A small amount of grunting when I rolled out of bed and realized I had committed to climbing again today. Ugh. I shook that off in a few minutes, packed my stuff, got my kid, and headed out. Dropped off Sydney at camp and quickly made my way to the trailhead for Bear Peak. I had run this route in the snow with JV back in January so I thought I had a good idea how we did it. Like yesterday, I took it easy from the start. Not pushing my legs but making sure my lungs were doing the work. Fern Canyon is a great workout! I got up to the saddle quickly I thought but then realized that the shoulder ridge takes longer than expected. Probably one of the steepest sections in the area. Hit the summit in 56 minutes or so. I was playing with video on the way up so that called for some stop and go and backtracking. Just having a good time.
Spent some time on the summit. No rain in sight. I kept looking over at SoBo and thinking it wasn’t that far over there. So I decided to make a go for it. Came around the back of Bear and just got moving when I was at the Shadow Canyon junction already. Man, that was fast. Looked a lot further. Made my way up to the SoBo summit and enjoyed another rest break. Two bagger completed! I had actually planned on doing the whole skyline traverse this week but decided against it once I realized how much effort it might take during a race week. So save that outing for another non-race week. But getting 1 — or even 2 — in a day is a good way to nail down some of the trails. Some of my friends have been up these things 100s of times. This was my 2nd on Bear and 2nd on SoBo so I have some catching up to do I guess.
When it was time to go down, I wasn’t excited about going back up to Bear. Wanted to see something different and not backtrack. So I descended down Shadow Canyon instead. I hit the Mesa Trail and took a left and proceeded to follow it all the way back to the junction near where I started. I crossed it and saw the sign on my start so I knew it wouldn’t be a big stretch to get back there. The Mesa Trail ended up being the most run of the run. Nice hilly ups and downs. Singletrack at times. Just winding around. Loved it. It was a nice payoff. Till I started bonking a bit and remembered I had GU with me. On the final stretch, I missed a turn and ended up at a different trailhead than where my car was. Quickly resolved that I was just around the corner and jogged back up the street to my car and the end of day.
I went 8.11 miles with an elevation gain of 4855 feet in 152 minutes. View my full GPS data.