Death Canyon to String Lake Trail Run

Dropping off Hurricane Pass into the South Fork of Cascade CanyonThis past Saturday I ventured out onto one of the area's classic trail loops, the Death Canyon to the South Fork of Cascade Canyon. This run climbs over 6,000 vertical feet in about 24 miles. It travels from the White Grass trailhead, past the Phelps Lake overlook, up to the Death Canyon patrol cabin, hangs a right up to Static Peak divide, summiting Static Peak, then down across the basin on the west side of the range, into Alaska Basin, over Hurricane Pass and finally down the South and Main Cascade drainages to the String Lake parking lot. We traversed an amazing amount of alpine terrain on mostly runnable trails.

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Expectation and Commitment

The morning's breakfast offering - Broad Fork TwinLast week I traveled to the Wasatch to join the irrepressible Andy Dorais for an attempt at the Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Link-up (WURL).  Since it had only been completed twice but attempted many times I knew we were in for something hard. On the other hand, knowing the fastest time was just shy of 18 hours, I figured we had as good a chance as any at not only completing it but, perhaps, even vying for the record. Ah, the arrogance of ignorance.

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Running Different

Luke Nelson running the way it should be doneBarefoot running. It conjures images of loin-cloth-clad indigenous people running effortlessly through the wilderness and drinking from streams on the fly. Their feet have never been shod and their soles bare the leathery skin to prove it. They run smoothly over varied terrain with an efficient stride honed from a life-time of practice.

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Grand Teton Speed Project, version 2.0

Although I realize that the speed game does not appeal to everyone playing in the mountains, summertime presents another seasonal opportunity to test oneself against the clock and others in the mountain environment. We covered this territory several times in blog posts this winter and spring reporting on efforts to climb and ski the Grand Teton and other lines in the range. With the melting of the snow pack, we are left to travel similar ground on foot as we push personal limits.

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Black Ice Couloir Trip Report

Nate Brown cruising the iconic Black Ice Couloir, GTNPIn June, 2001, after making a solo ascent of the Black Ice Couloir, the iconic alpine ice climb on the north side of the Enclosure in Grand Teton National Park, I told myself that I probably didn't need to go back there. It was my second solo of the route, my third ascent ever, and I figured I had seen and experienced what I needed. But two Saturdays ago saw me, Nate Brown and Andy Dorais front-pointing our way up perfect, if not brittle, alpine ice choking the Black Ice.

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