This past August 24th, kicked off the 15th running of the “Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run”. The runners started this massive test of endurance, just to the East of Snoqualmie Pass, down in the tiny town of Easton. The course started down the “flat” John Wayne trail for a bit, giving the legs a nice transition to the abuse waiting on the first climb up into the Cascades. The trail then leads the athletes towards Snoqualmie Pass (which is the halfway point), offering many nice views along the way. The runners approach Snoqualmie Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail, running by Mirror Lake, under Tinkham and Silver Peaks, through Ollie Meadow and the 2 mile long historic Milwaukee Railroad tunnel (spoooky). So, mentioning the tunnel, the runners don’t actually run through Snoqualmie Pass, they run under it. The light at the end of the tunnel is not tho old electric train coming, but the little village of Hyak, WA which puts the athletes at just over the 50 mile mark. I guess there is only light at the end of the tunnel for the first half of the pack, because shortly after the leaders rolled through Hyak the sun dropped. At this time, I was now back at the Hyak home base, and had a shower, dinner, and wine waiting just 500 yards away, so I called it a day.
The video below is the “teaser” version of the CCC 100
After a good night of rest, unlike the athletes, I was off the next morning for the Kachess Ridge zone to capture more video. I happen to like the second half of the run for the best views. One section that didn’t offer too many views, because it was run overnight, is located from Hyak heading over Keechelus Ride, around the North End of Kachess Lake (little Kachess) on the “Trail from Hell” (dubbed this because after running alongside the lake you gain and loose a crap load of vert, only to end up at the same elevation at the end of the lake- mentally and physically draining). As the sun rises so does the course, climbing out the Kachess Lake zone, up to and across the stunning Kachess Ridge (stopping at the Thorpe Mountain Fire Lookout on the way). Kachess Ridge is in the 80 mile zone and is a steep tough hike for day hikers, so probably no need to mention how amazed I was to see the ultra athletes moving and grooving through this epic zone. Halfway across Kachess Ridge is the French Cabin aid station, another beautiful area that sits in a saddle just under the shadows of the French Cabin Peaks, with Mt. Rainier to the South and Mt. Stuart to the North. From this point the trail winds down through some epic meadows, dropping into Silver Creek. After the Silver Creek aid station the runners have ONLY a few miles of flat back to Easton. 100 grueling miles later, the finish line and fans were waiting at the Easton Fire Department. HARD CORE!
The video below is the “Full Length” version of the CCC 100