Monthly Archives: December 2015

Ice Caves Recon

OMG!  I had another blog worthy run!

Earlier today Arielle and I went for a run to the Ice Caves.  I’ve been there many times before so I wasn’t expecting anything new, but I had heard there was a crack you could squeeze through at the back to get to a cavern, and I was secretly hoping we could check it out.

From what I’d read the crack is only accessible when there isn’t much ice.  We entered the Ice Caves and there was less ice than I’d ever seen, I was cautiously optimistic.  We continued back through the cave, admiring the icicles and ice-stalagmites.  If you ever have a chance to explore these caves you should go, the ice formations are super cool!

We continued to hike deeper into the cave, our headlamps providing the only source of light.  The cave climbed up and to the right, only to come to a dead end with a wall of ice blocking further exploration.  We took some selfies and admired the wall of ice before heading back.

As we scrambled back down the rocks I noticed some graffiti on the cave wall to our right.  Why would people be hanging out over there?  The route to the graffiti was narrow and I had to squeeze through the rocks on my belly before the cave opened back up to standing height.  An even smaller opening in the rocks was at my feet.  It was just big enough to crawl through.

I yelled out to Arielle.  We were going exploring!

The cave expanded into a tall, narrow crack.  We climbed up and over boulders which had become lodged in the crack, slowly working our way deeper into the mountain.  We never found the back of the cave, opting to turn around when we reached a downclimb which seemed to end on a solid sheet of ice.  I could easily have jumped down onto the ice, but I had no idea how solid the ice was.  I’m also not sure how I would have gotten back up.  We decided it would be safer to return with a rope.

 

The trip back to the cave entrance was exciting.  Now that we knew what to look for, we discovered there are all sorts of cracks in the walls of the Ice Caves which seem to lead to further caverns.  We even climbed up a chimney to the top of the cave.  The chimney was full of cracks, leading deeper into the mountain.  We had already been out for hours, so we didn’t follow any of the rabbit holes.  We’ll be back when the days are longer.

2015-12-11 12.44.17looking down from the top of the chimney

2015-12-11 12.41.07

looking up as Arielle climbs the chimney

 

 

 

Happy Trails!

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Hmmm…

Something crazy happened today – I ran fast and it felt good.

 

Those who know me know that I hate running hard.

When I run hard I see spots, get dizzy, have unrelenting coughing fits and I get the shits.  Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?

 

I prefer to just run at a steady pace, and to keep running all day.  The effort stays at a conversational level and I enjoy the scenery.

 

I know that if my steady pace was faster, I could travel more distance during a run and see more cool places – this is my motivator for getting faster.  Every 4 days I sprinkle in a few intervals of hard running. Knowing that I only have to run fast once or twice a week keeps me happy.

 

I’m not sure what happened today.  Maybe it was all the heavy weight training paying off, or maybe it’s the little bits of “fast” running I’ve been doing, but something was different.  The workout plan was as follows:

10 min warm up,

3 min hard,

4 min hard,

5 min hard,

4 min hard,

3 min hard;

all with 3 min jog recoveries.

 

During the hard intervals I felt like I was sprinting.  I told myself that I needed to slow down or else I would burn up in the first minute, but that never happened.  I never slowed down and I never found the wall.  It was strange and exhilerating.

 

It almost makes me want to try running fast again.  Almost.

 

Happy Trails!

 

Burstall

In other news, I will be backcountry skiing this weekend with my brother.  Happy Dance!!!