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Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run - Run


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Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
United States
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 4h 56m 34s
Overall Rank = 1/
Age Group = All
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

No routine here. I had thought a friend or two might join the run but no luck. Because this was a point to point race I didn't know if I would have a ride back to the start so I asked around via Facebook to see if I could borrow a mountain or cyclocross bike. Luckily Leslie, a BTer no less was able to help out!
Event warmup:

Morning of I drove out to Leslie's house and her husband kindly provided me the bike. I then drove out to Meany Lodge and dropped off the bike then drove back to Snoqualmie pass to the PCT trail-head. Phew.
Run
  • 4h 56m 34s
  • 22 miles
  • 13m 29s  min/mile
Comments:

As I mentioned there was a lot of logistical stuff at the start, mostly because it was self supported and I wanted to be self sufficient getting back to my car. I figured it would be cool to close the loop using human power.

Per the course description there were two options, the low route: 10 miles 400' gain and available to cyclists and the high route: 20ish miles, 4,000' gain on the PCT. Which one do you think most people chose?

Ha! My line of thought is, hey, I may as well take the scenic route! I run the rails to trails route all the time and while beautiful, I love running trails. Of course "high route" is always an appearing phrase for me as well. I will get back to the two route options a little later.

So I start out and all is going well. It's a stunning end of summer day. The leave are just starting to turn and the hills are coming alive with fiery fall colors.

A big chunk of the gain happens right away but I have run this section a few times and knew what to expect. Because this was a very casual run with no specific start time, I just wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to run as fast as I could but I also wanted to stop and take photos and explore.

Just before I hit lodge lake I had a sharp pain in my finger. i shook my hand but the stinging didn't go away. I looked down and sure enough, I had been stung by a bee. I pulled the stinger out and kept going. Luckily I'm not allergic but that hurt! My finger swelled up a bit but not too bad.

I turned off onto the short side trail to the lake. Fog was burning off the lake, the sun shining bright. The lake itself was glassy and wonderful. I was glad I took the slight detour.

I continued on, traversing the hillside through some old avalanche and rock slides. I cut around the backside of the mountains and then started making my way up towards Windy Pass.

The PCT shares the forest service road for a moment before branching off into the woods again. I saw the turnoff but it wasn't marked for the PCT. In the winter there is a network of cross country ski trails up here and I thought it was one of those. I kept traveling on the road, realizing shortly that I had missed the turn. I knew the area pretty well and knew I could get back to the PCT without backtracking. What I didn't realize was that in the late summer, the overgrowth was over my head.

A two mile detour through thick brush later, I finally make it back to track.

I ran through Olallie Meadow ( a slight detour) because I think it is so incredibly beautiful. I eventually veered back onto the PCT towards Silver Peak.

The trail climbed gradually but was mostly a traverse then it descended slightly. I was cruising pretty good when I have to navigate a stretch of rock slide and twisted my ankle pretty good. I didn't go all the way down but I was forced to slow. I had a moment where I wasn't sure how bad the twist was. Luckily after the initial shock subsided I could hobble along. Slowly the pain faded and I was back to my normal gait. (phew!)

Descending down into another valley I came across an incredibly beautiful lake that I had never heard of. This is exactly why I love adventures like this. You can live your whole life without knowing some of this beauty is just over the hill in your own backyard.

I took another side trail to the lakes shore and explored around a bit then got back on track (as you can see, I am easily distracted in the wild.)

After the lake the trail descended rapidly down to Yakima Pass then up again, gaining another ridge. This was all unknown territory and incredibly beautiful.

I was only carrying 10 about 20 oz of water but brought my filter. It was pretty hot at this point and I was almost out so I stopped at a stream and filtered for the first time, about 12 miles in.

I was in an exposed section that had been clear cut at some point. I thought a lot about the unsustainable demands our lifestyles put on the environment. I also appreciated the resiliency of nature, the second growth already thriving.

The exposed miles left me parched and I depleted my water stores and had to filter again in less than 5 miles.

Because of my wandering, I had added a few miles to the journey but was still feeling pretty good. My GPS hit 20 miles just as I made it to Stampede Pass. It was here that I would leave the PCT and use a network of fire roads to get to Meany Lodge.

I hadn't seen any other runners. I imagined they were all already at the lodge, having started earlier and taken less scenic side trips than me.

The fire road descended quickly and I picked up some speed for the first time in a while. My legs felt great but I was starting to get a little tired and ready to be done.

As I turned off of one road to the next and Jeep pulled up next to me as I ran. A young man leaned out and said, " Are you running to Meany Lodge" I told him yes, indeed I was. "OMG!!!!! You are the only runner to tackle the high route!!!!! I am so happy someone is doing it!!! You're going to win!!!' he shouted, enthusiastically. I couldn't believe it. Every single other runner (and cyclist) had opted for the low, ten mile option. "I'll see you soon at the lodge just a little more running to go, Wooohoooo!" he cheered at me as he drove away.

I suddenly felt a little less guilty about all my wandering and photo taking since I had managed to do so AND win the race (or did I lose the race :) )

I took the final turn to the lodge which in the winter hosts a private ski hill. (which I went to last year, what a trip!) It's very steep and this time I had the opportunity to descend it on foot. The RD was at the top of the hill cheering me on as I descended to the finish.

Having been the only one to choose the high route I was by far the last finisher. The BBQ had since been packed up. Lucky for me the Mountaineers members at Meany lodge are some of the sweetest people I have ever in my life met. This is something I noted when I was there in the winter as well. Anyway, they quickly pulled food out of the refrigerator and fixed me up with all kids of stuff, including beer from the keg. :)

The RD insisted on getting a photo and hung out with me while I ate and we chatted about the race.

All in all I had a great time and was glad I chose the high route. A little company would have been nice though!

After refueling I told the folks and Meany goodbye and set off on the borrowed cyclocross bike back to the finish to complete the loop.

I thought this would be a breeze since it was a gradual downhill but as it turns out there was a slight headwind and the gravel on the road was al little bit deep. I ended up having to do a whole lot more peddling than I thought I would. It turned out being pretty challenging, I am sure more due to the 23+ miles I ran on the trail. By the end of it I was cursing under my breath but honestly, I couldn't really complain too much. It was so damn beautiful.

Finally I reached my car for a grand total of 40 miles, human powered!


What would you do differently?:

Recruit some company.
Post race

Profile Album


Last updated: 2016-09-15 12:00 AM
Running
04:56:34 | 22 miles | 13m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 1/
Performance: Average
Course: Section I of the PCT headed Southbound towards Stampede Pass to Meany Lodge (the Mountaineers Lodge.) This was the "high route" option for the race at about 20+ miles and 4,000' gain. There was also a low route option on a rails to trails that was 10 miles and 400' of gain or so.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2016-09-16 2:12 PM

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Seattle
Subject: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run


2016-09-16 2:59 PM
in reply to: #5199036

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Master
2408
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run
What a fantastic human-powered adventure! And what a great group of people running the race!!
2016-09-16 11:40 PM
in reply to: #5199036

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Master
7796
50002000500100100252525
Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run
Wow--Awesome job and beautiful pics. What an adventure! I have often joked about this, but I don't think it has ever actually happened to me--if you are the only finisher (or the only survivor?) then you win! (I have come close, once, when all but about 20 people opted out of the marathon on a hot day at Crater Lake and I ended up third overall behind two Kenyan dudes, but pretty sure there were at least a few other women.)

Just awesome!
2016-09-17 9:59 PM
in reply to: #5199036

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Veteran
1677
1000500100252525
Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run

Your adventures are always so inspiring....and I always love the pics!  Keep at the wandering and picture taking while being a badass racer  

2016-09-19 3:09 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run

Originally posted by Hot Runner Wow--Awesome job and beautiful pics. What an adventure! I have often joked about this, but I don't think it has ever actually happened to me--if you are the only finisher (or the only survivor?) then you win! (I have come close, once, when all but about 20 people opted out of the marathon on a hot day at Crater Lake and I ended up third overall behind two Kenyan dudes, but pretty sure there were at least a few other women.) Just awesome!

Haha thanks! I like the term survivor  

2016-09-19 5:42 PM
in reply to: #5199036

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New user
1350
10001001001002525
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run

Bahaha! I can't say that I've ever been in a race where I was the only participant. Sounds like an awesome adventure, like always!



2016-09-27 11:07 AM
in reply to: #5199036

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Master
6582
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run

What else can be said but well done, my friend.

2016-09-28 9:50 AM
in reply to: #5199036

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run

Stunning pictures show the high route was definitely a good one!  How funny and cool that you were the only one to choose the tougher course.  Kudos to the Meany folks for taking care of you and to Leslie, too.  Life is always an adventure with you!  Congrats, and keep living large!

2016-09-29 9:27 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Master
3870
200010005001001001002525
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Snoqualmie Pass to Meany Lodge Trail Run
Let me get this straight, you were the ONLY one to try the hard course? O.K. I'm going to say it since no-one else will....What a bunch of ! LOL. I love your race reports Adrienne. If I ever get up to the NW, you HAVE to let me buy you a beer or two, or three....

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