Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just topped out again @ 7200ft

Top of the 2nd to last climb looking towards Reno and Peavine Peak
Finally topped out on my second to last big climb of the day.  Really nice view of Peavine Peak and Reno.  A little bit of a cool evening breeze up here too.  I descended on more rough 2 track and after a few switchbacks got on a road that traverses the east side of the Verdi Range to Dog Valley.  This was all in the shade of the Verdi Range which was a welcome relief.

On top of the Verdi Range for the last time... Peavine to the left and Reno in the distance
I finally bottomed out in Dog Valley, some of the flattest running of the entire Reno Rim.  I spent a brief moment trying to determine if I wanted to mess with getting water here as I had past it up last fall and regretted it.  The problem is the water looks stagnant and it is hard to get to without getting your feet wet.  After poking around looking for a good place to get water I finally bagged it and set my sights on getting water on the backside of Peavine.

PETZL Tikka XP 2 Core
I did find a little pothole with some water in it farther up the road.  I decided I would rinse my feet here and do my last clean sock change.  Felt heavenly to get into socks with no grass seeds and to have clean feet for the final bit of this loop.  Time for a quarter serving of Vivarin to keep me up and alert.  It was dark now so I fished out my Moeben arm sleeves, PETZL Tikka XP 2 Core and my hand held flashlight.  PETZL had been kind enough to offer me the Core to review with two Core batteries.  I apologize for doing this in the middle of the Reno Rim race report, but I am going to review the Tikka XP 2 Core now that I have used it.

Core battery from PETZL
 The main idea behind the Core is the simple fact that it replaces 900 batteries before loosing it's ability to hold a charge.  That is a good thing as these won't end up in a landfill so that bozos like me can run in the night.  The Core battery has software that may be downloaded off PETZL's website for charging the battery.  The software is very intuitive and can be figured out quickly.  It even has a step by step instructional to explain how to use it.  All that you really need to do though is download the software, plug in the Core battery and select the output that you like to get from your headlamp.  I was unaware of the fact that most PETZL headlamps are regulated.  This means that the lamp maintains maximum brightness for how much battery you have.  This really means it goes dimmer and dimmer from the get go.  This is fine for getting the most lighting out of your batteries for the longest period of time, but if your trying to traverse trails after dark it isn't a good thing.  I always thought it was me getting tired, but it was the bulbs going dimmer.  The Core gives you the option of selecting maximum brightness based on how many hours you are going to need the lamp for.  Or you can select regulated lighting for the longest possible lighting.  For me being able to have the brightest light possible for 5 hrs is awesome.  I can get 5 hrs of lighting at about 90% of lighting power on the highest setting on the lamp for one charge.  This is a extremely bright setting for 5 hrs of lighting.  It really lights up the trail well ahead of me and then I rely on my handheld to light up shadows on rocks and step downs.  The 2 together make it possible to cover some serious ground in the night.  I will be using the Core batteries a ton this winter as I don't want to burn up a bunch of AAA's.  Since I have two Core batteries I can charge one for maximum output in case I am moving after dark and the other one for use in camp for chores etc.  Or I could program both for maximum lighting and just switch when one is used up.  It is quite simple to click in the battery and to remove it in the same fashion.  Honestly it is easier to do then fumbling with 3 batteries.  The battery comes in at 1.05 oz compared to 1.12 oz for 3 AAA's.  So no weight penalty there.  The battery does add some bulk to the lamp though, in that the lamp sticks out from your head a little further.  This isn't too much of a issue once you get the headband snugged down properly, I felt the headlamp stayed put all night while running.  Now for the nitty gritty on features:

- three white lighting modes (maximum, economic and strobe)
- two red lighting modes: maximum and strobe
- type of lighting (white or red) is selected by pressing for two seconds on the push-button (the last color used remains in memory for the next use)
- choose between wide or focused beams with the Wide Angle lens
- 60 lumens at maximum level
- shines up to 60 meters at maximum level
-weight 83 g including Core Battery 2.93 oz

Between the 60 lumens of the Tikka XP 2 and the 85 lumens of my handheld I have plenty of light for traversing difficult terrain in the dark.  PETZL mentioned this Core Battery has been slow to catch on here in the US, but I hope FSTPKR readers go get one.  It will more than pay for itself in saved battery money and will help the planet at the same time.

I switched back to running just with my handheld on though as it was plenty of light on its own for running on the old 2 track.  I just hoped I remembered my approach to Peavine from last fall as I didn't have a trace of the route in my gps.  It is pretty straightforward though and fortunately I made all the correct turns.  I recognized the CA/NV state line and felt better that I was on the correct road.  Slight downhill from here, but no sooner does the road bottom out than I leave it and begin a climb to the north.  I could start to make out the hulk of Peavine Peak in the dark, but I wasn't sure if that was it or not.  I also have to do about 100yds of trespassing in here, crossing a mining claim I believe.  I snuck through last fall unharmed, but was worried about dogs and gun toting zealots.  Fortunately I recognized the turn here and started seeing private property signs so I confirmed again I was on the correct route.  Made it though here unscathed and then turned again onto another road.  At this point I felt that I was going to make it.  The 2 track I was running on in here got real powdery, but it only lasted for a bit.

Dog Valley and across Peavine Pk
I started to feel some blasts of cool air sliding down the backside of Peavine Peak.  I think the cold air was coming down the little spring creek on the backside here and I was happy to have my arm sleeves on.  Moeben was kind enough to sponsor me this past fall and send me two pairs of arm sleeves.  One is spandex for warm weather and the other is the same but with a brushed interior.  The second one is good for cold days and I have run the first leg of the Reno Rim in late fall with just these and a short sleeve shirt and done really well.  I like the versatility of these sleeves, being able to wear them up when cold or push them down when warm.  It only takes a few seconds to do this and I just leave them on my wrists while pushed down so it isn't like I need to take them on and off repeatedly.  This summer I have been taking these on all my runs that go into the evening along with a windbreaker vest.  The combo has worked really well for me.  I brought these sleeves on the AZT speed record this spring and ended up wearing them daily to keep the sun off too.  They are designed to give you sun protection as well as provide warmth when necessary  as these sleeves have a 50 UPF.  While I was going up the backside of Peavine around 1AM though I was wearing them in conjunction with my vest to keep me warm.  This climb is very steep and I was walking which allowed me to cool off, but with the spring trickling through here I was getting chilled.  Moeben sleeves have a little pocket on the side of them for sticking a few gels in, but I have never needed to carry anything in there.  The sleeves have a self cuff at the wrist and the same at the top which keeps them firmly in place.  I got a really masculine butterfly print on mine.  Definitely adds some flair so I have got plenty of comments on them.

Masculine prints like these are available from Moeben
During the daylight hours it is actually really pretty back here with a nice aspen grove surrounding the creek.  I am sure all of Peavine Peak back in the day was forested, and it would have been a real treat to live in Reno back then and be able to run in the forest this close to town.  Unfortunately based on what I know it was all logged long ago for use in the mines.  I had to stop at one point and water up here one last time for the last push home into Reno.  This is where I started getting chilled which also made my bones ache a little bit.  I knew not to stay put any longer than I had to because this pit stop could make or break me.  I was feeling very cold here.  I got out of the gully of the spring creek and climbed the last little bit to the top of the road on Peavine Peak.  From here I switched on my handheld again and started a really nice descent down on gravel surfaced road with hardly any rough sections.  About halfway down I saw a vehicle going up to shoot firearms and I am sure I freaked them out barrelling down the frontside with all my reflectors and lights going.

Dog valley/ Peavine Pk/ and on home
I kind of messed up in here a little as I forked back on a really old piece of 2 track that dumped me into a dry gully above Poeville Lake.  I didn't know where I was, but I had a hunch.  Ended up brush busting down canyon and then I saw Poeville Lake and I knew exactly where I was.  From here I ran the Peavine 1/2 marathon in reverse until I got over to Keystone Canyon.  From here I was ready to be done so I just bombed down Keystone Canyon all the way out to McCarran.  From McCarran I headed east over to Rancho San Rafeal park.  Had a little bit of a screw up here trying to get from McCarran over the fence and into Rancho San Rafeal park.  This involved needing to climb the fence, but I did it.  Bombed across the park to a faucet to do one last fill up to get me home.

Elevation profile for the second leg 12,000ft gain and descent for the entire loop
Out on Sierra St I was amazed that I still had plenty of energy and leg left to jog home.  I was a little stiff in the joints, but hey I had been out for nearly 21 hrs at this point.  I always get energized on the Reno Rim finishing on Sierra St as there is tons of lights with all of the casinos.  Added bonus to finishing Sunday AM is all the drunks spilling out of the bars.  I am sure I looked weird to them, but I just kept padding my way back home.  I was relieved when I got in to my neighborhood and saw the light on on the front porch.  I made my way inside and Micro Monkey got up and got me out some food while I hopped into the shower.  I was in bed by 3AM.

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