Running on ...
HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Part 1: The run
Krumholtz, the gnarled pines found at high, wind-blown elevations, are common on this run, all of which took place on the Continental Divide between 5,610 (Rogers Pass) and 7,100 feet (Louie Peak, so-named by me and daughter Nora about 18 years ago).
I managed to do what I threatened the past couple of days: Run all the way from the pass to Louie and back. It was harder than I remembered. Most of the times I've been there, it was hiking. I've run to it only twice, and I was younger then. It's been at least six years since I did what I did today. It was a long run, with lots of flowers, so like I did a couple of weeks ago, I'm splitting this post into two pieces: the run and the flowers.
The day was gorgeous: Temp ranged from low 50s at the outset to high 60s by the time I got back to the car, with just some pretty clouds and not much wind (unusual up there).
Here's proof that I made it: the view from the top of Louie Peak. This is looking southeast, basically toward Helena.
I was fooled on the run today, because Louie presents a vicious false peak from Cadotte Pass, the 6,100-foot low point between Nora Mountain (6,550 or so) and Louie (7,100). This is the steep path up from the pass. It's a hard drill — all I could manage at a slow trot — and when you think you're reaching the top, you come over a rise to see a whole additional mountain ahead of you. I think the false peak is about 6,700 feet, and at least it gives you a quarter mile or so of level or even downhill trail. Then it's up 400 more feet to the real peak.
I should mention, in the unlikely event that any CD Trail folks or Forest Service folks look at this, that some asshole has been violating the rules against 4-wheelers beyond a fence at the north end of Cadotte.
This thing (I'll stop short of calling it an abomination) sits along the trail at the south end of Cadotte Pass. No idea whose it is, but one time I was up there and there was a person studying — and I think freeing — raptors there, so maybe it serves a purpose. It had fallen into serious disrepair a number of years ago, but it appears to be getting some maintenance now, at least.
Coming down from Louie Peak, you get a good view of almost the entire route of today's run. The CD Trail runs right on the top of the ridge. The ridge as it runs off the picture at right is where the Nora Mountain cairn sits. The structure is just a windowless shed in the lee of Cadotte Pass. There are a couple of small tracts of private land that lap a corner over the trail. The structure, presumably, goes with one of those; the round house in the previous photo, presumably, goes with another.
I shed a layer of shirts (not the red one ... it was over the top of a long-sleeved one that I no longer needed) on Nora Mountain, which took me 44 minutes to reach today — four minutes faster than a month ago!
The shirt's draped on the cairn we built up there 20 years ago, and the long view is down Montana 200 far below and onto the distant prairie.
I didn't even notice it on the way up, but on the way back I saw the last remnant of snow on the lee side of the first ridge. I noticed no other snow farther up.
Time to rest!
15; 20; 79.5; 527
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