Sunday, July 6, 2014

Power Hike up to Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon + Moose Sighting

Today I was up for a challenge.  I wanted to see how quickly I could hike up to Lake Blanche.  A few weeks ago I did this hike in about 80 minutes and I started to ask myself, how fast could I climb just under 3000 feet in 3 miles in?  Well, today I got my answer.

First off it was warm.  I wanted to start fairly early but didn't get to the trail until 11am.  By that time it was already in the mid eighties and pretty warm.  I put on my running shorts, grabbed my walking staff, fired up my trusty Garmin and started the timer right as I got near the bathrooms.

Luckily those going up the trail have the right away and I was probably a dick in my determination in getting up as quickly as possible.  Either way, I blew through the first mile in under 20 minutes.  The first mile is definitely the easiest and it seemed like at the start of mile 2 the trail suddenly upped the ante.  I was definitely dripping sweat at this point and panting hard.  I made the mistake of wearing black but at least it was tech fibers, which made it very breathable.

I stopped my walk briefly to get some water but I pretty much hauled up the mountain in about 74 minutes.  The last half mile was grueling but I made it up there.

I took about a 30 minute rest up there and enjoyed the views and sights.  I was told that there were a pair of moose frolicking in Lake Lorraine, Blanche's sister, so I headed over there and sure enough 2 males were enjoying a dip in the water.  I watched them until they realized they were being watched and they took off.  Luckily they were at a very safe distance...

I made it down the mountain just as quickly and played good Samaritan to those who were light on water or who wanted to know how much further it was to the top.

Garmin Report showing my progress going down

Garmin Report showing my progress going up

Two Moose below in Lake Lorraine

Zoomed view of the moose

Sundial peak

Row of wildflowers

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