"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ouray to Virginius on the Hardrock Course

I made the big climb (~5000ft) from Ouray to Virginius Mine and back yesterday in a little under 5 hrs. Basically 10 miles up, 10 miles down mainly on gravel, forest roads. A spectacular section! I stopped to take a bunch of video along the way. Here are a few videos showing what the conditions were like coming into Governor Basin...

The snow is receding from the road and it is easily passed up through the turnoff to Sydney Basin. With all the runoff, it's pretty wet right now, but after crossing Governor Basin Stream (calf high waters yesterday) your feet are going to be wet anyway...

A little further on there were a few snowfields that covered the road completely.

Then a steep snowfield where the course description indicates that we take a "short cut to meet the Virginius Mine road again after it has made a long switchback" and "climb steeply up the slope". (My first glissade experience down this on the way back... that was hilariously fun, but next time I'd like to keep the snow out of my shorts, thank you.)

And finally, standing on the Virginius Mine dump, a 360 degree view starting and ending with what I *think* should be virginius Pass. Great views of Mendota peak, St Sophia Ridge, Governor Basin, Stony Mtn...

And of course, you can see the dark clouds moving in because it is June in the San Juan's and I'm over 12k ft. I'm now 3 for 3 and this week's forecast calls for isolated or scattered T-storms every day! At least there was no lightening this time and the rain was actually pretty nice on the long run back to Ouray.


Rooster said...

Thanks for the wonderful updates and video of the course. We are here scouting the course too. Tomorrow we are doing Sherman to Grouse to Engineer. Sat. we are doing from Governers to KT.

Adam said...


Thanks for all the help during SJS. I didn't want to leave and I wish I were still there running in the "hills". Enjoy HR - we'll be sending you some trail vibes. Where's the "trail" in those videos?