Archives

Tagged ‘ethan linck‘

Glacier Peak In-a-day Attempt

Saturday was a flash flood that followed a week and a half of severe adventure drought. After spending all of last weekend in the library, Ethan asked me if I wanted to attempt to climb and ski Glacier Peak in a day with him and Richard Kresser the following weekend. Will Thomas, a friend of Richard’s, had attempted the route solo a week before only to turn around 2000′ below the summit. Will suggested an earlier start than his would likely put us at the top. I said yes, mostly out of blind ambition. Although I knew it was going to be a long day, at the time I didn’t consider the specifics of the suffering.

IMG_0035_2

Suffering can be beautiful.

Ethan thought a midnight start “had a nice ring to it”, so we forewent sleep and found ourselves at the North Fork Sauk Trailhead when the clock struck 12. Twenty minutes later we were jogging down the trail by headlamp with packs and skis on our back. When Richard took off down the trail, I thought he was having a laugh, employing a short-lived tactic to wake the body up, but nope, he kept jogging. Ethan shuffled in behind Richard and I kept up as best I could. A glance left or right illuminated five-hundred-year-old cedars and firs towering over us in the darkness. I thought of my friends partying in Portland and was struck by the absurdity of running through an old growth forest at night with skis on my back. Read on →

Winter Woes and Skiing the Wy’east Face

Peter, frosted but not frosty.

Peter, frosted but not frosty.

Editor’s Note: I’m excited to introduce you to Mountain Lessons’ newest contributor, Peter Innes. Peter and I met mountaineering in Wyoming, and after he relocated to Portland, he’s become a frequent partner on my adventures. Pete’s a collegiate cross-country runner for Lewis and Clark college, and precocious ski-mountaineering upstart. You may recognize him from photos here and on instagram (@alpenflow). Now, here’s Peter:


 

For the past month my news feeds have been rife with the woes and complaints of skiers bemoaning the disappearance of winter in the Pacific Northwest. January has become “Juneuary,” humorously summing up the recent weather and conditions of the Cascade Range. In many places the snow pack looks worse that it did last July, especially on Mt Hood. Large islands of rock restrict eager schralpers, gullies are sporting muddy guts, and from afar one cannot help but grimace at the brown shading of the snow on Mt Hood’s lower flanks. Time to ditch the skis, lube the chain of your mountain bike, and beg for a refund on your season pass, I suppose.

No! Surrendering in a mopey cloud of “throwback Thursday” instagrams of skiing powder earlier in the season surely won’t bring about the graces of Ullr, and nor will booking tickets to Japan. The way I see it the only way to improve the situation is by embracing what we have and getting creative. After all, Juneuary has its upsides, even for a skier. Avalanche danger on Mt. Hood is low as a result of over two weeks without snowfall (correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been so long I’ve lost track), and several days of melt-freeze cycles have smoothed out the icy chicken heads that previously riddled Hood’s upper slopes. If that isn’t a recipe for some good-old-fashioned Cascade ski mountaineering, I don’t know what is.

IMG_1919

Ethan approaches the Wy’east face amidst the morning alpenglow. The route centers in the obvious face.

Read on →

Running Around Oregon

I’m in San Francisco now on a week-long break from medical school. I’m on a taper that is psychologically hard to maintain and I just want to run around instead of letting myself get fat in front of amazing views from Potrero Hill. The roller-coaster of knee-pain emotions is being combatted with aggressive PT and hopefully I’ll have a fun story to tell you next week. Until then, the adventures continue:

Mt Hood Wildflowers

Wildflowers bloom near Elk Cove, Mt Hood.

 

This past month of medical school has posed new and interesting challenges to getting outside. That alone means that doing so is more important to me than ever. Getting up onto the flanks of Mt Hood each Saturday for a long run is as rejuvenating as yoga and as relaxing as a favorite malty beverage. Read on →

Gothic, CO

An update from the road:

20140326-113440.jpg

Taylor and I are holed up in Gothic, CO, a scant 4-mile ski from the town of Crested Butte. This is the summer home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, but in winter, its many cabins are boarded up save for two, which house the winter caretakers.

20140326-113542.jpg

Read on →

Wasatch Powder Keg 2014

Packed for the 2014 Wasatch Powder Keg

Nearly packed for the 2014 Wasatch Powder Keg

I’m sitting in the Salt Lake City airport , waiting for a flight to Denver. My heart rate is chugging along at 86 bpm, and I’ve just downed 1400 calories in under 15 minutes. In spite of my bulging gut, I feel lean and worn in a deeply satisfying way that I have seldom been able to access. It’s 6:00 pm, and I’m waiting for my flight home from the 2014 Wasatch Powder Keg (ISMF North American Skimo Championships).

With recent local success racing at Mt Bachelor, I was ready to have my ego destroyed at the Powderkeg. The race is the longest-running skimo event in the US, and this year it was chosen to be the North American Championships. That meant that in addition to the strong Wasatch crowd, a pack of Canadians, Coloradans and other far-flung speed suit types would be coming to downsize my opinion of my own fitness. Nevertheless, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jump in and tangle with much better racers in three different race formats; sprint, individual, and teams races against the best on the continent.

Start corral for the individual race.

Start corral for the individual race.

Read on →

No Excuses Interview Series: Ethan Linck

The No Excuses Interview Series explores the approaches and personalities of athletes who are inspiring in both the quality and consistency of their achievements. They’re real people doing great things. What they do, you can too, if you want it.

Ethan Linck chasing powder on Mt Hood.For part two of the no excuses interview series, we’re joined by Ethan Linck, a West-coast Vermont transplant, mountain runner, and inspiring friend.

Bio

Ethan Linck is best known in the Pacific Northwest endurance community for setting the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for an unsupported run around Mt Rainier’s Wonderland Trail (93 miles, over 22,000′ of climbing) last year in 27 hours and 19 minutes.

He has also run around Mt St helens, Mt Hood, the Three Sisters, and placed in several PNW trail races and ultras. Most impressively, he accomplished all of this while a biology student at Reed College. His resume is impressive, and he catalogs his adventures and observations on his blog Beyond the Ranges

A self-described would-be naturalist, he also “nurtures particular interests in the ecology of New Guinea and Melanesia, mountain running, and backcountry skiing. He’s currently spending the winter in Gothic, Colorado”. He joins us by email to talk about what goes into his big endurance efforts,where his naturalism and athletics meet.
Read on →

Trail Factor 50K Trail Run Recap

La Sportiva Anakonda

It only took 48 hours for these shoes to dry in the sunshine.

Two days ago, I did a bad thing to my legs.  At least, that’s what they’re telling me today.  Not that I’ve stretched or anything, but to bend and tie my shoes is a trial, and to descend stairs is another thing entirely. Two months back, I wrote about a training schedule for a 50k trail run; I hurt now because of that run.

I was lured into this maniacal plan by my friend Alex Ragus, who suggested that we train for it together.  For the record, he did register, but he also bailed a few weeks before the race, having been otherwise occupied and not having trained in the slightest.  In spite of Alex backing out, training for the race became a positive experience for me.  While training I discovered that there’s just an ineffable pleasure to traveling by foot over great distances.

Muddy feet

Only when the course is truly muddy does the dirt work its way to the toes.

The morning of the race, I was grumpy, but I had a plan.  I was grumpy because it was the end of a long process.  Not to get into any cliché hippy nonsense or anything, but these days I’m slowly discovering a newfound patience that lets me tackle bigger projects, and that patience is pretty satisfying.  Reaching the end of the road, by comparison  doesn’t hold a lot of learning potential.   Read on →

CRG Running and First Ultra: Photo TR

These past few weeks have been crazy.  Nevertheless, I’ve been trying to stick to sneaking in a few longs runs each week to prepare for the 50k that I signed up for months ago and which now looms in the near future.  The Columbia River Gorge is a trail-runner’s paradise, hiding deep gorges full of waterfalls which within a few miles provide access to miles of trail through Mt Hood National Forest. Early in the last week I took a solo trip up Larch Mountain, a local classic, to see where the snow line was hiding, and then just yesterday, I made it out with Ethan for a run up Eagle Creek to Wahtum Lake, a run which marks my first Ultra-distance outing.

Multnomah – Larch Mountain – Oneonta Gorge

Stats

Parking: Multnomah Falls Parking Area, Oregon Gorge exit 28, no fee required, busy on weekends and sunny weekdays.

TH: Bathrooms, food, and water available

Stats: 17 miles, ~4200′ vertical gained.  A whopper of a hill right up front with a long and gradual down to follow.

Time: 3:49, with a fair bit of time lost up running around in the snow.

Larch Mountain inset, click for full map (big file).

Larch Mountain inset, click for full map (big file).

Read on →