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Conundrum Couloir

Castle peak and montezuma basin.

Breaking trail to the high point in the upper basin. Castle Peak’s 14,000 foot summit is up above.

Fall just wouldn’t be complete without a trip up to Montezuma Basin. A friend had told me that the recent wet weather was falling as snow up in the basin at 13,000 feet, and that the skiing was actually pretty good. Better yet, the road was still mostly dry and you could drive high up the road. So Joey and I headed up there this past weekend with our rock skis to see what it was like. read more>>>

Grin and Bear It

Bear100-logoChristy and I returned to run the Bear 100 again last weekend. I guess we’re just gluttons for punishment.

We gave it our best and finished the 100 mile course with 23,000 feet of elevation gain in respectable times, though we were both a bit slower compared to last year. We ran unsupported, that is without crew or pacers, and speaking for Christy as well as myself here— five days later we’re still feeling pretty worked.

A great day at a race like this requires everything to go right. Anything short of that means you’re out on the course longer, and if the challenges that arise are numerous and/or sizable, there’s a really good chance you might not even finish.

read more>>>

Dry Lakes and Horn Peak

Ted and christy Mahon at Dry Lakes

Camp at the first Dry Lake.

Continuing with our exploration of the peaks and valleys of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, we headed up to another new area, Dry Lakes and Horn Peak, 13,450 ft. read more>>>

Frenchman Creek to Harvard loop

ted mahon on mount harvard

Fall is in the air. Ted, on the route down the north side of Harvard.

[Christy here again] After spending the last three weekends running through the incredible Maroon – Snowmass Wilderness, we thought we’d switch it up and explore a new area. Earlier this summer, we had done a fun loop run over Missouri and Belford Mountains. From the summit of Missouri, we had an amazing view of the Pine Creek Valley below us to the southeast and quickly added this to our summer ‘to-visit’ list. read more>>>

Sierre Zinal – Christy’s take

SierreZinal_logo2014When our friend Rickey Gates, a professional runner on the international circuit told us that Sierre-Zinal, a 31km trail running race in Switzerland, was among his most favorite and most beautiful races in the whole world – we listened.

When he said that they encourage Americans to come over and participate in this internationally recognized trail race that is part of the World Sky Running series, and that we should go run it- we decided to see what this race was all about.

And he was right. Sierre-Zinal, located in Switzerland’s Valais Alps, was one of the most incredible running experiences we have ever had in the mountains. It was such a special opportunity to run amongst the world’s elite running community on a spectacular course called the “La Course des Cinq 4000” – the “Race of the Five 4,000 meter peaks”.

But it was even more than that. It was the celebratory feel that encompassed our entire time there. It was the wood carved runners that stand up all year in town with the words Sierre-Zinal underneath them, it was the legendary tales told over meals, it was the past winner’s footsteps forever impressed into the sidewalks, it was a feeling of deep love and commitment to the mountains that this small Swiss town of Zinal is all about. In addition to being considered one of the most beautiful races, some say that Sierre-Zinal is one of the most competitive as well. It’s a real crossroads of runners from all different disciplines and backgrounds. This year the historic race celebrated 41 years and a record 4,500 participants. read more>>>

Castor

Ted and Christy mahon on Castor peak

Descending from Castor’s summit. The route started all the way out on the snowy plateau in the distance.

With the race behind us, we made our way from Zinal to Zermatt where we would finally be able to make use of the 40 lb. duffel of climbing gear we had been carting around with us. read more>>>