Found an internet cafe over in Durango so thought I would update:
Day 5: Rest day. I needed it. Drove an hour to Ouray (lowest point of the race) to check out the route in and out of town. Walked 3 or 4 miles. Saw a deer in the kids playground. This place would feature on any alpine postcard. Ask UCB who stayed here last year.
Day 6: First day of course marking. We drove a couple of miles out of town to the Mineral Creek crossing that spooked me the other day. There is a rope across it now. (And the course director had been too wary to cross it until the rope was in so I felt better.) We climbed a long way up to Putnam Basin and eventually across the 12,600ft pass and down to the first aid station. This guy RUNS past the 20 of us as we are slogging up the hill. Turns out it is Kyle Skaggs, running with just a bottle in his hand. He is a contender. It was a long slow climb for some of us. Me and another guy turned around a mile before the checkpoint down in the valley and ran back. A solid 8 hour day. When we got back the creek had risen with the days snow melt. It reached my chest and I had trouble holding the rope in the current. They asked me next day how I got across (the other guy is over 6' tall). I said there was some aquaplaning!
Day 7: Drove and car shuttled out to where we had finished the day before. Long climb up into snow country. Lots of post-holing through soft snow. And digging in so you don't slide down the huge snowbanks to the bottom of the mountain. Some spectacular frozen lakes up here. The last climb was on all fours. I was digging my hands into the lose gravel and hanging on. Turned out 4 of us (2 HR veterans) headed too far across the pass then had a tricky traverse. One lady (previous HR finisher) was suffering vertigo so we had to guide her across the ledge. 12,900', straight down both sides. We ate lunch then I had the honour of first over the edge. Holy crap I slid and scooted hundreds of feet before hitting the steep snow bank and sliding further on my arse. What a hoot. Just avoid the rocks! After getting back below the tree line the director let us run the last 2-3 miles ahead to the finish. Some amazing technical single track through the pines. There was only one car at the checkpoint so 10 of us had to run/hike another 3-4 miles up to 11,800' to the rest of the cars. I was stuffed.
That made over 40 hours and 120km of trails for the week.
Day 8: So today is a rest day! No course marking. One of the guys wanted me to go up Handies peak (14,000') today. After running back with him the other day and finding out he has run sub 24hrs at Massanutten I decided to stick to my rest day.
Having a ball.