The following is my account of the week in the Ouray/Silverton area with a bunch of pictures.
Here is a link to the Hardrock 100 Web album.
After the hike, I drove back to Silverton to eat breakfast and drank a couple of cups of coffee at a small
coffee shop in town. When I walked in, Joe Grant was seated on a couch working on his computer and some guy was at a tables interviewing Sebastien Chaigneau, (I think that is who it was.) Two people were there I had met doing trail work a few days before and another couple I met the year before. The place was obviously the hangout for Hardrock runners.
I explored. The race route down to Cunningham climbs over the pass not visible at the left of the image then traverses through the cliff bands center right staying right of the drain below the basin.
The the lower part of the traverse is visible near the bottom of the cliffs.
Although Friday night was a very long, very miserable night, I wouldn't trade the experience of sweeping part of the Hardrock Course for anything. In fact, I wanted to sweep all the way to Grouse Gulch at mile 43 but if I had, I would have missed my Saturday flight home. We climbed over 6 passes in excess of 12,000 ft. and two of those were over 13,000. (And 5 of those passes were actually on the Hardrock Course.) We covered 23 miles, survived a lightning storm on a pass at 12,300 ft, found our way back onto the race course in the dark, just about froze and had no food to eat except a few GUs and a banana we got at the 2 aid stations along the way, and did all this in only 11 hours. Although I was soaking wet when I got back to Sherman and the temperatures were in the upper 30s, I actually managed to warm up "partially." For the weeks work, I earned two extra lottery tickets for the Hardrock Drawing in 2014. I met a bunch trail runners I didn't know previously and saw quite a few I had met in previous years. I also got to spend some time with all those people that make Hardrock possible and eat several meals at "Handlebars," another Hardrock hangout. I will be back next year, whether to do it all over again for extra lottery tickets or to run the race. Next time I will adjust my flight schedule so I can sweep more of the course if I don't get in.