Well, Brooke and I were back in Vermont the past week and did some great cycling and hiking. As it was supposed to rain on our first day there I decided to do a run instead of a ride. I ran up the road a bit from our campground which is located at the foot of the highest mountain in Vermont and then headed up a hiking trail to the top of a lesser mountain. I have to admit that I didn't run the whole way. The trail was so steep that attempting
to run it could have resulted in exploding heart, something I wanted to avoid. Once on top I bombed down the ski runs back to the road and let me tell you, that was a mistake. Runners always say that running down hill is killer on the quads and, as i ran about 3k down a 10% plus grade, I completely fried mine for five days. Brooke was smarter staying in the campground and doing hill repeats. She walked down the hill and ran up, thus saving her legs.
On the next day, with my quads screaming in agony, we repeated our Tour de France mountain stage century from last year and got some great video of the ride. This is a 160k ride over two mountain passes but we did each one from both sides amounting to four mountain climbs. This is a great ride with the first, and the steepest mountain pass starting right on the doorstep of our campground. I loved having the Garmin this year with the grade feature. As I was climbing the pass I was seeing the numbers tick up to 23%, 24%, and just for a second I saw 25%. Brutal but rewarding and nice to get that climb done first on the ride. Total ascent on the ride, 8557 feet. We also did a 'short' 100k ride with only one mountain and lots of beautiful rolling country. My legs managed to survive the ordeal.
It has been a while since we hiked on our Vermont trip so on the following day we decided to hike up Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont. We walked to the trailhead which is 5k from our campsite and headed up the appropriately named Hell Brook Trail. Most trails tent to wind up the mountain in order to reduce their steepness. Not the Hell Brook. This sucker heads straight up the side and is about 25% walking, and 75% scrambling. I got some nice video of the climb but unfortunately the batteries on my camera gave out before we reached the top of the mountain. Drats, it was a beautiful view from the top, like standing on top of the world. I blame the camera fiasco on the fact that our campsite had no electric hook-up. Damn rustic camping. Oh well, we had a great lunch at the top of the mountain and headed down a different trail. At this point Brooke's 13 year old hiking boot decided to disintegrate and she was left hobbling down the treacherous descent with the sole of her boot flapping around and basically falling off. Thankfully we were able to drop by a ski gondola which had an open gift shop where I borrowed some packing tape and haphazardly wrapped the shoe as best I could. The thing managed to survive the rest of the descent, though Brooke reported that walking down wasn't easy. Time for some new boots. Anyway,
here's some video of the ride and hike before the camera crapped out.