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View Full Version : Training for 1 day Pemi Traverse after 3 failed attempts



Jkrew81
10-16-2006, 08:54 AM
Hello,
After 3 tries at a 1 day Pemi Traverse this past summer I came to the realization that I need to train solidly for at least 15-16 weeks to feel confident enough to complete it. One of my attempts ended in the dark after about 28 miles (walked back by 13 Falls down Wilderness Tr) and 2 ended with bad weather. For the past two months I have been training very solidly to build a base to make my next attempt next spring/early summer. The way I figure, it is just about the same as training for a marathon but replacing speed with more power. I have worked up to about 30 miles of running and hiking combined each week, and I am praying it is not another freezing rain winter so I can stay outside. I have also trimmed my day pack down to about 10 lbs total food and gear (I am not brave enough to go out into the woods with as little gear as I have seen some ultra runners do). Anyone here that has completed this have any pointers?

David Metsky
10-16-2006, 10:01 AM
I assume you are talking about a Pemi Loop (up Osceo, across the ridge, Garfield, Bonds, and out) as opposed to a Pemi Traverse (Lincoln Woods to Zealand), right? Just making sure we're talking about the same thing.

I'm not a long distance hiker so I'll let the ones who did this sort of divine madness take it from here.

-dave-

Jkrew81
10-16-2006, 10:47 AM
sorry, did not know the technical name for it but I mean the Pemi Loop (depending on route and peaks hit somwhere near 33 miles).

giggy
10-16-2006, 10:58 AM
Might also be worth knowing your if trying to run or hike this??? If your going to hike it - based on what I know of you via emails, etc.. - I would think you just need some decent weather and a nice early start. I was going to hike this - this year as a dayhike but never got around to it due to "whatever".

Not saying I would have made it, but would have a had a good shot (I think). I just run 20-25 miles during the week, some mtn biking (real basic stuff) and hike a couple times per month. I think its just a long grueling hike - but you have been on them trails, so you know. probably some pain towards the end, but you just do what people do on long days - one foot in front of the other, I am a firm believer in some of it being mental. I think the crux would be b/t laff and south twin. Folks have told me about 15 hours is what I should expect. Maybe tossing a heavy pack on a couple of times during the week and do some local hill climbing? That might help.


Now if you going to run it like artex, etc.. did - then thats a whole different ballgame and I don't know much about that. Other than run run run run.....

Snowflea
10-16-2006, 11:13 AM
It sounds like you're on the right track training-wise; you just need a good weather day! :o

My suggestions would include that you practice eating & drinking "on the run" and that you don't attempt the Loop too early as snow tends to linger on the Twinway well into late spring... which obviously has the potential to slow you down, frustratingly so!

You will pass Galehead Hut about halfway through the Loop, where you can get a water refill as well as snacks--candy bars, etc.

I prefer doing the Loop counter-clockwise, but to each his own. :)

Good luck!!

Jkrew81
10-16-2006, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. Last time I attempted this in August, I ran (jogged really) the flat sections and power-hiked (to the best of my ability the uphills. Doing this I thought my time would have been around 13-15 hours, but right as I looked up the staircase that is Twin from Galehead hut I completely bonked and as you said Giggy, just totally mentally lost it so I thought is safer to turn back.

Good point about timing Stinky Feet as the snow does stay up on the shady treed in areas between the summits till late May depending on the winter

Out of my 3 attempts I did 1 clockwise and 2 counter and I like counter just for the fact that the 5 miles of RR track is a great warmup in the early dark hours and it is nice to be so close to your car on the final descent.

So far so good with the training. This past weekend I did a 17 mile day starting at Highland to Zeacliff running down to Ethan Allen and straight to the railroad tracks to finish up back at Highland. Besides my feet hurting slightly (more because I need new trail runners) I felt pretty good for only 2 months of real training under my belt. I will post when I try this again but for now lets start praying for snow b/c my crampons have too much dust pilled on them for my taste.

cbcbd
10-16-2006, 12:55 PM
probably some pain towards the end, but you just do what people do on long days - one foot in front of the other, I am a firm believer in some of it being mental. I think the crux would be b/t laff and south twin. Folks have told me about 15 hours is what I should expect.

Now if you going to run it like artex, etc.. did - then thats a whole different ballgame and I don't know much about that. Other than run run run run.....
Yep and yep.

It's mostly mental and part physical.
I hiked (only jogged a little towards the end of the bondcliff and some coming back on the Wilderness - just to speed things up a bit towards the end) it last year in a day in July with temps in the high 80s, low 90s. Took me ~15h for 37 miles and I took my time, stopping to talk to folks, take pictures, bag other peaks, and miss trail junctions :D I think at the time the most I had ran was 12 miles and I'm not sure if I was running much around that time anyway. Usually before big hikes like this I also tend to hit the stairmaster (or something comparable - I don't have mountains near me) with a progressively heavier pack over the course of 2 weeks before the hike - running on flat ground does not help you hiking up/down mountains.

The crux is definitively between Lafayette and South Twin. Especially if you are going clockwise, once you make it up S Twin it's pretty "easy" for the rest of the way, only with a steep descent down Bondcliff. Ah, and don't forget to bathe yourself in the Pemi after you're done ;) ... and plant some beers in it for later :D

Good luck and have fun :)

giggy
10-16-2006, 01:11 PM
one clarification - I was also assuming that Jkrew does longer hikes in general - 15 to 20 miles in a day, pressie traverse, bonds traverse, franconia traverse, etc.. which based on my emails with him in the past- I am pretty sure is true.

I am not suggesting that someone that does mt pierce is and utterly wasted after - go and try a pemi loop. :D :D :D :eek: :eek:

cbcbd
10-16-2006, 01:16 PM
I am not suggesting that someone that does mt pierce is and utterly wasted after - go and try a pemi loop. :D :D :D :eek: :eek:
Wait, I was wasted after some easy hikes and still finished the Pemi loop.

Oh... you're talking about a different kind of wasted :D
http://www.mazdas247.com:8080/smilies/Cheers.gif

giggy
10-16-2006, 01:31 PM
Wait, I was wasted after some easy hikes and still finished the Pemi loop.

Oh... you're talking about a different kind of wasted :D
http://www.mazdas247.com:8080/smilies/Cheers.gif


hehehehe, that type of wasted is always good :D :D :) I call it after hike muscle relax'ers..

http://gotpong.com/blog/uploaded_images/octabong2-795475.jpg

sierra
10-16-2006, 01:37 PM
I have no idea about your abilities, but imo some people are cut out for long distance hiking and some just are not. Honestly if you hike alot training really isnt that big a deal here, there are people who could train non stop and still not do well on the loop, then there are some who pretty much hike and train some, who do well on it. This is not meant to disuade you in any way, but I know people who hike alot but are not cut out for 20+ mikes and never will be. I also agree that the mental aspect of this type of hiking is the most important factor, you can train your heart out but have no heart when you need it most. I have done some long hikes out west ( I hate backpacking) and to be honest Im no pro, but from the start of each hike, I mentally ramp myself up to the point where, only a heart attack or natural disaster would prohibit my success in the end.