Running the PCT in the North Cascades




i knew it. i knew once i got out and experienced the north cascades of washington that i would be absolutely blown away. 2 nights, 3 days of bliss with mandy in one of the most beautiful and rugged places on earth. friday mandy lead me on my first “real” climb up the southwest face of liberty bell spire. saturday i dropped her at rainy pass on the pacific crest trail (PCT) and met her 21 miles later to finish her run of almost 40 miles on the day. this was her last really long run before the wasatch front 100. she’s going to rock that race and it’s been such a pleasure to coach her. without a copy of the map on saturday it was a bit of a mis-adventure for me, and in turn mandy as well. but we were back to the nuun van just as the sun set. mandy had a 9hr day so a leg soak with the puffy’s on was a necessity.

the next day we started at cutthroat trailhead and ran to the lake and then the pass. from there mandy headed back to return the favor and drove around to rainy pass to pick me up. as you can see in the video i continued on a bit further to granite pass to see tower mountain. the way the PCT was etched into the side of this mountain just stoked my fire to run the entire PCT someday. CORRECTION: Scott Williamson & Adam Bradley currently hold the Pacific Crest Trail record of 65days 9hrs 58min for the 2,655 miles from mexico to canada. still check out jb benna’s documentary the runner on horton’s record (there are a lot of pacnw runners in it).

i’m slowly crawling out of my injury train wreck and running in the north cascades has completely revitalized me. it may have been quite a few miles over what i should have run, but there is healing in these hills and the intangible factors of healing served me well. there is nothing i enjoy more than a long run in a beautiful place with a beautiful person. this same person had a surprise spread of peanut butter and jam, recovery drinks and mango’s waiting for me when i arrived at the van. life is good.


oh and i had a chance to thoroughly test the new nathan quickdraw elite handhelds. my honest opinion-
good:
  • once set up they don’t have to be adjusted, meaning you aren’t constantly pulling the strap tight around your hand.
  • you actually don’t have to hold them – the strap is thicker and will stay on your hand without squeezing (pretty sweet)
  • the trash pocket makes life easy when you come through the aid stations you know exactly where the trash is.

bad:

  • they seem over-engineered and not simple enough. it feels like a lot of material.