It's not that long, this hill; about a mile and a half one way, and it only gains a few hundred feet. But the parts that are steep are really steep. I mean the kind of steep that you have to walk back down instead of run. There are round gravelly, irritating rocks the whole way. There is always the possibility of running into a bear.
I call it the Fatty Challenge, because I like to name my running routes. It's a narrow road carved into a hillside, following a powerline. I've attempted to charge up it without stopping twice now, and both times I've ground to a halt before the first, false summit. A power walking grandma could probably have passed me as I inched along, trying to draw on strength gained from decades of running. Patches of snow crunched under my feet as I tried not to look at the top, seemingly miles away. I slowed to a walk, annoyed with myself when I realized how close it really was.
At the trail's end, I turned to run slowly downhill. From there I could see the ski area, closed now because grizzly bears are starting to come out of their dens and need their privacy. To the northwest, a wave of snowy peaks marked the park's boundary. The river sparkled far below. Even though I didn't run all the way up the Fatty Challenge, it was still a good day.
Anyway, I'll be back. I plan to keep attacking the hill until I can run the whole way. It's good to have goals, something that isn't easy to attain. Everyone needs a Fatty Challenge of their own. What's yours?