Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jefferson Via Castle Ridge and Castle Ravine Trail

We had a plan which was to do Jefferson, Adams and Madison.  The plan slowly faded away as we slowly dragged our bodies, literally, through The Castles.  The Castles, could be some of the coolest feet of vertical in The Whites.  I am not sure how many there are, but they start at the trail junction of The Castle Trail and The Link.  The snow depth was something that caught be off guard.  I knew the mountains were covered in snow but we hit some styrofoam snow that was beyond knee deep.  We had to do some clearing of sections of The Castles just to find hand and foot holds.  The weather was the balls, see picture below.

The visitibily was in the 100 miles + range and there was not a cloud to be seen.  Wind was totally mute and we could stand around for a little while before getting chilled.  It took us over 5 hours to get to the summit of Jefferson.  Everything was covered in snow and the landscape looked identical regardless of where you looked.  It is a vast openness on Jefferson, brought back memories of Mutha and I wandering around in Edmunds Col and somewhere in there.  We hit the Edmunds Col junctions and decided to call it a day.  It was VERY slow going with the rocks completed covered and every foot step being a guess of how deep you would plunge.  You would have thought with the great weather we had the original plan would have been accomplished.  I think The Castles slowed us down but the fun factor was worth it.  

The descent could have been the highlight of the day.  We were originally going to take the Israel Ridge Path down but a zig and a zag lead us to the headwall of Castle Ravine and since it looked step, worse than Abol slide I figured was an excellent exit plan.  2+ hours later of loose rock, wondering where sections of trail went we made it below treeline and marched out on the well marked and very well maintained Castle Ravine Trail.  This trail crosses the Israel River several times and the crossing are simple, I would imagine tough in late spring.  It is a vast wilderness.  There was one or two couloirs that I thought would be of significant interest in the ravine to climb.  

Great day, lots of sunshine, laughs, all kinds of animal tracks, coyote, moose, deer and more than the average black bear tracks.  Surprised to see the bears still on the move.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rainier is the Ballz

Well about a week after VT 100 we had planned to go out to Seattle and head over to the White River Campground for a summit bid of Mt. Rainier.

The crew for this trip was G$, Wildman, CC, One Stroke and myself.  G$, CC and myself were just involved in the VT 100 extravaganza and now it was Rainier.  The plan was 3-4 days on the mountain with a bad weather day baked into the plan.  Pray for good weather and let whatever happens, happen.

Wildman and One Stroke had some early flights out West and were assigned the room check in and the provisions for the trip.  G$, CC and myself flew in late and arrived at the hotel to meet Wildman and One Stroke.

Basically it was a crash landing at the hotel, get up the next day and figure it all out.  Things went smooth the next morning we had the Suburban packed and rolled out 5 minutes ahead of schedule.  We stopped for some breakfast/lunch/snacks and headed for White River Campground.  We arrived at White River Campground, signed in at the ranger station, did some final details in packing, loaded up the 60lbs of gear and began the march to Camp Schurman.  The trail to the Interglacier is nothing but butter, pure single/double track.  Navigation was easy and once on Interglacier it was all for broke until Camp Schurman.

We crossed the Emmons glacier un-ropped to get to our high camp around 9400 feet where we would stay the next 3 nights.  There were a lot of tents set up but we found two good spots, flattened out some spots and presto we had home.

The next day was a planned down day to acclimate, hydrate, eat and get to get early.  We spent most of the day melting water, resting, sorting gear as well as eating.  Dinner camp early around 4pm and I think by 6-7pm it was lights out.  I awoke at 11:47pm and decided to just get up, get the stoves going and get the game face on for summit bid.  Conditions were perfect for all days on the mountain proper, not a cloud.  The snow had hardened as temps at night fell below freezing.

We had two rope teams.  Rope team 1 was myself, CC and Wildman.  CC being the rookie was in the middle, myself in the lead and Wildman, the anchor, in the back.  Rope team 2 was G$ on point and One Stroke in the back.

I would have to say the ascent up the Emmons glacier was straight forward.  There was maybe one or two navigational ?'s but that was because the snow gets so punched out and frozen during the night it is tough to find the route.  The easiest was is look for ice axe punctures and just follow them up.  There was an amazing sunrise in the east while around 12k feet on the mountain.

There was nothing technical about the climb, so quasi steep stuff around the 30-40% but nothing puckering.

The summit was in sight around 7-8am, can't completely remember, but we definitely made good time. Altitude was was fine until around 14k feet, head started pounding and was just really cold.  I did a shitty job hydrating, tough to do when getting chased by the crowds, on lead and just trying to deal with everything, but I learned my lesson to drink more on the ascent.

The summit was great, was a small village up there with people coming across the crater from the Muir side and people just hanging out.  We got some great group shots on the summit that as of writing this Wildman still has on his camera.

The descent off the summit cone was straight forward.  Temperatures did rise and we baked like eggs on the glacier.  We ran into one big party that had a women on the rope with a blown out ankle.  It made things slow and until we were able to pass them there was a lot of stop and go.

Our round trip was 12 hours everyone hit the summit and greatly successful.

G$ - thanks again for your mountain wisdom and instilling confidence in me to lead the ascent and descent and being there if I needed a reference point.  I'm slowly getting there and feeling more confident on each trip, heck anything is better than Gannett Part I.

Wildman - thanks for being the cornerstone of the group always calm, always knowing what to say and when to say it.  Have learned tons from you over the years from camp leadership to mountain side patience.

One Stroke - always the constant charger and a continuous reference point for backcountry wisdom.

CC / the one armed glissader - there could be a separate blog entry just of you!  Not bad for you first rodeo, I have a lot to polish.

Bottom line this trip was the BALLZ....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vermont 100 25th Edition

Vermont 100 or is it Paradise Lost

This was my 3rd Vermont 100 and my 2nd finish and fastest time a good thing if you want to see progression!

We arrived on Friday afternoon to the inferno of Silver Hill Meadow temperatures heading up to Vermont read 102 in the car.  When my father and I arrived CC and MB had two tents set up and I set up a third tent to reserve more space.  It was the normal activity of tent set up and getting settled.  We all skipped the mandatory meeting this year I figure I have heard it twice and I had some stuff I needed to do.  DogMan and MadDog arrived soon thereafter as well as G$ and the Tincan.  Things were happening all around and then the action started.  The Tincan was grounded in small mud patch in the open field.  To make a long story short MadDog when to arrange a tractor pull and the Tincan was free to roll.

Bedtime came early until; cue the music of Riders on the Storm by The Doors, as the Vermont thunderstorms rolled in.  Wind, rain, lighting and thunder what a night trying to sleep I think I got 4 hours.  Morning was the same as always people moving around in their tents, the sounds of the zippers of the tens, headlamps etc etc.  I headed over to the Tincan to do some final details and then we all headed down to the race start.

Fireworks kicked off at 3:55am and at 4:00am the gun went off and we were off in the 25th edition of the Vermont 100.

CC, MB and myself all ran relatively close together I would say for the first 10 miles?  As soon as we hit the pavement of the re-route near Taftsville Bridge CC was gone and only MB was behind me.  Everything was going well heading to Pretty House.  MB passed me as I was stepping off the trail for bathroom pit stop.  I eventually caught up to MB before Pretty House and pulled slightly ahead on a climb.  MB left Pretty House before me and I never saw him again the rest of the day.  Leaving Pretty House things were good, I was getting about 150 calories down per hour, pounding the water and S-Caps.  The weather was hot, very humid but the sun had not reared its ugly head.  I caught up with a girl named Emma and we ran together all the way to Stage Road.  Short story is Emma is the wife of Ian the RD for Pinelands, small world.  Stage Road came and went still feeling good.  Made on small change which was drop the UltrAspire Synapsis and go with one single 20oz handheld and my Spy belt jammed with ClifShot gels and S-Caps.  DogMan walked out of Stage Road with me monitoring my eating and I left with some turkey sandwiches and potato.  I was taking a Clifshot gel every hour I had my watch time set for 60 minutes and DogMan would calculate my time to the next handle station and that is how many gels I would take.  It worked perfect all day.  The haul form Stage Road to Camp 10 Bear is a slog with there as some very big climbs and descents.  The climb after Lincoln Covered Bridge is a monster and the road is in the sun.  I had the aid station volunteer fill my shirt with ice for the long slog.  I was still with Emma at this point and we pretty much ran ½ way up the climb then power hiked the rest.  Once we hit Route 12 Emma took over and I kind of chased but was doing a lot of eating and getting down more gels and food.  Camp 10 Bear arrived, I forget my split 9 hour range I think.  Weight in was good same as when I started, not sure how guess I was doing a good job of hydration.  The 25 mile loop that takes you back to Camp 10 Bear the 2nd time is a beast.  Lots of hills, lots of mud, it’s the start of the suffering if you ask me.  

  • Rider of horse #100 very cute we talked a lot, more to come on this
  • The mother daughter Asian team talking Chinese interesting.
  • The guy after Stage Road hosing down horses with a shirt that said “Lynch’em”
  • The guy I was running with from Texas who asked, “when is camp 10 Bear” I said “we passed it about 5 miles ago”.

After Camp 10 Bear around Pinky’s I caught up with Jack.  Jack was in bad shape which he will admit to.  I absolutely SUCKED seeing him like this.  I stuck with Jack for about 5 minutes at Pinky’s forcing food down his throat.  I told him, “you can always eat your way out of bonk”.  We left Pinky’s together and I gave him the rest of the food I was carrying hoping he would rally.  We quickly separated and I was off.  The next big hurdle in my mind was get to Tracer Brook, hit the climb hard to Seven Seas handler station.  I was feeling really good still.  The crew as there and G$ met me probably a ¼ way from the top.  I rolled in and rolled out.  DogMan got me some food from the aid station table and I was off.  I kept firing back as much food as I could from Seven Seas to Margaritaville it was a short 3 miles some up but then some great downhill.  I came into M’ville feeling good, had some foot/blister issues but nothing I could do just live with it.  We tried a sock change and band-aid it helped for maybe 1 mile.  I did take down a hamburger or cheeseburger it was delicious.  Leaving M’ville I was completely isolated alone and hit a low point.  It is all runnable and I ran what I could.  Its only 8 miles from M’ville back to Camp 10 Bear but it felt like 26.2 – I kept eating and eating.  There is a long descent down to a left hand turn for Camp 10 Bear and before this is a Horse Aid station.  Rider of horse #100 was there.  I asked her for some water she offered to give me a sponge bath, why not I said.  I also got a quick water bottle fill and I was off. Horse Sponge and Horse water it didn’t matter at that point.  Camp 10 Bear for a weigh in down only 2 pounds at mile 70 in the heat that is a good sign.  I took down food, picked up DogMan and we were off for the last 50k.

The pickup of the pacer is something to really look forward to.  The sad part is it’s a death march, I smell, I am not very talkative and I can’t think for myself.  The last 30 miles are a death sentence.  It’s the get me to the finish line on my own two feet.  When we left Camp 10 Bear we climbed for a while I did some eating and our objective was West Winds in daylight which we achieved with plenty of daylight I don’t even think the candles or generator was running at that point.  West Wind was a blur I don’t remember much of it but I do know when we left West Wind I was feeling ok.  I told DogMan if we can run we will start to pick up carnage.  We picked up two guys right off the bat and a 3rd soon after.  The mileage from West Wind to Bills is 11 miles.  Well it a demonic walk to what I say is the Satanic Cult of Bills. During that journey we pass the Civil War field, we hit an awesome stretch of flat road that I think I ran all of this year.  We also hit climb after climb after climb.  I think the last 30 is tougher than the 25 mile Camp 10 Bear loop and would argue the hardest part of the course.  If you can run down and the flats you are in good shape, which I think we did.  DogMan was definitely pushing the pace, staying in front of me and I just trying to keep within 10 feet head down, grunting, swearing and pushing.  We hit Cow Shed in good spirits I think, eating food, broth and Coca Cola.  The grunt from Cow Shed to Bills is a test of ones will.  We trudged forward passing some blown out roads from heavy rain, DogMan gave me the low down on the sub-tropical climate Vermont was in and some kind of weed, not the smoking kind, that was taking over everything.  I think I told DogMan every light I saw in the distance was Bill, to which he would say, “I think we got another 1 hour to Bills”.  DogMan would ask me to run I would try.  DogMan would ask me “can you run this up”.  I would respond, “I think it goes up even more”. DogMan would respond, “Yeah I didn’t see the curvature up beyond the bend, fuck it walk”.  We would walk, power walk, eat the aroma filling Jet Blackberry caffeine gels. Those were good.  We finally arrived to at Bill’s.  The place is a death grip.  PM and Irish Rose where there.  I went it and got my weight checked I was exactly where I started.  I had about 3 cups of roasted potatoes and some soap.  I think I crushed more coke and some Vita Coco water.  I got my shirt filled with ice and we were off for the last 12 miles / 12 Heavy Weight Rounds to the finish.  Polly’s was 7 miles away I don’t know how long it took us to get there but I remember but we got there.  It looked like a big party there had to be 20-25 people there, cars, camera crews it was all fucked up.  I took down Gummy Bears, why I don’t know, but they were the best things ever.  I took two more handfuls and we were off.  Fields, mud, grass, road, hills and one final push and we hit the finish line.  We had two people breathing down our necks on the last ½ mile.  DogMan gave me the command “Don’t let them catch you”.  The finish was in sight, 100 miles complete 21:39.

The fun only continued but here are the main points:

  • Pass out
  • IV bag
  • Rally
  • Not so good again off to hospital
  • 2 more IV bags
  • I get a hospital roommate.  The GF of hospital roommate says I look much better than when she saw me in the tent.  GF asks me my time.  GF tells her BF who was urinating Guinness the guy next to you beat you.
  • Trying to piss in hospital bed, while my father holds the urinating container with the lid still on that was interesting.
  • All for a buckle.

As I captured in an off line email, I’m running for the collective cause and it’s the human spirits that keep me going.  There is always luck when finishing a 100 mile endurance run, but the human spirits, companionship and motivation of all of you keep the wheels in motion to cross the finish line.  The training and discipline is the selfishness aspect that you hope pays off for everyone to experience and feel a part of on race day.

Thank you guys for being there through thick and thin and to celebrate another VT 100.  The smile on your faces, the laughs and war stories make it all worth it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013 Outlook

Well 2013 is already here and it has been ages since I posted something.  I figure I would post tonight, a night off from running.  It has been an interesting first part of 2013 solely based on weather.  We received 2 winter storms, one being classified as a blizzard that deposited over 55+ inches of snow one month apart.  Just as the storm from February had all but melted away we got crushed with another 29 inches on March 8th, 2013.  The trail running has been non existent.  I am thankful for two things in the Blue Hills, and those are the two roads they plow.  The Observatory Road which we have dubbed the Purgatory Road is usually plowed immediately after a storm and that climbs about 400 feet in .9 miles.  The other plowed road is a YMCA road that is about .65 miles long and has a quasi good climb to it but on the inbound and outbound.  I have logged many miles on those two roads and have also gained a lot more vertical than years past, which I think is a good thing.

Mileage, fitness, health and everything is up for 2013 which is a good thing.  Hopefully once the snow melts and I can get back onto the trails things will get back to normal and normal training routes can be run.  Until them its back and forth, back and forth etc etc.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Carter Moriah Traverse

Well the winter traverse if you want to call it that of a Carter Moriah Traverse is complete.  Clearly the weather cooperated in the most unlikely form for January in NH.  We had late spring like weather with a snowpack that was firm and then getting softer throughout the day.  We had zero wind, clear visibility, some sunlight, a clear evening and some dense fog.

It was GREAT, that this traverse was attempted, we had it well planned out with optional bail points and everyone forged ahead without thought to Moriah after we tagged N. Carter.

I thought the traverse went by faster than many of us thought.  I kept waiting for that part of the traverse where you lose an hour because of route finding but Mutha and MadDog did a great job of getting us to the Stony Brook Trail from N. Carter.  The ascent up Moriah was excellent, it is unfortunate the views we had are always behind you because with the sunset and the silhouettes of the Presidential Mountains was picturesque.  It was also nice having fog because you did not see the endless lights of Gorham.

One Stroke and G$$$, THANK YOU for the car transportation and to Wildcat and car spotting in Gorham, much appreciated.

We had a great story for the Ski Patrol bunny, FUCK POLE CAT.

It was great having MB, CC and NYC aboard, NYC handled himself well for his 2nd NH outing ever and first traverse you would have never known.

MB holds the record for consecutive falls off of N. Carter on the descent.

MadDog can always be counted on in the 25th hour to ask/mumblesomething so extraordinary that I was puzzled how to answer it.  His question “What was it like coming off of N. Carter”? ***side note we don’t know if MadDog skipped that part or fell asleep.

The Kanc is brutal when half asleep, Coke fueled the drive and got me back to Lincoln, NH.

Merit Badges earned by all, Spungie will have to wait to get his. This group seemed to knock off the challenge without a problem, will be sure to raise the bar for next year.

DogMan and PM definitely missed.

Inventory of condo work completed:

  • All three original thermostats replaced to new Honeywell Digital Thermostats with multiple programmable features.  ALL set at 58 degrees and on manual mode, this might save money over the long run. (Master Electrician NYC, Master Driller/Installer TF, Project Manager CC, Custodian Services for cleaning MB.
  • Basement bathroom trim updated.
  • Master bathroom vanity shelf installed and updated to improve the original design flaw from the vanity designer.
  • Clock in the main living room hanging on a south wall has been updated to properly reflect the time for Eastern Time Zone and new battery added.
  • Linens in the Bunk Bed room have been washed, dried and placed back on bed with comforters by Wolf Pack Services.  Pillow cases as well, pillows fluffed to show loftiness.
  • Pillows on red couch in living room fluffed prior to leaving to show loftiness.
  • Vacuuming performed throughout the house on all 3 main levels.
  • Rotting ash collector from the deck has been thrown out.
  • Trash cleared from under sink and properly disposed.
  • Dishes washed
  • Crawl space inspected for varmint.
  • Bella’s bed vacuumed.
  • Water shut off.
  • Sticks on sliding doors inspected for strength for overall safety of Cappellini Family and visitors.



Probably picture from another table



Made with heart felt warmth

Planning session


Clean up

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 Recap

Well, 2012 is in the books and actually has been for 8 days now.  Looking back on the year and taking some time to review some posts I made during the year one thing that caught my eye is I had some considerable rest in December 2011 leading into 2012.  One of the issues in 2011 was some scar tissue in my left leg in the anterior tibialis.  It actually came back a little this year but I have been able to solve for it.  The mileage for December 2012 is 240 miles vs. 140 for December 2011 that is a big swing.

My hope is that with the consistency I am building now, I will be able to carry that base fitness into the 1st quarter of 2013 and really get a big base for the 2013 race season with 4 100 mile races planned.

June 14th TARC 100
July 20th Vermont 100
September 6th Superior Sawtooth

With the earlier race in June, I do ideally need to be a little ahead of the wear I was going into 2012 and I think I am there for 2013.

I feel really good, have a nagging little hernia thing going but it has subsided BUT I don't trust it time will tell as the miles increase end of February.

All in all 2012 was what I thought my most successful athletic year to date.  Lowered times in the 50 mile race category, finished 2 100 mile races and had some great adventure in Colorado for 2 weeks in August.

It was a good learning year as well for me and I can thank Chris for helping me out and giving me some great guidance.

I would also like to thank all of those who helped me during the Vermont 100 and Grindstone 100, much appreciated, not really possible without your support and help.

Totals for 2012:

340 activities
2,687.77 miles
505 hours 32 minutes 04 seconds of effort
338,189 feet of vertical

Hope 2013 is just as good!