Freedom & Navajo Peaks

Apologies again for the lack of updates. I completed the marathon on 9/15, with a final time of 4:10:15. It was definitely one of the more challenging things I’ve ever done. I was holding a pretty good pace until mile 23, and then my calves started to cramp, first the right, then the left. Definitely an eye opening experience, and definitely not my last marathon

After the marathon we went to Ireland for a week and a half, most of which was spent not running and instead sitting in a car, traveling from point to point, eating as much food as I could stuff into me.

We arrived back in the states on 10/6 at 8pm, asleep by 11 pm, and up at 4 am to drive out to the Teanaways for a gorgeous larch fest near Freedom and Navajo Peaks

  • Distance: ~12.5 miles (although I dropped my vest and ran the extra 0.6 miles so I could get my Strava October Half Marathon Badge. Yay!)
  • Elevation gain: 4,734′ total according to Garmin
  • Weather: Cold, cloudy, and a little windy on the summits
  • What did I eat: Skratch (strawberry), trail mix, and pizza (Thanks Matt! I love American Food!!!!)
  • Suffer Factor (out of 10): 5 because I was a wee bit out of shape
  • Maps/Tracks: https://sartopo.com/m/0F7Q

Trying to choose a larch-venture was difficult. I knew from previous overseas trips that I would be jet lagged, and I did not want to do any rock climbing or technical scrambling. My idea would have been to go to Ingalls Lake. Thankfully, Olivia had suggested Freedom & Navajo Peaks, which turned out to be an amazing choice.

Larches from Freedom Peak

This was my first attempt at light and fast trail/mountain “running”. Light and fast because instead of my typical boots and 38L pack, loaded for bear with a full first aid kit, stove, multiple layers, and heavy duty shells, I brought along one sleeve of mole skins, some medical tape, one light puffy jacket, one extremely thin rain shell, two liters of water, very few snacks, and a head lamp. We called this a “run” but the uphill was less a run and more of an attempt at fast walking. Sure, we ran the flats and downhill. But there was a lot of walking uphill, especially when we went off trail.

I won’t detail out ever thought and feeling I had on the approach and hike up. The sluggishness I felt initially followed me up a majority of the mountain, until we arrived at the saddle between Navajo and Freedom. The sight of fresh snow, larches, and the imposing ridgeline of Stuart and the Enchantments made me remember how much I loved the mountains and provided a much need mental refresher. Cooped up in a car, walking around at sea level, admiring sheep for a week can only do so much.

We didn’t spend too long on each summit. The weather system forecasted for the day was starting to move in, and we could feel the wind pick up and the temperature drop. We ran down the mountain, C2C time of 5.5 hrs, 12.5 mi RT, 4700+ feet of gain. I ran the extra 0.6 mi because hey, might as well make it a half marathon =).

Larch Madness!

 

Freedom Peak in the mid ground

 

More Larches!

 

Navajo Peak

Can’t wait for the next adventure! (Preview: it also has larches, has a Bulger, and has a through hike!)

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