Champion - [cham-pee-uhn] - noun

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Champion - is the word of the day

and in fine print it should say:

see Brett and Michelle, trail running in less than 20 degrees; also see fool.

After hearing rumors Monday evening that the Cascade Falls just West of Blacksburg were frozen, Michelle and I decided to brave the cold and hike up them Tuesday morning. We left Blacksburg a few minutes before seven and made the short drive down 460 arriving around 7:20.

Drive Down 460


It was 19 degrees and felt much colder with the wind chill but Michelle and I finally worked up the courage to get out of the warm car and begin our hike. The majority of the two mile trip to the falls is uphill and after moving for a few minutes we warmed up enough to feel most of our extremities. I decide to bring the DSLR to try to capture some cool photos of the falls. This was the first and quite possibly the last time I take this camera with me on an outing, simply because of the size and weight which has led to a new point and shoot camera search (more on that later).

The morning started out pretty dark out at 7AM




The first mile or so went fairly smoothly not moving too particularly fast but holding a respectable pace when I almost ate it face first on a 3 inch thick slab of ice. We arrived at a point where the entire trail was frozen across for what seemed to be about 100' up the trail. After some very slow and careful maneuvering we managed to get past the hazardous ice slide (which made for quite a fun time on the way down) and decided it was best to take the rest of the hike slowly.

In the photo you can see the crazy ice patch that we would later slide down and Michelle's very happy to take it easy the rest of the way expression.


and a sweet tree that needed to be noted


My favorite photo of the morning and not because of the lighting or the quality, but because of the caption that goes with it. This was one of Michelle's less happy moments of the run and I was threatened with "If you take a picture right now, I'm going to hurt you!"



Just over an hour we reached the top and could see the falls were frozen as we rounded the corner.


epic huh?





...Just kidding




We spent about 15 minutes up there where it was definitely much cooler and quickly headed back towards the warm car.



Garmin 310XT data for the hike using the terrain mode on Garmin Connect...if only they had an export photo or JPEG option.


Garmin has also been pushing the new Google Earth plug-in for Garmin Connect but so far I've been kinda disappointed with the results.


So the patch of ice that gave us trouble on the way up was way more fun on the way down when we decided to turn turn it into a big slide!



And finally when we returned to the car, yup only 24 degrees!



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