Recent speedy ascents of the Grand by Brian Harder and Brandon French got me excited to get up to Jackson again and give it a go. Andy and I both had Sunday free so off we went. We started the day staring at lightning and rainbows as we drove to Lupine Meadows. The mix of sun and rain almost had us bailing and taking pictures of rainbows all day. Instead, we decided to have a go up to the Lower Saddle and turn around if we saw more storm clouds.
The run to the meadows went quickly, 47 min. We backed it off a bit from there and hiked most of the way to the Lower Saddle, jogging whatever flat we found, 1:40. Looking west off the Lower Saddle I think we were both hoping for storms so we could end the suffering a bit early, all we saw was sun. At that point Andy was feeling pretty blown but our only option was to finish. Route finding to the upper saddle was a bit tricky, not hard to find but I'm not sure we took the fastest way. We ended up scrambling a good portion of it instead of running. Entering the Owen Spalding we decided to climb slow since we were tired and I hadn't been there before. It was straight forward although we did take one wrong turn at the top that cost us a few minutes. Summit 2:35. We ate a gu and turned back without even looking around.
Down climbing the OS went smoother that I expected and before I knew it we were trying to find the fastest way to the Lower Saddle again. I think we took a pretty good line but probably could have been better. From there we pussy footed around on the snow for a while before committing to running down the lower angle portion just off the head wall, another few minutes wasted. Heading toward the headwall above the meadows my adductors cramped like crazy, I think it was from all the down climbing. I had to sit there and stretch for a few minutes before it let up, I thought I might be done for the day. Luckily I could run fine, it would only cramp if I squatted down while jumping from boulder to boulder. Meanwhile, Andy kept running and twisted his ankle for the first and second time of the day. I caught up around the meadows and we ran together from there on out, Andy only rolled his ankle one more time for a total of 3 on the day.
It will go faster. I've heard people doubt the speed record of 3:06 but I think it's reasonable. REALLY fast but I have no reason to think it's impossible. We ran for a total of 4:11 with 38 minutes of non-moving/climbing time, making a total of 3:33 actual running time. The non-running time was drinking, eating, climbing, cramping and rolling ankles. I think we could cut that by 10 mins or so if we were a little more efficient, climbed faster and a bit luckier (more coordinated, ankles). We could be fitter. I think we're in pretty good running shape but aren't really used to running up hill. A little more specific training would go a long way. This was a fun game in the winter, turns out it's fun in the summer as well. Round 2, soon... Click the view details tab for splits and what not.