I met Kevin at the Downes Brook / Mt. Potash / UNH trailhead off the Kanc at 8am. Our plan was to go up the Downes Brook Trail all the way up to the Kate Sleeper Trail and then turn and head back down. It was my idea for a redline but not a good one as it turns out that it wasn't packed out at all. Just the beginning part up to the XC ski trail had had foot traffic. The rest of it was deep, untouched snow and we 'ran' on it for only a couple of minutes before both deciding it would take probably 4 hours to do 5 miles at that rate....we turned and headed back down and decided to go up Potash instead. It would be way shorter so we could add on a little on the XC ski trails if we needed to. We hooked over and headed up the Mt. Potash trail, which was nicely tracked out by previous snowshoers (including one guy that we saw on his way down as we started the climbing).
Needless to say, back to where this sucked... I really struggled on the climbing. I'm not sure if it is because of my sleepless nights recently...but I'm hoping it is. Since the baby, I've gotten zero solid sleep. I guess it caught up to me after a week +. I walked / power hiked a lot of the climb and just felt lousy. The conditions were good but it's still pretty tough to climb up a mountain on snowshoes, so maybe I just was expecting something a little different. Most of the snowshoeing I've done so far doesn't have that much climb. In any case, Kevin had to keep waiting for me and I was toast by the first spot with a view (and still had a good climb from there).
We hit the summit, took some pics and video, and then headed back down. I wasn't in the mood to spend any time. Just a real blow to my confidence. The good news is that my foot felt fine. The bad news is that my fitness is in the toilet. I'm debating whether to actually race any snowshoe this winter or to just wait until Spring and try to get fit. I bailed on the xc ski trail add-on, got in my car, and sulked as I headed back home early. Total up and down for Potash: 52:35.
In the p.m. Kevin and I ran from his palatial beach condo on the edge of the mighty Saco. Headlamp run east on NH rt. 302 then up Stritch Rd. for an out and back (the road is a dirt road that was nothing but packed snow and ice). Not one car passed us which was awesome. Slow going a bit because of the slippery conditions, but a nice pm run to get me to 10 for the day. Snowy road run: 40:23.
Totals: 1:32:58 for 10 in the snow and mountains.