I’m in Utah now for a month of emergency medicine at the University of Utah, trying to persuade them to take me as one of the nine emergency medicine residents that they accept each year.

Travel, particularly airport travel, really wears me down, but getting my feet back into the Wasatch range brought my energy right back, and I quickly made the decision to risk heart explosion and run an 11k’ peak unacclimatized.

The line at the Delta baggage drop at… 4:30 am.


Upper Red Pine Lake. Past two to three miles of steep roots and rocks, a small slice of alpine paradise.

On the ridge and approaching the Pfeifferhorn. It’s no wonder that the official name of this peak is Little Matterhorn.

The ‘run’ up to the Pfeifferhorn starts at White Pine trailhead and begins with some mellow vertical up double track jeep road. At White Pine creek, the trail for Red Pine diverges and the singletrack quickly becomes rooty, rocky, and steep.

For much of the way to Red Pine Lake, I was reduced to near-redline power hiking. And I was again flattened after the lake, where two steep pitches of semi-off-trail travel lead to the Little Cottonwood Ridgeline.

On the ridge, it’s all beautiful alpine rambling, with some fun scrambling, and summit with classic relief in the middle of this beautiful range.

Dorky-ass summit photo, white baldy in the background.


Summit panorama — there’s so much left to be done.

I made the top in 1:27:33, exploded but happy with that time. Jason Dorais has run it in something around 1:05, which is damn fast for 3860′ and 4.8 miles up rough terrain.

I look forward to coming back acclimated and motivated!

Category: Running


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