This morning I headed up to Mill Creek Summit and joined a few other HDRunners for our monthly Mountain Trail Fun Run. The course was Mt Pacifico. This is the Pacific Crest Trail headed east from Angeles Forest Highway beginning at Mill Creek Summit. The course is pretty simple 6 + miles UP and then 6 + miles back down. The first part of the trail is on a westward facing mountain so it is shaded in the morning. Once it gets up onto the ridge there is a fair amount of trees so there is some relief from the typical summer heat.
Rob, Nestor, Scott and I all started at the same time but I was pretty sure I was going further, so headed out first and they headed up behind me. The Diorios and Dempseys had a half an hour head start. Justin and Alex started just a few minutes later and did not take long to go running by me. I caught the others at the top…
I tried something new…. I have a water backpack that I have only used riding… never running. It holds much more water than my 1 bottle fanny pack and I knew that the fanny pack would not be enough for 12-13 miles of warm weather trail running…. It rode just fine and it provided ice cold water all the way through the run!! Nice!!
On a side note – I got it brand new at a yard sale for 25 cents. It had the label and was obviously brand new, but the person holding the sale and I could not find the mouth piece… we looked through all the pockets. So he practically gave it to me. Once home, digging through the pockets some more, I found the mouth piece!!
Anyway, I felt good, the climb is longer than the climb in the Mt Disappointment run but did not seem so bad. I figure it is because the climb was first, rather than AFTER trashing your quads with 10 miles of downhill… Further investigation showed two other key differences. Today’s climb was from approximately 5100 to 7100 ft in 6 1/4 miles – average grade 6.2% Mt Disappointment’s climb was from 3100 to 5600 ft in 4 miles – average grade 11.4% So, it was on average almost twice as steep… Also note that the climb up Mt Disappointment began and ended at much lower elevations… meaning higher temperatures… on a day that was much hotter to begin with…. No wonder it was so awful.