Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

August 3, 2015

Red Bull X-Alps 2015: Day 3

Day 3 started out well with a late start due to a 2 hour penalty.  I wasn't complaining anymore this morning after getting 8 hours of shut-eye!  This would help me tonight as I was pulling my night pass and planning to walk all night.  Plus, I only needed about 4 hours to get to a good midday launch so I didn't need to be in a hurry.

Chuck was assigned to keep me fed and watered on my hike from the Inn River all the way to a launch overlooking Bayrischell.  Jim and Jarek were occupied with a dead charger in the motorhome, and needed to get that working so I could charge my electronics that night.

The hike up to launch was on a pretty shady, gently graded road.  So it wasn't that bad.  Except that at 7 am it was already HOT.   Breakfast was chocolate cake courtesy of Chuck's bakery stop.  What I really wanted was ice but that seemed to be in short supply.

I got up to launch at 11 am and waited for the day to turn on.   I was hoping to have some wind dummies on this drive-up launch, but the pilots there either sunk out or went home without flying.  That didn't give me much hope.  But at 1 pm I got launched, working hard to get high above launch.  The day was pretty stable and there wasn't much to grab, and I had one big crossing after another facing me on the route.

The first crossing proved to be my undoing, and I sunk out back into the hot valley.  Of course, that's when my supporters all decide to show up, and I wasn't terribly happy at that point.  I loaded up on water and set off up the next mountain.  Unfortunately soon into the woods, I came across a sign saying trail closed.  Yikes.  This meant I would have to walk around the mountain rather than up the middle of it, adding distance to my hike.  I was in an even worse mood now...tears may have fallen.

My problem for that day was that there were two more pretty big hills between me and the road to the next checkpoint.  I needed to get over these before the flying cutoff at 9 pm in order to be able to walk the road for my night pass...I wasn't too excited about walking in the mountains at night, understandably.   So I tried to hurry up my second climb of the day but it was hot, and steep.

Once at the top, I had to maneuver around to the north facing slopes to launch into a strong wind.  It was a touchy launch and all I could do was glide down to the lake and prepare to make my 3rd hike up of the day.  By now it was 6:45 pm and I knew I needed to rush.  Chuck arrived promptly as I was packing up, and exchanged my empty water bottles for full ones...I was drinking A LOT in the heat, almost running out of water on the last climb.

Luckily I only had 5 km up to the last launch of the day, which I knew from a training hike I'd done here last month.  I easily made the time cutoff and was flying by 8 pm down to Rottach-Egern.

It was another glide down and I beat the vehicles to land in the official LZ for the launch above town.   By the time I'd packed up they had arrived, and I dipped into the motorhome for a cold shower, which felt great after 3 big climbs and an emotional day.  Ahead of me I had a long night hike to get to Turnpoint 4 hopefully by the next day.

Pasta was promised if I kept walking, they would bring it to me.  The motorhome would be staying in the official LZ for more charging time, which meant I had no home for the night and must keep walking!   After an hour walking along the river, Jim and Mike met me in the darkness at a handy picnic table with delectable pasta.

Right after my impromptu dinner, it started raining, which I hadn't anticipated.  On went the poncho and on a quiet road, I saw the craziest lightning show of all time.  I really did jump when the thunder would rocket through the valley.

Luckily the rainstorm only lasted an hour or so, and Jim and Mike were back soon after that with dry shoes and socks.   Jim walked with me for a while, as midnight came and went.  I'm not sure where Day 3 ends and Day 4 starts...but I just keep walking!

So many slugs...can you eat them like snails?!?
Crossing the Inn valley in the early morning
Poor little fox...
My trail is closed.  What to do now?!?
In case I ignored the first sign that the trail was closed....
My detour takes me by an alpine lake
Launch is somewhere on the other side of that saddle
This little guy walked with me for a while
Final glide at 8 pm down to Rottach-Eggern

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