Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mt. Humphreys summit

My favorite quote:
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

I had tried to get to Mt. Humphreys last summer, but I had Cracker dog with me, and we only made it to 11,500 feet. She was being a little skiddish and so me and her turned around.

Dallas and I were going to do this in June, but there was still too much snow, which made route finding difficult, so we passed.

So, we looked at the calendar, set a date, and made it  happen! Life goes by before you know it.

Dallas and I drove up from Tucson Saturday and spent the night at Ft. Tuthill. I had been suffering from a cold since Friday, but was feeling marginally better (no more sore throat), although I was wiped out from the drive and my nose was running pretty good.
Getting ready for the run after driving the new Outback along a long washboard road!
Sunday morning, we met Honey from Phx (a long-time top ultrarunner) at the Shultz Tank trailhead (about 8,031 feet). We started running a little after 7am on the Kachina trail.

We actually did a lot of walking because of the elevation and steepness, but this trail is fairly runnable at times and beautiful. Dallas asked Honey lots of questions about running 100 mile races, and then Honey and I chatted about all sorts of things for several hours. She is such a positive, nice person!

It did crack me up, though, when Honey made a comment about Dallas' calves. She was saying how her calves are not typical 'trail runner' calves; they are more slender. Then she said to Dallas, "Do you have implants in those calves?" Hysterical! Dallas does have amazing muscles in his calves. Plus, he is sporting a new 'tat' on his right ankle.
We arrived at Humphreys trail and took that to the top. We said goodbye to Honey at the saddle (about 11 miles in at 11,800 feet); she had to go and meet family.

Bye Honey! Thanks for being an awesome mountain guide!

View of a valley below from the saddle
We then pushed on the last mile ourselves to the summit. Rocky, some bouldering, no oxygen, very breezy (I put a windbreaker on) false summits, slow, slogging pace. Dallas took a ton of pictures of me! We were having so much fun!
Getting loopy with less oxygen! That's me playing air guitar!

Climbing the talus heap that is Mt. Humphreys. Almost there!
Summit of Mt. Humphreys: 12,633 feet!!! I felt blessed to get to share this journey to the summit with Dallas - it was a first for both of us!

We hung out there for a little bit, but truth is, we really didn't enjoy enough of the view. There were a lot of people up there and I think our brains were a little oxygen deprived. We looked at each other and said, okay, guess we head down now?
It is a slow, rocky descent back to the saddle.

We then headed down Weatherford trail. It took forever to drop below 10,000 feet! The trail is long with lots of rocky stretches. We were feeling a little loopy from the elevation, so we just walked when we felt like it and ran when we could. This trail was lined with lots of fir/pine trees and was just gorgeous.

Dallas is such a phenomenal runner - it is awesome to run with him!
Getting warm as we head down, so I'm shedding clothes!
I kept having to remind myself of just how lucky I am to be able to see the things I do on my trail runs. I hit a sweet spot about 1 hour from the finish and just started running like the wind. Felt good to get that surge of energy and become sure-footed on the rocky trail at that point in the run.

Total miles: 24.62

Total time out: 8:43!!! Jeesh! Took us a little longer than we thought it would. We didn't get back to Tucson until 10pm.

Total elevation gain/(loss): 8,662/(8,537) feet

I took a lot more pictures - here is the link.

This was by far one of the more challenging runs I've ever done. These type of runs bring up all sorts of emotions and deep thoughts. If I could just ever really let go in life - let myself be really loved, let myself be fully open to the experience of life - what a life I could really experience.

♪ "I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall..." ♫

~ Sanctus Real

1 comment:

HappyTrails said...

Looks like an awesome run Renee - how far away from Tucson is that? The views are spectacular!