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Discussion: climb

in: Cristina; Cristina > 2020-07-22

Jul 22, 2020 5:55 PM # 
Miller State Park, Peterborough NH, 87 minutes from Henry Street. Steep paved road up.
Alternatively Mt. Wachusett, although that would likely be more crowded.
Mt. Watatic isn't paved, but might work well. I can suggest a good route if you want to do that one, a couple of options depending on your tastes.
Also a few options in the Pioneer Valley: Mt. Holyoke, Mt. Tom, Mt. Toby, Sugarloaf.

The key here, I think, is to pick something that's steadily uphill, because you don't want to waste time going downhill. And then there's a question of how steep you like it to be. Your vertical speed will probably be the same no matter what slope you pick, so it repends on whether you want to run or walk or trudge.
Jul 22, 2020 7:15 PM # 
I prefer trail for this, and I would pick a longer route over a steeper route, even if there was some down on the way up. (That's just more vertical!) I'm prepared to hike as much as I need to in order to enjoy myself, so if it's mostly hiking up and some running down, that's cool. Also, I don't actually care about getting a lot of vertical, I just figured going up to some kind of southern New England-sized peak would fulfill the challenge and be good for me.

Mt Watatic might be a good option, especially since it's so close and I've never been. I have no concept as to how popular it is. I guess it would be possible to park farther south and add in some Mid-State Trail to make a ~2 hour outing?
Jul 22, 2020 10:07 PM # 
Yeah, Mid-State works for sure. Or the Wapack. I've done a one-way from Watatic to Windblown, which is pretty cool and has a pretty decent amount of climb (I started by stashing a bike near Windblown). 12.6 km, 540 m climb, and it took me 2 hours on a hot day, but I skipped Watatic itself, that would have been another 50 meters. There may be blueberries to eat along the way right now. If you want to start further south, then starting near the center of Ashburnham works, though that's not as climby. Watatic itself gets a fair number of people, but not nearly as many as Mt. Monadnock, which can be a total zoo at the summit. With Watatic, I often encounter several people. Pack Monadnock (Miller State Park) is also relatively deserted, especially if you do it by the trails from the north side.

If you're doing it Saturday, it's possible you could get either a ride back to your car, or a friend to join you and do a car shuttle.
Jul 23, 2020 5:55 PM # 
Many moons ago I thru-hiked the Wapack Trail with a bike stashed at the end. Lots of vert, other than a bit north of Windblown (RIP) it's pretty much all hills. Pretty good footing much of the way, too. Could do an out-and back.

If you want to go further (2h15), Moosilauke has lots of vert and trails that won't kill your ankles and knees (stay off of Beaver Brook, though). The ski trails (Al Merrill) are hilly but runnable and you can make all sorts of loops.

If you really want to, ski trails would work well. You could just go run loops of the Dublin Nordic trails but that might get a bit old.
Jul 23, 2020 10:42 PM # 
The Blue Hills have decent climb that you could make into interesting and variable circuits.
Jul 24, 2020 12:16 AM # 
Trying to beat Phil's PR on the Mt. Tom B-17 road would be interesting, but maybe shorter than what you're looking for. You could warm up on the way in from the gate. But that's all pavement.

There's also the 1979 Billygoat. 620 meters of climb in 13.2 km. The controls are still up, and I don't see your name on the splits list yet. And it's o r i e n t e e r i n g.
Jul 24, 2020 12:22 AM # 
Oh yeah I forgot about that Billygoat course. I haven't been terribly excited about summer orienteering around here but maybe that would be a good outing for this challenge. Even if I can't finish it I could at least collect my badge!

Can anyone report on the state of the woods? I don't really want to do it if I'm just going to be swearing the whole time.
Jul 24, 2020 1:11 AM # 
Mt. Tom is very open, hardly anything in the way of undergrowth, at least as compared to other places. Heat, humidity, bugs, well, no promises there.
Jul 24, 2020 1:26 AM # 
Mt Tom is still very open in the summer. Only one or two legs in the southwest will have significant summer undergrowth that wasn't there in the spring. Of course, there are a lot of loose sticks on the ground, and rocky hillsides. But the course also has a lot of trail options.

As for fdf's: they seem to really like my scent. So I would not go out now without a blue hat.

Another nice option in the Pioneer Valley would be to do some or all of the Seven Sisters Race. The whole course is a 12 mile roller coaster with about 3500 feet of climb. You would definitely earn your badge doing that.
Jul 24, 2020 3:24 AM # 
Oh, yeah, that's an excellent option, too.
Jul 24, 2020 4:52 AM # 
Ooh...I ran some race once upon a time that Alwx and maybe Becky also ran in CT. It was on fun trails. 7 miles with a couple mikes up, then a ridge, then a big downhill.

Someday I will lose these pounds and be up for a 7 mile trail run again. Brings back good memories of flying through the woods!
Jul 24, 2020 3:02 PM # 
Probably the Peoples Forest trail race. It is the only race I know of around here this summer that hasn't been cancelled.
Jul 24, 2020 5:01 PM # 
The Middlesex Fells Skyline trail has about 350m of climb in 12 km, is conveniently located to you, and is fantastic.
Jul 24, 2020 9:32 PM # 
What JJ said: Billygoat '79! As Phil said, vegetation shouldn't be a problem at Mt Tom--the whole place has more deadfall than it did in the old days, but that's the same thing you would experienced any time of year, such as if you were at the recent Troll Cup / Junior Nationals there. The only place where I remember wading through summery vegetation at my run on the course a month or two ago is some ferns on the way from the penultimate to ultimate control.

The FDFs will be out, but that will be true anyplace you do a trail run. I've never tried the blue-hat-with-sticky-goo method, but I've been wearing a buff which takes care of the neck (which is 95% of the FDF problem) and serves as a makeshift fask mask if you need one.

Or what Ian said, but you already knew that. Either Skyline Trail (Blue Hills or Fells) will save you a lot of driving, and maybe the FDFs are a little less bad in the immediate Boston area? Not sure about that. But if you are still catching your toes like you were on Monday, the Skylines are problematic--so many sticking up rocks.

When JJ mentioned Wachusett, I think he was talking about the road, but of course it has trails too. Ari mentioned ski trails but the problem I see with them this time of year is, 1) deep grass and ferns, trouble seeing your footfalls, 2) lack of shade. My map filing system isn't as good as most people's, so I can't quickly pull up a Wachusett O map to find a trail that uses the whole mountain, but just using the recent Campbell training maps, I see a nice 225m climb in 1.5km on the red course map, starting at the ski lodge, passing near red controls 13-14, 10, 6, 4 to the top of a subsidiary summit near red control 3. Rinse and repeat as needed. The training course streamers were supposedly removed on Monday but when I checked just now, the maps are still online.
Jul 24, 2020 10:00 PM # 
Midstate Trail goes from the parking lot to the summit of Wachusett, and also down the south side. The ski trails may have beaten-down paths on them, as well.

I vote Billygoat '79. It's worth doing.
Jul 25, 2020 4:00 AM # 
Same vote here but Cristina has a family and Mt Tom would be a long day away.

The ski trails at Wachusett, at least the ones I ran on a week ago doing the red course, were pretty well grown up in grass and ferns.

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