Saturday, April 19, 2008

Something I Have Missed

The good news is that I got out for some hikes this past week. I wanted to test out the knee on some of my favorite local climbs: straight up and then straight back down. Who wants to mess around with switchbacks? First I climbed up to the ridge line of South Mountain, my favorite biking paradise. Telegraph Pass is normally a pretty easy little hike, just 700 feet of elevation gain in 1.5 miles, but I wanted to test my knee and see how it handled the up. The up was great, I felt really strong and was able to move up at a really good pace. The down was a word: slow. I didn't feel unstable really, just unsteady and really slow. So I chalked it up to a success and decided to move on to bigger hikes.

Next up was the famous Phoenix landmark Camelback Mountain. This sitting camel mountain is the premier hike within the city limits with it's hump reaching an elevation of 2,700 feet. The Echo Canyon Trail itself rises 1300 feet in 1.2 miles which is quite a steep grade. I have done this trail many times with my fastest ever up/down being 50 minutes (hauling ass up, running down). Its a hard hike for multiple reason, one being that there are some very steep areas that need handrails to get up and second being that the final 0.5 mile is a boulder field straight up. So for every step up, you also take a half step down. I went with a friend after work and of course we got a late start so we tried to make up for it on the way up: 30 minutes to the top. Not bad for 8 weeks post-op. The sun was below the horizon before we started down so we were in a rush against the clock, but I soon realized than the only thing slower than walking down a steep trail is climbing down a boulder strewn rock slide. It was pitch dark before we reached the car 45 minutes later and once again like this time, the hike become a lot more interesting in the dark.

I definitely need to get faster, but in comparison to my last ACL surgery, I did not climb Camelback until around four months after surgery so I feel I am ahead of the game. Also, my new camera is getting returned because for some reason, it can't focus with any sort of zoom, but I did get a couple of pics on the hike that weren't terribly blurry. The last picture is a view of the highest point, the hump. The plan tomorrow is to explore some new water holes (YEAH!!) so I have been cramming everything I have to do today in so that I can go tomorrow. This includes scraping the garage floor. We have hit new lows people.

No comments: