Nine days of running through the Alps, soaring above the treeline and plunging into flower-filled valleys, refueling with incredible food at night? Sure, it might take a pronounced masochistic streak to count that as a bucket list experience — the trip averages nearly 17 miles a day, with thousands of feet of climbing thrown in — but once you get to the end of Christopher Solomon’s teeth-gritted travelog, you might just decide the wonder is worth the wincing.
As we gained altitude, the Via Valais uncorked the first of its many lessons: trail running here isn’t like trail running back home. Often it isn’t running at all, because the paths are so steep. How steep? I’ve been on escalators with less pitch. But aren’t there switchbacks? No, these apparently are the invention of lazy Americans. The Swiss favor the diretissima, the most aesthetic and uncompromising line straight up the mountain. On trails like this, a runner’s pride will ruin him faster than any blister. He must find a humbler rhythm to match the terrain.
Vail Resorts Sold a Record Number of Passes. Now, Their Ski Areas Are Facing a Logistical Nightmare.
“But employees say that Vail’s wages are well below livable, especially in mountain towns experiencing soaring real estate prices and ever more second homes and vacation rentals.”
“I took his calls for a while, but then, like everyone else, started ignoring him. Even as his alcoholism grew worse, no one did what my mom kept threatening to do: stage an intervention. We were all too hopeful, maybe. Too stupid, probably. Uneducated about the disease, definitely.”
“My family has always been suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Easter’s death. They just don’t add up. Easter, an island man accustomed to warm Caribbean waters, would not have risked his life by choosing to swim on a cool night in a dark, cold coastal lake.”
“Another reason for surfing’s lag behind the times may simply be that, until recently, it could languish in the obscurity that comes with being a relatively tiny, navel-gazing subculture.”
By day 14, Mile Marker Zero was nearing the end, but the river was taking its toll. With the new support boat on the water and a huge push from an Ohio River raging from the rain, it should have been racking up time. But it wasn’t. The record was slipping away. Two days after the big storm south of Cairo, and one day after the giant whirlpool, the team’s lead was less than four and a half hours.
“When Deep Springs went coed, the student body voted to place a two-year moratorium on all media, in an attempt to keep the first class of women from feeling watched. I was the first journalist allowed in after the moratorium lifted, but that happened only after months of back-and-forth and the establishment of ground rules.”
“I’m really sorry it happened and really glad I survived. Notes on the flabbergasting climax of an Alaska road trip that changed my life.
“The dividing line—civilization there, wilderness here—was so apparent from up high. You wouldn’t be able to mark it clearly on a map, but Garrett and Burgin were over the edge, lost on the wild side. And now they were found—in four minutes.”
“Their tagline is ‘delivering technology to assess and promote nature exposure,’ and their initial vision was an app that would keep track of how much time you spend in natural environments.”