Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday, 6/30/09 Bear Peak

After having Jeremy Rodgers take a look at my foot and getting the good news that A). my injury is minor B). I can still train C). he can heal me in a short time, I decided to get out for a run. Though it was scorching hot, I was buoyed by the good news and decided to take a trip up Bear Peak.

Mainly because of the music I was listening on my MP3 player, I went on the high side of moderate/easy side of hard, but I was not feeling up to running really hard, as the foot is still sensitive (despite the tape job and sturdy shoes I was wearing) and I am a bit off kilter from taking nearly 2 weeks mostly off of running. Not to mention it was certainly the hottest day of the year so far (at least it seemed like it).

Got to the summit post just as my watch turned 43. Scampered up to the true summit, then took the descent somewhat easy, favoring my foot a bit and trying not to make it any worse. Going easy seemed to help, as I was no worse off afterwards. 1:10:09 for the RT.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday, 6/27/09 Bike Ride to Ward

Left the house on bikes this morning with Kevin and Allison, Baseline, 75th, Jay, 36, Lee Hill/Old Stage, Left Hand. Great morning, cool, clear and everyone was out on their bikes. Turned on the gas a bit the last few miles up to Peak to Peak, but otherwise was a good husband and paced Allison the remainder of the day. She did great considering she only rides once every week or 3, has little/no biking background and rides a heavy tank of a bike. We were going to head up to the Brainard gate, but Allison was a bit tanked by the time she arrived in Ward, so we will save that one for another day.

I am really digging riding the bike and am very much looking forward to getting in a ride or two up Mt. Evans, Berthoud Pass, perhaps the Minturn Loop (Fremont/Tennessee/Vail Pass). Am also fantasizing about the Grand Loop, ~220 miles over Trail Ridge, to WP, over Berthoud, OMG road, Peak to Peak, Ned back to Boulder. Hampsten once told me it was the hardest ride he had ever done. Need to find A). Sag wagon and B). a strong partner or two

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 Green Mountain

What a crazy birthday (well not that crazy), but certainly memorable. I got an invite from Brandon to go out to lunch, so we met at Wahoos close to work (thanks again Brandon) and at the last minute I invited Tim, as I learned that morning that Tim was moving to California and had Dave's car packed, which was surprising news to say the least. I am happy for Tim that he found a job and is moving to a place he is excited about, but will certainly miss him as a running partner. I have only known Tim since January, but we hit it off immidiately and shared many good runs and an epic winter climb of Longs Peak. Keep in touch Tim!

I was not planning on getting out, but at the last minute I decided to run up Green. My legs felt good at work and in the car, but as soon as I hit the trail, they were like lead and I almost turned around, but kept going since I spent 30 minutes getting to the TH from Longmont. To add to it, it was probably the hottest day of the year thus far (at least the hottest temps I have run in) and my foot is still bugging me despite an easy week.

I just plugged along and although I never felt very good, I enjoyed my time on the trail regardless. I think I was also feeling the bike ride the previous day, noting that my quads were a touch tired.

Made the summit in 36:44, turned tail and headed back down the short way, getting back to the TH in 58:58.

Once in the car, I heard the news of Michael Jackson. As a kid, I was a huge fan, but grew out of it in high school for the most part, yet all the while appreciating his work and talent. He ultimately became one of the biggest celebrity train wrecks, but I will not forget what an amazing performer he was in the 80's and before. Kind of a downer on my 38th birthday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, 6/24/09 Bike to Work Day

Being reminded about Bike to Work Day a few weeks ago, I was certainly interested in participating and immidiately envisioned leisurely riding in, stopping for free food along the way at as many BTWD food stations as I could map out, but the work e-mail announcement mentioned a "friendly competition". Three categories were listed, longest one way commute, longest round trip and the final one that got my wheels spinning (literally and figuratively)...... most vertical. Hmmm..... did someone say competition and vertical in the same sentence?

I immidiately began plotting to sweep all 3 categories. I drove in Tuesday with extra clothes, food and anything I may need during the day, so I would not have to ride with a pack.

Wednesday morning arrived and I was up at 4:15am, anxious for a great ride. I was thinking of leaving at 5am, but it was just a touch too dark for my comfort level and did not feel like digging out bike lights. I slowly took my time getting ready and was out the door at 5:20am and headed West on Baseline to Flagstaff Road. I took the climb somewhat moderate, enjoying the scenery and basking in the quiet surroundings, fresh air and warming sunshine. I topped out in 33, did an immidiate U and was back down in 9 minutes.

From the base of Flag, I took 6th/4th/Broadway up to Lee Hill. I passed a BTWD station setting up a big griddle and was tempted to stop, but it was still before 7 and I had some riding to do. My legs were still feeling fresh since I went easy on Flag and I settled into a rythm up Lee Hill. At the top, I took a left and continued up the ever steepening Deer Trail. From Broadway, this took 45 minutes going a moderate pace. I took a short break to eat some Gu Chomps, glug some water and take in the morning and views. Looking at the divide, I was itching to ride up to Brainard/Peak to Peak/Estes, but alas I had to get to work.

Back down Deer Trail, back side of Lee Hill, Lefthand to 36 (obeying all laws of course ;)), 36 N. to Nelson Road and into Longmont. I was hoping to top 50 miles for the inbound commute, but arrived at work just before 8:30am with 48ish, and a flat tire! Dang it! I stood up, leaned forward (thus putting the bulk of my weight on my front tire) and put in the final two miles going back and forth in front of our building on the smooth road.

After a full day of work and a tube change, I was out the door at 4:39pm and the skies were threatening. It was warm, but the skies were starting to produce, yet I was sure I could make it home in time if I pedaled fast. Heading South on 95th, I really cranked it up, motivated to not get myself involved with any of the lightning I could see striking not too far to the West. Aside from going up one roller, I was never going under 25, and had the speed up over 40 at one point when I sprinted to get in the draft of a hay truck. I eventually got sick of the blowing hay in my face and was a bit spun out in my top gear, since I put on some easier climbing gears for the morning climbing, backing off once we got to 45mph.

The weather held barely long enough for me to put in a few extra miles to get up over 70 for the day which was my goal. I hope to find out today if I won at least one of the categories (and a $50 Visa gift card).

Stats: 71.25 miles
Vertical: ~5,800
Time: 4:26

The time looks kind of slow for 71 miles, but with all the vertical, there was a lot of climbing at 7-9 mph to skew the average (16mph). In Florida, we used to regularly churn out 100 miles in less than 3:50, but that was pancake flat at sea level.

This ride was so fun, I can see adding in a few more climbs next time, maybe make a day of it and get SuperFlag, Magnolia, Sugarloaf, Sunshine, Lee Hill/Deer Trail, SuperJames.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, 6/15/09 Sanitas

It has been a while since I have been on Sanitas, but it was cool and damp and I needed something short. I went really easy, but about half way up, I could hear some thunder kicking up and getting closer, so I picked up the tempo to moderate for the last 5 minutes or so. Hit the pole at 19:50 and turned back down the hill with out breaking stride. Down in 11.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday, 6/14/09 N. Face of Torreys (Emperor Couloir) and Grays Peak

Torreys via the “Emperor” couloir, and Grays
Jeff Valliere, Dave Hale, Sierra and Shep (for Emperor), Emily Hale, Kiefer and Sophie (for the hike out from Torreys summit)

Dave and I have been trying to coordinate to get in a good snowclimb together for weeks, but for various reasons, we just have not been able to make it happen until today.

After a short and restless night of sleep, I was wide awake at 3:15am, so I just got up and took my time getting ready, as I was to meet Dave in Bakerville at 5:45am. I got there 20 minutes early, put the final touches on my pack and we were soon cruising up the road in his truck to the campsite in Grizzly Gulch where he and Em had camped. We started hiking from the campsite at 5:55am and was once again stymied by the web of roads and found ourselves on the wrong side of the raging creek. We poked and prodded our way along and finally found a slippery log to cross that barely did the job. Once on the road on the N. side of the creek, it was easy street again for a short while.

Some easy bushwhacking soon had us at the base of the mighty Emperor, just in time to catch up with Bob Dawson, Sharoni, Steve Cassin and their group training for their upcoming Rainier trip. We all geared up together and started up the couloir within minutes of one another, chit chatting as we went.

The lower section was compacted avy debris which made for easy cramponing. It was impressive to witness how this snow had piled up, must have been one heck of a wet slide and I was glad to be here on a cold morning.

There was a fairly steep initial pitch, where the snow was a bit hard, but this was no big deal and before long the gradient relented a bit and was nice comfortable cruising. As we got higher, Dave and I were a little ahead of our group of friends, just basking in the glow of a glorious, blue sky Colorado day, when I happened to look up and see two softball size rocks skipping down the gulley at high speed.

Dave and I both yelled and stepped out of the way. Fortunately, they were on a trajectory opposite of the Dawson group and they passed without incident. This got me a bit on guard, as I was now always looking up the slope. Aside from two more small and less threatening rocks that skipped across our path, we did not have any more rock issues.

As we approached the summit, there were several options on the left and right, of varying grade, but we ultimately decided to stay in the very center of the couloir and head for what looked to be the most direct (albeit steep) finish. The final few hundred feet got progressively steeper with every foot, but conditions were perfect for kicking a deep enough and solid step. I also brought along an extra axe which at times seemed like overkill, but I was really glad to have it along, as I could plant/plant, step/step and always felt very secure. Sierra and Shep were absolutely loving this climb, every bit of it no matter how steep it got and were always smiling.

Dave and I topped out at 9:22am and the Dawson group of 10 trickled in very soon after. We waited a bit for Emily, Kiefer and Sophie to ascend the standard route and it was a festive atmosphere as we basked in the glow of a great climb and a perfect day.

After we had all regrouped, Dave and I cruised over to Grays, then back down to the saddle to rejoin Emily, where they decided to glissade and I walked. As I descended, I was surprised to bump into Kevin Lund and Carol Gerber heading up Grays for a late day jaunt. As we arrived at the Stevens Gulch TH, it started to snow/graupel, but there was no thunder which was good for all those above.

This was an all time favorite climb and I can’t wait to go back.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

6/11/09 S. Boulder Peak TT

We had a great turnout this evening, 20 I think. Dave proved to be king of the mountain today, and overall for the series, blazing the course and besting the FKT by 34 seconds, in an amazing 44:46. I ended up second in 46:43, a disappointing 53 seconds off PR. Early on my throat started getting pflegmy and I knew I just did not have it as I was hacking and not feeling as strong as I would have liked. Either way, it was a very fun run and a great turnout.

Wednesday, 6/10/09 Green Mountain

Running today did not look likely, as the afternoon deluge was in full swing, tornado warnings, hail, thunder, lightning. Oh well, gotta run a few errands in Boulder anyways, so I figured I would see what happens. My timing was perfect and the rain stopped just as I completed my errand. I was planning on Sanitas, but since I was closer to Chautauqua, I figured I would head in that direction. The air was cool and damp and the ground was soaked as I started up Gregory with no real plan. As I crested Gregory Canyon, I got off the beaten track and visited some vintage routes. I had not visited segment 1 of vintage route in years and it was awesome! The sun came out, everything was green and flowery, the dark clouds to the East looked purple and stood out in stark contrast to my immediate surroundings. I soon hit the Greenman trail, headed up Green via vintage segment 2 (big mistake), intersected the trail again and made it to the top in time to spy a nice rainbow to the East. I went SUPER easy, saving myself for the S. Boulder TT, but I felt awesome and wanted to run hard. I headed back down the front side, in a hurry to get home, but it was all I could do not to tack on another hour or more. This was one of those perfect evenings for running where it all comes together and you just don’t want it to end.

Up in 46/1:11 RT

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, 6/09/09 Green Mountain

Easy run up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman, cloudy, wet, foggy below 7K, but then I popped out above the clouds and the upper half of the peak was clear and dry. So cool! Wished I had a camera.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, 6/07/09 Red Mountain, Red Peak and Hoosier Ridge

Homie and I got out for several 13ers, starting from Hoosier Pass. This was an excellent route, lots of time above treeline, easy walking/jogging on the wide ridge. It took us 3:55 going at a casual to moderate pace for the ~12 miles/3,500 vertical. The weather was decent, but a bit cold and windy at times. Snow chased us back to the car at noon where the wives were waiting after they had finished their own version of the hike. Finally starting to feel well acclimated. Stopped for awesome burgers/fries at Smashburger in Silverthorne.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday, 6/06/09 Mt. Bierstadt

I called Homie this morning to see if had anything cooking for the weekend. We tossed around a few ideas and decided to make a last minute trip up Bierstadt. Left his house in Superior a bit after 9:30am, headed to the Guanella Pass TH and started at 11:32am. Things looked pretty melted out, aside from the relatively fresh snow above ~12,500, so I decided to "run" it. We wanted to go pretty light, but some hikers finishing warned us that the winds up high were strong and it was cold, so we headed back to the car for more layers.

The trail through the willows was a mucky mess which required some acrobatic moves back and forth across the trail to stay reasonably dry. I knew there would be little chance to set a PR today with the conditions, but I wanted to get in a good workout. As soon as the trail steepened, I knew I was not recovered from Thursday and just resorted to power hiking for pretty much the remainder of the ascent. Soon the wind started to pick up in earnest and I was getting pelted by some stingy ice crystals that were getting whipped up.

I eventually decided to put on the fleece I tied around my waist at the last second, but that involved removing my pack and was a bit of a trick in the windy conditions. After staggering along preoccupied with this task, I finally just decided to stop and do what I needed to do.

Once on the snow, I was surprised at how firm and grippy it was, great traction, some steps and no postholing. The route also headed up the hill a bit sooner, slightly deviating from the summer trail, but only by a few hundred feet on the most. I enjoyed heading straight up the fall line and made good progress through this section, although I found it hard to really push hard with the strong winds and cold temps with the windchill.

I made the summit in 59:17, 3:28 slower than PR, but I was pleased with this all things considered. Once at the top, I put on my bomber Patagucci hooded jacket, another pair of gloves and my balaclava and started back down to meet Allison and Sierra. I quickly dropped 800ft. or so and helped pace her to the top. John had topped out in 1:14:?? and came back down to join us back to the top. We topped out again at 1:22pm, a 1:50 ascent for Allison and did not linger due to the cold and wind. We headed down steady pace and arrived back at the TH at 2:37pm for a 3:05 RT. Although short, this turned out to be an awesome day out. Back to the high country tomorrow for some ridge running over a few 13ers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday, 6/04/09 Bear Peak TT

We had another great turnout for the Bear Peak TT, the second installment of the TT series Dave and I conjured up a few weeks ago.

Since Dave kicked my butt on Green last week, I insisted that he take pole position after offering it to me. It felt like a somewhat controlled start and I was tempted at first to make conversation, but soon I was breathing hard enough that it was not an option. TT and conversation just do not mix. We made the Cragmoor/Shanahan junction ahead of PR pace and I was able to stay on Dave's heels to the doggy pond junction, but he slowly started to pull away. I could have dug a bit more and stuck with him, but that would have meant impending doom, as I was trying not to completely blow it too soon and save some energy for the upper sections.

I was surprised to keep Dave in sight for the most part, I was sure that he would be steadily putting time into me. As we ascended Fern Canyon, I could see that I was slowly gaining and was quite surprised by this. I was nearly a minute ahead of PR by the saddle and was confident I could keep up the effort to the top and set a PR. I reeled Dave in about half way from the saddle to the summit and was reluctant to pass as I feared that I might be biting off more than I could chew. I could tell Dave was not having his best day, otherwise I doubt I would be passing him.

This uppermost section was mostly a hands on the knees powerhike, but I was able to muster something vaguely resembling a run in a few spots.

I passed the summit post 6 seconds slower than PR and then made my way to the true summit. Dave was about 15 or so seconds back and I was surprised that I held him off (I later found out he had a bad cramp which explained my stroke of luck ;).

Scott Elliott finished next (stopping at the post), followed by Stefan Gabriel, Tara Breed, Bill Wright, Charlie Nuttleman, Homie Prater, Christian Griffith and Heather Swallow (I think in that order). Please correct me if I left anyone out or screwed up the order.

My splits were:

Cragmoor connector/Shanahan 2:25
Dog Pond Jct. 4:00
Mesa Trail 8:54
Slab (where trail crests) 13:03
Saddle 24:34? (could be off by a few seconds, I was preoccupied with the prospect of catching Dave)
Post near summit 37:31 (previous PR is 37:25)
True summit 38:13

Dave was about 15 seconds back, Scott was 39:?? at the post. After that others times are fuzzy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday, 6/03/09 Green Mountain

Via Amphi/Saddle/Greenman. Today was a bit warmer, cloudy but no rain at least. Everything is ridiculously green and fragrant, the wildflowers are outstanding.

Went super easy up and down, just lightly jogging most of the way, hiking occasionally, drinking everything in and saving myself for tomorrow's beat down sufferfest. Up in 39/1:07 RT.

Tuesday, 6/2/09 Green Mountain

When I walked out of work, it was cold, but at least the rain had let up. A glance toward Boulder had me second guessing my decision to go run, but since I took Friday off for a variety of reasons, hiked easy Saturday, biked Sunday and took Monday off because of a dentist appt., I figured I should probably get in a few miles. Started from Eben G. Fine park, headed up Flagstaff just as it was starting to rain again. The fog eventually got so thick in spots, visibility was only 50-100 feet and if I was not so familiar with every rock and nuance of the trail, I would have been disoriented. As I climbed up Flag and toward Green, the temp dropped significantly. It is June after all, how cold can it get? I was really wishing I had pants, gloves and something warmer up top, maybe even a hat?
I topped out in a very leisurely 57 minutes, took a minute pee break and started down. I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and Go-Lite wind shirt and was soaked to the bone from the rain, wet branches and bushes leaning into the trail. Things were tolerable on the ascent, but now I was really cold and starting to bonk on the way down. I was tempted to hitch a ride from a van down Flag, but then instead decided to race the van for a few switchbacks and that warmed me up nicely. The trail back down to Eben G was a mess, I accumulated several extra pounds of mud on each shoe. Today was a good character builder. When I got home, I noticed on the thermometer that the temp was 47. It had to have been a good 5-10 colder high on Green, perhaps snowing not much higher? 1:37 total.