Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fastpacking Solo

I'm sure most of you would love to "have to" go out and fastpack a route for your work. I certainly do, and it gets me out in the mountains when I might otherwise find myself blissfully sweating in 100F heat at Elements Hot Yoga Power Class.
Speaking of yoga, no excuse not to do your 200/100 or my case 400/100/4min while being a Dirtster!

Now's not the time to fantasize about hot yoga however! It's still bone chilling cold here in the mountains in Washington but happily very little snow for a trail runner like me! Time to get tough and enjoy frosty mornings and numb feet.

I've just finished a day (more really) of preparations for a 3-4 days of fastpacking. If you've never planned a multi day trip solo in the backcountry before you might not realize how much planning it really takes. You might imagine that you'd just drive out to the mountains and start running. I wish...  
Right smack dab in the middle of Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, & Mt Rainier!

It really takes days if not weeks to plan a good Fastpack trip. You need to map it, get the right gear and food, prepare your gear, clothing, and food, and pack it, being very mindful to weed out the unnecessary. Taking less stuff takes more preparation and time than just throwing everything in your pack. What do you need? Why do you need it? What are the chances you will need it? What's the weather likely to be? How many days might it take? What are the worst case scenarios? 

I've learned that I have to be careful packing because while some people take too much, I often take too little. I've ended up freezing the entire time or running out of food or in the case of fastpacking at Tahoe: running out of food AND sleeping on the ground the entire time with no sleeping pad (actually it's quite nice & grounding and makes you feel tough but very hard on a fatigued body!). 
Thanks to a Bigfoot200 runner I'm quite fittingly enjoying my "Bigfoot Field Researcher" mug. 

I'm typing this post on my phone with a tiny iPhone keypad and 2 dots of service in an "extended LTE network" while snuggled in my sleeping bag in the back of my Honda Element, so I'm gonna keep this brief, or more brief than I otherwise would! 

Itinerary: determine if Twin Peaks Trail and 7/7A trails exist while traversing from Randle, WA to Mt. Adams, and then looping back to where I parked my car in the middle of nowhere, WA.

Miles: Who the fuck really knows? Maybe 80-100? With 20,000-30,000ft climbing?  About to find out! 

Days: Thursday-Saturday or Sunday at latest. 

Gear:




Black diamond Z poles, ultra distance of course ;)

I'm using the Altra Lone Peak 2s! Best shoe ever!

Food:
Alright, that's it for now! I'll report back when I'm done and hopefully I won't burn any ticks, err I mean blisters off my ankles this time! 

C.
Mmmm, yummy quick fuel for my speed workout the day before fastpacking.

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4 comments:

  1. Yes! The planning takes so much work! I just repacked, again, for a fastpacking trip and while I'll be comfortable with clothes/gear there is a good chance I'll end up hungry...not starving, but hungry. Good grief, food takes up SO much space!

    Have fun!

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  2. Sounds like a most excellent adventure. :)

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  3. Hi!
    9 am, friday, working in my office in front of my laptop, reading your post....I want to close everything and get out!!.........not today but it will happen soon. Your adventurous soul inspires me!!
    Have fun!!

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  4. Nice report! I've never been to that neck of the world!

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