Light, fast, and fun are the operating principles for the trip--not forgetting to just enjoy the experience. There are a few companies worth mentioning to say thanks for making great gear that encompasses trail running and fastpacking, and have been staples for my own trail running already. I am using a GoLite Multi-Sport pack, which is light and functional; Montrail Hardrock shoes which kept me blister-free through the Holiday Lake 50K++ and winter and spring trail running; and Ibex clothing, who pretty well has me covered from the waist-up with base and mid-layers for all conditions. I am hoping to send Ibex a report and photos after the trip.
There are any number of reasons why I am pumped for this trip. One is because I've never been to the Whites before and can't wait to savor it all. Two is to brutalize my legs a bit with rocks and mountains to help get ready for a moderately hilly Baltimore Marathon in October and the JFK 50 in November, which starts with a 14-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. Three is having a training partner and friend looney enough to languish through 5-hour training runs, a 12-degree 50K for a first ultra, one-upsmanship for entering longer trail and distance races, winter runs, and other zaniness, to finally get something slower and more low-key to enjoy. And the bonus, is to try to find a home for one or more magazine stories from the trip.
Look for a trip report on the next post here.