Mt Taylor Quad 2011

The Mt. Taylor Quad is great spring event that starts out at Grants, NM. The plan was originally for Max and I (Matt) to head down and give it our best. On Tues before, Max was out with a flu, and on Thurs I stayed home with a stomach virus. Luckily, mine was a < 24 hour thing, unfortunately, Max's was > 96+ hours.. Matt went down solo, and made two big mistakes–the spaghetti feed, and the all you can eat Best Western breakfast. The quad turned into a negotiation with my stomach about whether or not we’d complete the event. Complete it we did, but about two hours more slowly than I had hoped. It took 8 hours and 1 minute total.

The event itself is a 13 mile road bike (1700′ elevation gain), 5 mile run (1250′ gain), 2 mile cross country ski (1200′ gain), and then 1 mile snowshoe (600′ gain) to reach the top of Mt Taylor:

That’s halfway.. Turn around, do it all again, and end up back in Grants!

I’m trying to put notes here of things to remember for next year.. The night before, gear check in is quite a process. Using colored duct tape gear was marked for each transition (red was run/ski and yellow was bike/run). Then the gear for a single transition was all duct taped together, and upon delivery, volunteers un-taped, etc.. I had forgotten there was no ski/snowshoe transition gear drop — I was happy to have a backpack for the snowshoes.

Gear-wise, I had (and left) much more than I needed at each transition–this was a good strategy. Nice to have extra. I had gu and candy bars in every stuff sack, and had chips for salt — I had more food than I needed (but my stomach was not in a normal state for this event..). I wore long technical leggings (CW-X), shorts, a long sleeve technical shirt, and a fleece. I had fingerless wool gloves, a knit hat, and a fleece neck gator. It was fine for the bike, run, and ski. At the run/ski transition, I picked up the snowshoes and my shell (coat, really..) because it was reported to be really windy for the snowshoe. I was very glad I did! The wind was strong and chilly. On the way down, I loved the coat for the snowshoe and the (fast!!) ski, then left it for the run. There was a hail storm that kicked up for the start of the bike ride down, and there were also some vicious cross winds. Ideally I would have had a shell or something, but I was so happy to be biking down to the finish and ready to be done, I didn’t really mind/notice/care.. I did have sunglasses on the whole time, but forgot sunscreen. Sunglasses were most important for eye protection from wind on the snowshoe and bike ride down. Sunscreen wasn’t a problem, but my lips got really chapped. I would take chapstick next time. I also would have put another pair of dry socks at the bike/run (I had a pair for the uphill, but would have liked another for the down..)

The gallery of bad/random photos is at

I really had a blast (thanks to all the folks running it and volunteering!!) and I hope I’ll do it again (a little faster with a happier stomach)..

There was a group doing photographs along the route. Their default purchase is a fake magazine cover, so here’s my favorite:

I will probably buy a picture from ’em (just the picture, not the fake magazine cover)– it is only about $10 for a 4″x6″ print. Bad enough.. But $50 to download a photo?!?! REALLY!?!? UG.