I’ve been feeling like a slacker aerobically lately, so I decided to run the Grand today. It is the best workout we have and all. I managed to best my personal record for CTS (car to summit) by five minutes and my CTC (car to car) time by over 10.
I started just after nine AM and went non-stop to the Upper Saddle before I stopped for a couple minutes to put on an extra layer. I saw some mountain guides on the way, Nat Patridge, who didn’t seem to believe that I was going to the top, Jeff Witt, who was bummed to be getting passed, and Rob Hess, who was leading a group down to the Lower Saddle after summiting in the AM.
I was a little breezy and I had to climb over one groups ropes to keep the pace. A HUGE rock slide in the Black Ice Couloir caught me off guard as I was topping out of the Sergeants Chimney. I was in the zone and I thought it was thunder or lightning, but when I looked up it was bluebird and a plume of dust was rising from the Black Ice. I stopped my watch when I got to the top (had it to myself) and ate a quick protein bar for about 5 minutes before restarting it for the down climb and run back down.
I was psyched to have shaved some time off, but I think I can do it faster still. I gave a shout out the crew at the Lower Saddle as I motored down to the fixed rope. I managed to bang my knee on a boulder twice, enough to draw some blood and that hurt a little as well as slowing me down a bit. My low point was going from the boulder field to the switchbacks. I felt like I was going to throw up and/or pass out. I don’t think I had been drinking enough so I focused on hydrating and walked for a few minutes. I started to feel a little better and managed to pick the pace back up down to the trailhead. Not 100M from it though, I got tripped up and face planted onto the dusty trail. Like I wasn’t suffering enough already.
Note: Props to Zahan Billamoria and company for their 11 hour and 6 minutes “Driggs to Dornan’s” run via soloing the Upper Exum yesterday. The crew started at Teton Canyon trailhead and after summiting Table Mountain, made their way to the Grand before running out to Taggart Lake and onto Dornan’s in Moose. Nice effort bros!!!!
wow, steve…. wow.
that is an incredible time.
makes me think that person who has the 3h CTC record was using a rocket pack.
congrats on the BD sponsorship, too!
It really blows me away to think of a 3 hour CTC on the Grand. Jack Tackle told me he made it from the Lower Saddle to the trailhead in an hour once, back in the day. I think some of these fast times must include some glissading or cutting of switchbacks. Rolo’s supposed 10 min from summit to Lower Saddle is just mind boggling as well! 😯 😯 😯 😯
nice work steve. It makes my shift at the firehouse here in Spo-compton a little more fun whenever i check out your blog. thanks for the report on Z’s crew, too.
Truly an impressive feat, great job in shaving off some time. When are we going speed climbing? Congrats!
Incredible, simply incredibile. While I’ve been following this site for some time, I have never felt the need, or ability, to contribute. This TR just leaves me feeling rather weak and even more motivated. Great Job!! Thanks for the site too. Keep it up.
Glad I can help with the motivation…sometimes I need some extra myself.
BTW DHeine…feel free to leave comments anytime. It’s all good!!
You should do a Rolo impression when we come up for the traverse. Pass us at the speed of light.
Very, very impressive (and inspiring) Steve, thanks for sharing!
I’m a long way from Rolo’s achievements…could be fun to try though.
You guys going to be at OR next month???
Been feeling a bit lazy myself lately, thanks for the motivation to get out! Good times all around, nice to see you’re keeping in shape for next year’s race season.
Nice one Romeo, just the motivation need for my skin today (can’t really call it “skiing” yet, so little snow!).
Nice job to Z as well!
Thanks…feeling it a wee bit in the quads today.
I’ll pray for some snow for ya Grant!!!!
Shudda stood up and registered the last four feet (actually 5.6 ft.) on the altimiter.
Otherwise, great job.
Nice obs Anguish!
I set my watch @ 13,770′ when I got to the top, but it dropped a few when I lowered my arm to take the photo. So are you saying the summit of the Grand is actually 13,771.6′???
I wrote it as 13,772 for years in the paper. Why not go with the best info – which I got from Rich Greenwood’s (and co) sophisticated GPS survey many years ago. Why take the ‘Ficcal Gvrmnt Wrd of decades ago when you have better information?
Got tired of writing back to readers every time I wrote the “true” height. As I recall, Rich and his crew got more than 1.5 ft. out of their survey, which was good enough for me.
nice going Steve..Send me the watch
Maybe you can answer here, or maybe write a whole blog on this subject: what sort of nutritional supplements, if any, and fueling strategies do you use on your effort up and down the Grand, as well as on longer days? Might not be directly ski or mountaineering related but this subject is definetly related to performance. I have been experimenting over the past year, and I have managed to improve my recovery from big days, as well as maybe slow down my performance loss as I age.
I would be curious to know what your experience is in this regard.
Steve – a buddy and me did the upper exum CTC yesterday and I couldn’t help but think about this blog post most of the day, especially when we passed the moraine at the 3 hour mark and I remembered you were on the summit in just under 3. Impressive to say the least.
I’m with Tony as well – what sort of fueling strategies work well for you? (understanding that each of us is unique and what works for you may or may not work for me)
Glad you made it Powstash!
Look for a post on what works for me (besides suffering) in regards to nutrition in the next week or two.