Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wilderness Trekking III is live!

WT3 is live. E-mail correspondence hit inboxes last night, and planning and logistics will commence soon. Route start and end points will be distributed today. I already have a sample gear list developed from prior years (and no, I'm not linking to it right now).

The trip is not about ego or glory - it is about wilderness immersion and experience. And it is not for everyone. If you have to ask, WT3 is not for you. It's a sobering thought.

More later as details are released.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

SHT 50 mile race plan

I'm 20 days out from the SHT fall 50 mile. Not entirely prepared, physically or mentally. A minor knee injury earlier this summer really threw a loop in my training (by cutting out five weeks of it) and I haven't got up to near the mileage that I did for the 50K. I have only put in one week where I ran in excess of 40 miles since the 50K. Oh well.

I did some trail running this morning at Afton State Park. Just a single loop, about 11.3 miles worth. It took me about 110 minutes, or just under 10 min/mile - this includes walking up some hills, so my actual running pace was faster. This is with a fudge factor built in to compensate for my missing 0.3 miles of timing (about 3 minutes). Not too shabby, but it is not the SHT. Afton has too many small rolling hills and a long 1.7 miles of flat dirt near the river. On the SHT, I will have none of that.

Perhaps if I average 10 min/mile, and then add a fudge factor of 10 percent, that's 11 min/mile and a 550 minute race - 9 hours, 10 minutes. This puts as a top-four finisher for the years online results are posted. And thus it makes the pace look flawed.

But perhaps not. I ran poorly at the 50K, yet averaged 10:51 mile/min average. And that's with a lot of walking and slow, slow running. So perhaps somewhere between 10-11 minutes per mile is not that far off.

Of course I have no clue how this will play out. I can only sit back and enjoy the run. Stay out of the front of the pack and get settled early. Last time, I went out too hard and paid for it with pain and sluggish struggling. This time, I am better prepared mentally, and have been biking more and more to compensate for my lack of running.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vests, part II

So I got a vest, a Patagonia Micropuff. No, I did not pay anywhere near the list price, or even that sale price. It may not be the lightest, ,maybe not the warmest - but hey, I'll take it.

It layers well under my Thermawrap parka, and is warm as all get-out. I intend to take this layer with me to Bozeman for WT3, just in case.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Now enrolled in BPL Wilderness Trekking III

I'm heading out to Bozeman, MT to participate in BackpackingLight's Wilderness Trekking III in October.

As an upshot, this trip will be one of my most extreme excursions to date, likely second only to the Hudson Bay Expedition of 2005. Prior years' WT3 trips support this statement. Last year, the hikers were met with harsh winter conditions and had to hike out because of the deteriorating weather. In 2007, gear was pushed to the extreme. Two pairs of trekking poles suffered catastrophic failure. Their trip report is here. In short, the group faces snow, near-freezing temps and difficult navigation for the entire trek.

Although gear requirements have not been released, in prior years, insulation has been all synthetic. This means insulated parkas and pants, along with sleeping bags or quilts. Other gear is specifically limited. The 2007 report gear report has a prior example list. Chris Wallace has also posted his 2008 WT3 gear list.

More information will be posted as I receive it.