When we arrived to the Ruby Mountains Sunday afternoon, it was drizzling rain. We were all super excited to start off our rollerski in some cooler weather. As we started heading up Lomoille Canyon, we got to enjoy some spectacular views throughout our workout. After around 30 minutes of easy skiing, we broke up into groups for some speeds. Right as we finishing up the workout, it started pouring rain. After a few weeks of constantly feeling hot, it was pretty great to be painfully cold again. The weather cleared up after a little while, and we got to enjoy some sun later in the afternoon. The training camp is off to a great start!
Once back to camp, warmed up, dinner cooked, and eaten; it was time for firewood collecting and exploring. We pulled off at a lookout point, on the old glacial valley, and started right up a steep bush ridden hill. After hiking for several minutes to a plateau, we spotted a grove of trees that we were enthralled to go explore. Continuing up the hill we clambered onto a granite slab, part of the team took in the sunset on the slab while Abram, Mac, Thomas, Colin, and Luke climbed the hill higher towards the grove of trees and a dry waterfall. Upon arrival at the grove of trees, they discovered a hidden cave, not craters of the moon size, however sufficient enough to house multiple bats. Towards nightfall the crew began separately making their way down the hill, firewood sticks in hand. Just as the moon arose from behind towering mountains, the final flame building material was being loaded. Off the van drove back into the canyon back to the comfort of camp and Oreos.
On our first full day in the Ruby Mountains we started off our day with what was originally supposed to be a run but resulted in more of a combo hike/run. Last year we had come down the trail we ran up this year and thought it to be a pretty manageable uphill, when in fact it was a bit too steep for our liking. Due to the snow (we're assuming) the wildflowers and brambly bushes grew very long and in turn blocked the trail, resulting in quite a few scratches with some stinging nettle mixed in on our legs and hands. Nevertheless, the hike/run was beautiful, with the stunning mountains in the background and purple, yellow and red flowers in the foreground. I hope this hike will be one we repeat for years to come.
So, bounding intervals. Oh man, what a workout. When Wilson told us to get ready for bounding, I thought to myself, "Well great..." We got to bound all the way to Lake Lamoille, where we, as a few, got to swim in a snowmelt lake. Chilly! After we got out of the lake we had a nice little snack before returning to the van to go home. It was pretty tiring!
After trekking through fields of rocks and around Snow Lake Peak we reached an area that took our breath away. We ate lunch and one crew decided to keep on hiking with Wilson, while Emma took a group down the Thomas Canyon descent. Down climbing into the canyon was a mixture between crawling and miniature rock slides. The huge slabs of rock that were like a blanket to the canyon served as stairs and trails until we reached the designated trail. All that lied between us and the trail was cluster of baby trees and various wildflowers. We ate a snack and were off to an adventure. Once we had made it through the bushes we were ecstatic at the sight of a trailhead sign, something we hadn't seen for hours. As we headed down everybody's ankles took some damage from either unstable rocks or just general lack of attention. As we reached the parking lot of the Thomas campground sounds of relief and joy echoed throughout the canyon. The plan was for Wilson and crew to get the van then pick us up. We took our packs and made them into pillows and settled in. Thankfully it was short wait and when Wilson picked us up in the van we were gassed from the hike but still in awe from the amazing day. Hope
We started our hike in sights to make it to the summit of Mt Fitzgerald. At the start of the trail was nice and smooth until we got to this very steep scree field that led to a ridge where we ate lunch and split into two groups. One group went to the summit and the other down. The summit group made it Fitz Gerald's spectacular summit. After the long day both groups had had an adventure.
The last rollerski of the camp began with sleepy eyes and distributes moans as Wilson let Eddie into the tents. After eating breakfast we fastened our boots and set out towards the parking lot at the top of the hill. Once there Wilson guided us through about 30 minutes of agility, many of the exercises offering lots of opportunity to crash and burn. And sure enough, within 10 minutes of starting four people had tasted fate in the form of cold, hard asphalt. It was great to rollerski on new terrain and the unique agility course utilized it fully. Up next was a ski from the bottom of the road up to our campground.
To close the door to this superb training camp in the Ruby Mountains, the team drove near Wells, Nevada to go on a run. The van ride was going smoothly until we were stopped by construction where we had to wait for a very long time. Finally they let us through, however, we were following a guide car so we drove really slowly. We eventually came to the pullout next to where the trailhead was located. We all jumped out of the van and started off. The trail was very difficult for most for it was really steep in both directions. Also, some of us were the unfortunate recipients of running on land that was open to cattle (Mac Wirth's shoe got the best of it). For about half the team, our bodies reached a limit and we decided to turn around. For the 6 of us remaining, including Wilson, we eventually came upon Winchell Lake for which was our final destination after 50 minutes of running. Like after most runs, we were hot and sweaty and this alpine lake was cold which gave us reason to jump in. The bottom of the lake was full of soft silt and plant life which gave us a good foot massage while we were cooling ourselves off. Some of us even took liberty to help the abundant Dragon Fly population in the lake by rescuing them from the water and putting them on plants where they could easily find a mate. Kudos to Abram who did swim across the lake. It was eventually time to quit our little oasis and we returned back to the van where we found the rest of our teammates and Eddy.
One of the most fun parts of the trip was the ride back on the van. Everyone was playing songs and listening to blaring music. Then the one song that everyone knew and loved (There taking the hobbits to Isengard) started playing. After it was done everyone started laughing until Emma started the song over again. After that we played the song over and over...