Solang Sky Ultra 60kms, October 1st – Reliving the ordeals #belike

From this 

To this 

And the tale unfolds here on

The night after Patalsu Challenge was indeed restless. Gels consumed could have lead to this but also the upfront task of waking by 3am in the wee hours to be ready for 60km category run start was a worry due to the unpredictable weather conditions.
Packed the drop bag and hydration bag, had some dal khichdi and got ready to hit the bed. But falling asleep was not coming by easy. One is the weather that continued to dettoriate and I could only keep thinking about the 100k runners who were still out there against all the odds. News of people pulling off the 100k category run did pour in by the time it was our fate that required a result.
The 4:30am start could not be held as rain continued and updates from each checkpoints were not so fruitful. The start time was then finally pushed to 6am after a lot of review of the weather conditions and trail health. The route was not reduced to 50-52km instead of 60km. Also, the time cutoff was 13hours now and not 15hours. The kothi climb was removed from the route due too. 

Sharing the elevation traverse here for you to visualize what was in it for runners at this event

The first leg of downhill run for about 6-7kms lead us to the Vashisht temple where the famous death climb awaits. The ordeal here was around 3-4kms that took us a while in the rains and slippery surfaces. The trail run post that as a downhill and was to take us to the main road that continued on the palchani bridge to Solang. The checkpoints and aid stations were adequately placed and were handy for refills and muchies and had absolutely no issues there. 

Once you reach Solang, this completed around 21-22kms of the race and then had to followed through the 30km category. Infact , we were asked to run the 30km category run post the first 20kms, that simplified things a lot considering not much changes impacted a runners mindset in the process.
The 30km track takes you to Anjani Devi temple and then down before you begin the climb towards Dhundi bridge. This would be partly trail nd partly road till you get to the bridge and start your climb to palchani Nala and this was a checkpoint for cut off too.
As the day passed at around 9am, the sun was out and the road to solang wasn’t a easy climb in the heat. The warmer had to be shed off and replaced with single dri fits with a down jacket which was periodically taken off. 

Guess those love handles need some work for sure:).

Rach acted as a crew support in undoing and doing the hydration bag and the attire and it indeed gets one level of stress reduced when you have a dear one for your support. 
The climb to palchani Nala also had me on my knees. I chose to stop for a moment to breath fresh and also munch on some chocolates to keep me strong. The boulder path way to palchani Nala wasn’t helping with the grip on the climb and the destination felt far away. This was yet another checkpoint where Vishnu and Debasmita came in handy for help. As I filled in my nutrition, the climb to the mountains was pretty visible and was told that another 2-3 hours is what it would take us to beas kund via lady leg. That piece of information in itself as a daunting that was about to make life miserably miserable. 
Nevertheless, the climb had to be done and so I started. Every foot henceforth was accounted for and guess it was about time I started feeling the fatigue from yesterday Patalsu Challenge run. Hence, frequent short breaks were worth taking as this was a stretch that needed brisk walks. The path to lady leg also saw many trekkers on their onward and backward journey and the cheers would just keep dropping by from the fellow beings and was indeed much needed motivation that I could pest on. You are also to cross a lot of boulders on the route and had to be carefully traversed too, also to note a vertical climb that can make life difficult like no one’s business. The moment you hit lady leg, the plateau is in sight and all your thoughts at the checkpoint are concentrated on the biggest climb at beas kund where I could see a couple of runners from a distance on the climb and looked daunting again. 

I took a breather at the checkpoint to refill my supplies and water just before I could continue with my journey. The climb ahead was difficult too and it made me wonder why does one refer the Vashisht climb to be a death climb when all the climb do not show any mercy in making you will weaker and weaker as you keep moving. 
By now the fatigue levels in the body had already beaten the thresholds and could see a couple of runners slowing down on the way and was quite evident that this was indeed the most considerable deal one has signed up for and only prayers that were made was it to put it to end for once and ever. 
So lady leg happened and the last climb of the race at beas kund beats the elevation gain when compared to the rest of the peaks done in this process. This was indeed a vertical climb and the last bits of it had to be careful done due to the treacherous narrow path laid with rope ways for support and to avoid a fall.

This is where I breath a sigh of relief, phew! Felt like the race had ended post the climb. This was it, just another 10-11 kms back to the base to finish the race. And so did I, reached the palchani nalla again taking me back to Dhundi bridge and ran the road down to Adventure camp valley at Solang. The double duo was put to an end. 

The finish point:-

And not to forget the gear checklist to be eligible to start and keep yourself going. 

All those tech stats can be analysed here:-
Event website:-