Thursday, July 30, 2009

I suck at tapering

So the Soggy Bottom 100 is in less than 48 hours. When it comes to tapering for a bicycle race, I tend to be a bit unorthodox. Some people rest, fill their glycogen stores and hydrate. Others do easy spins to loosen up their muscles. I like to get up early after five hours of sleep and go for long, hard hikes. It may be a questionable taper strategy, but it sure does fire up the synapses.

I wanted to go real big today, but I had to be at the office in the afternoon, so I dialed it back to the longest Juneau hike that I have completed before - the Juneau Ridge to Granite Creek Basin.

From the top of Mount Juneau, there's a good view of the airport runway that will be the launching point of my doom early Friday morning.

It was ultra-hot today ... meaning it was in the low 80s. But the sunlight reflecting off the snowfields made it feel much warmer. Stranged to feel so scorched while walking on snow.

I tried for the Juneau Ridge five times last year, and every single time I was shut down by bad weather. I was so frustrated last season that I never got to do anything "big." I love that this is now officially a hike I can knock out before work, as long as I motivate early.

The view northeast: I can see Canada from my house.

The Juneau Ridge is a good connecting point to the real backcountry - the Juneau Icefield. Someday (hopefully soon) I'm going to plan a multiday trip out that way. I will need to find a partner that is good at reading maps first.

Mount Olds. Someday I will bag that as well.

Five hours. 12.5 miles. 5,430 feet of vertical. Just like resting, only better.