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!!!!