Marmot Dark Mountains by Christopher Colla

I Had a great night with @giantarc running the short score Marmot Dark Mountains. It was our first Marmot Dark Mountain Race. I think our main pre race worry was clothing, as nearer the race it was looking to be warmer than planned (that odd middle ground where you start way too hot then eventually notice that you’re not). I was still undecided on which shoes to wear right up to setting off. I went with my salomonspeed2’s in the end as I have more experiences of wearing them for longer duration runs, they worked out well though did have to do quite a bit of mud surfing.
We were both very happy with where we came. Reviewing the options after the race, we would not have been able to score any better unless our pace was significantly faster.

Around one in the morning, after pulling my coat sleeve back a bit to take off my glove to get out a snack, I was entertained that I couldn’t put my selves back down as they had frozen. This kept me entertained for the rest of the run.
My favourite piece of kit was a pair of clear snow goggles which were a blessing when the wind picked up, and had the added bonus of keeping my face extra warm. I was also pleased with the montane batpack 6, as keeping all my switch kit in it meant not having to take off my main bag or fiddle with its frozen zip (most things were frozen: bags, outer clothing, food, zips, compass case).
The only kit bit which made it to the naughty list was my “Thumpass” (thumb compass) which has been great since I got it. It chose race night for the needle to get stuck, though it did have the grace to do it early enough in the race for me to notice 🙏🏻. Luckily I always run with a regular compass in my kit as well. By the time we got to post-race breakfast it had come back to life. Seems that it can’t take the pressure of racing.

Overall it was a great experience to have and all the volunteers and organisers put together an awesome event. I definitely plan to do it again in the future.

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3 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Interesting to hear that your compass stuck in the middle of the night. It wasn’t a Suunto Arrow 6 by any chance? I was using an Arrow 30 which also started sticking at about 1 in the morning. Cold effected?

    • Christopher Colla says:

      No mine was a Silva Race S Jet. After the race a couple of people I spoke to suggested that the cold could have caused an air bubble to form, but dont know the cause as I had other things on my mind at the time other than trying to work out the cause of the issue. Post race it was working fine so probably was something cold related.

  2. Natalie says:

    Andy – I will let Chris Colla know you have asked this Q and get him to reply.

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