From 6 to 200 MPH

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mount Diablo Challenge ....... Base to Ranger Station

When I met my blogger friend, Paul, in person during the CIM expo, we talked about challenging Mount Diablo.
After the CIM event and on our way home, I discussed with my son about running from base to the summit of Mount Diablo.  My son is familiar with Mount Diablo as he had been to the summit on bike many times.

Mount Diablo as viewed from Berkeley

Historic claims that the mountain's viewshed is the largest in the world—or second largest after Mount Kilimanjaro—are unfounded. It does boast one of the largest viewsheds in the Western United States and it played a key role in California history. Countless peaks in the state are taller, but Mount Diablo has a remarkable visual prominence for a mountain of such modest elevation. Its highly recognizable form and looming presence over so much of the bay, delta, and Central Valley, and good visibility even from the Mother Lode, all key regions during the gold rush and early statehood, made it not just a well-known visual touchstone but one of the most important landmarks for mapping and navigation.

The summit is accessible by foot, bicycle, or motor vehicle. Road access is via North Gate Road or South Gate Road. The record time by bicycle from The Athenian School in the town of Danville to the summit is 43:33 minutes. No record time by running though.

My son and I agreed to run from base to the Ranger Station, a distance of 5.95 miles and back to base.  From base to summit which is about 10 miles and elevation of 3864 feet have to wait.
This morning at 10:30 am, the assault of Mount Diablo started.  I started ahead of my son as he had to make some business calls. From base to the South Gate which is about 3 miles and elevation of 1500 ft is very challenging.  My son caught up with me at elevation 1000 feet and mile 1.4 miles. Told him to go ahead and never saw him again until he was on his way down while I was about 1/2  mile to the Ranger Station(turn around point).  It was an awesome run. The view specially at elevation 2000 ft is fantastic. To the west I can see San Francisco and the bay and to the south, the windmills at Altamont Pass.  The drivers were nice (didn't overtake me at blind curves until it's safe. I should had stayed at the other side of the road. My bad.).  The cyclists were nice and courteous also.  Some  were surprised to see runner on the road. 

At 2000 Feet Elevation
Base to Ranger Station
Distance .............. 5.95 Miles
Elevation ............ 1941 Feet
Time .................... 1:22:44
Pace ....................  13:56
Ranger Station to Base
Distance ............... 5.95 Miles
Time ..................... 1:16:57
Pace ..................... 12:55
I could run faster from Ranger Station to Base, but saw no reason to put more stress on my knees.  I believe the run from base to the summit in 2 to 3 hrs is doable.  Have to ride back to the base though.


  1. Way to go Art! Good training run. Reminds me of the Mt. Sto. Tomas 8K Race in Baguio(base to top-radar sta.),2 weeks after the Condura. Took me 1:07.00. Take care and keep running. Have a very Merry Christmas.

  2. Hoping that uphill and ridge training will help my endurance. Merry Christmas, Joe!

  3. A tough hike!

    Perhaps now try some trail half marathon or full marathon? WARNING: they are brutal. Good workout for the leg muscles though...lots of little stabilizer muscles complain like mad afterward!

    Hope you and your family have a great holiday and new year!

  4. It's an scouting run for our challenge run next year. My son said that the toughest stage of the run will be from the Ranger Station to the summit.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!