Trying to Conquer Mt. Wilson

by Carilyn on May 8, 2012

Views from Mt. Wilson Toll Road

In my never ending quest to not embarrass myself at Western States, last weekend was spent running another part of the Angeles Crest 100 Trail.  I’ve heard mixed opinions about the how comparable the two courses are (some say it’s easier, some say it’s harder), but since I don’t live near the WS100 course, this is the best I’m going to get.  Regardless of how appropriate of a training venue it may be, the AC100 course is stunningly beautiful, and an absolute joy to run on, so that makes it completely worth it – even if I never become a trail goddess.

To get to the Mt. Wilson, you have to start in Eaton Canyon and climb to Henninger Flats.  You might remember that Henninger Flats is where I have done repeats a few times.  The climb is steeeeeeeeeeep, and shoots your heart rate through the roof, but it is a great workout.

From the bottom of Eaton Canyon, to Henninger Flats is about 4 miles.  For today’s run, I was trying out my new Nathan Vest, so I didn’t need to get water at the campground.  I checked the map and saw that I could do another 6-7 miles to the top of Mt. Wilson.  I had to be home by 11:00, so I decided I would go as far as I could in 2:30 and then turn around.

Up, up, up I went.  Climbing and climbing.

And loving every minute of it.

At about 6 miles, I came to a saddle that reminded me of something from the Sound of Music.

I thought about turning here, but I had a little more time, and I really wanted to see what was around the next bend.  So up, up, up I went again.

Finally, at 2.5 hours I knew I needed to turn around if I was going to make it home.  I still hadn’t made it all the way to the top, but I had seen some spectacular views and got miles and miles of straight climbing – and nothing ate me!

I clearly like this pose.

I finished the run with all limbs still attached, no bear or mountain lion sightings, and only one minor trip that didn’t even result in an injury.  I consider that a very successful run!

And next weekend, I’m going to make it to the top!

What did you do this past weekend?


Happy Running!





Kent May 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

The wife and I did a 5K trail run to help a homeless center that our church helps to support. It was her first trail run and my second one. Though I prefer runs that are longer then 5K, it was of course a great run in the woods and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Runs such as this definitely serve to help me push the envelope on shorter distances as opposed to my tortoise pace pushed over increasingly longer distances. When all is said and done: a run is a run is a run. They are all good!

olga May 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

Long sleeves? Really? In LA? Wow, I dream of those…

Kate May 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

You look so cute in your pictures! I’m thinking you are already a trail goddess and just *think* you’re a mere mortal, but whatever. 🙂

Busy weekend filled with kid stuff. I did manage one 18-mile bike ride, but my exercise stats are looking pretty anemic. In fact, I log my miles on Daily Mile, and usually the weekly reports say something like “Awesome training this week!” or “Epic training this week!” This week it just said “You rode 36 miles this week. Why bother logging that?” (That last part may have been my interpretation of the email’s tone…)

Carilyn May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

That’s great, Kent! Glad it went well!

Carilyn May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Heat training 🙂

Carilyn May 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Thank you, Kate – I definitely had the dork pose going on 🙂 but it was fun! Sorry you haven’t been able to get in the training – sometimes life gets in the way, huh?

Marcia May 9, 2012 at 3:54 am

What a beautiful and challenging workout! Great news on the not getting eaten part as well. : )

Carilyn May 9, 2012 at 7:31 am

Yes, every time I make it off the mountain, I’m happy to have all my limbs 🙂

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