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In a conversation with friends, I mentioned an upcoming long run I had planned (5 winter-runnable peaks in the Wasatch.) "Why?" was immediately asked. Hmmmm. It made me think. There was simultaneously no answer and too many answers.

For starters, I get bored easily. It's winter, I don't ski.
Below the summit of Mt Olympus
It was my last open window for the next month or two.
Oly sunrise
Because, I wanted to.
Grandeur, summit 2

Isn't it more fun than speedwork?
view from Mt Wire

To get stronger, fitter, faster.
On Mt Wire, summit 3

It sounded fun.
aid station car

Because I want to remember what it is I love. After a couple races, I wanted a physical reminder, that familiar mountain-specific soreness and pain, to show that I could run mountains.

I love running mountains in ultra-length distance more than any other type of running.
Summit of Twin Aves (#4) with Jen
Why not?

Finished! Happy, off to pick up my kids! :)
Whether or not I can formulate the "right" answer, it doesn't matter. I don't want to run like this; I have to. It's a part of me. Staring at these Wasatch peaks from my windows, on my training runs, during my daily commute... It's where I belong, fit in, feel accepted.

Yesterday was a fun long day in the mountains, moving around, being flexible and free. As the season ends and I make goals for next years adventure runs and races, it was nice to do what I love most--and remember why it is I love to do it. Next year I hope to stay true to my goals of what I personally wish to accomplish, because I'm excited about the line and have it as a goal, rather than be persuaded by others, or possibilities, or numbers.

The Stats:
Mt. Olympus
Grandeur Peak
Mt. Wire
Twin Ave Peaks
Little Black Mtn (didn't make it to the true summit)
approx 31ish (+ -?) miles
11,600 vert
2.5 hours spent driving/resting/eating between summits
9 hours spent on the mountains, probably 8 or so hours of moving time
Strava made it look crazy, but here's the rough route: 

Gear Used:
Yaktrax "Run:" slipped around more in these than without them... gave up on them after 1 icy summit
La Sportiva Ultraraptors (worn with yaktrax)
La Sportiva Crossover GTX (worn for last 4 peaks, feet stayed completely dry, less slippage on ice than with the spikes)
Terramar Hottotties baselayers
Nathan Firecatcher vest
Homemade gel, recipe coming soon
Black Diamond Z poles


  1. Who needs the "why" when you've got the "where" in mountains like ours and the "how" in your natural ability and drive. Thank you for letting me join you for a small part of your adventure!

    1. It was fun, glad you could come. As always, your comments are well-phrased and beautiful.

  2. For the record I never asked why. I thought it was a great idea. :)

    1. Scott, all you asked was... can I come? ;) Too bad you were tapering for your 100 PR!

  3. Really cool run. It looks awesome. When I first looked at Yaktrax last year I saw the "Run" and thought it would only make slipping worse. I think they're made for running on flat surfaces. The "Yaktrax Pro" have suited me well, so far.

    1. I've got to a different pair of something. I pretty much ruined that Yaktrax Run with the one use on Oly. They're definitely not intended for mountain use!

  4. I am feeling a little jealous of this adventure and therefore more motivated to get my booty outside and ideally in the mountains... thanks :) love your posts!

  5. That looks amazing. I'd love to hear more details about each of those peaks, like did you have any difficulty in trail-finding with the snow? Great job!

    1. Jason, the route finding wasn't difficult for me on these peaks. I only chose to do the outermost "easy" peaks that I'm familiar with for that reason. Grandeur and Oly were very icy though, and that made things a little slower. Most of these were very "tracked out" and while oftentimes winter "trails" of snow aren't on the exact trail, they're easy enough to follow. :) Thanks!


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