Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday, 02/27/09 Dowdy/Flatiron Vista/Marshall Loop

~5 miles

Got an invite from Gerry and Jennifer Roach to walk a 42 mile loop around Boulder and although I could not join for the whole loop, I enthusiastically agreed to join them for part of it, as I was eager to hear about their recent trip to Africa and we always have loads of things to talk about. Two hours with them seems like 5 minutes. We coordinated by cell phone and I met them a little after 9am at the S. Mesa TH, they were already 4 hours into their hike.

They also had the company of their good friend from Telluride, Ricky Denesik. I knew the name, but was a bit rusty on the specifics. I came to learn that Ricky has won Hardrock, gone sub 2:30 on Pikes and held the 14er record for a while in the 90's. Most recently, he was 3rd at the 2008 Hardrock at age 49, pretty amazing athlete! We were slow to aquaint, as both of us are a bit quiet at first, but soon we were talking it up about the zillion things we had in common.

We had an interesting start as we negotiated the construction at the Dowdy Draw TH. There was an obvious sign that read "Trailhead Closed". OK, fine, the trailhead is closed, but there was no sign that indicated that the trail was closed. We waltzed on through confidently until one of the workers started giving us grief. We informed him of their lack of appropriate signage without breaking stride. He was not impressed with our rationale, but oh well. We questioned why the heck they are wasting time/money fixing up what was already a very well maintained trail. Let me guess, they will next make it off limits to dogs???

Once past this, it was smooth sailing, except for the wind and snow that was pelting us on the Flatirons Vista North Trail. I was a bit underdressed, as I was expecting a nice warmup, but nothing really to complain about.

Once we made it to the Marshall Mesa TH, Gerry decided to call it a day, as his foot has been bugging him. I got on my junker bike that I had locked to a post earlier and got the car, where I then gave Gerry a ride to his truck.

I was planning on bailing here, but was having second thoughts, as conversation with Ricky was really starting to warm up, talking about 14ers, 14er records and the Matt C/Rick T fued. Bummer, hopefully he will join us for our April RRR trip.

My knee felt good today (have been dealing with IT band issues most of this month). I was thinking I was out of the woods last week, but a Skyline Traverse got it flared up again and set me back to a point of being worse than it ever was before, so I am trying to take things very easy for a bit, just easy hiking and some biking when it is warm enough and not windy.

I did a bit of googling about the 14er record and came across Andrew Hamilton's site:

I have seen this before, but never really read it all. I have read a bit more and am enthralled by the story. I have mused about this in the past, just a pipe dream really, but reading this detailed account has fully squashed any fantasies I have ever had about it. I'll stick to going for the individual peak FKT's. I enjoy going home to a nice meal, hot shower and comfortable bed, i'm just a big wimp really.


  1. 1.) Big wimp? No. Sorry. Nice try. Play again.
    2.) Have I told you that header photo is pretty freaking cool?
    3.) JEALOUS. I can imagine the conversation. I am itching to hear it.
    4.) sub 2:30 if you do speed work.

  2. Thank goodness you're "a wimp". I expected to get an email in the next day or two:

    "Tim, Things We Need To Do This Summer:
    - Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim
    - Double Boulder Skyline Traverse (maybe triple)
    - Climb all 53 14ers in 13 days..."

  3. I got a PT in Boulder that will fix you right up. He is an Ironman + PT. Knows athletes.