A Day in the Hood
In an effort to continue my training for the Waldo 100k and Pine to Palm 100, I joined a few friends for a run on Mt. Hood this morning to gain some heat and altitude training. We ran part of the former Mt. Hood PCT 50 course, beginning at Frog Lake and going up to Timberline Lodge. We then went back down via the Twin Lakes loop. The run was beautiful, but it was a brutally hot and dry day for the Portland area, even on Mt. Hood.
We started at around 3,800 ft. and climbed to about 6,000 ft., though we hovered around 4,000 ft. for most of the run. While the elevation was not terribly high, I noticed a difference with the altitude and breathing became difficult pretty quickly between the change in elevation and the heat.
Aside for the steep climbs and patches of snow, most of the trail was pretty runnable as the PCT is soft and not overly technical. Not having run much of this section of the PCT, I was surprised that the last mile or so up to Timberline is exposed ridge with sandy terrain, making it difficult to tun. We were unsure whether we would be able to make it all the way to Timberline lodge due to the snow, but we made it within .25 mile, where the snow was so deep and the incline so steep that we knew we would exert more effort than it was worth to reach the lodge. Since we all had a sufficient amount of water to make the return, we turned around and headed back down the trail and made our way to the Twin Lakes, where we stopped to cool off before running the final three miles or so.
I seriously underestimated the amount of sun exposure on this section of the trail and did not wear sunscreen. That said, I count myself fortunate that a minor sunburn is my greatest concern and that I was able to run 22 miles of beautiful trail and my ankle, albeit sore, held up. Now, for sleep.