Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Triple Double

Great week of training and adventure.
Monday: Lake Blanche. 5.6 miles, 2720'. 90 min casual pace
Tues: Golf with the 3 stooges. Steve's first time golfing ever, Court barely able to walk due to his bunnion, and Pete hauling his 6 left handed clubs around sans bag and almost killing an old man with his brutally shanked shot off the tee on hole 1. Great times.
Wed: Ran an obscure part of the Wasatch 100 that I was unfamiliar with that links Bald Mountain to Parleys. Funky route there. Not a big fan honestly. Would make more sense to run standard GWT over to Alex Creek, but whatever. 10 miles, 2 hours, 1500'
Thurs: Got smoked on the .11d "stump the stars" up LCC. Hard, Hard .75 ringlocks through a overhang. I was stumped.
Great finger to ringlock crack of Stump

Fri: South Ridge of Superior with Annie. 2500' vert, 3 hours. Had a great time linking all the snow patches down the face for fun glissading.
Fun exposed 5th class ridge

Annie on South Ridge

Snowy ridge to summit
Annie mailing her safe glissading application to the snow gods

Getting ready to slide

Saturday: The triple double. (not a Mcdonalds sandwich) ~11,000', 15 miles

In basketball, a triple double is when a player achieves double figures in 3 of 4 possible separate areas in one game, ie 10 assists, 10 rebounds, 10 steals, or 10 points. In peak bagging, I am applying it to summiting the same 3 peaks two times each. The triple traverse is likely the most classic 3 peak traverse in the Wasatch, and while its no teton Cathedral Traverse, it certainly takes a solid aerobic effort along with some 5th class scrambling skill. It consists of summiting Broads Fork Twin Peaks, Sunrise, and Dromedary Peak, all which lie on the ridgeline separating LCC and BCC. I have summited each of the peaks a number of times alone, and done the triple twice, (once on a bailed WURL attempt, and another last year with Court). So naturally, the next step up is to do the traverse twice in one day. But the purity of the Triple Double is not merely summiting all 3 peaks, then reversing the ridge, but to actually descend back down to the road and then doing it all again. Yes, it is a stupid idea.

Annie and I set out up Broads Fork(a standard way to approach Triple Traverse) at 7 am. Our shoes were still wet from Friday's adventure, but that wouldn't matter since my shoes were wet all day anyway. Annie was feeling horrible, so she decided to bail on her attempt at one triple traverse just above the pond, leaving me to achieve my masochistic goal of two traverses alone. I took the Robinson couloir up to avoid repeating the East Twin ridge more than twice, and summited at the 2:30 mark. One down, 5 to go. My first traverse went well as I felt great, moving quickly over the often loose, sometimes solid, rarely unexposed terrain, eating crumb donuts as needed. I bagged Sunrise 31 min later, and Dromedary 24 min after that. Then I dropped down into LCC via Tanners Gulch where I found excellent glissading. I was on the road, done with traverse one at just over 4 hours. Not bad. My goal was 8 hours for two traverses since codename Pellucid Wombat on claims one traverse should take 8-10 hours, and I think that's kinda weaksauce.

I ran downcanyon to the Lisa Falls trailhead, a mile or so jaunt, and started back up to the ridge. I had never been up this drainage, so I was nervous about getting stuck or lost, but I had beloved Pullucid's instructions in my pocket should I need them. The drainage was gorgeous as waterfalls pounded over granite cliffs, all with easy slabs alongside allowing passage. The new terrain and cool air invigorated me to hit my goal time. Then I hit a big aerobic wall about halfway up Lisa Falls and had to sit down and eat some donuts and apple pie fritter to recharge. It was quite the slog up this trail less drainage, and I would go through phases of hiking snow, then loose talus, then granite slab mantling over and over again. Finally I hit the ridge 2:15 after leaving the road(though it felt like days). I bagged the twins again and found myself struggling with balance and stomach issues. I mentally committed to finishing, bagged the last two peaks, albiet much slower than round 1, and began the long descent into the Lake Blanche drainage. I got cliffed out a few times, and had to downclimb some scary slabs, but managed to reach great glissading terrain, then the Lake Blanche trail, where I pounded it down through the streets of Toyko that is the very popular Lake Blanche trail back the car, for a total time of 9:47. Almost two hours slower the second traverse, but that's ok. Good training for how painful Wasatch will be.

In hindsight, one traverse is plenty.

7 Peaks in one weekend. The waterpark would be proud. 

Great map of all the routes surrounding the Triple

The view from East twin, Sunrise it big one in middle and Dromedary hard left

Looking back at Twins from Sunrise

View back from Dromedary

Tanners is the shiz. Direct and gorgeous.

Lisa Falls drainage

Dead on East Twin, round 2. i may have taken a nap. can't remember

The descent off Dromedary to Lake Blanche to finish it out

I butt glissaded off that cornice. I got air.

Boring stats(approximate):
Broads Fork, 3.8 miles, 5,040'
Triple Traverse, 1.28 miles, 990'
Tanners Gulch, 1.5 miles, 4000' descent
Road down to Lisa Falls, 1 mile, 200' descent
Lisa Falls 2 miles, 4880'
Triple Traverse, 1.28 miles, 990'
Lake Blanche, 4 miles, 4000' descent


  1. You're crazy. How cwn you possibly eat doughnuts and apple fritters while running? Makes me want to puke just considering it.

  2. I was under the impression that you had a job. Holy crap. Getting after it. 100 prep is going well I see.