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Run Efficient: Pemi Loop

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pemi Loop

Started out the day with a stuffed pack full of Raw Revolution bars, gorp, a few GU's, and a fat, full can of tuna on sesame seed bagel with two slices of pepper jack cheese. That and an additional blueberry muffin and OJ that James bought me and, oh yeah it's on!

We started a smidgen after 7 on a rather humid gorgeous morning. After crossing the bridge the run is relatively flat with a slight incline. Our pace was a bit quicker than I'd anticipated due to the fact speedy Chuck and tenacious James were leading us along. Emma and I looked at each other a few times and smirked at the pace. I'm pretty sure they had espressos. We hit the first climb and started to separate a bit before catching up with James and Chuck at Bondcliff (4265). Absolutely crystal clear day with a slight breeze made the view spectacular, but we were off after a quick bite.

Mt. Bond (4698) was next with more chowing down and stellar views but there must have been a large black fly hatching with all the rain as we were inundated with swarms. The wind barely held them at bay as we cruised along ridge lines and dipped down through mossy, steamy, green wonder worlds of technical trails, smiling scents and colorful conversations. We hit Guyot (4580), and somewhere along the way I stopped to water the trees as Chuck went on ahead. So... I crouched down like an ansty tiger behind a tree and waited for Emma and James to come by. Where... I pounced out of the woods growling and mock charging them. Yup I'm a bastard. James opened his eyes larger than an ultra runner with a Power Bar stuck in his throat, and Emma, well I had no idea a scream could come out that high pitched with a Scottish drawl. Good times.

After South Twin (4902) we crawled our way up to Galehead hut where Chuck was sucking down tatters-in-a-tube and smiling in to the sun. We all refilled water, had a few tasty-cakes (thanks James) and took off again. Starting to feel the downs more now I quivered on some of the descents. However I enjoyed, and looked forward to the climbs to stretch the calves and reach for the views. Garfield (4500) was well deserved and stuffing down my bagel delight sandwich I felt freshly invigorated for the climbs to come. I had consumed over two and a half liters of water and was sweating and peeing well enough after 16 plus miles so I was very happy with my lower-sodium diet so far.

The climb to Lafayette (5260) is nice and tough with very rewarding views. Between Lafayette and Lincoln (5089) I truly felt like I was back home. Growing up in New Hampshire and hiking all through my youth I hit these peaks many times, but Lafayette and Lincoln were my brothers and my yearly tune-up hikes. The ridge line is narrow and perfectly runnable with 360 panoramas of the Whites and the valleys below. Since most trail runs in the woods are quite closed in, and secluded, it is so precious to run in the open. I snuck by Chuck on this section, feeling a bit nostalgic and wanted a clear path in front of me to truly feel some speed and childhood glee cruising over the rocks and dirt with sun on my face, wind on the side and friends all around.

Little Haystack (4780) and I'm out of water. Oops. I decided to down a salt tab to hopefully retain some moisture and denied the urge to pee. The four of us stayed roughly together through the next bit and hit Liberty (4459) with happiness but excited anticipation of the cool river below. Mt. Liberty brings back some fond mountaineering memories of my first bout with frost bite on a super cold blizzard a bunch of years back. Today was a welcome reprieve from that night but the bugs, heat, humidity and now thirst, kept us pushing.

Flume Mountain (4328) came nice and quick with not much decent/ascent and then it was time to go down... We all agreed that the trail down was relatively obvious and Chuck and I wanted to cruise due to thirst (he was out of water as well.) Emma and James were perfectly happy flying down with each others company as James was probably going to take it "gingerly" with his broken toe. After about a mile or so of conversing with Chuck on the semi steep decent we could hear the river below, and Chuck was gone. Once the trail began it's switchbacks, and gradual decent, running became easier, or harder on the knees. I ran alone for a while, lost in my own world and looking forward to the few ups along the way (which were very few, but felt good on the legs). Not too far from the intersection of the Lincoln Woods and Osseo Trails James came blazing down behind me and the three of us (me, James and his tenacity) ran together until the stream where we waded through, and quickly saw Emma powering down for a stream dip herself. The final flat section we steamed along not talking much just motivated to rest the legs and put the epic run in the logs, and in-the-bag. After the bridge crossing the three of us submerged ourselves in the Pemigewasset River, letting the cool water wash away the salt, grime, and bugs, refreshing us enough to make it to the Mexican restaurant in town.

An absolutely incredible time with true and like-minded friends on a picture-perfect day! (Thanks for the pictures Chuck)

efficiency: Only drank water, a bit over five liters (not enough) but kept the sodium solution in my blood at an optimum level and had no blisters, cramping or stomach issues. Also ate way healthier and consumed more protein than usual with "real" foods.

distance: 31.5
duration: 10:42:00
pace: 20:23


At June 17, 2011 at 7:20 PM , Blogger Sparkplug said...

Sounds like a great trip! Isn't that whole area just so beautiful? I love it up there! Can't wait to get back there, and to share it with Sam at some point too.

At June 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM , Blogger vja said...

Great write up! I sort of felt like I was there.


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