Sunday, July 18, 2010

Running the Mahoosuc Range

Great mountain today with an awesome group of folks. Fellow Trail Monsters James, Jeff, and Floyd took part and we were joined by some other running friends, Bob (our fearless leader who organized the run), Greg, Debbie, and a few others who's names I unfortunately forgot. It was an absolute blast, and the great company helped make it so.

The 12.5 mile trek had everything: bushwacking, tricky rock scrambling, squeezing through tight crevices, steep climbs, awesome views on exposed ridgeline, and some tamer sections of trail that were very runnable, especially the final few miles.

The bushwacking started early on.  However, streamwacking might be more accurate, as we waded up a shallow brook with slippery rocks for quite a ways to eventually join the Appalachian Trail. Somehow, I managed not to fall on this stretch.  We also all noted there were no deer flies.  None.  And that continued the entire trek.  It was awesome.

Getting on trail again marked the beginning of the Mahoosuc Notch, which some regard as the toughest mile on the entire Appalachian Trail.   Yes, it was hard, but I think it gets it's reputation amongst those carrying fullsized backpacks, which would have made many parts extremely difficult.  It's not a steep climb, but incredibly boulderous.  Bascially it was a mile long scramble with lots of use of the hands, pulling yourself up a large rock or bracing yourself between two rocks and swinging forward.  

We weren't just going over boulders, at times we were going under them, having to squeeze through narrow passages under large chunks of granite.  Lot of fun.  And a nice treat was that some of the shallow caves still had ice and snow in them!  Ahhhhhhh.   Inside it felt like a refrigerator, a nice treat after some hard work.

photo stolen from Jeff

After the notch, we climbed up to the South Goose Eye peak. I felt really great on the climb, maintaining a steady power walk all the way up and feeling strong. Once at the top, we had a fun ridge run to the other peaks (North Goose Peak and West Goose Peak). Cool mountain breeze cooled us all off at the top. It felt awesome. In between, Floyd also managed to go crotch deep in mud twice.  It was quite hilarious!

photo also stolen from Jeff

The run down was great.  James and I mused that it was like the Osseo Trail on the Pemi Loop... not super technical and easy to fly on. And fly we did, with a group of us really booking it on the last mile, going well under 7:00/mile.

We capped off the day with a dip in a swimming hole in the river, which was quite refreshing. Followed that up with lunch and a beer at the Sunday River Brewery before we returned home. Great day!

Time: 05:22:54
Avg Pace: 25:56 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 18:01 min/mi

Trails, stream, rocks, and all things nature. 
Insanely hilly. 
Around 80 down below, guessing in the lower 60s on the summits. Partly cloudy. 
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap (wore half the time), Mountain Hardware Bebop pack. 


Love2Run said...

"Insanely hilly" love that!

middle.professor said...

Give me my photos back!

Blaine Moore said...

Looks like it was a lot of fun!