With no mountain races of my own this year, I thought I'd have all this time to work on finishing details on my book and post blog updates, but I should have known better. By deciding to play "spectator" to Beat's self-supported race, I had all the same time constraints as a crew-person with none of the actual support. Between occasional work, keeping track of Beat's location, plotting my own trail route to intersect him, driving, and hiking, I rarely made time to sleep and eat actual meals — all of the local grocery stores close before 7 p.m., and who has time to sit at slow-service restaurants? I was raised with American fast food and 24-hour convenience stores, so I had no idea how to function on a less ambitious schedule. Most evenings I'd stumble back from a hike around sunset and scrounge for whatever snacks I had left over in the car. Crackers, tuna, and oranges again? Well, at least there were oranges. I'm glad I bought that two-kilogram bag of fruit on Monday.
After a scramble up a broad ridge, the land effectively ends at 8,500 feet on a knob called La Jonction. Here one can only continue higher if they're willing to venture out on a chaotic jumble of ice. But it's an incredible spot to sit and eat crackers and tuna for lunch.