I joined the ‘August Run Climbing Challenge‘ on Strava, which set a goal of running up 2000 meters in during the full month. This got me exploring some of the more hilly trails in the past few weeks.
On a Tuesday I set off for The Pinnacle, which starts very matter of factly as this yellow gate. In total it was 898′ of climbing, mostly power hiking because a lot of it is over 10% grade (it even hits 20% at one point). That was a 3.6 mile adventure in under an hour, and it even started raining at the end, which was very nice.
Then on Wedneday night my buddy Mimi hit me up, saying she’d be in town for a bit, so I went to crash with her and her family that night, so we could run up Mount Minsi the next morning. This was 1,171′ of climbing, and again it was steep, upwards of 20 and 30% grade in parts when you just sort of had to crawl up the mountainside. It was amazing. We did that, plus some extra miles to and from the trail head (because of this cool creek crossing) for a total of 6.15 miles, in just under two hours.
Then Friday night, I’m feeling good, an my friend’s still in town and leaving the next morning. She texts me saying we should run up the other side, Mount Tammany in NJ. So I got up at 6am on Saturday, drove up her way, and we set off for the trail (and parked much closer this time).
So we start that at about 7:30am, before it got too warm or crowded. This climbs up to about 1500′ in elevation in 1.5 miles, so pretty steep in places. Lots of rocks to climb over. It’s like going to fucking Mordor. But we made it, and you can see the other peak in the distance, which is what we climbed two days prior (Strava).
Afterwards we get some Dunkin Donuts, we’re hanging out, all is good, and I head back home. Then I get the idea to drive to Palmerton, PA and try running up that peak!
I stop at a grocery store and pick up some yogurt (for protein), some fruit (carbs), some iced oatmeal cookies to use as a spoon for the yogurt, a gallon of water, and a Gatorade. Turns out after eating this, then waiting about 30 minutes, I was able to give the trails in Palmerton a go.
Mercifully the trail to the summit was closed, I think, and I stayed on the Prairie Grass Trail which was grassy (duh), up and down, and led into some pretty neat sections of single track. So I ran that out a bit, then came back, for yet another 3.6 mile run.
In all that was 3,709′ of climbing, and almost 17 miles in five days time. Today is Sunday and I’m feeling pretty good overall, but definitely need a nap later today (and no running).