Monday, July 30, 2012

Kings Peak

I had all of Thursday off so I figured I better try to do something that would make me uncomfortable.  Mission accomplished.  

While chatting with one of my coworkers last week she mentioned that she ran Kings Peak on her day off.  She said it was beautiful and highly recommended.  Since I had never been and it fit my idea of a long day, I went.  I wanted to run hard and had a few goal splits going in.  1:30 for the first 10 miles, under 2:30 to the summit, and 4:30 round trip.  I knew this would be a little fast but decided to try anyway.  

I made decent time to Gunsight pass 1:40.  From there I intended to head directly to Anderson Pass via a boulder hopping short cut.  I heard this trail breaks off to the hikers right about 600 meters past Gunsight, so that's what I did.  By the time I had run downhill for 5-10 mins I realized I was not on the shortcut, instead, I was on a connector that met up with the standard trail leading into Painter Basin.  The shorter trail breaks off to the right about 20 feet after you crest the pass, not 600m.  Now I know. The longer way added about a mile and was the start of hard afternoon.  

View into Painter Basin

Once I realized I missed the shortcut the psych for running hard was lost.  At that point I was over being in the Unitas and just wanted to get back to SLC so it turned into a "I just better keep moving type of attitude" instead of wanting to go hard.  This was not very fun.  Turns out a good attitude goes a long way.  On the summit ridge I was sick of running and asked some boy scouts if I was getting close.  They said, "Um, no man, there are like three more fake summits.  You've got a ways to go." Humiliating. I topped out at 2:45 and turned around without chatting too much to any of the 20 people who were hanging out.
From the Summit
The rest of the way went as expected (minus the superman fall onto my face).  There was loose footing until Gunsight pass and then a great gradual down the rest of the way out of Henry's Fork. I was 5:05 at the car and tired.  Not quite what I had planned but a good day nonetheless.  I drank a sip of water, stretched for a few minutes and was back in the car.  The best moment of the day was pulling into the driveway 10 hours and 15 mins after I left.  Plenty of time for a swim, dinner and a full nights rest.

Car to Car: 5:05
Elevation: 4700'
Distance: 27.3 miles
Food Carried: 3 L gatorade (Why so much? 3 L is heavy!), 10 gels, 1 pack juicy oozers
Food still in the bag: 1.5 liters gatorade, 4 gels, 1 pack juicy oozers
SLC to SLC: 10:15


  1. Well Jared, for someone like me 5hrs is pretty dang awesome. Good job man, that is still sweet!

  2. Not bad for "just better keep moving." I passed you a couple miles from the trailhead, though I was headed out with a sick scout and you were running up the trail. I turned around at the trailhead and ran back in to Gunsight Pass. I was just wondering what your split was at Elkhorn Crossing. I'm just curious how much slower I was going.

  3. I woke with no alarm this morning before 4 and was reading my feeds. Your story was enough to get me up and into the hills, thanks!

    I was on Kings about a month ago and got chased off by a snowstorm. Glad the weather looked good for you.

  4. CJ- I know most people can tell Jared, Andy and I apart but I thought you could!

    Gear30- I was just under 50 minutes at the crossing. Nice write up about the day, looks like you guys had a time!

    Jared- 4AM? Sounds early, good work!

  5. I should have sent you a link to the Quest for King's Marathon, a little fun run I put together each year in August. You would have won. . . and also not gotten off trail.
    With your speed you should try to get the FKT on the Triple Crown (Utah's three tallest). Check my site for details, I set the new FKT last month. You could probably knock off a half hour or more.