Time of Operation: 1200 on Saturday to 0300 on Sunday.
Official Start Time for Shortcut Saddle is 1400 hrs but we have had a runner in as early as 1330. Cutoff time for last runner out of Checkpoint is 2340.
The Shortcut Saddle Checkpoint is located about 21 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway 2 from 210 Freeway. It takes about 1 hour and 20 min to drive up there. This checkpoint is #13 in the course and about 59.3 miles from Wrightwood. There are some gorgeous views on the way up and at the checkpoint as it looks to the south. It is a saddle with a wide spot in the road on both sides of the 2 lane road.
The runner crew and any medical support crew are on the north side of the road. It is also a spot where the runner’s personal crew can have access to the runner. The runners come in from Chilao checkpoint on the north side, rest for a few minutes, and then cross the road and head down the mountain toward Newcomb Pass. There is no runner support access at Newcomb Pass so there will be a lot of questions from the crews about the status of the runners.
Radio personnel (ham or non-ham) call the bib number and in times, which they get from the Runner Crew Timekeeper, from the north side of the road to the south side of the road via handheld radios or FRS radios to the radio crew.
The radio crew sets up on the outbound side of the course. All runners pass directly in front of the radio crew who puts the outbound time into the packet runner tracking software. One of the benefits of the software is that as soon as you key in the out time you get the runners name and you can say good luck to the runner using his name. It really helps to wake the runner up and they appreciates it especially when it gets dark and the runners are tired.
There are no facilities and no food provided. We are expected to bring our own water and food. There is no cell phone service at this site which is the reason for the radio volunteers. The runners are very aware of this and they usually thank us on the way out. Our station is normally run off of batteries as there is no electricity. We have battery operated lights but the volunteers will need to bring flashlights, food and drinks, sunscreen, bug spray (preferably with deet) and warm clothing for at night. It can be 110 degrees in the shade in the afternoon and 35 degrees at night depending on the weather. Since it is a saddle there can be strong winds so be prepared. Volunteers are not required to stay the entire duration that the station is open but it is preferred that they come prepared to work from 6 to 8 hours. The busiest time is from 1500 to 2300 when the most help is needed. Help is also needed starting at about 1000 hours on Saturday to help mobilize and between 2300 Saturday and 0300 Sunday to help demobilize.