Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Glorieta Baldy Challenge

**If you have run Glorieta Baldy I'd love to keep a tally of the best times here so drop a comment with your time and I'll keep updating the blog with the newest times.**

I've spent the last week in Glorieta New Mexico which sits at about 7500 feet above sea level. So for the first few days I was constantly out of breath and needing to drink lots of water. After a couple of days which included some short runs and some extra napping I was feeling like my body had acclimatized so I decided at the end of the week I would try a pretty crazy run, at least by my standards.

There is a mountain peak here called Glorieta Baldy with a trail that takes you right to the top. The peak puts you at about 10,300 feet. It's a pretty advanced hiking trail with some serious elevation changes over short distances. The rumour around the camp here is that someone has run up and down in just under 2 hours. So I thought I would give it a try and see how close I could come.

I started in front of our hotel, The Hall of States, ran to the trailhead and continued up to Baldy only stopping my watch when I got to the top. My time to the peak was 1:31:23 The last 1.5 miles feel like they are pretty much straight up and are very difficult to do any running in. But when I reached the top the view was worth all the work. Here's a picture from the top looking down at the camp.

And this is the lookout tower you can climb up to get above the tree line for a great 360 view.

Coming down was much quicker and hurt just as much, just in different places. I made it back to the hotel in 2:27:53.

Here are some stats on the trail.

Total climb - 2,699 ft.
Top Elevation - 10,200 ft.
Distance up - 5.1 mi (from trailhead)


Carl,  6/28/2009 9:11 PM  

Nice job, Glenn, particularly with little acclimatization. Glorieta is a beautiful, mountainous place, and a run at altitude there would be a challenge for anyone from lower elevations.

If you want to check out another crazy run, take a look at the Barr Trail Run on Pikes Peak -

glennlavender 6/28/2009 10:12 PM  

Looks like a great run. I think I've heard of it before. If only I lived a little closer to the mountains. Maybe one of these days!

Scoot,  9/08/2009 9:05 PM  

Back in 1982 when I was 13 I went to Glorieta on a youth retreat. Being from Louisiana, I know about the trouble you described with the altitude! We were at Glorieta for a week, and on Thursday afternoon, our youth director took us on a hike up to the top of Baldy. I am happy to see from your pictures that Baldy's view is still as beautiful as it was when I was last there. Also, the "lookout tower" you have pictured used to be a ranger station. When I went up in '82, the walls were totally closed in with big glass windows. In your picture, it looks like it has been abandoned and the windows are gone. The ranger let us go up in the top and we were told you could see 4 states from up there. It was a wonderful view!


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