Mt. Wrightson Ascent, 12Sept04
It was a perfect Wrightson day; clear skies, warm, but not too hot at the finish and still a pretty good display of summer flowers. A large group of over 30 runners, many first timers, assembled for the climb. We had a new obstacle this year in the presence of a swarm of bees, nesting in a cavity along the trail. One runner was stung. But Mt. Wrightson demands blood and was duly satisfied. Poor Ron did not know that none had been spilled yet and that the focus on him was strong. He was almost the last person off of the hill when he did a head over heals, leaving some of himself behind and leaving Jennifer somewhat disturbed as she witnessed the whole event. gj
Bill Cuculic 44 1:10:42
Chase Duarte 37 1:19:24
Joel Woppert 46 1:24:08
Misha Ivanov 1:32
Geno Foushee 42 1:33
Jerry Riddick 52 1:34
Bob Bachani 1:35:23
Bruce Gungle 45 1:38
Paula Morrison 31 1:38
Ken Greco 37 1:39:50
Tony Celentano 49 1:39:50
Tom Gormley 34 1:40:30
Willie Shoemaker 1:43
Pete Chagaris 31 1:43:37
Tonja Chagaris 31 1:45
Don Fallis 38 1:47:30
Pam Golden 49 1:47:45
Gene Joseph 52 1:58
Gary Biamonte 52 2:00
Trish Duarte 43 2:06
Ross Zimmerman 51 2:06
Debbie Hedgepeth 41 2:08
Billie Krebbs 27 2:09
Enrique Aviles 2:20:58
Ron Lumm 2:20:58
Tracey Wren 26 2:30
Gabe Zimmerman 24 2:30
Jennifer Aviles 2:42:59
Mt. Hopkins Ascent 19Sept04
As most of you probably know, Sunday didn’t look too good for a stroll in the mountains. However, 11 brave (or foolish) souls made it down to the Whipple Observatory Visitors Center for the 1st Mt. Hopkins Ascent.
I made several miscalculations and was late to the start, bad form for a run/ride director. People were champing at the bit to run up into the gloomy clouds that enshrouded the peaks, so we got the runners started. The 2 cyclists patiently waited while I got my bike stuff organized, and we took off about 13 minutes after the runners. Chase Duarte left Jerry Riddick and I immediately. Meanwhile up ahead, Bill Cuculic led the runners. The route is a switchbacked dirt road for almost 8 miles, then it becomes paved for the last 4 miles. This is a mixed blessing, as the switchbacks get a bit steeper. Jerry and I fell apart after 4 miles–his injured tendon was flaring up and I was just worthless. We zipped back down and drove 2 vehicles up to the closed gate at a bit over 7000 feet, where we noticed it was downright chilly.
On the way up we spoke to Paul Vyriotes, Joyce Stavro, and the dogs.
They had turned at 2 hours as they planned. We walked around the corner and saw the Multiple Mirror Telescope at 8550 feet, the run’s topout, looking small and far-away, an interesting trick for a 5 story building that rotates. The clouds closed again and we went back to huddle in the vehicles. With the fog and damp, it was a bit surreal. Chase showed up after a bit, noticing that a sleeveless shirt on a bike going downhill in cold, wet weather was a bad idea. He decided the thrill of zooming down wasn’t worth the freezing, so he and Jerry loaded the bike into the truck while we waited for runners. They began to appear, in varying degrees of discomfort. Bill had graciously waited for people on top, shivering in the doorway of the telescope. Ken Greco had stopped at the restroom at the picnic area, and carried down wild tales of heated facilities with lanoleum floors and piped-in music. Tony Celentano asked us to pick him up when we came down, but thought better of it when we did, and ended up running all the way down. Bill and Gene Joseph were clear they wanted to run on down. Bruce Gungle, Ken, and Tom Dobosz decided almost 16 miles and 4600 feet of climb was sufficient.
Everyone was in good spirits. We drove down in time meet Gene, Tony, and Bill. It seemed that Jerry and I driving up in time to meet people was a very good thing. Gene was struck by the complete absence of other people, which was my experience when I biked up in June. We all thought it was a beautiful location, and really pretty good conditions for runners. We had the usual socializing afterwards. Bruce turned up his nose at my “cheap Dutch beer from Trader Joe’s”. The only unfortunate aspect was fog’s obscuring the normally spectacular 360 view. Next year, I’ll definitely plan on an aid station at the gate, so I may need help with that. rz
Mt. Hopkins Ascent 11.8 miles, 4200-8550, 4600 feet total climb
Sept. 19, 2004
Ascent times only
Bill Cuculic 1:53:28 (Completed 23.6 mi. round trip)
Tony Celentano 2:27 (23.6 mi.round trip)
Bruce Gungle 2:27 (~16 mi. down to gate)
Ken Greco 2:34 (~16 mi. down to gate)
Gene Joseph 2:43 (23.6 mi. round trip)
Paul Vyriotes 2 hours up
Joyce Stavro 2 hours up
Chase Duarte 2:26 (~16 mi. down to gate)
Jerry Riddick ~ 8 miles
Ross Zimmerman ~ 8 miles
Sabino Basin 26Sept04
It was a pleasant cool morning as 21 of us hit trail for varying distances and routes. Kim F. got a nice cut on her knee and Tom G. took a fall as well but not nearly as bloody as Kim. It was good to talk to everyone after the long summer.
Sabino Basin runners:
Bill Cuculic 2:00
Bob Bachani 2:31
Gene Joseph 2:33
Tom Gormley 2:36
Tom Dobosz 2:50
Doug Kelly 2:53 (down road)
Paula Morrison 2:53 (down road)
Scott Segal 2:53 (down road)
Ken Greco 2:55
Tony Celentaro 2:57
Kim Ferranti 3:36
Ross Zimmerman 4:18
Bear Canyon runners:
Bruce Gungle 3:10
Jerry Riddick 3:13
Bob Redwanc 3:13
Blacketts Ridge runners:
Joyce Stavro 2:35
Paul Vyriotes 2:38 (did it twice, yikes)
Chris Fall 1:19
Mahendra Jani 1:52
Lisa Totz 3:10
Julie Arter Finisher
FYI, Both Tom and Ross had GPS’s and recorded distances of 13.8m and 13.7m for the basin. Bill stated is was 76 degrees when he finished, indeed the weather was great. OP50 is already a third full so if you plan on running get your app in the mail. Hope to see you all at Bear Canyon on 10/10.
Ski to Die, Run to Live, cf
BEAR CANYON LOOP 10Oct04
It was a beautiful morning for the fall edition of the Bear Canyon Loop. The official temperature at 6:00 a.m. was 67 degrees. The trail was overgrown in places but not as bad as in years past due to a low amount of rain during the summer. Celestino had a very good race and Bruce and Tom ran personal bests.
1. Bill Cuculic 2:23:51
2. Chase Duarte 2:39:33
3. Celestino Fernandez 2:54:32
4. Bruce Gungle 2:58:32
5. Tom Gormley 3:01:01
6. Gene Joseph 3:02:24
7. Raoul Erickson 3:17:04
8. Dan Laird 3:22:19
9. Tony Celentano 3:24:06
10. Ken Greco 3:27:54
11. Tonja Chagaris 4:05:47
12. Peter Chagaris 4:05:47
13. Enrique Aviles 4:06:56
14. Kim Ferranti 4:16:56
15. Ron Lumm 4:29:16
16. Trish Duarte 4:32:44
Debbie Hedgepeth 4:32:44
18. Rich Hastings 4:57:41
Michelle Tinkham 7:15:29 Hitched a ride on shuttle part way down
Jennifer Aviles 3:38:15 2 Sabino Canyon roads
Joe Dana 1:56 To 7 Falls and Back
Donna Kanoza 1:56 To 7 Falls and Back
Steve Kanoza 1:56 To Seven Falls and Back
Hope to see you all again next year.
Romero Pass 24Oct04
Most of the run occurred under perfect running weather – neither hot nor cold, plenty of cloud cover and modest temperature variation. We had a tiny, lively crowd with a penchant for dog jokes. We chatted about what to expect on the run and made sick jokes about how Rex and Mielo would make a bite-size snack for the large flesh eating carnivores roaming the pass. At 7:00 am the pack began its quest for large carnivores.
To protect all those big horn sheep on Romero, dogs are not allowed past a certain point. That’s where Rex, Mielo and I turned around and then did some speed work on pavement. We then waited for the runners to come in…and waited… and waited… and waited. Eventually Bill and Bob weakly emerged from the trail – demoralized, beaten and bloody. No large carnivores were found but they did find plenty of flesh eating shrubbery. The trail was overgrown and ‘not runable’. Everyone *eventually* emerged, but the flesh eating shrubbery left its mark on everyone. Only Ross – the bloodiest of the lot – seemed excited about the trail. It
brought back memories of how that trail used to be 20 years ago. pv
Bill Cuculic – 4:07 (first time he didn’t ‘win’)
Bob Bachani – 4:07 (tied for first place)
Pam Golden – 4:58
Tony Celentano – 5:06
Ross Zimmerman – 6:29
Mary Croft – 2:56 (1/2 hr past pools and back)
Paul, Rex and Mielo – (1 hr in random directions)
Agua Caliente Ascent 7Nov04
It was a cloudy cool day We had a decent turnout. We handed out a few maps and described the route. Pam was off delivering a a baby, but had left instructions for Laura and I on refreshment locations, etc. We waved goodbye to Laura and headed out. The trail was it’s usual rugged self, no changes in the last few years. It’s a loop with a 4 mile side trip to the top of Agua Calente Hill (big hill, 5369 feet high). Joe Dana and I hang together. We saw Bill C coming down, complaining about the unrunability of the trail, but still leading. I hear he got a bit confused at the Agua Caliente Canyon crossing, which one of the reasons I rate this an advanced run. Joe and I encountered 2 tarantulas, which surprised me given the temperature (We also met one on Lemmon!). Everyone ahead of us (which was everyone), was running well and in good spirits coming down. We got a few drops of rain and it was a bit cool on top of the hill, but was overall excellent conditions. rz for lb
Bill Cuculic 2:51:59
Jerry Riddick 2:58:40
Geno Foushee 2:59:06
Raoul Ericson 3:07:22
Tom Gormley 3:08:56
Gene Joseph 3:11:53
Chris Fall 3:13:33
Jorg Hader 3:14:52
Tony Celentano 3:29:04
Dan Laird 3:29:04
Mahendra Jani 4:10:59
Steve Kanoza 4:14:32
Donna Kanoza 4:14:32
Joe Dana 4:59:03
Ross Zimmmerman 4:59:03
Mt. Lemmon Ascent 21Nov04 (Hutch’s Pool Out and Back)
The 2004 Mt. Lemmon Ascent, scuttled due to a complete lack of trail in a number of sections between Hutch’s Pool and Romero Pass, and entirely
unrunable for significant sections of that stretch, transmogrified into the 2004 Hutch’s Pool Out-’n-back. Under partly cloudy skies and a few
scattered sprinkles, the 12 runners headed out just after 7:00 AM on the Phone Line Trail. The route dropped into Sabino Basin where runners turned west at the confluence of the East & West forks of Sabino Creek, around the large, now dead, Arizona Cypress tree, and followed the West Fork Trail up the West Fork to the foot of the switchbacks adjacent to Hutch’s Pool.
Elevation topped out at around 1600 meters, according to Ross’ metric topo map. I’ll leave the reader to make the conversion to good ol’ US units from those no good rotten Commie meters. The return route was the same as out, except down the pavement rather than along Phone Line. Total distance was 16.5 mi. (Techno-geeks w/ GPS, please feel free to refine this value).
Tom drew blood a few miles above the pavement on the way out and is probably sporting some handsome black & blue on his upper thigh; Jerry ran after riding 109 the day before, and without his crank; Jorg ran the Phoneline loop without his smokes; Geno ran to Hutch’s Pool out n’ back on the Phone Line; Joe ran out first; Bill ran back first then ran off without his water bottle and old sock; Wayne, sporting a thigh injury from a Costco parking lot tap dance, & Julie, sporting a Paula Radcliffesque wrap on her left calf, ran to the Basin & back; Alli ran back for the wheat-free fig Newmans; Tonja ran well & felt good about it at the end; Bob ran for 100 miles this week; and Tony signed in then ran off toward town, followed by Ross and Bruce who ran off for ice (in Bruce’s truck) and then returned to run up Phone Line a few miles.
A good time was had by most….
Hutch’s Pool out-’n-back:
Bill Cuculic 2:31:14
Gene Joseph 3:03:41
Tom G. 3:05:05 (Tom–need to work on that handwriting)
Geno Foushee 3:08:08 (out & back on Phoneline)
Bob Redwanc 3:19:25
Jerry Riddick 3:19:25
Tonja Chagaris 3:38:50
Alli Menear 3:42:42
Joe Dana 4:11:53 (early start)
Sabino Basin out-’n-back:
Female Ghost Runner 2:32:26
Wayne Coates 2:33:48
Jorg Hader 1:40:03
A light jog of little consequence part way up Phoneline:
Ross Zimmerman no time recorded
Bruce Gungle no time recorded
Your humble servant, bg
Sabino 50K 12Dec04
We had extraordinarily nice weather for the 50K. 17 runners, 3 hikers, and one aid station worker showed up at the start. 2 runners went up to Molino. I gave a short presentation on my bicycle accident to avoid having to explain it repeatedly (People notice the scar and ask.). For those who haven’t heard it yet, on November 27th, I did a flip on my road bike on Harrison Road, got a concussion, some gashes in my face, a messed up right shoulder, and possible cracked ribs and tailbone. I got 15 stitches at UMC. If you want to see Frankenstein’s Raccoon pictures, drop me a note. I’ve since learned that I cracked my shoulder socket and am supposed to stay off of moving bicycles for several more weeks. We think I hit a chunk of woodI glanced at a street sign and remember nothing until I found myself looking up at emergency personnel. My bike is OK.
I described the route and warned people to expect some water, especially at Sycamore Reservoir. I originally devised this route as a good winter run that goes up Phone Line to Sabino Basin, then takes the Arizona Trail east to Molino Basin. 50K runners turn at the saddle just east of Molino. We had a 50 mile option the first few years, but the logistics were a bit tricky. Joe Dana had started early. Chase Duarte said that Trish had driven to Molino and would be running back. He was stopping there. I collected the hikers (Kirk, Scott, and Jim) who are training for a one day Grand Canyon in and out in April. Chris Fall drove the drop bags up to Molino. The hikers headed off toward Sabino, then Chris followed them running. After we passed them, we encountered John Norris, Randy Gimlet, and a couple other folks whose names I forget who were doing and out and back from Molino. They reported high water at Sycamore, which concerned me. Chris and I trotted back and set up the aid station. Maryalice Bachani was there setting up a personalized aid station for the Bob and Bob duo (Bachani and Redwanc.)
Bill Cuculic appeared, said hi in his usual cheery fashion and trotted up to the saddle. Chase wasn’t far back and went on to the saddle before stopping. He was with his friend Halsey Hall, who had come out with Trish. The pack started to appear. Although people had wet feet, no one had had any difficulties at Sycamore. Several people stopped at Molino, all by prior plan. A couple of folks turned at the aid station rather than do the 2 plus miles to the saddle and back. Cheer was good. The Bob and Bob duo used their special aid station and avoided mixing with the masses. Once everyone was accounted for, Chris headed off and I headed toward Sabino Visitor’s Center (Thanks Chris!).
At Sabino Visitor’s Center, Bill showed up first, as expected. I had left the choice of finishing down the road or the Phone Line trail up to the individual runners. Phone Line is the best pure trail run route and gets you close to an honest 50K for the distance. Bill had used the finish route Julie Arter advocatesturning at the paved road that goes over to Bear Canyon, then taking the short dirt track west to the alcove. Bob Bachani showed up over 40 minutes later, in great pain from a neuroma. He had taken the purist’s Phone Line descent. Julie wasn’t far back. The rest of the runners started to appear, then 2 of the 3 hikers (Scott and Kirk, Jim had stopped to put his feet in the creek). Joe Dana tried to match Bob for impressive displays of pain at the finish. Turns out he had attempted to snort an Excedrin for pain (He claims it was accidental.). John Mark was our sweeper, finishing the full distance with the most unusual distance-adding side trip. He took the Rattlesnake Canyon trail over to Esperero Trail, then back to the road and down. Our semi-official trail stats person, Wayne, took the Phone Line Trail, by the way.
Since I was such a slug getting this out, I’ve had an update on my injuries. The MRI showed I have a cracked shoulder socket, and I’ve been asked to stay off moving bicycles until January 24th at least. Upon consulting with other runners at Soldier-La Milagrosa, I think I have a cracked rib as well. This is all annoying, since I was hoping to ride mountain bikes with my sons over the holidays. Happy Holidays and see you next year at Wasson!
Best wishes to all,
Full 50K (or close approximation, finish routes as noted)
Bill Cuculic 5:35:03 Julie’s Finish Route
Bob Bachani 6:18:56 Phone Line
Julie Arter 6:25 Julie’s FR
Geno Foushee 6:27 Pure Road
Jerry Riddick 6:32 Phone Line
Bob Redwanc 6:32 Phone Line
Raoul Erickson 7:14 Phone Line
Gene Joseph 7:15 Weird Road Mutant
Wayne Coates 7:35 Phone Line
John Mark 8:16 Road with Rattlesnake
Joe Dana 8:26 Pure Road, early start
28 mile route (Turned at Molino aid station)
Tonja Chagaris 7:36 Gene’s Rt
Paul Vyriotes 7:51 Tram Trail finish
16+ mile route (Sabino, Molino, Ridge, stopped at aid station)
Chase Duarte 3:22
14 miles OUT (Stopped at Molino)
Pete Chagaris 3:42
Christie Lazzaretti 3:42
Alli Menear 3:57
Pam Golden 4:17
14 miles BACK (Molino to Sabino)
Trish Duarte Unknown (Could you drop us a note if you’ve got a time, Trish?)
Kirk Kelley ~7:30 (Hiking)
Scott Ferguson ~7:30 (Hiking)
Jim Phillips ~8:00 (Hiking)
Soldier/La Milagrosa Loop 19Dec04
It was a typical Sunday run morning, Alli speeding into the parking area, late as usual, with everybody else waiting to get started. Jerry and Gene having phoned each other the evening before to coordinate outfits showed up in stunning yellow wind-breakers.
As we started up the highway, the blustering winds continued, blowing hats off our heads, bicycles into the guardrails, and more or less, making for a difficult assent.
Ross and his son went out for a bit, and turned around to watch the first few finishers. I turned around at the trailhead, to make sure I was there for the finishers (at least that was my excuse for getting out of the run). Trish and Debbie decided “to hell with this” and came back to the cars after about an hour or so. The rest of the suckers suffered through the wind and were really no worse for the wear.
Bill Cuculic – 2:32
Chase Duarte – 2:32
Bob Redwanc – 2:55
Chris Fall – 2:55
Julie Arter – 3:07
Jorg Hader – 3:24
Gene Joseph – 3:27
Wayne Coates – 3:35 “this wind was a son of a bitch”
Joe Dana – 4:01
Ken Greco – out and back 1 hour
Trish Duarte – 1+ hour
Debbie H. – 1+ hour
Alli Menear – to trail head
Kermit Menear – mountain bike from Prison camp to cars
Ben ? – mountain bike from Prison camp to cars (twice!!)
Thanks to all for a great run and ride. Am
Romero Crossing 1Jan05
Wasson Peak 2Jan05
Last Sunday the Wasson figure 8 run was held . 13 runners showed up for varied distances. Fortunately, not a ranger( aka Fee Collector) was spotted so the run was still free. We had the usual hearty souls , as well as the company of Mary Croft and her friend Tom Knutson from balmy Minnesota. Weather was quite favorable for running, though not so for the post run sitting and eating.
No complaints, nobody lost- a good run in all. jerry
Full loop (14.4 miles):
Bill Cuculic 2:06
Bob Redwanc 2:32
Geno Foushee 2:32
Raul ( late start) 2:35
Ken Greco 2:51
Gene Joseph 3:00
Tonja Chagris 3:13
Jorg Hader(later start) 3:19
Tom Wiper 3:33
Short Loop ( 8.5 miles?)
Wayne Coates 1:41
Mary Croft 1:58
Tom Knutsen 1:58
Ross Zimmerman 1:58
Winter Bear Canyon Loop 16Jan05
The day dawned crisp and cool, not a cloud in the sky, with a promised high of 75 F. A total of 18 eager soles turned up, with the Zimmerman clan and Tom checking in late, and Geno arriving early.
After a briefing by the Gene on the bee situation (required because of the event that took place the previous weekend), and with his final words beeeeeing: if you see a beeeeee don’t kill it, and if you see a bunch of beeeeees run your A?? off (bees apparently will only follow you for a 1/4 mile or so) the run was almost ready to start.
The RD then advised that all in attendance would get their feet wet, unless they could fly like a beeeee, and most were off by 7:10 or so…..
As the RD is wimp, as you all know, and did not want to get his feet wet, he ran up and down phone line to amuse himself while the others were having the real fun.
Bill Cuculic 2:24:42
Chase Duarte 2:47:37
Paul Vyriotes 2:55:55
Jerry Riddick 2:55:55
Tim Varner 2:56:58 (first loop), second loop 3:47:02 (6:44 total)
Geno Foushee 3:06:00
Julie Arter 3:08:48 – second loop, did one the day before – see below
Tonja Chagaris 3:14:17
Tom Gormley 3:18:45
Tom Wiper 3:20:47
Jorg Hader 3:24:50
Gene Joseph 3:33:12
Mahendra Jani 3:48:35
Pam Golden 3:49:40
Enrique Aviles 4:34:03 – phollowed by a phone line at 3:00
Ross Zimmerman 6:12:28
Gabe Zimmerman 6:13:35
Tracey Wren 6:13:35
The day before:
Female Ghost Runner 3:37
Wayne Coates 3:37
The day after – said he had been camping but probably did not want to get up early since he started at 2:30 pm
Bruce Gungle 3:20
Beeeee gone. wc
Cowhead Saddle 6Feb05
Name Age Time
Bill Cuculic 45 2:42:02
Tim Varner 53 3:06:32
Geno Foushee 42 3:23:09
Celestino Fernandez 55 3:29:55
Julie Arter 44 3:34:52
Jorg Hader 36 3:51:19
Tonja Chagaris 32 3:53:33
Alli Menear 28 3:53:33
Steve Kanoza 54 4:36:58
Kim Ferranti 46 4:41:47
Donna Kanoza 54 4:42:37
Joe Dana 68 4:42:38
Ross Zimmerman 5:44:15
Bob Redwanc 48 2:45:40
Bob Bachani 49 2:46:57
Jennifer Aviles 60 4:10:22
We’ve had more rain this year but interestingly, compared to the last two times I’ve written the results, fewer flowers although I did see one lone poppy and a few of those pale yellow flowers (don’t know
what they are). As a final note, I noticed that several people did not complete the very brief trail sign up form, especially re emergency contact and clothing information. There have been times when Search and Rescue has been called out. The information requested would be very helpful re what to look for from a helicopter if you’re lying off the trail unconscious – items of color are very helpful as are shoe prints. And, of course, not all of us know who your emergency contact might be should you need to be transported to
the hospital…… or worse.
See you this weekend at Tanque Verde Loop?
Jennifer Aviles who just entered a new age group (not that that will
help very much)
Tanque Verde Loop 20Feb05
Runner Age Time
Tanque Verde Loop
Chris Fall 42 5:30 Trail
Jerry Riddick 53 5:49 Road
Bob Redwanc 48 5:49 Road
Geno Foushee 43 5:49 Road
Julie Arter 44 5:52 Road
Wayne Coates 57 6:21 Trail
Alli Menear 28 6:41 Trail
Tonja Chagaris 32 6:41 Trail
Steve Kanoza 54 5:46
Kandi Karuza 46 6:50
Ross Zimmerman 52 6:50
Pam Golden 50 4:45
Donna Kanoza 54 4:46
Joe Dana 68 4:46
Gene Joseph 52 3:27
The rainy weather cleared in time to provide a very comfortable start and stayed that way for a rain free and relatively cool descent from Juniper Basin for those doing the entire loop or calling it a day at
Javelina Picnic Area. Those seeking a shorter run for the day fared even better. Chris Fall had a very fine run in spite of ‘becoming one’ with spines from native flora after taking a fall coming down from the top out. Eileen Redwanc and I teamed up in an attempt to remove a
multitude of spines from Chris from toe to head, including inside his ears. Though very uncomfortable initally, I got a sense as time went by that Chris was actually enjoying the attention provided by the ‘monkey love’.
Anyway, everyone when they finished seemed to have had a good day and enjoyed the run. I had a very good day and was quite happy to be
among old friends again, wishing I too could be in the thick of things as in times gone by. Maybe next year…
Special thanks to Tom Gormley and his son for helping runners out at Javelina Picnic Area. Rick Kelley RD
Esperero Canyon Loop 13Mar05 (Changed to Ventana Loop due to bad trail conditions)
What a weekend! As it turned out, 9 people attempted the Ventana Loop this weekend. I considered calling this Window Rock Loop, then noticed that Ventana is Spanish for Window. This ended up as a 2-day event. Scout-slugs on Saturday, mountain goats on Sunday. Make no mistake, if you want to gallop, this isn’t your route. If you want an adventure and great scenery, try it out.
The trail starts in the employee parking lot next to Ventana Resort. It now goes around the ranch that didn’t appreciate hikers and runners, and heads up an extraordinarily interesting canyon. Lots of eye-catching rock formations and creek hopping, then some serious climbing into the upper canyon to go alongside Maiden Pools. Once you’re up there the vegetation takes on a distinctly more upper elevation look than Sabino or Bear. I like it a lot. After perhaps 5 miles in the canyon bottom, the trail climbs out to a junction with the trail over to Kimball. Then you go up a truly amazing set of switchbacks to the ridgeline. This has been burned, resulting in the spectacular vistas I raved about in my scouting report. The fire-bared steep canyons and peaks are really eye-catching. Kandi and I took our cameras and took a lot of photos (83 in my case). I’ll post a few in the photos area if we still have space. The trail just follows the ridge up past the Window and over the top of the Window Rock formation, topping out at over 7300 feet, several hundred feet higher than the Esperero Loop top and much steeper climbing. About ¾ of way up the ridge, I came across a split in the path. I went right to a small notch (I thought) that looked out over the Tucson Basin. Joe arrived and told me to look up. I was standing in the Window and didn’t even know. This is better than the Traveling Bobs did. They missed the Window, topped out, and ran back down to look. On the other hand, they noticed the pile of fur balls and cat dung at the top that I missed. Bob Redwanc thinks he heard a large cat, too.
Lots of Window Rock formation is unburned, and the views just don’t quit. Coming over the top, Cathedral Rock appeared, with an impressive descent to the saddle I knew we had to get down to. This is where we had to start doing trail work. Lots of burn and erosion. I thought the switchbacks down to the saddle were pretty runnable, but you’ll have to ask the mountain goats. My fear of heights only kicked in once or twice. Now if I understood Tom Gormley correctly, this is where he lost his sole. Tom stopped to take a rock out of his shoe. He dropped the shoe and it skittered down the slope a good 200 feet, missing every tree base he hoped it would lodge against. Somehow he retrieved the shoe and he’s still with us (He saved his sole!).
At the saddle the slug brigade completely lost the trail and had to do a lot of tracing, clearing, and marking. Next day, Mark Dorion said it was still pretty hard to follow in places. After I said “I think we’re almost to the junction with the Esperero Loop route” way too many times, we did reach the junction. The trail improved a lot there. We swung around above the creek and falls, then dropped into the unburned bottom of Esperero. Bridal Veil was about as loud and pretty as I’ve ever seen it. As we ran down the canyon, we weaved in and out of burn. One of my big landmark trees has become a bit of trunk and a hole in the ground.
The climb out of Esperero at the south end hit me hard. That beautiful vegetated slope is bare and stark. The saddle where we used to first encounter stands of trees as we ran up is now a stand of dead sticks with some oaks sprouting from the roots. The trade-off is that this is where the flowers kicked in. As we came down Cardiac Hill and Bird Canyon, I found the steep, rocky descent as bone-jarring now as it’s ever been. The slug brigade got pretty hot and tired. Once down to the road we decided to walk. Kandi couldn’t stand it and started running. She managed a good 100 feet before walking again.
So on Sunday, the goats rip through the course (at least compared to the trail work slugs). After I start the 7AM crowd (all 4), I get the refreshments I didn’t get Saturday since I finished so late (Apparently, my 25 year old memory of the longer run up Finger Rock Trail, over to Ventana, past the Window and down and out Esperero being an easy 4 hour trot wasn’t quite accurate any more. I can’t have slowed down any can I?). While I wait for runners, I amuse myself riding back and forth on the road segment on my bike with some side trips. The old Sabino Rod and Gun Club has a real ghost town look to it. Coming down Kolb, I find the Traveling Bobs (who started at 6AM) hurtling up the road. They’re in great spirits and look fine. While we’re refreshing at the finish, Pam Reed appears to hike with her boys. Mark’s spouse Helen and unbelievably cute daughter Amalia appear. Pam Golden (my spouse) calls from Sabino to ask for a ride for Jorg. I pack up my bike and go snag him and give Pam a soft drink as she runs the road. We wait and refresh a bit, then Pam wants me to go see how Mark and Tom are doing. As we pull out, they tear in, very pleased with themselves for cranking through the course. Tales flow.
This is a tough run, maybe tougher than the one it replaces. If you want one heck of an adventure, get out on this course before it gets too hot, although probably not solo. Right now there’s plenty of water along the way. My GPS/Maptech readings say the total distance is only 18.1 miles, but the climb as about 5800 feet, probably significantly more than Esperero. The road is definitely 3.5 including the .7 down Sabino. Since the Forest Service claims 6.7 and 10.1 for the trail pieces, something is off. I need to analyze the GPS track details to see where the Forest Service and I differ. The trace looks good except for when I was next to a steep slope and the GPS lost all but 1 satellite. Regardless the views are better than Esperero, maybe the best of all our Catalina runs. Thanks to all who came out this weekend. This one reminded me why I like trail runs. Later, Ross Z
Ventana Loop 18 miles, 5800 feet of climb
Bob Bachani 5:41
Bob Redwanc 5:41
Pam Golden 5:46
Mark Dorion 6:07
Tom Gormley 6:08
Saturday Trail Crew
Joe Dana 10:00
Kandi Karuza 10:00
(Both did OP50 last week!)
Ross Zimmerman 10:00
Stopped at Sabino (15.3 miles)
Jorg Hader 5:23
Mica Mountain Marathon 27Mar05
A mostly cloudless cool day greeted the participants of the March 27 2005 Mica Mountain Marathon. Thanks to the recent rains there were lots of wild flowers at the lower levels. There was water at Douglas Springs and near the top of the Cow Head Saddle Trail. Still some snow on the top from the snow storm Joe Dana And Steve Kanoza were thru on Friday. Tom Gormley was followed down the trail just below Cow Head Saddle by what he believed was a rabid skunk! After avoiding that one he spotted two more crossing the trail. Julie came along about that time but did not see the skunk. Several runners reported smelling skunk in that area on the way back. Norman Yarger and wife from Illinois joined us for a short run
up the trail and enjoyed the flower display.
Friday Snow storm run
Joe Dana 9:10:23
Steve Kanoza 9:10:23
Kandi Karuza 7:29:00 10 mile out & Back
John Mark 9:35:00 With added Manning Loop
John Litteer 9:35:00 With added Manning Loop
Sunday early start
Bob Redwanc 6:24:46
Bob Bachani 6:24:46
Sunday on time start (less than Mica)
Norman Yarger 2:11:12 Out & Back
Julie Arter 3:55:05 Cowhead
Tom Gormley 4:19:51 Cowhead
Ken Greco 4:27:00 Cowhead
Ross Zimmerman 5:41:08 8 mile out & back
Jerry Riddick 5:58:54 PR? Last year 7:09:00
Wayne Coates 6:44:24 PR? Last year 7:09:00
Triangle Y 50K 3Apr05
Mt. Bigelow Ascent and Descent 10Apr05
This is the first time we’ve done this event since the fires. As you may remember, several of us (Gene Joseph, Kandi Karuza, Donna Kanoza, Joe Dana, and I) scouted the route a couple of weeks ago and found lots of burned areas. The trail was all still there, though. We built quite a few cairns and cut one neck-level phone wire. Scott Ferguson reported our cairns were not that obvious coming down.
11 people showed this past Sunday. I got the runners started and drove up Mt. Lemmon Highway to the Palisades trailhead on Organization Ridge. Scott came with me, planning to hike down. At the trailhead, we found the campsite from hell, clearly the scene of a drunken party the night before. It was downright cold (20s, maybe teens), so we got moving quickly, speculating about whether any of the comatose partiers had frozen in the night. I turned around at Mud Spring, and was caught by the Traveling Bobs before I got back up. I made the mistake of mentioning the partiers to Bob Bachani, who cranked it up to get up to his wife Maryalice to defend her from drunks. Bob Redwanc and I maintained a less breakneck pace. Amazingly the campers, all young, had not frozen, had cleaned up the camp, and looked surprisingly lively. They even asked me to take a group picture.
Maryalice was indeed at the trailhead with her signature turkey wraps. Julie Arter turned up right away, then other ascenders started to appear. Pete Chargaris arrived to haul spouse Tonja and 2 friends down. One, Troy, had only done a half marathon before. No trails. Tonja had promised to take care of him—he did fine. He and the other friend Christy (who has done another of our runs) say they’ll be back for Wrightson. Pete had had some personal time with a mountain lion on his bike on Saguaro Loop that morning. Tonja, not to be outdone, managed some very personal time with a rattler at Sabino Basin. Pam, Ken, and Tom all decided not to run back down. Wayne Coates, believing in the benefits of his beloved chia, had salted his water bottles with the stuff. Bring $12 to Wrightson and he’ll bring you some chia for your bottles (Warn him first!). Molly, the Bachani dog, demanded affection from everyone.
I hauled Pam and Tom down. Eileen Redwanc showed up to see Bob and company come in. The Traveling Bobs traveled in in lock step, looking over their shoulders for Julie the whole way down. She turned up, then Wayne. Patricia Wiercinski turned up to welcome runners and visit. Wayne’s newest interesting gadget is a high-tech pedometer that claims the run is very close to 31 miles. So maybe we can call it 50K. Scott turned up a bit later, having decided to come out Bear Canyon rather than Sabino (Well he turned wrong, realized it, then decided to continue on to try a canyon he hadn’t done yet.). It was a good day all around. Special thanks to Maryalice for support up top. Temperatures were excellent overall. It was a good day. Thanks for coming out. Ross Z
Mt. Bigelow (maybe) 50K Bigelow and back
Bob Redwanc 6:34:32
Bob Bachani 6:34:32
Julie Arter 6:49
Wayne Coates 7:07
Ascent to Palisades Trailhead
Tom Gormley 3:55
Pam Golden 3:55
(Pam also went up to Bigelow and down to Mt. Lemmon Highway, but I didn’t catch a time
Tonja Chagaris 4:03:09
Christy Lazzaretti 4:03:09
Troy Dye 4:03:09
Descent to Sabino via Bear Canyon
Scott Ferguson (didn’t catch the time, his GPS said 15.2 miles)
Multiple Wrightson Massacre7May05
A small but hearty group made it down to Mt Wrightson to challenge the mountain and enjoy the beautiful Spring day. A post Highline Trail 50 celebration that night evidently influenced some to reserve their energy to enhance the partying experience.
The changes to the Round Up parking area are quite extensive and very nice. For those that had never been out there or had not been there since the completion of the project, it was a bit confusing to figure where to go to get to the trailhead. A few folks parked down at the lower parking areas and started from there. Kandi and I followed Julie to the correct parking area. Thankfully Julie was thinking better at that time of the morning than we were!
The temperature at 6am was a brisk 43 degrees. The conditions at the top were quite chilly, enhanced by some gusty winds that made it downright cold in the early trips. Trail conditions were fairly good with only one fallen tree on the trail right below the first switchback after Baldy Saddle. Bellows Spring was flowing nicely.
Newcomers to the TTR, Joel Woppert and Brent Backus had a good day with Joel leading in the results with three repeats. It was very nice to have them participate and get to know them. Chase Duarte made an appearance after a long absence from our runs due to being out of state for miltary training and dealing with a bout of achilles tendonitis. Julie ran a quick couple of repeats, looking very strong and then headed on into work to get caught up on a project. Kandi was very pleased with her two repeats and obviously enjoyed chatting with several of the very folks on the trail that day.
I was very glad to have a chance to catch up with Tom Wiper who always shows up to do one very strong repeat. Tom and I met in the late 70′s during the running boom period that provided one or more 10k races every weekend. We competed tooth and nail against each other. I was in my late twenties and Tom was barely 40 at the time. I was shocked when he listed his age as 67 when he signed in. I keep forgetting I am in my mid 50s myself. Time really has flown and Tom is still my hero. He is a very strong and gutsy runner and one heck of a nice guy.
Ken and I had a chance to get caught up while I waited for Kandi to finish. Ken and I have trained a lot together on Wrightson and it seemed odd for us to just do one trip and call it a day. We’ll make up for it next year.
It was a wonderful day. Rick Kelley Co-RD
Joel Woppert 46
Julie Arter 44
Brent Backus 48
Kandi Karuza 46
Chase Duarte ?? (Up Baldy and down Super Trail)
Tom Wiper 67
Ken Greco 37
Rick Kelley 54
Santa Catalina Ascent 22May05
On Sunday 8 hearty souls managed to make it their way to the starting line of what was promising to be a very HOT, tough and brutal day. Most were hoping it would cool off as they gained elevation into the cool shady pines. NOT ! The pines were dead and the sun was sizzling.
Heat rises, and so it did on Sunday chasing the runners up the mountain and into the first aid station at Palisades. I walked down the trail about a ¼ mile to see what was taking everybody so long when Julie appeared slightly mentioning that “BOY WAS IT HOT”. Jerry was close behind saying he was fine.[that would change] Chase was about 5 minutes behind at that point and was starting to realize he was in for one hell of a day. Gene was just happy to be running anywhere. Bruce apparently started to get cold and decided to turn around at Palisades and head back down to Sabino. Chris with his signature stride still had some bounce left. [that also would change] Wayne, after ,just running a 100 miler 2 weeks ago was toughing it out and David who just had his ankle fused and was sporting his new ankle bracelet made from the latest in titanium screws was moving slow but feeling good.
The next aid station was a mere 6.5 miles away and it was placed on the far end of what is now known as Meat Grinder Trail.[Butterfly] Julie must of thought that rubbing dirt all over her body would make a fashion statement so after doing a face plant she rolled in it for a while. Jerry said he was done, “No Mas”, until Julie started calling him names. Gene asked me 12 times, “ how much further ”. A sure sign of “ I wanna quit ”. Wayne was now debating either why he came out today or why he ran a 100 miles 2 weeks ago. Chris came along still bouncing but gave me a very cold handshake. A sure sign of heat stress/exhaustion and it was “No Mas” for him. David arrived looking like he went through a meat grinder and Chase, using his military training smelled an ambush, bypassed the Meat Grinder all together and ran down Bear Wallow.
At Ski Valley, Duane had a shady spot picked out for us to set up the finishline celebration. Trish and Debbie were there to pick up the walking wounded. Pam and Ross, who had rode up on their bikes, stopped by to hand out some “attaboys” as one by one the smiling faces appeared. Jubilant and triumphant.
The main thing is, everyone was glad when it was over regardless where “over “ was. Everyone made it home safely and can’t wait to do it again next year.
Many thanks to Jane and Maryalice for letting me tag along. bb
Julie Arter 7:23
Jerry Riddick 7:23
Wayne Coates 8:10
Gene Joseph 8:12
Chase Duarte 6:39 Bear Wallow route
Chris Fall ? Stopped at Meat Grinder
David Ramirez 8:00 Stopped at Meat Grinder
Bruce Gungle 7:15 Palisades out and back to Sabino+ 28mi.
Palisades Loop 5June05
Well the weekend came and went. An interesting time was had by almost all with several people either inventing their own course or not listening to the RD when he gave instructions. The forest service, or some other kind person (maybe Bob had the Zane crew out), had chain sawed 99% of the trees from both trails so that was a great improvement. This had taken place since we did the Mt. Lemmon Ascent 2 weeks ago. The trail is not in the best of shape, but still is a nice run, with the Crystal Spring portion overgrown in some places – ever see 4- 5 foot tall ferns??
Any way Saturday 5 hearty souls showed up. The day was great with a lot of clouds forming by the time the run was done. Kim and Celestino decided to check out the airplane wreck, not by choice. They left a note on my car that said “Celestino and I took the scenic route and checked out an airplane wreck. We got back on trail and only got lost once more – but we got back – 3:19:26, Great Run” Brent also did his own thing, went to the top of Bigelow but could not find the trail down to the start. As I was approaching the top he came running down and I “showed him the way”
Saturday times and routes:
Kim Ferranti – 3:19 – route ??
Celestino Fernandez – 3:19 – route ??
Jorge Hader – 3:45 – road down from top
Brent Backus – 3:49 – road, Bear Wallow, Bigelow
Wayne Coates – 3:49 – road, Bear Wallow, Bigelow
Sunday 8 soles and two dogs showed up for the run, Joyce came to enjoy the mountain air and hot chocolate and Chris and Bruce stopped in to eat on the way from and to Sabino Canyon. The runners departed at 7:00 with Chris and Bruce, so I am told by Joyce, showing up about 10 minutes later.
Again people did their own thing, Brent got completely lost and reinvented the wheel (24 hours appears too long a time span for him to remember the course), Paul admitted he probably did not listen to the directions
very well and took the short route – up the butterfly and back to the start. Also Bob decided to check out some cabins on the way down the road.
Saturday times and routes:
Paul Vyriotes – 2:36 – butterfly
Jerry Riddick – 3:07 – road, Bear Wallow, road
Bill Cuculic – 3:19 – road, Bear Wallow, Bigelow
Bob Redwanc – 3:27 – road, Bear Wallow, road
Wayne Coates – 3:31 – road, Bear Wallow, road
Gene Joseph – 3:53 – road, Bear Wallow, road
Tom Gormley – 4:06 – road, Bear Wallow, road
Brent Backus – 4:30 – trail, butterfly, road, control road, trail,
butterfly, road, Bear Wallow, Bigelow I think that is correct?????
Anyway that is the story I am putting forward. wc