BHS 100K

Here is some video and pictures from the 2013 Bishop Ultramarathon. I completed the 100K in 14 hours 22 minutes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 15 - Woods Creek Bridge - Glen Pass - Charlotte Lake

California Red Fir (Abias Magnifica) Image taken from

Saturday, July 14th
                Abias Magnifica, what a perfect name for this magnificent tree that I slept under last night, the California Red Fir.  The older trees are wrapped in a deeply grooved thick red bark and as you look up their massive trunks, the tight pattern of their upward curving needles look like snowflakes falling down from the sky.  Somehow the tree appears to be both deeply rooted in the Earth and soaring up to the heavens at the same time creating a vector between the two.  I then remembered a way that I could indirectly measure the height of these trees, a method that I actually teach in my mathematics classes.  To use this method I would need to create a triangle with a known angle that I could use to sight the top of the tree.  Of course I didn’t bring a sighting triangle with me, but I do have two hiking poles that I could set to the same length.  So, I set the poles end to end at 90 degree angles to each other and tied then together this way.  I then took another cord and created the 45 degree angle of the triangle by joining the other two ends.  I approximated the 90 degree angle as best I could realizing there was going to be more approximating anyways because I didn’t have an actual tape measure, but I feel I got the angles pretty close.  Now I carried my hiking pole triangle contraption back from the base of the highest tree that I would be able to get a clear sight to the top of, until I felt I would be in position to sight the top of the tree.  I then set the triangle on the ground with the diagonal side pointing to the top of the tree.  I placed my eye along the diagonal to see if it pointed to the top of the tree, then  kept moving the triangle away from the base of the tree until it did.  When I got to the triangle in the right position, I counted how many paces I was away from the base of the tree as this would also be the height of the tree.  I took 54 fairly large steps that were about three feet long each.  Fifty-four times threes is 162, so I estimated the tree to be 160 feet high give or take some. 



      I had been suffering the past few days from torn up fingers as well.  Working around camp, messing with my pack and straps and just being outside day and night had left my fingers with lots of deep cuts that made it hard to work with anything anymore.  Last night that large camping party from Stockton with the young boy named Nick gave me some bandages to wrap those cuts with and that helped a lot.  I wanted to repay them so I walked over to where Nick, his Dad and friends were camped and asked them if Nick would be interested in learning to measure one of these trees with the hiking poles.  They agreed and Nicked was thrill to get a little hands on math lesson in the Sierra’s.  That was very cool for me too.
                Today’s hike would take me up and over Glen Pass, 12,100 ft,  to the Charlotte Lake area where I was expecting  to meet up with one of An’s friends from San Francisco, also named An (So I guess I will just call him An 2.)  An 2 is hiking in from the Kersarge Pass today and whoever gets to the junction of that pass and the JMT is to leave a note for the other so we can find each other.  Since I was getting a late start this morning with all my tree measuring fun, I expect that An 2 will be beating me to the junction as I probably would not be able to make it there before 7:00 or 8:00 tonight.  Passing Rae Lakes, it was almost irresistible not to stop as there were so many fish in there, but I had to press on.  Maybe if I made camp early enough I could do some fishing tonight.  Then, while climbing Glen’s Pass, my right hamstrings began to tighten up a bit and slowed me down.  I was stopping every 15 minutes or so to take in the view and rest up a bit.  I got to a point on the trail where there was a stream trickling across it and a good place to sit, so I just sat down without taking off my pack and stretched my legs across the small stream.  I was taking sips from the stream and enjoying the sun when another young hiker came along.  Buck from L.A. said he liked my style and sat down and joined me for a spell.  He two was meeting another hiker, his brother, and had a lot of miles to put in.  His brother was meeting him by Guitar lake tomorrow, about 30 miles away from where we were right now – so before too long we took off.  Buck is a martial arts instructor and in excellent shape.  It was hard to keep up to him, but I did my best.  Suddenly, everything started to loosen up for me and I caught right up to him.  It seemed like we were racing and for some reason assume that he had just come out of the military, so I shouted, “Buck you better not let your old Sarge catch up to you.” It turned out that he never had been in the military, yet the race was on.  I couldn’t keep up anymore but I kept pushing, had a lot of fun doing it.  We made some excellent time to the top climbing the last 1000 feet of vertical in about 20 minutes totally out of breath.

Rae Lakes

Rae Lakes

Top of Glen Pass


We continued our rapid pace on the decent and this time it was Buck who could just barely keep up to me.  I had been hiking in my light racing shoes for the last few days and finding I had much better footing especially on the downhills with them than the other heavier trail runners I had with me.  I switched out of the Salomon Ultra 3D trail shoes because they had started cutting into my heal.  I was now wearing a pair of minimalist New Balance 110.  With these shoes my feet could feel out the trail as I moved along, more or less skipping along without looking down all the time even with my heavy pack on.  I definitely recommend trail running shoes or even lighter shoes like I was now wearing for hiking a trail like the JMT.  Hiking boots are excessive here, because it is a well maintained trail.  In fact, most people I met who were wearing hiking boots were also battling blisters or other foot problems.
                We made it down to the Junction of the Kearsarge Pass by about 6:00PM but there was no note from An2.  Either he hadn’t made it yet, or was not going to be able to make it.  I left a note that I would be hiking about one mile further to the Bullfrog Lake Junction.  Just before dark, when I was just about to turn in for the night at that camp site, I see this young skinny fellow hiking down the trail.  He asks, “Is that you Dave?”  An 2 had finally made it

Smoke from forest fire caused by a careless campfire

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