Sunday morning I got the alarm bells ringing at 3:45 and I struggled to get up out of the Subaru to hit the trail by 4. Couldn't have been a rougher start to the morning. I was really tired, my stomach was upset, and it was pitch black out. I also didn't bank on the technical looseness of the trail skirting Mt. Autobon. I tripped and stumbled enough to effectively maim my stride into a crawl and it wasn't until the sun came up and I was approaching Buchanan Pass that I had any kind of lift. I had all of my pre-run beta courtesy of Woody, and like others have mentioned, I saw more tents than people until mile 21. With the week prior being the 4 pass loop, I had a similar course to go by. I'd put the 4 pass loop higher on scenery (Fravert basin and Snowmass lake are unsurpassed) and climbing (8500 to 6500), but the edge to the actual trail to BPP. BPP is far more rugged than 4 pass, and its Cascade Creek Trail is hands down my favorite trail. I need to go back and run it in the heat of the day so I can jump into the pools and stand under waterfalls. I should mention that I was woefully under-prepared for the climb up Pawnee Pass, perhaps not really looking into the data for the climb. I thought it'd be 5 miles, but in reality it's closer to 7.5. As a result, my slacking off took a toll on my arrival back at the car. This is a must do for any CO trail runner. Fairly easy to follow (stay on Cascade Creek Trail!).
|Photo: Woody Anderson|