MOUNTAINS ARE DANGEROUS…
…and if you don’t think so then you shouldn’t run this race. The Sawatch are notorious for terrible weather in July and August, and we’ve had our fair share of bad weather at the High Lonesome. Our first year was run in continuous rain, sleet, snow, wind and fog. It’s snowed 8 inches on Monarch Pass in July and it can get over 90 degrees on the valley floor. Massive thunderstorms form like clockwork from 11am-3pm, and 40mph gusts on the Continental Divide are as certain as death and taxes. Suffice it to say that things can turn fast, and we need you to be prepared.
Our required gear list was developed in tandem with local SAR agencies and race officials. The point of the gear list is not to bog you down, but rather to allow you to do one of the following three things:
Be prepared enough to handle the weather fluctuations without incident
If injured or lost, to be equipped enough to effect a self-rescue to an aid station
If injured and unable to move or irreparably lost, to survive long enough that first responders can locate and rescue you.
All runners and pacers are required to carry the required gear with them during the entire race. The gear list is broken down into daytime and night-time lists, and is checked at the Start and at the Hancock aid station. Failure to carry the required gear may result in being disqualified from the race.
Now, each year we get emails from folks complaining about the amount of gear. Here’s the thing about gear though, you don’t think you need to carry it until you actually need it, at which point it’s too late. You’re about to be running through difficult mountains into remote drainages, and if something happens the quickest you’ll be rescued is 3 hours. If you get lost west of the Continental Divide, a search can take days. So remember, this gear list includes items you - hopefully - will never need to use…that’s the point.
Daytime Required Gear (Required from the Start):
Emergency space blanket
Minimum 1.5L water capacity (you don’t have to have it full, just have the capacity to carry 1.5L)
Emergency light source (must be at least 10 lumens, example)
Waterproof jacket (must have taped seams)
Collapsible cup (bottles do not count, suggested option)
COSAR card (see below)
Additional Night Gear List (from Hancock to sunrise):
Two light sources (primary source + previously carried emergency light source)
Buff/Beanie (both would be a good choice)
Extra layer (long sleeve T-shirt or greater. NO COTTON)
All runners (including pacers) must purchase a COSAR card. The card is $3 for one year, or $12 for 5 years. This card is not insurance, but will allow local SAR to be reimbursed for a portion of the costs in the event of a search. By Colorado law, individuals can be responsible for certain portions of the costs of a search. By purchasing a card, you enable the local organization to be reimbursed by the state and fund their 100% volunteer forces. The purchase process only takes a few minutes. Please visit the link below to purchase a card.
Please note the following details:
You don’t need to carry the card during the race, but you have to show it at packet pickup.
Current and valid CO hunting and fishing licenses do count as a COSAR Card.
You are required to show your COSAR card at Packet Pickup, but NOT at the pre-race Gear Check.
The High Lonesome 100 course runs through the habitat of the endangered Boreal Toad. The toads are highly susceptible to several fungi that can wipe out entire populations. The fungi are present in several drainages along the route, and the biggest form of transmission is through mud stuck to the bottom of shoes. As part of our permitting agreement with the Forest Service, we have a system to disinfect shoes before and after the race to help prevent a spread of the fungi. The process involves a quick scrub of the shoe to remove dirt, and then a thorough spraying of the shoe with concoction to kill any fungi or bacteria. The concoction is not harsh and hasn’t caused any skin problems or reactions in runners over the past two years. The process of cleaning and spraying usually takes under 5 minutes, and if placed in direct sunlight the shoes are dry in under 30 minutes.
The toad bath is available at packet pickup and the start/finish line. Runners are required to clean their shoes, and we highly encourage pacers to do so as well. For pacer’s who can’t make it to the packet pickup, we suggest sending your shoes with your runner to have them clean them.
This is a very important step in our permitting process. Your engagement and assistance will help guarantee future permits for our race.