The shame is last week was my first trek onto the TMT and it was just to get us to some other trails. Today we spent our time "out" exclusively on the trail. Even better I had a pretty good idea where I was since I'd looked at the map in between visits. We did run into a bridge that is "closed" although I think it's been like that awhile and we just hung to the side to cross. Trails were a little muddy to this point given the recent storms but not too bad.
We hit snow about 1700-1800' and saw a fair amount of blowdown along the trail (especially on the east side) due to a wind storm the night before. We lost two runners by this point so it was just four of us for the remaining run (the other two found their way out fine).
|Me, Lars, Aaron & Ben at the top of West Tiger 3|
We ran all the way to Dieter Springs which is a fresh water spring between West and Middle Tiger and those that needed to refueled. On the way back we ran into a Barkley finisher and chatted him up a minute or two - he was headed all the way down to Middle Tiger. We got back to the W2 / W3 saddle and humped up to W3 and back down to the trailhead via T3 (well, I did. Ben & Aaron took off down Cable Line). T3 is the most popular route on the mountain providing direct access to the peak of W3 and there were plenty of hikers out today. It also unfortunately has a boatload of embedded rocks which makes running down most unpleasant.
This was my first run in new shoes - the Inov-8 F-Lite 233 which is billed as a "fitness" shoe as I think the line has a lot of loyalty in the CrossFit market (from what I hear - don't quote me). Regardless the F-Lite 195 is my go to road runner but I wanted something with a bit more cushion for Badger Mountain so I thought I'd give this a go (I have not been happy so far with the Montrail Rogue Racers). The fit is great and they handled well with a non-lugged tread even in the snow and mud although I was certainly not pushing the issue in several spots that I otherwise would have. And since it was so snowy I only got to muddy them up just a bit. Based on first impressions I really like them.