Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Snow Fun 35m/22m

The Snow Fun 35m/22m will be unlike any race you have ever done before. In the Methow Valley and North Cascades we are fortunate to have hundreds of miles of trails to run year round-- yes even in the winter when there is 2-5(or more!)feet of snow on the ground. "How is this possible" you ask. "Snowmobiles." "What?" "Yes, Snowmobiles... well actually to be more accurate the snow cats that groom hundreds of miles of mountain forest service roads to be used for snowmobiles." You might then ask "but who wants to run with a bunch of noisy and stinky snowmobiles?" Well you might be surprised but despite the beautiful scenery, amazing views, and easy access I rarely see more than a couple snowmobiles on one run(even on runs that take all day)! And thanks to the grooming which is done frequently there is a wide and compact surface to run on in your normal trail shoes that is neither slippery or so soft that you sink into the snow-- it's like running on a wide, white, soft trail.

This course starts near the tiny town of Carlton in the world famous Methow Valley at the S. Fork Gold Creek Sno Park at an elevation of 2000ft and climbs 11 miles up to a gap in the Chelan Sawtooth Ridge at 5800ft. At this gap the 22 milers turn around enjoying the long descent all the way back to the sno park and the 35 milers continue another 6.5 miles to their turnaround point which is at 6550ft on top of Coyote Ridge. Those runners taking the longer option get views down to the narrow and deep Lake Chelan and near 360 degree views of the North Cascades, Chelan Sawtooths, and Okanogans. The 22 milers also get nice views but not as cool as the 35 milers--go further if you can!