Friday, January 6, 2017

Little Devils Stairs Scramble

OK, just to update my second day down in Shenandoah to kick off the new year...I had a really nice day.  First off, it wasn't raining cats and dogs and 35 degrees like on Tuesday the 3rd.  It was raining, which was not expected but it was periodic and light and not a concern in any way.

I had elected to take the Keyser Run fire road (MP 19.3) down past the old Bolen cemetery to start this trek.  I felt pretty darned good given how stiff I was the prior night and that morning.  The Bolen cemetery for those who don't know, is the finest tribute to that lost way of life here in Shenandoah.  I made great time all the way down to the cemetery with all of my mile splits under 20 minutes...

Continuing on past the Bolen Cemetery I traced the edge of the park boundary and finally came upon the start of my main objective for this training exercise.  I was looking for a very steep, moderately technical climb to begin to reformat my bod for Anders and my coming Nepal trip.  I was surprised (although I should not have been) by the number of stream crossings I had to navigate--really steep ravines and a lot of rain typically equal a lot of water flowing down hill!:

In quite a few places that technical challenges were such that I would grade several pitches as true Class 3 rock scrambles.  It was wet, slippery, and definitely a place you could hurt yourself.  One of the things I love about being on my own in these situations is that it demands that you don't mess up. All of a sudden, I found myself at the top of the scramble and realized it had taken me a good 90 minutes that seemed like just 9....

I had contemplated doing another relatively easy 4-mile loop but elected to declare victory and try to get home before it got dark (which I was successful at).  In total I did over 21 miles on these two days and this is a good chunk of the 200 mile true-on hiking/climbing goal I have set for myself as part of my preparation for Nepal.  

I'll take it!  Here is the data from this climb:

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