Saturday, May 25, 2013

Selway Wilderness

The mighty Selway River Canyon with the Fog mountains to the North.  

Brandi, Katie, Molly and I took a trip to the Selway River Wilderness near Lowell, ID.  They did a 3 day out- and-back to Moose Creek Ranger Station and I did day trips from a base camp at the Race Creek trailhead.  Temps ranged from hot and humid to cool/drizzly and humid.    I saw eagles, bears, snakes and rafters.  I ran all day and had every evening to fish and meditate on the looming race season.  The running was top notch and a fantastic simulator for Western.

It was great to be able to go from the bottom of the canyons at 1700' to the mountain ridges above at nearly 7000' in one run.  I managed a memorable back-to-back effort of 29 miles in the Selway River corridor one day with a steady 9 min pace, then 25 miles the next day with 12.5 mi up to the Indian Hills Lookout (5000+' gain) at high 9 min pace on the climb and an up tempo effort the entire way down (around 6 min pace) for a truly quad-destroying day.  This kind of workout will be key for the 15+ mile downhill sections of WS100.  I finally feel like my body is responding to the training.  In this mode, my body seems to gain from each session.  This was the feeling I had before Cascade Crest last year.

Classic "chicks on the trail" pose.

The Selway River Trail undulates from on the water, to several hundred feet above the water.  Overall, the footing is really solid and soft on the feet (compared to the techy McCall trails).  

Bridge over the Selway (troubled waters) near Three Links Creek.

Outfitter camp misc. antler pile on the Mink Peak Trail.

Super cool rafter dudes- Mike, Mike, Kevin and Rick enjoying their lucky draw of a permit to run the Selway.  Thanks for the Coors Banquet Beer.   A nice pick me up when you are 20 miles into a 30 mile run.

The Idaho mountains are melting and the rivers are raging.  

Indian Hill Lookout- a 5000+' climb from the bottom of the canyon.

View from Indian Hill, deep into the Selway Wilderness.  When you look out there, you can appreciate that the Selway is a "Capital Dub-Ya" Wilderness.  Nothing disturbed by the hands of man for many miles.

Obligatory Selway Falls shot.  Absolutely deadly whitewater.

Meadow Creek beaver dam.  This place really reminded me of Rapid River.

"Pacific Rain Forest" holds lots of interesting creatures and plants.

Group photo on the way out at Selway Falls.

Volume, vert, quality, inspiration...this week was lacking in nothing.  Very happy to get all this into 17:25, especially with the miles of snow and bushwhack in there.  Throw those 15-25 min miles out and you have a pretty fast 100+ miles of training.  My most complete week ever.  This week even had one day off and one day with just 5 easy miles.  Now, I take a few days off and allow the work to absorb, before making the final push to my peak.  Feeling very fluid and hungry to compete.  T-minus 5 weeks.


  1. Solid work and thanks for the great pics.

  2. Lucho, I thought of you on this trip when I met the rafter guys. Just before I came along and interrupted their debauchery of hard liquor and punishment for one of the guys for letting a boat get away in the rapids- the guys had an awesome animal encounter. They told me a deer had come running right into their camp at top speed without even looking their way. Like he had something on his mind scarier than people. Then, about 5 minutes later, a black wolf came sprinting into camp following the deer's scent trail. The wolf noticed the rafters and promptly did a 180 and ran back up the hill. They said he only got about 50 yards up the hill before he turned to look at them. The wolf was panting and had its tongue sticking out. He had lost his climbing legs from the endless downhilling and could just sulk away. Now I don't feel so bad- that place is hot, humid and steep. I wonder how far the wolf had given chase?

  3. Freakin brilliant! I would have loved to to have witnessed that!

  4. This entire post gets my racing running blood pumping. I'm excited to watch you in June....well watch you via whatever method. :) Tell Brandi hi and I love the new pic of the two of you on the top of your blog!

    1. Hey Amy. Sorry so long to respond. You can see my excitement in my writing. It is OK to be down for a while (all winter for me), as long as you can see the other end and you know where you are steering the ship. I call it the "vision" and it's really sweet when you break through into the clear. Where's your vision taking you lately?

      That blog pic is Brandi and I on Mt. Si near Seattle, just 4 days before Cascade Crest last year. Great day on a really awesome mountain.