Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moab Pacing - Bridger Jack to Wind Whislte

30.4ks logged pacing Grant overnight from Brigder Jack to Stay Mountain .  Started in a Canyon then climbed Mount Shah,  4,600 ft elevation gain with a 2,100 ft. elevation loss.
Shay Mountain

Getting ready to Pace

and now for the story ...there is always a story!

It took Patrick and I a few hours of off roading  to get into the " Bridger Jack " aid station.  We had a high Chevy V8 4X4 and we needed it!   Just getting here was an adventure in itself.   Was in camp a couple of hours before Grant arrived around 7:30 pm ,  still twilight but getting dark fast.  We got food and water into him then he headed to a tent we had set up for 2 hours of sleep.  At this time he had covered his first 100 miles and had been going for 36 hours with two hours sleep.   When he arrived he told a story about a pet turtel on a leash that a guy walked 2 miles everyday ...I was a little worried about his mental state until someone at the aid station confirmed his story ...phew!  Getting Grant up and moving occurred fast and before I knew it I was heading down into the Canyon a little after 10:00 pm.   I ran with my usual head lamp,  waist lamp and I added a hand held and was I ever glad I did.

NOTE to self....Never and I mean never run a trail overnight without a hand held light.

Trail markers were good but sometimes they could be KMs apart.   As we headed across the Canyon there was a bit boom...thunder!   Saw a little bit of lightening around 10:30 but that was about it.   Apparently it hit the camp we had just left ...lucked out there!  Picked up another runner an hour or so into the Canyon...he had a story about Drangons ....the mind plays tricks when your sleep deprived and exhausted.    He tailed along for a few minutes then backed off leaving Grant and I alone in the Canyon.  As we neared Shay Mountain we were following a " Wash Out "  ,  basically a dry river bed that floods when there is rain at higher elevation.  I was fascinated by the structure ,  basically sheer walls of rock and sand 20 to 30 ft high in spots.  If there had of been a flash flood it wouldn't be good to  be where we were.   The Wash's were not very well flagged so I was watching for footprints in the sand to ensure we were on course.  After the Washes we started up Shay gradual at first then the fun began.  We hadn't been climbing to to long when we came across #39 Ramil Balagat.  He was having trouble navigating and joined Grant and I through to the Shay aid station.   The climbs were monster at times and seemed to never end.   I would run up ahead ,  turn my lights off and admire the night sky letting Grant and Ramil catch up with me.   We were taking consonant breaks to catch our breath as a result of the climb and thinning air nearing 7,000 ft in elevation.   On one of the breaks Ramil said that " This is a harder climb the the Tour de France".  He has completed the tour de France ...go figure you never know who you may hook up with on a Mountain in the Moab in the middle of the night.    I had a pretty good idea how the course snaked its way up and around Shay...I was using the night sky to know which direction we were heading and how close we were to the aid station.    After we achieved our maximum elevation we dropped down a gravel road bleeding off just about everything we gained only to turn around and climb 2/3 of what we lost ....on a gravel road! Temps were freezing on the decent and lack of muscle heat made things rather chilly....we all added some clothing!    Going down we bumped into Ausi Jason Dean #21 ...a funny guy who was full of talent and really lightened things up for awhile.     We got to Shay aid station a little before 7am ,  this was the half way mark and it was completed in 48 hours.     Patrick was suppose to meet us at Shay but was delayed by his great adventure at Bridger Jack AS.  I was cold really cold btu I ran around helping runners keep warm and fed.    Patrick arrived around 08:30 ...I was relieved!    He quickly suited up and headed out with Grant.  I spent an hour or two organizing the truck before heading over to " Dry Valley" to meet Grant and Patrick and head back out for my next pacing assignment.

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