Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rocks Part 1: The Pemi Loop

This is a picture of the Twinway at its junction with the Bondcliff Trail, high up on the slopes of Mount Guyot some 4,000 feet above sea level. The rocks you see... are the trail. There is no single-track here, just a whole load of what NH's nickname is derived after.. Granite.

I've run on and trained on this section of trail specifically on various occasions over the last 4 years. This section of trail is by far my most favorite place in the entire world to come and train. Its rugged for many reasons, beyond which what the rocks can give me. The weather here is vicious. New Hampshire's mountains are home to the "Worlds Worst Weather" and the alpine tundra here is only seen in one other place in the world and thats the arctic tundra.

The trail leading up to this place is on one of my favorite training runs, "The Pemi-Loop." A 35 mile mountain run which I have yet to break 10 hours on. A run that starts with a 3,000+ foot climb up a mountain after a short 1 mile run. The loop continues with crazy ups and down around the "loop" which includes the famous and well travelled Franconia Ridge, The Garfield Ridge (seen above in the fog), the Twinway, Bondcliff and Wilderness Trails. The Garfield Ridge trail is a storied trail often considered one of the toughest 5 miles of the entire Appalachia Trail. Trail so rugged that on my first time there in 2005, I cried and begged for it to relent. The last time I was there, I made quick work of the ridge and reveled in the agony inflicted there.

(Franconia Ridge)

These are my training grounds. They call this the Granite State for a reason. The rocks here are like no where else. I've hiked them, crawled them... and I've run them. This is what I rely on to get me through MMT.


You can read my old trip reports at the following links:
2007 Pemi Loop Run
2006 Pemi-Loop Run
(Next Up: The Presi- Traverse)