2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

2014 Pikes Peak Marathon
2014 Pikes Peak Marathon, Ready to Rock (or be rocked)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday, 11/27/09 Door Bustin' Bear and S. Boulder

~7 miles
~3,500 vertical
42:11 Bear
54:54 S. Boulder
1:29:07 Total

I just can't get enough of Fern Canyon lately or this warm weather, as it must have been around 70 today and I was comfortable in shorts and a T.

Started from Cragmoor. The ice on the lower section is slow to melt, so it takes a little finesse to work through the initial ~3 minute connector trail (if it is not ice, it is sloppy mud). Hit the Mesa trail in 10:20, Slab at 14:4?, Saddle in the mid 27 range, where I sat for a 30-35 second Microspike installation break. The snow on the upper section was nice and tacky, coupled with the Microspikes made for magic grip. Tagged the post in 42:11, took ~20 seconds to remove the spikes and clip them to my HPL-20 pack and kept rolling over the summit, making a quick tag without even looking at my watch.

Did the short class 3 downclimb, and was cruising across the talus a ways when I looked at my watch again, 44:15. At the Bear/SoBo saddle, I once again sat for ~30 seconds to put on the spikes. Took off running (mostly) to make the summit in 54:54 and did an immidiate U.

Back to the saddle in 3:??, removed the spikes again for the trip to the Bear post. Once there at mid 1:03s, I sat again for a rushed but sloppy spike install job, so it took me a while to get them fixed up and secured properly, as I would be heavily relying on them for the steep trip down the N. ridge (I did not get moving again until 1:04:3?).

This was by far my favorite part of the day. I was jacked on adreneline, it was warm and the snow was mostly perfect for a fast descent. I ran as fast as I could safely go, contemplating my conversation with Homie last year about a helmet being a good idea for certain descents. I deliberately pinballed and swung off and around various trees, skipped over rocks, scratched down bulletproof ice and cruised to the far side saddle in 7:55, where I made my last Microspike stop for the day (~20 seconds to remove and pack away).

The remainder of Fern was pretty quick, but I really slowed to a crawl on the most treacherous bobsled ice sections. The run back to the TH seemed fast, but the time did not reflect it, mostly I think because of the ice in lower Fern and the ice/mud over the last stretch to the TH. Definitely one of the most fun runs in a while.