Broken Arrow 52K Skyrace - Squaw

Daha once birkac kere kostugum Miwok100k yarisindan iki gun once baslayan bogaz agrisi, her tur pastili, corbayi, cayi denememe ragmen iyice kotulesmisti. Ustune ustluk son gece bir de atesim cikmisti. Yine de sabahin 5inde Stinson sahilindeki baslangic noktasina gittim, olur da yaris basladiktan birkac saat sonra kendimi iyi hissedersem diye. Baya zorladim ama inisli cikisli parkurda 25 mil/5 saat kostuktan sonra gittikce kotulesen bogazim yuzunden dogru durust birsey yiyemiyordum ve cok gucsuz hissediyordum. Yarisi o noktada birakmak zorunda kaldim. Daha once kostugum bir yaris oldugu icin cok fazla uzuldugumu soyleyemem. Esasinda cok hastaydim, oyle ki kendime gelmem bir 10 gun surdu. Ama bu yaris icin baya iyi antreman yapmistim,  bosa gitmemesi icin de ne zamandir aklimda olan ve birkac hafta sonra yapilacak Squaw kayak merkezindeki Broken Arrow 52K Skyrace’i dusunmeye basladim, ve genelde bu islerde yaptigim gibi son dakikada kararimi verdim. Cuma ogleden sonra yola cikip 3-4 saat uzakliktaki Tahoe’ya geldim. Direk Squaw’a gidip kaydimi yaptirip yaris paketimi aldim ve yaris toplantisina katildim. Bu sene cok fazla kar yagdigi icin dagda hala cok onemli miktarda kar bulunmaktaydi. Bir dolu yere sabit hat cekilmisti. Yaris organizatorleri herkesi kar konusunda surekli uyariyordu oyle ki parkurn %70i yeryer dize kadar kar icinde kosulacakti. Yaris sirasinda kayak yapanlara da dikkat etmemiz gerekiyordu cunku kayak sezonu daha kapanmamisti! (bu kis cok kar yagdi). California’nin unlu dag kosucularinin da cogu oradaydi, bircogu zaten o bolgede yasiyor ve antreman yapiyor. Bir de hem kar uyarisi yapildi hem de asiri sicak uyarisi! Enteresan bir gun olacagi belliydi. Ertesi sabah 7de yaris basladi. Ilk kisim nispeten az egimli ve agaclarin arasindan geciyordu ama daha sonra parkur diklesti. Ya cok dik inisler ya da cok dik cikislar vardi (Sadece 200 m kadar olan tek duz alan da Squaw’in zirvesindeki plato idi!). Birkac dere gecisinden sonra ayaklarim tamamen islak ve camur icindeydi, kar’in basladigi noktaya o sekilde ulastik. Kar icinde kosarken bir ara ayak parmaklarim tamamen uyusmustu, dogru durust hissetmiyordum, ayni anda da inanilmaz bir sekilde sicaklamis durumdaydim oyle ki yardim noktalarinda yanimdaki bandananin icine buz koyup boynuma doluyordum. Kosullar ayni anda hem kis hem de yaz idi! Uzerine bir de irtifa eklenince gercekten baya zorlayici bir yaris oldu. Ama inanilmaz guzel manzaralar esliginde. Cok guzel bir dagda cok harika bir yaristi dogrusu. Bitiste madalyami aldiktan sonra daha yeni Everest’e oksijensiz tirmanmis olan ve Tahoe’da yasayan Adrian Ballinger ile karsilastim. Yaristan ve daglardan konustuk, sonbahardaki antreman ve tirmanis planlarindan beni haberdar edecek, boyle tecrubeli insanlardan ogrenilecek cok sey var. Yaris sonrasi da Avustralya, Kanada, Yeni Zellanda, Kolombiyali arkadas grubumla harika bir yemek yedik. Ertesi sabah sicaga ve kalabaliga kalmamak icin sabah saat 5te yola ciktim, 8de San francisco’da evimdeydim. Yaris sonuclarina bakarken yas grubumda 3. oldugumu da ogrendikten sonra keyifle butun gun dinlendim. Harika bir haftasonu olmustu. Yarisin 2016 videosunu asagida gorebilirsiniz. Fotograflarin bazilarina da yarisin Broken Arrow Skyrace facebook sayfasindan bakabilirsiniz.

I got a really bad sore throat right before this year’s Miwok race – which I had run a few times in the past. Although I tried all kinds of remedies, it didn’t get any better and I started to get fever on top of it. Still though, I made my way to the start at 5am at Stinson beach thinking perhaps I'd feel better in a few hours into the race. I didn’t. I pushed it and was able to run only 25 miles/5 hours up and down on the trails. I couldn’t eat much due to my throat and felt very weak. I had to quit at that point and I really didn’t feel bad for quitting since I was feeling very sick. And also I had run that race before. It took me almost 10 days to fully recover. Since I trained for it and was in good shape already, I started to look for a new race. I was thinking about the Broken Arrow 52K Skyrace at Squaw ski resort for some time and decided to do it at the last minute. I drove to Tahoe in 4 hours Friday afternoon directly to Squaw to register and to get my race packet. At the race briefing, we were told that there was a lot of snow on the mountain and they placed fixed lines at some spots. It snowed a lot this year and apparently 70% of the course was still covered in snow. And the ski season was still on so that meant there would be skiers on the course as well. So there were warnings about snow and also about the heat since it was going to be a very hot day too! Plus some of the famous trail runners in California were at the race. It was shaping up to be a very interesting day. The next morning the race started at 7am. The first sections were relatively smooth through some trees and then we hit the super steep ups and downs (as a matter of fact, the only flat section of the course was the small plateau on the summit of Squaw!) After a few creek crossings, my feet were completely wet and covered with mud when we hit the snow line. After a while, my feet was so cold and numb and my head was having a heat stroke such that at the aid stations I’d put ice in my bandana and put it around my neck: winter and summer at the same time. And the elevation on top of that made it very challenging. But the views were fantastic. It was a great mountain race overall. After picking up my finishers medal, I did chat a little bit Adrian Ballanger, who just got back from climbing Everest without oxygen. He lives in Tahoe and will keep me posted about training runs and climbs – there is so much to learn from people like him. Post-race dinner was great with friends from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Colombia. To ovoid the heat and the traffic, I left at 5am the next morning and was back in San Francisco by 8am. When I checked the race website, I found out that I was 3rd in my age category! Then I rested at home peacefully and happy! It was a great weekend. The video is from 2016. Some of the race photos can be seen from the Broken Arrow Skyrace facebook page.

Chamonix ve etrafinda donem tatili / Spring Break in Chamonix and around

Verbier Kayak Merkezi - Isvicre'de en tepeden manzara / View from the top of Verbier Ski Resort - Switzerland

Verbier Kayak Merkezi - Isvicre'de en tepeden manzara / View from the top of Verbier Ski Resort - Switzerland

Courmayeur Kayak Merkezi - Italya / Courmayeur Ski Resort - Italy

Courmayeur Kayak Merkezi - Italya / Courmayeur Ski Resort - Italy

Arkadasim Kat ile harika bir donem tatili! Bu tatilde Chamonix’den Zermatt’a meshur Haute route uzerinden kayaklarla gitmeyi dusunuyorduk ama baska bir zamana ertelemeye ve Chamonix’de kalmaya karar verdik. Chamonix gercekten harika bir dag kasabasi. Turistiyle, yerlisiyle her tur insan var. Cok meshur biryer olmasina ragmen hicbir zaman cig hissettirmiyor kendisini, ve de herkes cok sakin ve huzurlu genel olarak. Ayrica, buradaki ve etrafindaki kayak merkezlerinde kayak yapmak cok asiri pahali degil (Tahoe’dakileri ya da Amerika’daki benzer sekilde meshur kayak merkezlerini dusununce). Birgun Alplerin Isvicre tarafindaki Verbier kayak merkezine, bir baska gun ise Italya tarafindaki Courmayeur kayak merkezine gittik. Cografya her mekanda bir degisik, yeme icme daha degisik, ve genel olarak ortamin havasi bile degisik! Kayak disinda, cok sicak olan birkac gun Chamonix vadisinde kosular da yaptik. Bir taraftan da Kat, Kathmandu’ya Lhotse ekspedisyonu icin gitmek uzere hazirliklarini yapiyordu. Son dakika alisverisleri, ekipman kontrolu, ve canta hazirlama ile ugrastik ara ara. Bu hazirlik kisminin parcasi olmak da cok guzel ve heyecanliydi. Ve tabi ki bir dolu tirmanis ve kosu plani da yapildi! Bu arada Kat, daha yakin zamanda, Guney Kutbu’na 4 kisilik bir ekibin parcasi olarak desteksiz!!! 6.5 hafta suren bir ekspedisyon ile kizaklarla ulasan ilk Ingiliz kadin! 915km/560 mil ucsuz bucaksiz sastrugi denen dalgalanmis buz uzerinden kayak/kizakla! (Genelde insanlar son enlemi -89.cudan 90.ya kadar- kayak/kizaklarla gecerek Guney Kutbu’na ulasiyorlar, Antartika’nin bir kiyisindan baslayip butun yolu gecerek degil!). Harika bir ilham kaynagi ve cok sevdigim bir arkadasim olan bu kadinin. Lhotse ekspedisyonunu ve gelecekteki maceralarini Instagram hesabindan takip edebilirsiniz: @k2koolkat.

Grand Montets Kayak Merkezi - Chamonix / Grand Montets Ski Resort - Chamonix

Grand Montets Kayak Merkezi - Chamonix / Grand Montets Ski Resort - Chamonix

Spring break well spent with Kat! We were thinking about skiing from Chamonix to Zermatt – the infamous Haute route but postponed that plan to another year and stayed in town. Chamonix is such a cool mountain town with all kinds of people including tourists and locals. Despite being a very famous touristic spot, I find this place to be very chill and normal. And it is not super expensive to ski around there (compared to what you’d pay in Tahoe or in some other very touristic places). One day we went to ski at Verbier in Switzerland, another day we were skiing in Courmayeur in Italy! Each about 45 min drive away! Yet the terrain is different, the food is different, and the overall vibe is different! A few days were very warm so we also opted for some runs in the Chamonix Valley. Kat was also getting ready to leave for Kathmandu for her Lhotse expedition so there was some last minute shopping, gear-checks, and packing involved. It was so good to be part of the excitement and it was a great time overall – as always with Kat! including lots of planning for future running and climbing expeditions together. She actually very recently got back from South Pole where she became the first British woman to reach South Pole fully unsupported!!! in 6.5 weeks as part of a 4-person team that she did skied/sled all the way of 915kms/560 miles on endless sastrugi from the coast to the pole! (Usually people chose to ski/sled the last degree –from 89th to 90th- in a week or so to get to South Pole). She is such an inspiration and such a great friend! Follow her Lhotse expedition (and future adventures) on Instagram: @k2koolkat.

Vadideki kosularimizdan / From one of our runs in the valley

Vadideki kosularimizdan / From one of our runs in the valley

GRAND CANYON R2R2R

Ne zamandir yapmak istedigim bir projeydi Grand Canyon R2R2R. Guney Rim'den Kuzey Rim'e, oradan tekrar geri Guney Rim'e kosma projesi. Toplamda 45mil+ ve 3200 metre irtifa kazanimli bir rota. Gecen yaz Turkiye'deyken eski dagci arkadaslarimdan Hakan, Phoenix'e bir konferans icin gelecegini soylediginde kendisine bu projemden bahsetmistim. Hakan'in planlar belli olunca ben de hemen SF'ten Phoenix'e ucak biletimi aldim. 12 Kasim'da orada bulustuk ve direk Grand Canyon girisinde kalacagimiz motel'e dogru yola ciktik. Karnimizi doyurup cantamizi hazirladiktan sonra sabah 5te Ziyaretci Merkezi'nden bizi baslangic noktamiza goturecek servis aracini yakalamak uzere yola ciktik. Kosmaya/asagiya dogru kafa lambalarimizla inmeye basladigimizda saat sabah 5:15 idi. South Kaibab denen bu patika baya dik ve tozlu bir patika. Yolda bizden once baslamis gruplari gecerek devam ettik. Ben uzun mesafe kosular ve yarislar daha once cok yaptigim icin beni neyin bekledigini az cok biliyordum. Hakan kisa mesafelerde hizina yetisemedigim bir kosucu olmasina ragmen bu tarz bir organizasyonu ilk defa yapiyordu. Ama O da benim gibi eski dagcilardan oldugu icin endiselenecek bir durum yoktu tabi ki de! Biraz dinlendikten sonra geri donuse gectik. Bol bol fotograf molasi verip manzaralardan da keyif almaya calistik tabi ki. Geri South Rim'e cikmak icin indigimiz dik patika yerine Bright Angel denen biraz daha uzun ama daha mulayim bir egimi olan ve Colorado Nehri manzarali patikayi sectik. Sahane bir dolunay esliginde rotayi 17 saatte bitirdik. Cok yorulduk ama bitirdigimizde cok mutluyduk. Harika bir macera yaptigimizda hemfikir bir sekilde hemen motele geri donduk. Ertesi gun oglen ben SF'teydim bile! Hakan da konferansinda! :)

Grand Canyon R2R2R has been on the books for quite some time now (10500ft elevation gain over 45+ miles). Over the summer, when my long time friend Hakan told that he may be coming to Phoenix for a conference, I mentioned him about this run and after his plans were finalised, we decided to do it. I flew to Phoenix from San Francisco and we drove straight to the motel we were going to stay at the entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. After dinner and preparing our backpacks, we got up early to drive to the shuttle at 5am in the Park that would drop us at the South Kaibab trailhead. We started running down at 5:15am and passed a few big groups on the way down. The trail was very steep and dusty. I am used to long distance running and various format long races. Hakan is super fast in short-er distances but was new to this format. But he is an old mountaineer so there was no concern at all! Although we started our way back slow, we picked our pace but didn't forget to stop to enjoy the views and to take photos. On the way back up to the South Rim, instead of the steep trail we came down, we took the Bright Angel trail which is relatively longer but goes up more gradually. Besides, it had the views of the Colorado River under the Super Moon. After 17 hours (lots of stops and rests) we got back to the South Rim and went straight to the motel. We were very tired but ecstatic about our little adventure. The next day by midday I was already in SF and Hakan was already at his conference :)