Monday, November 12, 2007
Mt Wrightson Summit!!
It has taken me over 3 months, but this morning I finally was able to summit Mt. Wrightson. At 9400+ft, Mt Wrightson, stands as the highest point in southern Arizona. This morning I set off to summit this beautiful peak only 2 weeks since injuring my knee. Over the last few days I felt really strong and knewmy knee would hold up to the 16 mile loop I was about to venture. In Madera Canyon, there are 2 main trails that lead up to the summit. The first is the Old Baldy trail,which is only five miles to the summit, but gains elevation quickly and climbs mostly through switchback trails. The second is the Super Trail, which is 8.1 miles, and gradually gains elevation as is winds around the high peak until finally connecting to the Old Baldy trail for the last .9 miles to the summit.
I made my way up to the summit with the motto that I would run when I could and walk when I had to. I pushed hard and I think I summited just over an 1 1/2hrs later. The morning was quite cool and when I got to above tree line, the strong winds and cool weather made for a quick summit. I probably stayed up there for maybe 3-4 minutes. The views, however,where breathtaking!! From the top a 360degree view allowed me to see Tuscon, Patagonia, Sonoita, Nogales, and probably into Mexico.
The Whipple Observatory is the next closest summit to the west. I found out today that it is the second largest obsevatory in the world!! I will have to make a point in the future to checkout that. Coming down I ran the entire way and way happy to finally be pushing myself again. I appreciate the fact that I am able to run again and certainly do miss being on my feet after taking 2 weeks off. I hope to start incorporating a lot more big climbs like today into my training throughout the winter to help build lung capacity and strenghten my legs. All and all I had a fun morning out in the wilderness before the last 1/4 mile when I took a sweet digger over a rocky section of the trail. Welcome Back Franky!!