29 March 2014

Castle Point - 29 Mar 2014

Today's long run featured a run up to Castle Point from Lake Minnewaska.  7 miles.  Slushy snow, snappy ice, mud, wind, rain, and mist made for a fun run.

When I pulled up at the booth, I asked the lady working there if the trails were still only for skiing.  She said I could try that, if I wanted, hinting that it wasn't a good idea.  There was still snow, and it had frozen and thawed quite a bit.  I said that I was planning on running on the carriage roads, and she said I could try that, too.  I liked her attitude.

There were quite a few people parked at the upper parking lot, but they all seemed to be hanging around the lake.  I only saw one other person beyond the lake: a cross-country skier.  When I first saw him he was gingerly making his way around some mud.  We exchanged hellos, both of us surprised to see the other.

It quickly became apparent that I needed to put on my YakTrax.  The terrain was rarely level on my route, and there was plenty of solid ice, rubbed smooth and too slippery for my shoes to handle.  Once I had them on I had enough traction to run on the ice, though.  My main problem ended up being the snow.  It was slushy, about the consistency of sorbet, and I ended up going slower than I would have liked.  Still, I made it up and back again in two hours.

The View
The View
The summit was windy, and the view was non-existent, but it was fantastic to be back up there again.  This peak has a special place in my heart, and I've been up it many times.  The views are exceptional, when they're visible, the rock is gorgeous, and the trees are stunted to the point of being cute.

On the drive home I had a bit of euphoria.  I was running much, much slower than I had expected to be, but the snow and the constant up and down explained that.  I was still able to move much faster up there than I ever have.  I can't wait to run back there again, on a day with a view, at a faster pace.  I'd like to run up via the Awosting Reserve, or possibly from the north or west, or even one of the routes I've done many, many times before.

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