We are excited to have Angels Staircase 60k/35k included in the 2014 US Skyrunner Series. Be sure to check out the offical race video from Project Talaria!

Registration Now Open!

Updates and Reminders

Hello Everyone

Thanks for signing up for the 1st annual Angels Staircase Trail Races! But really you should be thanking me because this is really going to be "one helluva journey"!  I really don't think any trail race in the Northwest can compare-- it's the highest race with the high point being at 8,000ft, it's the most remote race with no road crossings for the 25k and 50k and just one short section of dirt road for the 50m, it's got ton's of elevation gain(5000 for the 25k, 9000 for the 50k and 13000 for the 50m), and it's freakin' beautiful! Can you tell that I'm EXCITED?!

With all that said I want to update/remind ya'll about some very important stuff:
  • Please Carpool: There is very limited parking for this race and we have to share the parking lot with the other trail users so please please please cram as many folks into one vehicle as you can. plus carpooling will save you money, it reduces carbon emissions and is super fun! You can use the Rainshadow Carpooling Site to hep you coordinate a carpool if you haven't already.  Here is a link toDriving Directions.

  • Safety and MANDATORY Stuff: This is probably the most dangerous and one of the most difficult trail running races you have ever done. There are numerous hazards that you must take seriously to ensure that you and everyone has a safe day on race day. These hazards include but are not limited to: remote course, no road access for the entire course(except a 2.5 mile section of the 50 mile course), medical treatment is hours away and could require a long hike(or carry) out to a trailhead, high altitude, heat and sun exposure, exposure to falls, lightning, high winds, cold temperatures(hopefully just in the morning but if a storm hits in the afternoon temps could plummet), snow and ice on trail, falling trees, long distances between aid stations and other trail users including horses, hikers, mountain bikes and motor bikes.  Because of these hazards you MUST be qualified to run this race and you MUST be in good health and you MUST have trained sufficiently for these conditions and you MUST have watched the safety video and you MUST carry with you at all times the following mandatory equipment: hat, gloves, a jacket and two water bottles or a hydration pack--25k runners must carry at least one bottle or hydration pack but are exempt from carrying all the other mandatory equipment(but it's still recommended to carry the mandatory equipment).  Runners also MUST at all times yield the right of way to horses, mountain bikes and motorbikes--even if this means you have to wait for many minutes until there is a safe place and time to pass them. Failure to obey these instructions will result in an immediate disqualification and a permanent lifetime ban from all Rainshadow Running events and could result in the loss of the permit from the Forest Service for the race.   

  • Course Markings: The entire course will be marked much less than a normal race. Due to Forest Service restrictions we will only be using arrow signs to mark the course, no ribbon, flour, spray paint, or any other method is allowed. This means there will be no "confidence markers" just arrow signs at each trail intersection. It is highly recommended you buy the map(or print from the race website), study it and carry it with you during the race. That said, as long as you go the correct way at each intersection you will not get lost unless you leave the trail for some reason and the trail is always well defined and easy to follow.

  • Where to Sleep: I hear a lot of the hotels in the Methow Valley are already full so call asap to make your reservations if you haven't already. Sun Mountain Lodge is offering us $55 off their regular rates.  Or you can camp-- there is a small primitive camp site only three miles from the start/finish and a bunch of other free places to camp in the vicinity. The Foggy Dew Campsite doesn't have any water so remember to bring your own or be prepared to get some from the creek. Due to high fire danger in the area at this time campfires are not allowed anywhere in the area.        
  • Check-in and Start Times: There is no runner check in on Friday. Check-in for all races starts at 4:30am Saturday at Foggy Dew Trailhead(the start/finish location). All races start at 6am(yes all races. yes i know that is rediculously early). There is an early start for 50 mile runners who NEED a head start to make the cut-off times not for folks just wanting to get the beer drinking started sooner or wanting to go home an hour earlier-- the early start is at 5am. 

  • Cut-Off Times: Due to the remoteness and difficulty of the course, my concern for your safety and out of respect for the volunteers our cut-off times are going to be strict and strictly enforced.  The cut off times have been based on allowing the 50k and 50m runners enough time to finish by 8pm(aka before dark). 25k runners you don't really need to worry about this-- you should have plenty of time.

    For the 50 mile runners there are three aid stations that will have cut off times:
    Chelan Summit at mile 10.4--cut off time is 9:15am (50m runners arrving at or leaving this aid station after 9:15 will be instructed to switch to the 50k race and will follow that route instead);
    Summer Blossom at mile 17.0--cut off time is 11am (runners that do not arrive and leave this aid station by 11am will be pulled from the race and will be given a ride back to the start/finish--this is the only road access for the whole 50m course);
    Martin Creek at mile 36.4--cut off time is 5pm (runners arriving here after 5pm will be pulled from the race and will have to hike 3 miles out to the closest trailhead and will be given a ride back to the start/finish)

    For the 50k runners there is only one aid station that will have a cut off time:
    Martin Creek at mile 20.4--cut off time is 5pm (runners arriving here after 5pm will be pulled from the race and will have to hike 3 miles out to the closest trailhead and will be given a ride back to the start/finish)

  • Aid Stations: All of these aid stations are very remote(even the one for the 50 milers on the road is still more than an hour long drive on bad roads from little tiny village of Carlton, WA) and therefore the "aid" will be limited. Each aid station will have most of the normal fare: water, nuun tablets to add to your water bottles or hydration pack, succeed electrolyte caps, GU, potato chips, fresh grapes and an assortment of candy/cookies.  There will also be a first aid kit and some who knows how to use it at each aid station but remember you will be a long long way from a hospital so please be careful and if you need to downgrade to a shorter distance.  Because of the remoteness of all the aid stations there is no crew access to any of the aid stations but they are welcome to celebrate your run at the finishline.

  • Weather and Trail Conditions: The weather has been perfect in the Methow Valley for the past few weeks, highs in the 80s and 90s and lows in the 40s and 50s and sunny every day. And that's is current forecast for race weekend as well. Come prepared to sweat more than you normally do and bring sun screen and the proper clothing. And remember you'll need to be drinking even more water than normal because of the dry air on the east side of the Cascades and because of the altitude. As of 2.5 weeks ago(the last time i was on the course--but i'm heading up there tomorrow and i'll adjust this update if need be) there were still a few patches of snow on the race course above 6000ft but I'm pretty sure nearly all(if not all) of those will be gone by race day. the snow patches that may still be out there should be safe to cross as they all were three weeks ago--ice axes or traction devices like yaktrax or crampons shouldn't be needed but again i'll let you know asap if you do. Other than a few rocks on the trail and a blown down tree or two the trail should be in great shape and the wildflowers should be in full bloom! 

  • Post Race Meal:  As usual we'll have a big meal(good hot food and cold tasty drinks) waiting for all the runners and their friends and family at the finish. We'll be doing pancakes for the 25k finishers since it'll still be pretty early in the morning when most of ya'll finish. and we'll be doing burgers for the rest of ya'll. please bring a camp/lawn chair or two to sit on.

  • Sponsors: As usual we have big support from our sponsors-- Winthrop Mountain Sports, where you can get all your last minute race needs; PatagoniaNuunGUTrailrunner MagazineWinthrop Red Apple GroceryHanks Harvest Foods Grocery in Twisp, and the Sun Mountain Lodge offering $55 off their normal rates.

  • Inspiration: In case you haven't seen it yet or if you just want to watch it again here's the link to the video slideshow I made from the two runs Candice and I did on the race course back in July:
    Angels Staircase
    Angels Staircase
Thanks again everyone for signing up and I look forward to seeing you all in paradise real soon!