Sunday, December 9, 2007
Blue Hills - Skyline Traverse
Blue Hills Reservation
12,205' of elevation Change
6,153' Gain/6,053' Loss
I met up with Dot Helling, Brenda Phillips, Kim Trainer, Greg Stone and Nate Sanel at the Shea Rink in Quincy, MA at 8:30am on Saturday. Our activity for the day was a training run in the Blue Hills just south of Boston, Ma. Kimmie and Dot are training for the HURT 100, so we organized this day to allow them to get in their last long runs on terrain which closely resembles Hawaii. Of course, Hawaii won't have a crust of freshly fallen snow, but the slick mud of the rain forests coupled with roots and rocks will create their own level of technical difficulties.
A fresh layer of snow laid silent across the landscape as we moved through the crisp morning air. Greg started 2 hours earlier out on Rte 138 and met us at the start. Per the norm in the Blue Hills, the group went slightly off track and it tooks us awhile to catch our mistake. Once we found the trail again, we moved along at a relaxed pace, sure to be careful of the slick rocks and very technical trail. On the top of each hill, we were awarded with GREAT views of Boston, the Ocean and points all around.
As the day wore on the temps rose enough to melt a good amount of snow. The trails stayed slick with slush, mud and running water. Our feet were soaked but warm so long as we kept moving. Later in the day, as the sun began to set, temps dropped back below freezing and the slush started to turn to crunchy ice. The skyline traverse is tough enough, nevermind the addition of snow and ice.
We ran/hiked the skyline trail from Shea Rink all the way across to Rte 138 in Braintree at the Blue Hills Ski Hill. The first trip there, we ran down the mountain, around the base then back up and headed back for Shea Rink. Back at the Rink, Nate, Kimmie, Greg and I reloaded and headed back for more as Dot and Brenda decided to call it a day. The four of us ran back to Braintree again, ariving at the base of the ski-hil just as the sun finally set and darkness encased the world. We wanted to run back but agreed that the mix of wet runners, increasing winds, dropping temps, and the risks of fidgetting with it all in the dark were not optimal. We ended our day here. Tired, cold and sore. So.. we completed the day by running the skyline traverse from Beginning to End to Beginning to End. ;)
I had an awesome time! Good luck to Kimmie and Dot in Hawaii!