Got together with a few friends to push ourselves to do a double out and back on Pole Mountain. The 4 of us run pretty different paces so we got to woo hoo each other on the fly bys but mostly ran the miles on our own with an "aid station" at the mid way point in our cars. Good temps and no mud for a solid first fast effort on this spicy hilly 50k. I've run TH to TH probably 18-20 times so it was cool to see I ran my fastest ever lap on this route on a day that i repeated it! whew! Thanks to my friend Grant, who rallied us all to spend 6 hours out here on a gorgeous day.
For those unfamiliar, there are no services beyond the trail head. TBH... i can't even recall if there's water at the trail head but there is bathrooms (no sinks). Parking opens at 8AM - 6PM but theres a few spots on the side of Hwy 1 if you want to get out there earlier and stay later. As far as navigation goes, there are a few spots where you can take the wrong turn and end up looping back on Raptor Ridge or finding yourself heading towards private property. About 4 miles from the summit, there is a creek crossing that can get very low in the summer. Because this is cattle grazing land, be wary when you filter.
The trail is primarily non=technical fire road. Don't let the initial hill climb from the parking lot intimidate you because well... theres a lot more climbing to come! Also, because it is the coast, you can experience 30 degree temperature swings from the trail head to the summit and blue skies followed by socked in fog. The trail, particularly as you get to the top, is very exposed so pack extra water. I've known plenty of people familiar with the trail still run out of water and find themselves in a bad spot.