I love running in the fall. There's no pressure of an upcoming race, nobody on the trails and the mountainsides have a naked beauty about them. This late in the year the leaves have left the aspens, maples, and even the scrub oak are left with bare branches. The evergreen's stand in stark contrast to the dead golden grass covering the mountainside. This morning may have been the last run that we get in up high, as I now sit here and watch the heavy clouds envelope the mountains sure to leave snow in their wake.
Three weeks ago Greg and I set off up Bowman, a trail I'm very familiar with, but hung a left two-thirds the way up on the Alexander basin trail. I had never been on this little gem of a trail and I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. It is fairly steep and since it's north facing we had a couple of sliding incidents on the hard packed snow left behind from the week before. My favorite part was the natural tunnel provided by the half-dozen fallen trees over the gully (see pic). My least favorite part was the ice we encountered on the pavement in Millcreek canyon.
The week after that Peter and I decided to do a leisurely run up toward Lake Mary, turn off to Twin Lakes, take the trail up to Twin Lakes Pass then drop down into Albion Basin and come back by way of Catherine's Pass. The new part of the trail for Peter and I was the section from Twin Lakes down into Albion. What we found was a very rocky and technical drainage with a bit of ice and snow. Best part: watching the early morning sun light up the frosted peaks, Least favorite part: none.
Yesterday Greg, Peter and myself did a loop up Porter Fork and came down Bowman. Earlier in the week, while the weather perfect I was scheming a plan to take out Broads Fork Twin Peaks, but a wet weather system came in and by the time we reached the ridge line between Millcreek and Big Cottonwood I was happy i wasn't on the other mountain. Of all the times I have been up Millcreek I have never been on the Porter Fork trail, and while the road isn't that thrilling the trail that follows is well worth the road portion. The funniest part of the run is when Greg told me I had been on the upper portion since it is the only trail that connects the ridge line and I kept insisting I hadn't. Of course Greg was right, I just hadn't been on this trail heading east, I couldn't believe how much different it looked. Since it was rainy and wet I left the camera back at the car, so no pictures for this one.