Klean Ambassador Sean Jansen share his thoughts and experiences escaping to the high alpine wilderness. Hitting the trails and fly fishing in the mountains is well worth the bittersweet efforts for the blissful rewards.
Mornings in the mountains are cold. Even in the summer months. I love to slowly wake up and greet the morning sun cresting above the high alpine ridgelines with a cup of coffee to start the day. A simple meditation to ponder the day as the sun does the same as it rises into the sky. With each hour as the morning passes, the sun gets higher and higher, warming the land and defrosting the flowers, inviting me to finish my morning coffee, lace up my shoes and hit the trails of afternoon warmth to explore what’s up near that ridgeline.
Trail running and fly fishing are bittersweet endeavors, hardly ever considered together. The joy of putting your shoes on and exploring a new trail can be easily washed away as the elevation rises, shooting burning pain to my legs and lungs. But nothing worth doing should ever be easy, and trail running is just that. What it offers in struggle and pain of the uphill to the destination, it grants you pleasure in the post run endorphins of the workout and above tree line bliss of alpine granite blue lakes that allow a few casts. The thin crisp air and marmots and pika squeaking and moaning at my presence are the spectators as I hope to land a catch with sweat dripping down my face from the run to get here. The sound of humans are replaced with the wind, gathering all the smells and sounds of the area then singing it into my ears as I take it all in.
This solitude, this struggle, and this beauty is why the alpine is and will likely remain untouched. For the effort involved to get there, the time needed, the sun to melt the winter’s snow, and the food and gear required to achieve this elevated beauty is a riddle of time that I must play in order to enjoy this granite splendor to cast in and run to.
Running on the trail or relaxing on a high alpine lake, you'll need a hydration companion to keep you happy along either path.