Thursday, August 16, 2012

Speed Ascent Of St. Louis Peak

Speed Ascent of St. Louis Peak

With only 2.5 hours of time today, I tried to do a fast speed ascent of St. Louis Peak (12,241'). Located in the center of the Vasquez Wilderness, St. Louis Peak is a really nice, seldom visited run that follows the headwaters of St. Louis creek. The haze from the fires in Nevada, Oregon, California, and Washington was pretty bad, as evidenced by the photos, but didn't seem to impact the lungs too much. Fall is hitting the high country fast - with all the heat this summer and lack of rain, most of the plants have started to turn, and a lot of the lodgepole pines are showing evidence of the drought. However, there are still a few flowers out.

The run is 13.8 miles long, with 3,612' of gain. I did it in 2:19:40, which I think is a fairly fast time. I slowed down a bit on the way back to snap some photos of the last flowers of the summer, as well as to hang on the summit to (try) and enjoy the views. I don't know if it is a FKT, but it is a PR for me on the peak and a good baseline to work from.

 Looking back down the St. Louis drainage
 Looking north at Byers (on the right) and Bills (left)
 Looking south into the haze...
 Looking east towards the Divide, which is usually in view.
 Some of the last flowers for the summer

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