Start of the Guaje Canyon trail at the Pajarito Ski Area. Runners in the 50k will have already run this section to the Ski Lodge Aid station and will return to Pipeline Road on the same trail. For the 50 mile race, this is segment after the Ski Lodge Aid station at mile 36.
Another view of the trail.
There is still some snow on the trail. almost all of the snow should be gone by the race.
Entering Canada Bonita
Looking at Canada Bonita
Tail heading uphill out of Canada Bonita
Looking back at the nice single track trail
Descending down towards Pipeline Road
Still some snow here also.
Here comes the trail marking crew
Look into the Caldera from the Pipeline Aid station. The 50 mile course drops into the Caldera here. (Approximately mile 17).
Looking down at Nate's Nemesis.
There is the Nate of Nate's nemesis. This gives a good indication of the steepness.
It is loose also!
Blake watching his footing carefully. The trail gets better the lower you go.
Basically the course follows the gas pipeline down the steep hill.
Looking back up.
An old building. If you come to this, you are on course.
Eventually the course gets onto a nice double track road.
About to enter the meadows in the Caldera
Partially frozen pond.
The course follows the left fork to the saddle on the left.
There is a slightly uphill climb out of Valle de los Posos. On the other side Valle Grande.
Looking down into Valle Grande. The mountains on the left are Pajarito Mountain and Cerro Grande, both of which the 50 course goes over.
Entering a section with some trees.
The Valle Grande Aid Station will be near the left side of the trees in this photo.
Almost to the aid station location.
View from the aid station. The course goes past the right side of the pond, crosses the dam, and then head to the little mountain on the right. The Cerro Grande is on the left. The course basically goes into the trees and follows the shade line up to the saddle.
Another view of where the course goes. Basically it goes from the pond straight to the tree line in the center of the photo.
Great views are to be had in the Caldera.
Dam that the course runs across.
Jump the water.
After the pond the course follows this faint track for a little bit before it disappears.
Going cross country.
More awesome views.
Looking back at the Valle Grande Aid Station. It is located at the base of the trees in the center of the picture.
Almost to tree line.
Look back to where we just were.
Finally in the trees.
This section of the course is off trail. There are several trees to go over.
The course crosses this scree field.
The course crosses the bottom of it and then goes up the right side.
Right side of the scree field.
Approaching a saddle below Cerro Grande
Follow the left side of the meadow to the top of Cerro Grande.
View of the Sandia Mountains to the south.
Looking into the Caldera.
Almost to the top.
Blake making like an Elk.
The trail marking crew. (Bill, Tom, Blake, Nate, David, and Mike).
From the summit the course drops down the other side to Cerro Grande to the saddle between Cerro Grande and Pajarito Mountain.
Coming down off Cerro Grande
Which way to go?
Clearing a path through the down tree.
Another very small section of scree.
Almost at the saddle.
From here the course goes to the pond and then downhill to the right into Canon de Valle and on to the Pajarito Canyon Aid Station. We did not go that way, but instead climbed to the top of Pajarito Moutain to finish marking that section of trail.
Looking back at Cerro Grande
We are now on Pajarito Moutain. These photos show the last bit to the top and then the descent to the ski Lodge Aid Station. The first half of the mountain had already been marked.
This is a nice place to take a break and enjoy the views.
And the views are nice!
Looking towards Cerro Grande (first on the left).
The top of Pajarito Mountain.
The Mother Ski lift.
The course drops steeply down Oops for a little bit.
Dropping down Oops. The course gets onto the trial in the upper right of this photo.
Last year the course went the other way, but becuase there is too much snow in the trees, we changed the course this year. The course now follows this trail across the mountain to the top of the Aspen Run.
Some of this snow may still be here next week.
Look to your left for good view. Here is Caballo Moutain which the course ascends earlier in the race.
The last uphill to the top of Aspen.
Starting down Aspen run. Nice views of the Jemez Moutains in the distance.
Looking down Aspen. The course follows the trail to the Ski Lodge Aid Station (located at the building in the upper right of the photo).
This is where the Ski Lodge Aid Station will be located.