Submitted by Rush 3/11/2018 1520776695
I hadn't climbed the unrelenting steepness of the Woody Ridge trail since May of 2015 during the Quest for the Crest 50K. In preparation for that race, I climbed the 2.5 mi, 3100' elevation gain four times, then again on race day. I can't really describe how steep this trail is other than saying it gets to nearly 70% grade in a few places.
I started up the trail at 7:30 this morning, mostly hiking but running where I could. At 30 minutes, I hit what I call the boulders where the trail just gets insanely steep. This morning that's also where the snow line began and I trekked up through 3,4,5 inches of snow. Without trekking poles or YakTrax, the going was slow. The temperature was around 40' and the air was dead still, until I reached the Crest Trail then POW!! the wind was unbelievable. Deep drifts of snow and a dark sky in the west as I traversed over to the Bolens Creek trail. I ran the four miles down to the bottom, touched the gate, turned around and headed back up. When I reached the Crest trail an hour and thirty eight minutes later, the clouds were sitting right on top of the mountain and everything was socked in.
Descending Woody Ridge with several inches of snow was downright treacherous and I had two hard falls. I'm convinced I'm ready for trekking poles.
15 miles round trip, 12,000' of elevation change.
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