Sunday, June 29, 2008

Green Mountain x 1.5

~8 miles
3,500 vertical

Got out with George today for a trip and a half up Green. Up the front, down Greenman to Ranger, back up to summit, met Allison and Sierra, then down Ranger/Gregory. Never really even checked times. I think I had 41:51 up the standard route from Gregory TH.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Green Mountain

6 miles
2,400 vertical
51 up

Got out with Allison and Sierra today up Gregory/Ranger. It was surprisingly cool. Stuck with Allison and went fairly easy, but she was working a bit hard due to time spent slacking at sea level. Lots of awesome butterflies out today.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vert
37:18 up/25 down

Day 4 in a row on Green, I just don't get sick of it for some reason. It is so quiet and peaceful. The trail is a good gradient and offers a good bit of variation and some fun views along the way.

Went moderate today, never pushed at all, but never really slacked either, just kept it steady. Felt good from the first step and felt better with each step up, felt like I could have really poured it on this morning, especially on the upper half, but refrained. Near Saddle Rock, I passed an older gentleman who I have seen many times in the past few weeks, probably in his 60's. He was moving pretty quick and it took me a little longer to pass than I anticipated. On the way down, he was already at the last wooden step before the final switchbacks. Pretty amazing, I sure hope I can stay that fit and active at that age.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vertical
35:53 up/22 down
Standard route

Got out of bed today and felt a bit creaky (I am 37 now afterall….). My back has been a bit stiff from humping heavy boxes all over the place preparing for the move, then I sat in one of our patio chairs to eat dinner and it broke, tweaking it a bit more. Crazy how something stupid around the house can potentially mess up your running or well being, like when I fell down the basement stairs and tweaked my ankle last summer, Kraig risking it all playing mini golf, or a collapsing yard chair.

Started up the trail a bit later than I had hoped and was a bit hurried by wanting to get to work by 8. I overall felt lousy as I warmed up my tired muscles through the upper part of Chautauqua. I was listening to my mp3 player and was eager for the line up of Endurance Planet episodes I had queued up.

I was hoping to go a bit faster than I did the past few days, but was not really committed to going too hard. I felt better and better the higher I went, but was paying more attention to the earphones than looking at my watch and subsequent pace. I went somewhat hard, but never felt as though I was extending myself, just really flowing well. I did crank it up through the new section, as it is my favorite section of trail to run, going up and down as it really is ideal for going fast.

Made the summit in 35:53, a few minutes off PR, but I was pretty happy with that considering the lack of commitment today. Went down in 22ish, and as George likes to say, the super computer was kicking in as my feet could do no wrong and my coordination was spot on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Green Mountain

2,400 vertical
5 miles
42:32up/?? down?

Went up Green the "standard" way again with Sierra today. It was yet another one of those perfect mornings and we had the trail all to ourselves. Went super easy.... 60% walking, 20% jogging, 15% stopping to wait on Sierra and another 5% for moving a dead tree that fell overnight.

On the way down we bumped into Homie, so we waited for him to finish and then went down pretty easy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


6.5 miles
2,500 vertical

George and I met at Chautauqua for an easyish spin up Green. After a minor delay, we hit the trail around 6:30? Went up the "standard" route in 44 from Chautauqua at easy moderate pace blabbing the whole time. My legs felt good, but I am content to take it easy for a bit. The descent was very slow as we waited a bunch for Sierra, might have even taken us longer to get down Ranger/Gregory..... As always, it is always a blast running with George, even if his day was off to a bad start ;).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moving lots of boxes

~3 miles
~700 vertical feet

Just a guestimate on the stats, but I spun many laps up and down the stairs today. I regretfully passed up an offer from Homie to go to the mountains, but the impending move on the 30th is weighing heavily on me. Got quite a bit done around the house, packed and carried many boxes, feeling like I am starting to get a handle on it. Sierra reminded me all day that we should be out trouncing around on snowy peaks, I felt so bad not being able to get her out, it has been a full week and will probably be another two weeks until we get out again. At 2:30 I got caught up on a few mountain trip reports and almost sped out the door for a late afternoon trip up Grays and Torreys, but was ultimately glad I did not.

As a side note, I don't feel tired or sore today whatsoever from the race yesterday. Last year I felt it a bit (although I climbed a few 14ers the next day....). I may take a few days off or easy before I start training again, mainly I need a bit of a mental break.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mt. Evans Ascent

Mt. Evans Ascent
14.5 miles
3,800 vertical +/-
2hrs 09min 18 sec
13th male
14th overall
2rd 35-39 age division


The field for this one was pretty deep and I was a bit intimidated going into it, but heck, the best way to get better is to run with people who are faster! With names like Matt Carpenter, Michael Selig, Cornelis Guijt, Bryan Dayton, Andrew Adamowski, Daryn Parker amongst other fast names on the start list, I knew that a faster run than last year on my part would most likely yield an even lower placing, but my focus today was to just go out and run my own race, have fun, do my best and try not to really be influenced one way or the other by who was ahead.

The morning was perfect, if a bit cool while getting ready, but by the 8am start time, the temperature had warmed to a near perfect temperature under perfect blue clear skies. I take my place on the line next to Carpenter and mention something to him about whether or not he is going for the record. He shrugs off the question as expected, saying something to the effect of the record standing for 30+ years (1:41) and he is of course not giving much up, especially to me, a complete stranger.

The race starts and I am buried in a surge of adrenaline pumped runners. Quickly things begin to sort themselves out and I settle into a “comfortable” pace behind Mike Selig in something like 12th or 13th place? Mike is a great runner and has placed very high at Pikes before, in addition to some other very good placings, so I am a bit surprised to be this close to him. We pass the 2 mile mark a few ticks over 15 and at one point, I even work up the nerve to attempt a pass, but he is not letting it happen and I quickly realize that the additional effort would just not be worth it, oh well .

I keep most of the runners ahead of me pretty much in sight for about half the race, but they are ever so slowly creeping away a bit more with each passing step. I keep Mike within 30 seconds or so and know that he knows how to pace well, so I figure that I am on track to at least set a PR. At mile 7.5, he suddenly and unexpectedly pulls to the side of the road and jumps into a waiting vehicle (of course he is having a bad day which explains why I was so close afterall….). Before he jumped in, I gave Mike some encouragement for him to continue as I passed by, but he is done for the day.

Just prior to summit lake, I get passed by a guy who I do not recognize and he is really turning over a great pace. I continue to maintain my steady trot though and he does not get too far ahead. I make it to summit lake 3 minutes faster than last year and know that if I play it smart, I can at least maintain that margin. At this point my legs are starting to feel a bit worked from the effort and the pavement and I know from experience that last 5 miles are going to really hurt bad .

Out of the blue, I think to myself that there are no women ahead of me and it secretly makes me happy . No more than a few minutes after thinking that, I hear a light pitter pat behind me and some fast breathing that sounds suspiciously feminine. Uh oh, here it goes, I am about to get chicked . A petite Japanese woman passes and we exchange nods. I try hard to keep up and do OK, until we get to the final downhill and she shoots off ahead and quickly passes the guy that earlier passed me, but I keep them in sight and for the most part am always on the same stretch as them. I later find out that she is an Olympic Gold medalist in the marathon at the 2000 Sydney Games! I guess I don't feel that bad afterall..... .

As the switchbacks start to really double back, I notice that a few guys are starting to gain on me, along with the second place woman. I am hurting and I really start to question whether or not I can hold them off and start having haunting premonitions that I am about to lose at least 3 places in the final mile. Without really increasing my pace, just mainly adjusting effort to altitude and building fatigue, I dig as deep as I can and it feels as though I am about to explode. I am not super concerned with placing, my primary goal is to go under 2:10, but I have come this far and worked this hard that I don’t really want to concede hard fought placings to anyone this close to the summit.

All kinds of crazy thoughts go through my head in the last miles. Jump on the back of a car? Cut a switchback or two? Give up and walk? Steal some poor sap’s carbon road bike? None of that is realistic or fair, so I give in to good ole’ fashioned deep suffering, knowing that this last push is hurting my competitors as much as me and before I know it, it will all be over.

A surge of adrenaline as I near the final switchback gives me just what I need to bust out my best sprint. I know I have everyone behind me under control, but I can see that I am getting pretty close to 2:10 and don’t want to take any chances. I sneak in under my goal time and dizzily walk off the pain for about a minute. Then my mountaineer brain immediately kicks in and I spent another few minutes huffing my way up to the true summit. I figure if I don’t do it now, I will not want to later as my mind and quads revolt. I flop onto the familiar summit rock and pant for a bit, sign the register and spend a few minutes looking down on the race and taking in the views.

The trip down was a mess. We jumped into a “shuttle” (somebodys SUV), were dropped off at the waiting busses at summit lake, then were told that they would not be departing for another 45+ minutes!! Uggg…., I just want to get down after waiting for friends to finish for over 40 minutes at the summit. We resort to good ole’ fashioned hitch hiking and myself and my two friends who I rode with this morning all got rides within 10 minutes or so.

I had a great day on the mountain. I felt great and felt as though I gave it my all and had no excuses, I had an awesome time the whole day, despite the pain and suffering. You gotta like that sort of thing, otherwise why else would you pay $55 to run the highest road race?

Matt Carpenter ended up breaking the course record, bringing it down to 1:37:01! Naoko Takahashi also set a woman's course record of 2:06:20.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Loop around Chautauqua

~3 miles
~500 vertical
~30 minutes

Just got out for an easy run this morning. I was feeling really tired after getting shocked out of a deep REM stage at 4:15am (had to take Allison to the airport).... Uggg.

Ran Enchanted Mesa, Mesa, Bluebell-Baird, Ski Hill. Bumped into Kraig at the end of the run. Felt dopey and uncoordinated for the entire run (actually felt that way all day). Going to bed EARLY!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


3 miles
1,300 vertical

Went SUPER easy today, trying to taper and save my energy for Evans on Saturday. Am feeling pretty good, just need to maintain good sleep and eat well. The hay is in the barn so to speak.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Flagstaff via the road
5.5 miles
1,200 vertical
21:53 to turn/45 total RT

Woke up this morning and felt great and even said as much to Allison how good my legs felt. As part of my taper, I wanted to run hard, but not as long today. I also wanted more pavement practice and figured just going up Flag to the Amphi turn off would be just right.

I parked at Chautauqua and had a nice warm up through the park. I love running on the narrow trail through the deep green grass this time of year. I was not sure how motivated I felt to really kill it, but seeing several cyclists just starting up the road got my competitive juices flowing.

I hit it hard from the start and felt like I maintained a solid pace the entire way, feeling particularly fluid and rhythmic. This is a rare feeling for me on the road and was actually REALLY enjoying it. I was competing hard with a guy on a bike, but he got a good gap on the flat section, but I started to reel him back as the road kicked up again before the turn. I was trying hard to go under 22 minutes as my best on this split has been 22:??.

Was very satisfied with my time of 21:53 and felt awesome at this point. Everything seemed to be coming together between my physicality and my intentions. I debated keeping the effort to the top of Superflag, but need to force myself to save it for Saturday. Jogged easy up the road toward the Amphitheater, then took the Flagstaff trail down at a very casual rate.
It was a wild flower bonanza on the way down, the birds were chirping and the whole forest was teeming with life. Nothing better than a June morning!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday June 15th, 2008 Mt. Bierstadt

Mt. Bierstadt South Ridge
13.6 miles
4,450 vertical feet

For the past few years, I have had my eye on the South Ridge, described by Roach as a “Salubrious Sojourn”. I searched for TR’s in the 14erworld archive and elsewhere and was unable to find any?Allison and her mom were planning a hike for Sunday morning, followed by father’s day plans, so I figured Scott Gomer Creek from the Abyss TH would be a great spot for them to have a mellow mother/daughter hike, while I planned on running ahead for a bit. So many options from here…. hmmm…. What to do?

We got to the trailhead a bit later than I would have preferred (a bit before 10am), but I’ll admit that it was nice to sleep a little later after getting up at 3:55am the previous day. Started up the trail at 10am and jogged at a mellow pace, mainly because I had a loaded camelback with plenty of water, clothing, camera etc…. but I also wanted to keep my effort on the moderate side. The trail here is great for running and not too steep, gaining about 1,000 feet over 3.8 miles, much of it seemed pretty flat. The morning was beautiful, if a bit warm, but I was so stoked to be out running through the mountains on a warm summer day.

I stopped every so often to take pictures and drink in the morning. The trail was completely dry, except for a few short muddy spots. I passed the two trail junctions and continued on the Abyss Trail as it started to switchback up the steeper hillside until I got to a nice clear area on the steep hillside and headed straight up and trended left. The bushwhack was very easy as the forest is sparse and there is very little deadfall. There were a few remaining snow patches, but you would have to go out of your way to step in them. Once at tree line, you can see most of the route ahead and point 13,780 looks a bit distant, but the terrain is pretty mellow.

I made my way up to the ridgeline, where you can get a unique perspective on Bierstadt’s imposing East Ridge and peer down upon Frozen Lake. The ridge seems to go on and on for a long time with several bumps along the way and the final kick to point 13,780 is steep and sporty on large solid rocks (class 2+).Once I got to pt. 13,780, the remainder is a cake walk as Bierstadt looks to be within spitting distance. It is mostly a flat stroll to reach the main trail, where I encountered the expected hordes of hikers. I made quick work of the upper section, staying mostly on snow next to the rocks and topped out at 12:15pm and took a nice leisurely break.

Coming back down from 13,780, I followed the ridge a short ways, leaping from one solid boulder to the next, then dropped right and took a more direct line to the left of a huge snowfield (might be a good glissade with an axe?) which got me to a great, low angle grassy slope that I was able to quickly perform a descending traverse to my route through the trees. I rang up Allison on the two-way radios and she informed me they were a bit below the first junction and I told her I would be there soon.

The descent was quite expedient and I made it back to trail in the valley in 45 minutes from the summit of Bierstadt, going at a quick, but very measured and safe pace. I met Allison and her mom a few minutes later and we all hiked out together, getting back to the car at 3:20.

If you are looking for something new to do somewhat close to home, this route on Bierstadt is awesome. It felt very remote and quiet (except for the summit of course), and seemed to me like I was climbing a whole new peak. I highly recommend it!Splits:Depart TH: 10:00amBegin bushwhack: 10:50amTreeline: 11:10amPt. 13,780: 12:00pmSummit: 12:15pmLeave Summit: 12:30pmBack at Abyss Trail: 1:15pmBack at TH: 3:20pm


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Grays and Torreys via Lost Rat
8.5 miles
3,600 vertical
Jeff Valliere and Dave Hale (Scooby, Shep and Sierra) for Lost Rat, Allison Valliere and Kevin Lund

Needing to do something close to home today, we got a cracking early start from home to meet Dave at the Stevens Gulch TH where he, Emily, Matt and Sharon had camped out. This is mainly a conditions report, so I will keep it brief.

Started at 6:08am. The trail has some snow but was quite frozen and travel was quick and efficient. Made it to the base of the climb a few minutes after 7:00am, spent about 15 minutes gearing up, then were heading up Lost Rat at ~7:20ish. There were 4 people ahead of us, but 2 turned around as a dinner plate size rock skipped down from above and spooked them (they did not have helmets). We soon passed the other two, a couple with their dog. It was her first snow climb and they both seemed a bit on edge (also had no helmets).

The angle was around 40 degrees most of the way and the snow was in great condition, maybe a touch harder than I am used to. Was not wearing my sturdy boots and I was regretting that as it was a bit tough to really kick in. The shaft of my axe would only penetrate a few inches. This seemed to not bother Dave at all, but me being not quite as comfortable or experienced on steep snow I opted to employ the use of my pick most of the way. A bit overkill, but I just feel a bit more comfortable in that situation.

Our progress up the couloir was efficient, but not particularly fast as we were more focused on safety instead of speed. This gulley is deeply inset and the surrounding cliffs are riddled with loose rock. We observed and dodged a few small rocks ranging in size from golf ball to grapefruit size.

If you opt to try this climb, for sure bring a helmet, keep a sharp eye up the hill and maybe even get on this a bit earlier than we did.We topped out around 8:00am, met up with Kevin and Allison who stuck to the standard trail and were spying on us from above. Took a long break, then made the summit of Grays at 8:38am.

It was great getting up there ahead of the slowly approaching masses below and we shared a long break on the summit with one guy before his two buddies showed up. Dave, Allison and I continued on to Torreys while Kevin took a quick glissade. Torreys got pretty crowded with climbers topping out on Dead Dog, skiers, boarders, etc….

Bumped into Steve Nicholls back at the saddle, then his friend Allie and fiancé Sarah further down. We chatted for a while and it was fun bumping into friends up there. Dave ripped the glissade from the saddle, but I could not talk Allison into it, so we stuck to the trail. Walking out was a little slushy, but no bad at all and we were mostly on top of the snow. Back at the car at noon on the dot. Absolutely awesome day. PERFECT weather, great climb, great company.


Friday, June 13, 2008

No summits for me today as I have an optometrist appt. this afternoon at 3:30, then need to continue packing house for upcoming move. Heading up to climb Grays Peak tomorrow via Lost Rat (steep snow), then over to Torreys. If time permits, I hope to run up Kelso as well. Hoping to do a high altitude run Sunday, but have not yet come up with a solid plan.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


3.75 miles
1,300 vertical

Got a last minute invite from Allison to go up Sanitas after work. Since I would only be going home to an empty house, how could I refuse? Went up the valley, then I showed her the "new" route up to the quarry , then up to the ridge. Once on the main trail, Allison put the hammer down and dropped me and got to the summit about 30 seconds ahead of Sierra and I. The "new" route is a better route in the winter as it is somewhat overgrown this time of year. Came down the East side. Not sure how long it took to go up or down, never once looked at the watch. Went pretty easy in general. Topped off the day with fish tacos at Wahoos.

Green Mountain

2,400 vert
5 miles
41:56up/1:12 RT

Got in a solid 8 hours of sleep last night and felt refreshed and well rested this morning. Went up Green the "standard" route, Amphi,/Saddle/Greenman enjoying a stockpile of enduranceplanet podcasts I recently downloaded to my new teeny tiny 4GB Sansa Clip. I committed myself to walking the entire ascent which I knew would be a challenge, especially on the flats and downhills, but I swore I would go easy. I kept a steady pace, fast for a walk, but slow by running standards. It is interesting how easy the line between hiking transitioning into running blurs going uphill and it was an interesting exercise in patience. It also can blur for me the otherway around, but that is usually an exercise of pain tolerance coupled with efficiency. Made it to the top in 41:56, then turned around to walk the descent. My patience with that wore off by the first turn and ended up trotting very mellow the entire trip back. Overall an awesome and refreshing morning and I would have to admit the podcasts helped a bit....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Green via Superflag

9 miles
2,700 vertical

Ran this yesterday at a casual pace and hoped to go a bit harder today. Was not really sure what I meant by "Harder"..... PR effort? A minute or two quicker?

I awoke this morning feeling really tired and considered rolling over, but my inner voice kept telling me to get up and go. Driving into Boulder I am unusually unenthused and all sorts of options are going through my head, but indecision brings me to my intended path (road).

I start off easy and will just feel it out. After a few minutes, I am bumping it up to a moderate pace. My legs feel good, but I am soon gurgling spit and it feels as though I am breathing through a straw. Funny, just yesterday Kraig and I were talking about this very phenomena and I was noting to myself how it has been a long time since I have felt this.

Oh well, pflegm or not, I reach the turn a few seconds over 24 and ramp up my efforts for the "Super" part of Superflag. I go at the lower end of hard as I just don't have it today, yet I crank up the effort a touch on the last switchback, trying to go under 40, but I quickly realize it is not to be. I make it in 40:33 and head left toward Green w/out breaking stride. I jog the rollers and then bump up the pace a bit for the final climb. I make the 4 way at 52:38 and then peg it a bit, perhaps a touch annoyed at my slower than hoped pace. As the trail steepens, I power hike instead of trying to run every step and top out in 55:33.

I take it super easy going down listening to the birds and checking out the abundance of wildflowers and make it to the car at 1:24.

As my fitness increases, I start to think that every run should be fast, or better yet just want to keep running faster and faster all the time. I just have to keep reminding myself that in order to go faster on the fast days, I may need to go a little slower on the other days and not get stuck in a rut of running every day moderate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Green via Superflag

2,700 vertical
9.5 miles
43:50ish up Superflag/59:48 to summit of Green

Got out with Kraig today for an easy run up Superflag and Green. It was great to finally get out for a run with him as I have met him briefly several times in the past and he seemed like a pretty easy going guy. I have known of Kraig for quite a while, hearing numerous stories of his speed and fitness from his brother in law Bill, and more than once I have aimed for one of his FKTs listed on Bill’s site and fallen short. I have also gotten accustomed to watching helplessly as he blows past me on Pikes above Barr Camp, as he just grinds out a fast speed longer than most can maintain.

We went a pretty casual/conversational pace up the road and topped out at 43:50ish. I am feeling more and more accustomed to the pavement each time I run on it and am actually…. (GASP!!) somewhat enjoying it. We then headed over to the summit of Green at a moderate clip, then bumped into Allison and Sierra on our way down. Great morning out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

S. Boulder and Bear

11.5 miles
4,000 vertical feet

My legs felt pretty zippy this morning and it was cool out, so I immidiately thought of running S. Boulder and trying to PR.

Got to the TH around 10:15am and the lot was full, so we parked on the other side of the road and I got in a bit of a casual warmup going up the Homestead Trail with Allison and Sierra. My legs felt AWESOME and I knew that I could potentially have a great day. The only problem was that my "cool" day was quickly turning hot and I was feeling a bit dehydrated already.

I grabbed the key from Allison and ran back down Homestead to the car and guzzled almost a liter of water. Ran back down to the TH and my gut was now feeling bloated and sloshy and I was beginning to question my reasoning a bit.

I started my watch on the cement bridge and began running with quick strides, but keeping it fairly conservative. My plan was to keep the tempo fast, but quite sustainable on the section to the mouth of Shadow and save a bit for the steeper sections. I was moving fairly well, but felt very much within myself and made the first junction at 12:20, then the mouth of Shadow at 18:50 (about 30 seconds off PR pace as I usually look at my watch at the creek vs. the next junction as I have been using as of late). Not bad, this is what I was planning, now I'll rip it up the canyon and make up that time and then some..... Not quite.

Not that it was that hot, but the sun was strong and the heat was starting to wear on me a bit. The crowds of people and dogs were also a touch bothersome. I did a good job making my presence known, most people cleared the way, but some were slow to react and caused some interruption in pace.

I ran most of Shadow, but powerhiked the steepest stretchs, often times going on all 4's. I was hoping to get to the saddle in 40 flat, but the watch does funny things in times like these. I realized I would be nowhere close, but still kept up the effort and made it there in 41:26. I felt like I moved fast on the upper stretch to the summit, but my time indicated otherwise and I was disappointed to stop my watch at 46:55. Guess I was not feeling as great as I had hoped...???

I did an immidiate u-turn and headed down to meet Allison and Sierra about a minute below the saddle and I then had trouble staying on Allison's heels back up to the summit as she was hauling and I had not fully pulled it together yet. We then boogied over to Bear, then back down to the car.

Overall I felt pretty good. Had I gone a few hours earlier when it was cooler and there were no people, I may have come a bit closer to my goal, but I really have no excuses. I went hard tempo, but never really redlined it along the way, except for MAYBE the final 2 minutes, but even that effort was stifled a bit by terrain. Better luck next time. Gotta go when it is a little cooler and be willing to dig a little deeper.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bill Loop (S. Boulder and Bear)

~11 miles
~3,800 vertical
2:25 total

Homie invited me to get out for an early morning run with he, Bill and Mark Oveson, meeting at the S. Mesa TH at 5:30am. I was a bit reluctant to get up so early, but this is a great time of year to get up early and I was anxious to hang out with these 3 as they are so much fun to talk to.

We went a real mellow pace up to Shadow, 29 minutes or so, I stopped to take a quick pee and let them get ahead, as I figured I would just run through the canyon to the saddle and time my split. I gave them 2 minutes and caught them in about 3 minutes. I knew after the first few steps that my legs did not have much in them at all. I pushed a bit, but I knew there was no sense in trying too hard if my legs were not fully recovered. Made the saddle in 22:24, turned around and headed back down for about a half mile until I met up with them.

Bill and I got ahead again and waited for them on S. Boulder. Homie showed up first moving pretty quick and told us Mark headed for Bear, so we all boogeyed over and scrambled up the sporty route to the summit. We took it easy heading down and had some fun conversations along the way. Great day out, really fun getting out with this group.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday, 06/04/08 Green Mountain via SuperFlag (road)

Green Mountain via SuperFlag (road)
~10 miles/2,800 vertical
37:59 SuperFlag
53:22 Green

After running SuperFlag yesterday at a moderate rate, I was kind of itching to get out and give it a faster effort today. I started at Chautauqua and had a few minute warm-up to the start of the climb. I started my watch at the bridge and hit it pretty hard right off the bat. I was not at all feeling my best, but was proud to maintain my effort at a high level the entire way. I seemed to be able to maintain a steady turnover and kept an efficient stride. Toward the top, I knew I would have to really work to beat 38 and I kept the effort near max. On the final stretch, my watch seemed to be flying toward 38 and I was sprinting for all I was worth to slip in under 38 and made it in 37:59. Without breaking stride, I banged a hard left onto the West ridge trail, made it to the 4 way in 50, then the summit in 53:22, left the summit at 54, went down fairly quick, but still conservative and arrived back at the car at 1:23 (1:27 total with warmup). I felt decent today and gave it all I had, but I am not sure my legs were the best they could be, maybe I’ll give it another go next week.

Tuesday, 6/03/08 Green via SuperFlag (road)

Green Mountain via SuperFlag (road)
~9 mile/2,700 vertical
40:50 up road

Had a great run w/George up the road for a little Mt. Evans training. The pace felt a bit fast in the beginning, but that was mainly because I was not warmed up and we were talking. George decided to back off since he went really hard the day before and was feeling it. I plugged along at a moderate pace, just trying to focus on form, consistency and stride. Got to the top in 40:50, jogged down a bit to meet George as he was a few minutes back (I think he finished in 43:??). We then took a short breather and continued on to the summit of Green along the West side route, I think we made the summit in 1:02 or 1:03?? Took it easy going down, and then bumped into Kraig K at Chautauqua and talked with him for a while. Can’t wait to do this one again a little faster.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Goliath Peak (12,216), Rogers Peak (13,391), Mt. Warren (13,307), Mt Evans (14,264)6/01/08
~9 miles/~4,700 vertical
Start: Mt. Evans Toll Booth
2hrs 50 minutes

Thinking about the race up Mt. Evans I am signed up for on June 21st, I figured I had better get in some road miles and some altitude. I invited several running pals, but none could make it unfortunately. The lack of partners had me questioning whether or not I wanted to go and I just figured I would “sleep in” and decide when I got up Sunday morning. I woke up around 5:30am and felt well rested and antsy. What the heck, I’ll give it a go anyways. As I was getting ready, I kept pondering whether or not I really wanted to plug away on 14.5 miles of pavement and threw in some gear in case I decided to get off the pavement.

I have been wanting to hike over Goliath, Rogers and Warren for a while and a failed trip this past winter (it was too cold and windy to even get out of the car), had me anxious to finally get up there. Ultimately, I decided that I would run a bit of road and still get the peaks I wanted.

I started at 7:45am and headed up the quiet road. About 1/4mile up, I decided to head straight up the hillside and cut off some mileage. This generally worked quite well as I could avoid snow for the most part, but I eventually got bogged down with some serious post holing. As soon as I was about to get real fed up, the road miraculously appears. Coincidentally, I come out on the road 20 feet ahead of the runner who started from the lot about 10 minutes ahead of me. I wait and we jog/walk along at a mellow pace, talking about the upcoming race and people we know in common.I eventually say goodbye to John and continue up the road for maybe ¾ mile total until

I come to a dry S. facing hillside, heading up to the dry ridge. I plod up this, trying to run a bit, but it is a bit steep and my legs are feeling a somewhat tired. I plod along and make Goliath in a seemingly pokey 40 minutes.Rogers is looking discouragingly distant and I am now able to jog the slight downhill for a bit, dodging boulders and snow patches. I cross the road again at 54 minutes and debate jumping on it, but with a Camelback full of water and warm clothes and clunky trail shoes, I opt to continue my “hike”.

The route to Rogers is pretty mellow, but the terrain is not as “runnable” as I had hoped, so I just resign myself to fast walking and jog a step here and there.The snow patches start to increase and it is a game of avoidance and efficient route finding. Occasionally I opt to beeline across, but have mixed results. I finally top out on Rogers after 1:29, tag anything that seems to be a summit and continue on without breaking stride. Now the rocks become a bit of a jumble and I zig and zag finding ways that don’t require using my hands or stepping on snow (which would probably result in a broken leg).

I make it to Warren after 1:52 and again prod around for the highest point and waste no time lingering. As I am dropping down to Summit Lake, I see John (the runner I met earlier) running along the road and catch up to him, reaching the lake at 2:07. We walk and talk for another few minutes while I suck down a double shot espresso Clif gel to get me up the final stretch.I again say goodbye and I am torn as to whether or not I want to run the road. It has taken me a good bit longer than I anticipated to get here and I promised to be home by noon (planning on getting a ride down), so I opt for the direct route up to the parking lot. This is where I run into the most snow I have seen all day above tree line, and it is East facing and soft.

For the most part, with strategic zig zagging, I can stay on dry ground, but occasionally I have no choice but to cross the snow. Again, sometimes I stay on top, other times I am up to my waist. Uggg, it is really ugly when I drop deep and this really revs my already high heart rate.I am really starting to feel trashed and stop every once in a while to catch my breath as I clamber over rocks and through snow. As I stop, I curiously watch skiers schuss past, scraping on rocks as they go. They all seemed to be using good skis, which had me a bit confused. They either make skis much more durable than the ones I have purchased in the past few years, or they have a much bigger ski budget than I do. Gotta keep the core and edge repair business going I guess…..

Eventually I pass the parking lot and the final 100 feet seems to take forever as it is really icy and slick. I grind it out and am relieved to flop myself down on the summit rock after 2 hours and 50 minutes. Phew. I pant, drink, pant some more, add a layer and admire the views for a bit. I carefully pick my way back down to the lot and after a few minutes of scoping, I score a ride down from an older guy from Central City, named…… you guessed it, John (on the way down, we pass John 1 standing with his thumb out, but unfortunately John 2 has no room in his truck).

All in all a great day out, I got in 3 new peaks on the way to an old favorite (20th ascent of Evans) and got some great exercise in the process. Even though I did not run the road the entire way, I got a good review/reminder of the course which will be helpful in 3 weeks.

5/31/2008 Pt. 12,088, 12,567, 12783, Whale Peak (13,078), Glacier Peak (12,853)

Pt. 12,088, 12,567, 12783, Whale Peak (13,078), Glacier Peak (12,853)
~10 miles/4,300 vertical (including a bit of extra credit vert.)
From Jefferson Lake
7 hours RT
Jeff and Allison Valliere, John Prater, Pete Krzanowsky and Sierra

Failing to come up with a “local” plan to get up high for Saturday, I sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people on my e-mail list and Pete quickly indicated that he was planning Whale and some other nearby 12ers. Having wanted to climb Whale for quite some time, I was immediately in (pending approval from Allison of course…..). John was also on the same page and the group was set.

After a minor disagreement with the Jefferson Lake authorities over what passes work there and which don’t, we started from Wellington Lake around 7:50ish and headed due East up the hillside over some minor patches of still frozen snow up to the saddle between 11718 and 12,088. The going here was surprisingly easy and got us to the ridge quickly and efficiently. From the ridge, the views opened up and I was in absolute heaven. It was warm, no wind, no snow, clear….. just the day I have been patiently waiting all winter for.

We casually strolled North along the grassy undulations, picking up every ranked and unranked bump along the way, taking the occasional break to eat, photograph and chat. At the start of the final push up Whale, Sierra caught scent of what I figured to be some sort of ungulate and started to sniff all over, perk up and show too much interest. Fortunately I noticed this immediately and put her on leash. This turned out to be great as she towed me all the way up Whale, I was literally putting in half the effort as normal (maybe I can recruit her for Pikes…. Would that be cheating?).

We took a long break on Whale, then moseyed over to Glacier. The views were awesome and we were picking out nearby peaks to climb soon. John was quite bummed to not pick up Sheep along the way and we all teased him for wanting to drop down the wrong side to nab such a lowly peak. He strongly contemplated it, but figured he would save that one for another day.

The trip down was uneventful, until we came to the final pinnacle on the ridge at 12,000 feet. From here we got a great view of the lake and surrounding area. We noticed that there seemed to be too much snow to efficiently go around the West side of the lake, but there was a little ridge dropping to the East that looked like easier passage to the lake, which would then be easy street along the East side where there was no snow along the shoreline.

A few class 3 moves got us down through the worst section, then it was just steep going all the way down with the occasional patch of deep snow. We worked our way through the valley hopping over all the runoff as the day was warming significantly. The trip out along the East side of the lake went by quick and we were back at the cars about 2:50.

What an awesome day up high, super casual, great partners, great weather, great views.