Last week I posted about my biggest goal in the mountains in the last four years coming to completion. It was a running traverse of the eight summits in the photo above and I claimed something in that post that came from my heart. I felt I had lifted myself from a plateau of failure and reached a new level of skill, one that balanced life with ambition, patience and a healthier attitude toward risk. On Thursday, I opened the door to that possibility again with a secret goal I have had coming up on September 15—my first 50-mile ultra marathon trail race.
It is funny to me how goal setting can be such an indomitable force. Sometimes I have to strive for something really impossible just to find my motivation, while other times I’ll set my sights too low and be greeted by successful dissatisfaction. I’ve found that balance is harder than executing, especially when the factors are out of your control and dictated by nature. But not this summer… this summer in the mountains has been one of the best, and it just keeps on giving.
In May somewhere along the Annapurna Circuit’s long, winding, dusty road, I began to believe that after a safe and successful slaying of snow on two peaks that I had finally achieved my goals as a Himalayan mountaineer. This shouldn’t be that shocking since I have spent ten years pioneering first ascents and descents in the world’s highest range with narrow-minded focus and more than a handful of narrowly missed catastrophes blending the good times with the bad and no regrets for how we did it. This insight was forced upon me in January, when my friend Jack died in my climbing partner Jon’s arms and then I decided to take a day off from filming heli-skiing in Haines, Alaska and my friend Rob died on a routine run guiding clients. The number of passionate people I have seen meet their demise in the mountains now takes up two handfuls of digits and that is likely too close for comfort, and forces me to ponder my own fate.
The Red Rocks Rendezvous kicks off today at Red Rocks Conservation Area — Spring Mountain Ranch State Park to be exact.
Powered by Mountain Gear and sponsored by yours truly here at Osprey Packs, the Red Rocks Rendezvous is a funtastic outdoor extravaganza featuring a full slate of outdoor clinics focused on climbing, mountain biking, trail running and much more.
Despite April’s slogan, April showers bring May flowers, it’s a month of increasing sun and warmth for most of us. It’s a playful month, one that beckons spring while flirting with winter. And, as last year’s April Friday Photo contest reminded is, “April itself welcomes growth, and the opening of an entirely new season in which to play in the great outdoors, among the glory of the world’s forests, jungles and overwhelming landscape of trees galore.” So, this year, this April, we happily play homage to one of the most enjoyable ways a human can enjoy the wooded landscape, through April’s Friday Photo Theme: Trail Running.
Maybe you never hit the trails without a partner or your favorite podcast. Maybe you do it for absolute solitude. Maybe you run because your cardiologist says it’s good for you. Maybe you blow snot rockets with pride and trip over unassuming tree roots with relish. How ever, why ever you trail run, we’d like to see it.
Show us your favorite or most hated trail run. Show us the muddiest, the muckiest of all trails or the most magnificent dusty path you’ve ever pounded your two feet on. We want to see photographs that demonstrate trail running in all its grit and (or) glory.
Send us your shots! And our winners will win an entirely re-vamped trail running wardrobe, including a pair of men’s or women’s Saucony ProGrid Pwomen’s Saucony ProGrid Peregrine trail blazing shoes, a Saucony men’s (or women’s) Transition Sport Top II, as well as a men’s or women’s Boston pant.
In addition, winners will get the perfect companion for a long trail runt an ultra comfortable, gender-specific hydration pack from Osprey. Gents, you’ll receive a Viper 10 pack; ladies will receive the Verve 10 pack.
Want your own chance at winning? Submitting is easy! Just fill out this submission form and make sure to include a description of the photo you submit and the address of where you want your gear sent in the body of the message. Good luck!
You can submit photos from anywhere in the world, but we will only ship prizes to addresses within the continental UnitedStates.
Feel free to submit as often as you’d like. We’ll choose a winner every Friday. And help us spread the word. We have a new theme (and a new set of prizes) every month.
[Photo Via: publicenergy]
Alaska stinks for trails. You could hit every good trail in a month, then you’d realize Alaska isn’t about trails. Alaska is about true wilderness. Saying that, Alaska does have some unreal trails. One of those is the Lost Lake Trail.
Lost Lake is a 15-mile trail near Seward. I’d argue it’s the best trail in Alaska. Hemlock forest cloaks the lower elevations of Lost Lake, the trail-side blueberries are crunchy and the bear poop steaming. The Seward area is a mega playground: boasting two ice fields, steep ski mountains and Prince William Sound.
Want to make the trek on you’re own? On August 21, is the Lost Lake Run, a benefit for cystic fibrosis. Somehow more than 700 people pack onto this trail for the event. If I was into organized sports, then I’d love the Lost Lake Run. Check it out: www.lostlakerun.org
See more of Joe’s running photos at www.stockalpine.com/photos/run/