Stewart Peak

My training plan indicated that I had two workouts to do. Workout #1 was to be a road bike ride for 2 hours with 10 hill repeats at an all out effort. Workout #2 would then be in the “Pain Lab” doing a core workout. So yesterday morning I prepared for these. During my morning routines it came to me. I had the perfect fit for this plan … Stewart Peak.

OK! So riding up Stewart Peak is impossible with a road bike and also it is illegal to go past the wilderness boundary. Hold on, hear me out. I would ride the Turner which is full suspension … kind of smooths things out.

Ok with the road bike ride out of the way we are left with workout #2. After workout #1 to the wilderness boundary I could leave my bike and run to Stewart Peak and back. At 3 miles a perfect core workout. Well, not perfect but it does work out the core.

After work I was off to the Rattlesnake Trailhead for my double workout.

Bear scat along the trail indicates that they are out and about. About now I remember that I forgot my bear spray.

I did my first 3 intervals which took me past where the Snow Bowl Lookout trail merges. Then soon I entered into thee next 4X2 minute efforts. This took me all the way up past the major drainage with a old culvert to bunny hop. After a bunch of switchbacks I figured I was on a record setting pace and wondered if I had enough room for my last set of three efforts. Luckily I always forget how far and how many switch backs one must endure to reach the wilderness boundary.

Switching to the run …

I wanted to turn back at 15 minutes to make it a 30 minute core session but the need to get to thee peak drove me to a 25 minute effort to gain the saddle between Stewart and the first highpoint along the ridge towards Mosquito Peak. Once there I realized my effort was over. I had not urge to fill my cycling shoes with snow. It’s one thing to run in carbon sole mountain bike shoes but another to run in wet ones. Although I thought they might offer great traction in the drifts lined up to thee top of the peak.

I hung out in the saddle a while to admire the view and remember the last time I was here. Marcy was alive and hike with me to thee top of Stewart. She then wined (impatient to get going for more adventure) as I took about 30 minutes to set up my camera on a tripod and do a shoot. Those were the days, my dog, my camera, and endless photo opportunities.

Suddenly I saw something move and I startled and tensed. It was my shadow.

I ripped the downhill and stopped only once to take a photo of thee extreme wildflower beauty. The journey down took around 20 minutes which is a far cry from the two hours it took to get to the peak’s saddle.

Today I am preparing for yet another great adventure and plan to partake in The Missoula Thursday Night Ride and a joust up the Sheep Mountain Trail to Blue Point. It is probably the largest TNR ride and I am quite impressed.

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