As I sit here with a strained groin and a healing process that is proving painstakingly slow, I can’t help but think about potential mountains for adventure running. What is adventure running? Find out here. In traditional mountaineering, it would take a long time to get through the list below (2-5 days for each), but with adventure running, each trip takes a day or less! The climbing will virtually all be in the months of August and early September due to the bar exam at the end of July. Fortunately, August is the best time of the year for good weather and conditions – this means fast times! I may be able to squeeze in a trip to the high Sierra in June. I’ll start off by detailing the potential adventure runs in Washington. See California adventure run ideas here.
- Mount Rainier: There is a real advantage to knowing the exact route, especially on Rainier, where the route changes often. On the first shot it would be nice to go under 8 hours. If my schedule allows, I could go faster on a second try. On the other hand, some of the other possibilities below have superior scenic value so I probably won’t spend too much time on Rainier.
- Ptarmigan Traverse: Around 35 miles (43 miles if washout 8 miles from trailhead isn’t fixed) with the middle 20 miles on expansive glaciers and rugged terrain. This point-to-point mountaineering classic is usually done in four to five days (I did it in 4 days back in 2004). The extra 8 miles would tag on 1.5 hours, but would mean less driving!
- Mount Fury East Peak: The epitome of adventure running with a long stretch of trail running, off-trail travel through a brush-choked valley, rugged traversing, rock scrambling, and a steep glacier. Total distance is 4o+ miles with nearly half off trail (vey physically demanding)!
- Mount Olympus: I did this adventure run last year and it was so awesome I want to do it again… faster, of course!
- Enchantment Lakes Run: This point-to-point run goes through the legendary Enchantment Lakes basin. The Enchantment Lakes were my second overnight trip ever in 1997. I have fond memories of sharing this gorgeous area with my father. We did the trip again the following year but I have not returned since. I remember when we were camping a guy passed by who was doing the traverse in a day and I thought he was amazing. We called him Hercules! Now, I would shoot to polish this route in under 4 hours – I have grown up! Total distance is 17-18 miles. If starting at Colchuck Lake TH the gain is 4,600 ft and loss is 6,800 ft (the inverse if beginning at the Snow Creek TH).
- Chiwawa and Fortress: The combination of these two mountains has always seemed appealing for a speed climb. My first trip in the Entiat region east of Glacier Peak last summer (Maude-Fernow-7FJ) was awesome!
- Lyman Lakes – Spider Gap – Buck Creek Pass Loop: Another adventure run in the Entiat region. This loop looks sweet and I have heard awesome things about the scenery here. It can be extended to include High Pass, the Napeequa Valley, and Little Giant Pass.
- Image Lake: 36 miles round trip to this iconic lake with spectacular views of Glacier Peak and the DaKobed Range. I haven’t been to Image Lake since a 1999 two-night trip with my father. This run is off the Suiattle River road and I don’t think I’ll do it unless the road is fixed because 9 miles each way on a dirt road to the start of the trail does not sound like fun.
- Mount Buckner North Face: A loop from Cascade Pass over Sahale Peak to the North Face of Mount Buckner (climbed in 2003), down the Southwest Slope and back up to Sahale Arm. This trip is more mountaineering in nature as most of it is not conducive to running.