Trail Run to Pulpit Rock

17-Aug-2019

Conditions: low 70s, foggy, damp, very humid

A men’s breakfast was being held at Blue Rocks Campground so we moved our workout from the Grill to the campground. It is always fun to switch things up a bit.

Last week Wichita suggested we try a trail run up to Pulpit Rock from the campground. The campground happens to have the shortest access points to both Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle. The trail to Pulpit Rock is ~ 1.5 miles from the trail head at the base of the Boulder Field and has an 840 foot elevation gain. The trail is rocky and treacherous. Sounded like a great idea!

The goal was to run/fast hike up the trail, take a breather at the top and run back down all within 1 hour. Wichita and YHC collaborated and thought it would be good to do a trial run which we did last Monday evening. We completed the run in exactly 1 hour. It was a go!

This morning, 7 PAX including 1 FNG rose to the challenge. We met at the entrance to the campground and in the interest of time, we piled into our FNG’s pickup truck to ride through the campground to the trail head. Pocahontas lead us in a short warm up with ankle to head stretches/joint rolls to loosen up. Then without further ado Wichita lead the way and we took off up the trail. It wasn’t long before Ringworm took the lead. He knows this side of the mountain like the back of his hand and rivals Wichita in speed.

We huffed and puffed our way up. It is a heart-pounding cardio challenge on the way up with plenty of rocks, roots, and logs to negotiate. The forest was rather magical in the mist and fog when one took a breather to actually look around instead of concentrating on foot placement on the trail.

We reached the summit in just over 30 minutes and burst in on an unsuspecting boy scout troop who beforehand were enjoying the tranquility of the morning. They were gracious and we even had an opportunity to EH one of the leaders who lives in the Pottstown area. Maybe he will show up at the Blast Furnace with the Valley Forge PAX one of these days.

At the top of the mountain we were basically in a cloud. The fog prevented us from seeing any of the spectacular view that Pulpit Rock is known for.

We headed back down the trail at a good clip. It was fun; still treacherous but easier to get into a flow of dancing around the rocks. At the point were the Blue Rocks trail splits off the AT trail, we circled up for our COT since Pocahontas was taking the AT to the Hamburg Reservoir to meet up with his family. Our FNG did great on the run and experienced a unique F3 workout. He is a natural F3 PAX and excelled in mumblechatter so he was given the name “Babble”. Welcome Babble! We look forward to seeing you at the Grill and seeing how well you do Burpees, Merkins, Monkey Humpers, and all of the other incomprehensible exercises typical of F3.

We sent Pocahontas on his way and the rest of took the 1-mile trail back to the campground, only arriving 20 minutes late for breakfast. All were basically intact without any major injuries.

On a side note, the speaker at the breakfast runs a reptile rescue organization. We didn’t encounter any snakes on the trail run but had some fun with very large (10-foot?) python. YHC was the only man to volunteer to help hold the snake along with 4 boys. I’m just a boy at heart!

Number of FNGs: 1

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