Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hardrock 100

A few of you know I have volunteered to be the aid station captain for the Engineer Aid Station for the Hardrock 100 this year.  I am really excited about the chance to participate in the race although I must admit, I would certainly prefer to be running in the race.

Engineer AS is located along Bear Creek, Ouray (there are 3 Bear Creeks in the Silverton, Ouray, Telluride area) just at timberline (11,800 ft).  This is one of the more interesting aid stations because it is a hike-to aid station.  The trip up to Engineer begins in Silverton, where you drive up County Rd 2 for 18 miles to it's end.  Trouble is, the end of CO Rd 2 is located on top of Engineer Pass at 12,500 ft. and that 18 miles will take between 1.5 and 2 hours to cover.

The road, also known as the Animas Fork Rd, is a 4WD road only, meaning very slow going all the way up, especially in the higher sections.  And I will have to make it in a rental SUV.  Sounds like fun.  I have driven over Ophir Pass several times (between Telluride and Silverton) and it is supposed to be the worst "real road" in the area.  Here is a link to a pretty good video someone took going up to Engineer Pass.

Once we get to the top of the pass we have a 1.8 mile hike dropping 1,200 feet to the location of the aid station at timberline.  We will have to haul everything we have a the aid station down to the location and back up after the race.  We will have, at least, one Coleman stove, two Coleman lanterns, several bottles of Coleman fuel, several collapsible water jugs, several buckets to settle impurities out of the creek water before filtering, two or three water filters, one two person, one three person, aid station shelter and poles, cutting board, food, lots of food, a pot or two, a skillet, at least two sleeping bags, folding chairs, what we will eat and drink and a lot of warm clothing and rain gear.

This is a picture taken near the top of Engineer Pass looking back down to the aid station location, down in he trees at timberline.

This year is supposed to be the fastest field of runners ever for Hardrock so the the lead runners will probably reach Engineer as early as 4:30 or 5:00 PM Friday.  (The race starts at 6:00 AM Friday morning.)  Runners will arrive all night and the last should be through by 7:00AM Saturday morning.  Then we pack everything up and start hauling it back up to the truck.  It will take several trips.

Here is a link to some of the best race pictures I have seen by Ted Mahon on his blog "Stuck in the Rockies."  His blog is pretty interesting.  Running is just one of his and his wife's interests.  He climbed Everest in 2003, in 2008 he and his wife finished skiing all of Colorado's 14ers, also in 2008 Ted and his wife Christy climbed Ama Dablam in the Himalayas.  You will notice in the last picture from Hardrock he is eating with his wife Christy and Neil Beidleman. (Did you read "Into Thin Air" - you should.)

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