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Four Pass Loop Trail Run

Four Pass Loop Trail Run 7/26/2014
Runners: Jeff, Andy, Paul, Shannon
Report from: Jeff Marshall, Ute Mountaineer Staff member

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The morning started early, but I was ready. Andy picked me up at 5:15 am and once I entered his car you could feel the energy and excitement we shared for the day ahead. We drove up to the Highlands parking lot where we met Paul and Shannon. They left their car and we drove up to the Maroon Bells parking lot and grabbed a parking space. We all let each other know how we were feeling, started our watches and hit the trail with a nice warm up clip.

There was a bit of conversation about races and training adventures we had recently endured. The conversation quickly fell quiet as we began the climb up toward Buckskin Pass. We all fell into our separate paces and individually took in the views behind us of Pyramid Peak. The view from the top of Buckskin Pass being our first reward of four for the day.

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After a long descent to Snowmass Lake we started our next climb to Trail Rider Pass. At this time we found our group to be one of many on the trail. After passing a handful of backpackers and fast-packers on our way to the top we were blessed by the view of Snowmass Lake with its blue and green tints dancing in the early morning sunlight. This made the challenge of the uphill seem much easier because of its beauty.

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The long descent to Fravert Basin was fast and technical. Once in the basin we ran a few miles and were greeted with the view of a large waterfall and plenty of mosquitos to keep us moving quickly. After the climb paralleling the waterfall the trail is a bit of a slog toward and up to Frigid Air Pass.

Descending from the top of Frigid Air we traversed over to a junction just before the final climb to West Maroon Pass.
After stopping for photos and a quick gel we ran down the West Maroon trail back to the trailhead to complete our majestic day of completing the infamous Four Pass Loop.

Running time App: 8:30 hours
Effort level: 6 of 10
Shoes: Altra Olympus
Clothing: Patagonia
Nathan Ultra Hydration Vest
Skratch Labs Hydration
Gu Gels

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