At about mile 40 in the Leadville Trail 100 mile ultramarathon, runners hit a virtual brick wall. Commonly known as, “Hope Pass”, ultrarunners in the notorious “Race Across the Sky” enjoy a heart-pounding ascent at grades as high as 21%. From about 9,600ft to 12,600ft, the ascent is made that much more difficult due to the lack of available oxygen!
The summit is “Hope Pass”, standing at approximately 12,600ft. In the race, runners descend from Hope Pass to the 50 mile turn-around (Winfield Aid Station). A great number of runners drop from the Leadville 100 at this aid station. In large part, the notorious climb to Hope Pass filters out those already struggling with the distance or altitude. In this feature article, I wanted to provide our readers with a first-hand look at this monster climb. This video was shot during a 30 mile training run from “Fish Hatchery” to the summit of Hope Pass and back to “Twin Lakes”. We decided it is better to tackle Hope Pass with the heart of a ninja, rather than be intimidated by it’s magnitude and reputation for submitting runners in their weakest moment. Come on people! Kick Ass on Hope Pass!!!
-Jerry Armstrong a.k.a EnduranceJer