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Jemez Mountain Trail Run – Wildfire Update and Trail Photos

Los Alamos, New Mexico, home of the beautiful and challenging Jemez Mountain Trail Run has had some significant community and environmental challenges for the past six weeks as the Las Conchas fire burned over 244 square miles in the surrounding mountains.

A few insights from a recent  local news article:

  • The fire started June 26 when a tree fell on a power line.
  • Crews have declared 100% containment on the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history.

The 100% containment news is great to hear!

I was able to get in contact with Jemez Mountain Trail Run race director and local resident, Bill Geist. Bill is attending a special community meeting tonight with the forest service to discuss the impact of the fires on the local trails. Within the next couple of days, Bill will provide the latest update on the local trails and the potential impact on the Jemez Mountain Trail Run (race date: May 19, 2012).

Until then, here are a few photos Bill was able to collect (in some unknown manner) that provides a glimpse of the damage and regrowth in the area.

North Mitchell Trail: "I fear that there will be lots of erosion here and actually along most of the trail" (Copyright Bill Geist)

North Mitchell Trail (Copyright Bill Geist)

About 0.4 miles down the trail from Guaje Ridge. (Copyright Bill Geist)

Lower Guaje Ridge: "The wind was blowing a lot of dust/ash" (Copyright Bill Geist)

Lower Guaje Ridge: "Crazy burn on this tree." (Copyright Bill Geist)

Looking up towards Caballo Mountain (Copyright Bill Geist)

Mitchell Ridge: Only a little burn area. (Copyright Bill Geist)

North Mitchell Tail: Within the sea of dead trees a few still standing green and proud. (Copyright Bill Geist)

Life quickly returning! (Copyright Bill Geist)

Brown, dead leaves in the background. Aspen growing new leaves in the foreground! (Copyright Bill Geist)

The circle of life continues…

After just running JMTR this Spring, it is hard not to have the heart ache a little bit after seeing these photos. And yet, this too shall pass. What an amazing world we live in.

If you have never been to this race before, here are a couple things to check out that contain great photos and video of the area.

Be on the lookout for additional insight from Bill Geist right here on Endurance Buzz!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “Jemez Mountain Trail Run – Wildfire Update and Trail Photos”

  1. on 03 Aug 2011 at 3:53 pm Jonathan

    I was worried the fire would destroy a significant amount of trails. Respect goes out to all of the firefighters who worked long hours to contain this fire. Even though fires can be incredibly destructive the land can come back. Hopefully the race will go on as planned as a lot can happen in 10 months. I look forward to running the 50 miler.

  2. on 03 Aug 2011 at 7:55 pm David Hanenburg

    Jonathan – Respect indeed! Thanks for sharing.