December 2006
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Month December 2006

this weekend’s fun: the ALTAR

“Art Loeb Trail Adventure Run”. not a race, but a gathering of people for a self-supported speed hike of the 30.9 mile trail. “The highlight of the run comes during the latter half when the trail ventures above 6000′ atop the many southern balds of the Great Balsams. The Winter ALTAR challenge is to complete the trek between sunrise and sunset of the shortest day of the year. Winter in the wild, this is adventure running at its finest and most challenging,” says the NC Ultra website. Luckily, the weather is looking ideal, with temps on Shining Rock (the highest point I think we’ll reach) ranging from 35 – 47 today (I expect a slight cool down for Saturday – maybe 5 degrees or so).

Lorna, Toby & Sam will be joining me for the run (a few other friends had to withdraw last minute, there should be about 22 of us total). I’ll actually be heading to the start via Asheville, hooking up with the Curwens for a ride to the start. (And that’s the last time I’ll see them until the finish!) My camera will be charged and in town to capture the gorgeous vistas.

Map of the Pisgah Ranger District
We’ll start in 3C at the Davidson River Campground. The Art Loeb Trail (dotted red line) heads west, then bears north, ending at Camp Daniel Boone in 2A.

I’ll report back next week!

it must be winter…

when the waterfalls freeze! ok, so these are small ones, but it was still cool to see. these pics are from the trailblazers’ nav training we held (or rather christmas easter egg hunt, as jim calls it). while the nav wasn’t particularly difficult, some of the route choices made for interesting times – like our bushwack about 400′ down the side of the gorge down to CP8 (we chose a route down a small reentrant west of CP3, near the number 3 in 1300′). Check out on the map here… This area was the North Chick Gorge, which is part of the Cumberland Trail that I’ve been running. (the rest of my running crew hit the Possum Creek Gorge segment, which hopefully we’ll revisit in early January as our last long run before Mountain Mist!)

>more pics here

TrailBlazers & Tsali

The Support Crew (aka. “board of directors”) of the TrailBlazers Adventure Racing Club had our annual planning retreat this weekend. In the past we’ve just done it at someone’s house, but since we’ve grown so much this past year (11 chapters in 6 states!), we picked a somewhat central area to convene. The area we picked was the gorgeous Nantahala National Forest.


We met all day Saturday (literally… 8 hrs of “stuff”). We luckily finished just in time for me to watch the Gators kick off a great football game (SEC Championships!! And just heard we got the BCS bid for the National Championships!!!). My celebrations continue with some cold beer and the hot tub… (and this great view of the moon).

Sunday was left for a play day, so Jim, Carol & I hit the trails at Tsali with our mountain bikes. We started on the right loop, then Carol headed back while Jim & I went on to the Overlook Trail and Left Loop (backwards – which flowed very nice). I had a great ride and was able to work on some of my bad habits that plaque my technical riding. Everything finally felt good & comfortable for a change, which has me psyched. I hope I can continue this practice throughout the winter, as it will certainly help my racing (and also my leisure riding) next year.