despite longtime interest, neither of us had been there. Flashing an iconic 93-mile trail with 22,000 feet of elevation gain/loss, unsupported and in record time, sounded perfect.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Illumination Rock

 

Labor day weekend. I spent a bunch of time making sawdust and building storage space for my girls. In between I managed to get out for a quick climb up to Illumination rock on Mt. Hood. I opted to start the climb at a lower access point, Paradise Park Trail 778, just a bit east of Rhododendron. This was a new trail to me and I loved it. Cruiser running grade up to Paradise Park and then plenty of wide open grunting to the upper mountain. About 20 miles with 6,700 feet vertical. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waldo 100K (4th place, 10:22:09)

 

Time to throw some words at this little adventure before it all fades into the carpet.

I arrived at the race with less of the usual pre-race gnaw. My training had been decent. I ran a bunch. I wasn't feeling in tip top form though. Longer work hours and weeks of travel for the new job provided just enough wind sheer to hinder my focus. But it's all good. I was running the legendary Waldo 100K. It was time to turn a day into a worthy memory.

The race went down like this: I ran up. I ran down. I ate some gels. The sun came up. I ran up a peak. I ran through forests on buttery singletrack. I saw my wife. I ate some more gels. I ran by lakes. I passed some runners. I saw my wife again. The day got hot. I ate more gels. Another peak. I hiked. I ran. I finished.

Some observations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Survival Running

I've recently been interviewing for new opportunities in my professional life as a senior technical writer. While not specifically job related, I've enjoyed reflecting on some of the creative work in my writing portfolio. Here's an article I wrote in 2001 for Trail Runner magazine in which I ponder my unrestrained competitive instincts. I've definitely mellowed a bit in the last decade. I'm a lot less likely to unconsciously engage the tractor beam these days, and do so only when I encounter faster runners. My lizard brain is particularly fond of chasing down the University of Portland runners that train in the north end of Forest Park where I regularly run. It's true that I'm older and slower now, but the competitive fire still burns bright. I still run to survive.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mission: Moss


  
I've dabbled in photography in the past, mostly using a Nikon FM2 SLR and print film. I've considered investing in a nicer DSLR, but always felt that the heavy equipment commonly associated with quality photography was at odds with my minimalist nature, particularly adventure running. And yet, running often brings me to some very spectacular scenes. Being mindful of photographic opportunities also helps to sharpen my vision and pushes me to actually see things instead of just looking at things.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Helens, Worm Flows Route

The weather has been a bit of a head scratcher as of late. We've seen very few of the big winter storms that typically carpet the cascades this time of year. While the scant snow seems to taunt my shiny new alpine touring setup, I am more than happy to bide my time with big days in the mountains in what feels like late spring conditions, perfect volcano-climbing weather.

On Saturday afternoon I hatched a plan for a local summit. I tried to rally partners on short notice, but came up short. No worries. The Worm Flows route on Mount Saint Helens seemed like a perfect solo adventure. Fast and light style.


I was at the Marble Mountain trailhead before the sun came up. I failed to bring a light, so was forced to wait until dawn. Rookie mistake. Still, my oversight allowed time for morning rituals and assessing the weather conditions. The lack of a breeze and only a slight chill promised a gorgeous day ahead.

In the early light I triggered my watch and started running up the trail. My intention was to move quickly but still allow for some ramble and reverie.

Before long I had stripped down to a light shirt and running shorts and was passing and greeting curious climbers. It's an odd sensation to run up a snowfield past climbers laboring with overstuffed packs. I felt a strange combination of cockiness and guilt for looking like a show-off. No matter. I was soon alone again, soaking in the grand views and enjoying the burn in my legs and lungs.

kahtoola crampons are great for fast and light travel in the mountains
There's something very satisfying about being solo on the flank of a massive peak. I think it's partly the undeniable presence of consequence and the inhospitable landscape. Nobody is here to bail you out if you skrew up. Regardless of any legitimate danger, I can still feel the empty air around me. I can feel my senses heightened by the vast openness of space, my body charged with a low purr of vital tension. I am alive and present. 

spirit lake and ranier to the north
climbers relaxing on the crater summit
I made it to the summit a bit after two hours. I spent roughly ten minutes eating, drinking, and gazing. No hurry. Then I folded up my poles, grabbed my axe, and started running and glissading down. It was super fun. I managed some long and very fast glissades and, except for a few transitions, I kept up a solid effort all the way back to the car,

I pushed all the way back to the parking lot and spent those last couple of miles reminiscing over the final portion of my Volcanic 50 race, which ends on the same final descent. I finished my jaunt in a time of 3:29, car-to-car. Not very fast, but still solid as I spent at least 20 or 30 minutes loitering and transitioning layers and such. Super fun day.

solid kit for a fast and light summit
Stats:
~11 miles
5600 feet elevation gain/loss
3 hours 29 minutes car-to-car