Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday, 03/28/10 Green Mountain

Spring is back, low 60's today which is slowly melting the snow. Bumped into Brandon who was returning from the summit after running there from home, the bumped in Rex and Caroline. Much of Gregory Canyon is melting out, above that it is all snow, but the trail is getting a bit wider and seeing more traffic. Footing was decent with Microspikes on the up and I felt more efficient than in days past. I went pretty casual, just enjoying the day and going Sierra's pace.

As Brandon warned, the down was really slick due to the sloppy slush and soft snow, so I just went very easy on the down as well.

Up Gregory/Ranger: 44:01 Avg. HR 143, Max 158
Down Gregory/Ranger: 29:10 Avg. HR 115, Max 133

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday, 03/27/10 Green Mountain

Allison and I were looking for a tidy morning workout, so what better than Green?

Her plan was to just hike Amphi/Saddle, then at the Greenman jct., head down toward Ranger and I would go to the top and catch her on the way down.

Though my quads were slightly tired from 3 laps on Green the previous day, I felt surprisingly good and was making OK time despite the conditions and moderate effort. After our stomping the trail yesterday and those who had packed it afterwards, condtions were pretty good in spots, although a bit loose and narrow on the upper 1/4.

I made the summit in 41:20, spent a moment on the summit rock and then ran back down Greenman until I met up with Allison at the Greenman/Ranger jct.. Running downhill, I realized that my downhill muscles were a little sore (vs. my uphill muscles only being a little tired). My arms and shoulders were also a little sore, maybe from all the balancing in the narrow track.

I was dressed just right for running, but shortly before meeting up with Allison, the brief spell of sunshine we enjoyed on the ascent faded and it began to snow lightly. Once my run morphed into a hike, I got really cold and was glad to get back to the car and blast the heat. Had I been solo, I might have considered a second lap just for grins.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, 03/26/10 3 Laps on Green Mountain

Tony and I had been discussing options for a Friday long run throughout the week, but the storm on Tues/Weds had us considering a few laps on Green depending on conditions. Thursday I spent a few hours stomping down the trail with snowshoes hoping to make it suitable for reasonably paced laps. That and afternoon traffic set the trails up to be in reasonable shape.

Lap 1: We headed up Gregory/Ranger to the ridge together chatting away with me setting pace. My new HRM and my thighs were telling me that if I have any hope of 3 laps, that I should back off the pace a touch. I let Tony pass and he got a minute or two ahead and was nice enough to wait for me on the summit. For a change of scenery, we headed down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi. The upper part of the trail was one foot width wide and was a bit of a balancing act in spots, but eventually widened a bit and actually made for good running.

Lap 2: Same a lap 1, but I was about a minute slower (same pace or maybe a little faster, but I stopped countless times to adjust my microspikes that just don't fit well on my lighter (smaller) shoes. Tony was a bit quicker on this lap and started to open the gap on me at the top of Gregory and was once again nice enough to wait on the summit for me.

Lap 3: After a quick bite of food at the Element aid station, some water and a change of shoes (for me), we decided to take different routes to the summit. Since I knew I might be walking a bit more, I would rather walk up steep, so I went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman while Tony opted for more of the same. I felt surprisingly good (though not really moving that fast) and felt progessively better as I went up, but started to lose a bit of steam near the talus field ~2/3-3/4 of the way up, at about the same time trail conditions deteriorated a bit (hard to notice on the way down, but very evident on the way up when tired). As expected, Tony was on the summit waiting and we headed back down the way I had just "ran", enjoying the now sunny day and enjoying good conversation. We contemplated a second lap, but ultimately decided that 3 was enough with the snow, maybe when things pack down more or dry out.

An awesome day, great workout and great company. Thanks to Tony for pushing me, it would have been tempting to bail in the middle or at least slack off even more than I did had I been solo.


Lap 1 Ascent: 44:15 Avg. HR 166, 176 Max
Lap 1 Descent: 22:??

Lap 2 Ascent: 45:?? Avg. HR 171, 180 Max
Lap 2 Descent: 22:41 Avg. HR 158, 165 Max

Lap 3 Ascent: 46:54 Avg. HR 168, 174 Max
Lap 3 Descent: 22:13 Avg. HR 156, 168 Max

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, 03/25/10 Green Mountain

Today's plan was to spend the day hiking with Allison and use my snowshoes to stomp down a nice packed trail. We started around 11am up the Gregory Canyon Trail, where I put the snowshoes on at the second wood bridge. There had been enough traffic through here that using the snowshoes helped pack the trail a bit, but were mostly a formality. Above the ranger cabin, footprints quickly diminished, until the Greenman/Ranger junction, where there eventually were Kraig's post hole tracks from yesterday and his fresh footprints from this morning in his old tracks. I made deliberate and forceful small steps, pounding down the snow the best I could, making several passes in spots and widening where necessary. Higher on the ridge, I was amazed at how much snow there was and the depth and placement of the snow drifts, as the most recent storm blew in from the North. The snow got so deep, I could tell that Kraig had been struggling his last two trips, must have been an epic battle, as evidenced by his "sack tracks".

We eventually made the top and took a very long break on the summit rock before heading back down. I was able to admire my handiwork on the descent and further pack the trail with even better affect with more forceful downhill impact (though I ate it a couple of times getting caught up in my snowshoes) and warmer temps to pack the snow.

Planning on taking advantage of my handiwork tomorrow with a few laps.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, 03/24/10 Green Mountain

Homie joined me for a trudge up Green Mountain in the ~2 feet of fresh snow we got last night. There was one set of footprints to follow to the top via Amphi/Saddle/Greenman (actually two, but #2 walked in the tracks of the first), I am guessing it was Kraig and/or Tony. They were up only tracks and they were somewhat helpful, but near the top, footing was tricky and there was some post holing going on.

We backtracked the same way and the two of us descending did the trail a lot of good, as descending helps pack the trail more that ascending. Hoping to head out there with snowshoes tomorrow to really pack things down and get it set up for laps on Friday.

Up in an easy/conversational 58
Down in a cautious ~28

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, 03/22/10 Green Mountain

Started off easy up through Gregory Canyon, Sierra and I were in perfect sync, just cruising along. My legs and lungs felt great and I felt as though I could push harder if I wanted, but just above the cabin, I started to bonk big time. All I could think about was food and how much I regretted not bringing a GU and Microspikes, as traction was not nearly as good as yesterday. The descent was slick and my energy levels were quickly dropping. I was slipping all over and uncoordinated on the snow and ice, then my feet were having trouble getting over and around the rocks back through Gregory. Luckily I had some food in the car which prevented an emergency trip through the Wendys drive through (I never do this, but was contemplating it seriously for a while).


Cabin: 17:55
4-way: 39:44
Summit: 43:26
Descent: 32

Sunday, 03/21/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Homie and Aron after work at the Gregory TH. My plan was to put in a solid effort, but with the new snow that I knew would be mostly slush down low and who knows up high, I was not too committed to any aspirations of a fast time, just a solid workout. I started off up the Gregory Canyon Trail with John and Aron for the first few minutes, then upped the tempo a bit after the first bridge (this involved having to elbow Aron out of the way, as he was deliberately blocking ;)).

Conditions were very muddy, slushy and overall wet through Gregory. Once the trail leveled for a bit, there was plenty of packed snow, but it was wet and easy to sink in and slip, but nothing too terrible. I made the Ranger Cabin in a not too pressed 17:20. From the Ranger Hut, conditions improved somewhat and I just ran a steady tempo, going on the high side of moderate but never really digging deep and felt comfortable. I pushed a bit harder over the last 6 or so minutes, hoping to sneak in under 40. There were still some slushy/slippy areas that slowed things a little, but overall conditions were quite reasonable compared to the previous day. I left the Microspikes behind, as I figured they would just be balling up on such a warm day and I think it was the best decision for the conditions.

I made the 4-way in 35:59, then the summit in 39:38, where I made a u-turn and headed back to meet John and Aron just below the switchbacks on the ridge. I hiked back up with them and we all ran back down together at a cautious/converstional pace (down in 30). With temps in the high 50's it felt as though Spring has returned (temporarily at least).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, 03/20/10 A day for pants on Green Mountain

To celebrate the coming of Spring at 11:32am this morning, Allison, Sierra and I met up with Brandon for a trip up Green. As we were starting, Tony jogged by and we chatted with him for a moment and he was on his way.

Brandon and I got ahead of Allison through Gregory, planning to meet up either at the summit, or on our way down. We jogged some and walked a bunch, as it seemed almost pointless trying to run in the fresh, unconsolidated snow, just cruising (read slogging) along at conversational pace.

As expected, the depth of the snow increased as we got higher and the track ahead of us was reduced to one person (two if you count Brandon who I made go first). The snow went from shin deep, to knee deep, to mid thigh and even waist deep if you stepped off the trail. Certainly the most snow we have had all season.

Above the 4-way (which we reached after 1:01), we were surprised to have Tony catch up with us, as he had opted to run the upper half of Flagstaff, then West Ridge. I think we made the top in about 1:09 and spent a little while chatting, taking in the views and enjoying the warmish sun.

We ran back down and bumped into Sierra, then Allison coming up the switchbacks below the 4-way. I said my goodbyes to Brandon and Tony and headed back up with Allison. I was happy to have the pack full of extra hat/gloves and the jacket tied around my waist, as it got much colder as my effort decreased and my wet clothes froze up.

After another 10 minute break on Green, we headed back down and we were pretty cold and I sure was glad to have pants on. I think Brandon and Tony were envious, as they were wearing short running shorts and dressed for summer, even though temps were in the low teens earlier in the morning. I think I even heard Tony mutter something about wishing he had worn tights for all the postholing he did on West Ridge.

It ended up being almost a 3 hour day and we were of course over-dressed and hot descending through Gregory Canyon. Despite the slow conditions, it was an awesome day out with great company. Funny how I never get sick of this peak, always a new experience.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, 03/18/10 Eldo/Walker

This was a repeat of last Saturdays "long" run (or maybe I should call that "longer" run) and I was itching to go a bit faster. I had high hopes of pushing myself really hard, but my legs were having none of it.

I used the approach into Eldo as a warm up, starting from where the road turns to dirt and taking the usual game trail/Fowler Trail approach. The Fowler Trail, though flat, was a bit scary, as it was water polished ice and I noticed the sometimes large drop to the right more than normal. I tiptoed through here gingerly.

I topped off my bottle at the visitors center and I was on my way up the initially steep Eldorado Trail, just jogging it out, not really pushing at all and trying to take it easy on my heavy and somewhat fatigued legs. I thought about just running to Walker and turning around, but figured I would just take it one step at a time and see what happens. I hit the Walker loop in 37 minutes even, not great, but 2 minutes faster than last weekend (mainly because I had a few delays last weekend, but I'll take the 2 minute advantage).

Again I went clockwise so I could ascend the dangerous stairs above the cliffs next to the river. They have melted a little, but there is one spot on the highest point where I would not want to be going down without traction right now and it was even a bit dicey going up. There was a little less snow/ice on the trail, but what was left is becoming water polished and bulletproof. I pretty much gave in to just casual jogging and it felt as though I was going much slower than last week, but I ended up 2 minutes quicker on the loop as well and was now 4 minutes ahead of last week. This is where the comparisons end though, as I turned around last week to hike with Allison and Emily, but today I kept pushing.

Though I was hurting a bit, I figured it would be good for me to push some on tired legs and though I wanted to back off, I kept upping the pace and intensity and actually started to feel better as I did this. Must have been adreneline or delirium, I'm not sure.

All in all a great run due to the weather, it was fun just being out in the warm sun enjoying the day, knowing how crappy and snowy it is going to be tomorrow. Though I did not run as fast/feel as good as I hoped, I was a bit quicker than last weekend despite it feeling like I had scaled back the intensity due to my heavy legs.


Warmup to start of Eldo Trail/Visitors Center: 16 minutes
Started timer Eldo to Walker: 37 minutes
Walker Loop: 1:14 for the loop/1:51 from Eldo
Back to Eldo: 2:25 (not including the 16 minute warmup)
Back to car: 9 minutes
Total: 2:50

Wednesday, 03/17/10 Green Mountain

Easy day with Sierra up Gregory Ranger. Warm, sunny, slushy.

18:?? cabin
41 summit
1:06 RT

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday, 03/16/10 Green Mountain

Spring was in full swing today. I was running solo today and was hoping to put in a decent effort up Green to test myself a bit. Started at Chautauqua and ran at an easy warm-up pace to Gregory TH. Yesterday, my legs felt great and I was raring to go fast, but I held back and was content going easy and being social. Today, I was mentally there, but my legs felt a little heavy, so I was not sure how the run was going to unfold. I kept a decent tempo, pushing a bit, but never really digging that deep.

I hit the ranger cabin at 15:58 and threw on the Microspikes for better traction. The trail was packed, but was a bit soft due to the warm temps and I was slipping a bit. There was some loose powdery snow still a ways before the 4-way and although the trail has seen good traffic during the day, footing was not perfect.

The 4-way jct. came in 33:39 and I was thinking 36 was in the bag, but I slacked a bit toward the top and ended up 37:13. I was pretty happy with that given the conditions and the fact that it was not an all out effort, just solidly running tempo and never really reaching the red zone.

After a heads up on a re-routing of the Bear Canyon trail from Tony and a play by play description from Homie, I was itching to check it out. I kept the Microspikes in my hand instead of on my feet, which turned out to be a mistake, as most of the trail was snow covered and icy. I kept expecting the trail to dry out, but it never did, except for a few shortish sections. My pace was cautious and slow, then the trip back to Chautauqua on the Mesa trail was an exercise in mud avoidance (futile). My split from Green to the car via Bear Canyon was a lame 53:46, just a minute or so off of my normal ascent time on that route.

Looking forward to the next few warm days.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, 03/15/10 Green

Ran/hiked Green with Brandon and Aron. Took it super easy, chatting it up the whole time. Conditions kind of sucked again up high with the fresh snow turning slushy. Ate it on the ice even with Microspikes steps from the top.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, 03/13/10 Walker from Eldo

~20 miles

Our friend Emily drove up to Boulder to join us for a long walk/run to train for RRR in April. We started walking from Eldo (where the road turns to dirt), took the back way in on the Fowler Trail going casually, then took a short pit stop at the visitors center to use the facilities. Allison and Emily got a head start up the trail and I ended up not catching them until a few minutes beyond the switchbacks.

I walked with them for a bit, figuring out a plan on how to meet up later and was soon on my way running. The day was warming nicely and I was down to shorts and a tech T and was making good time, feeling strong and moving fast, though I took it super easy on the icy sections, as it would be too easy to take a fall.

I made it to the Walker Loop in 39 despite walking with the girls for a bit, stopping to adjust my Nathan Pack and going slow on the icy sections. Once at the loop, I decided to go clockwise, as the steep and icy steps through the clifs above the river scare me this time of year. The steps were mostly melted, but there were a few sections that were tricky to negotiate, even going up, so I knew this was the right choice, as it would be frightening going down. Even so, I had cleared this section and was on the ridge in 4 minutes from the junction and was soon making good time up the trail. From here to the lot, the trail was mostly melted and dry, except for several sections of snow, ice and mud that were not of much consequence as I was going up hill and not that fast anyways. Once beyond the outer lot, the trail was ice/snow covered as expected, so I took it pretty easy down to the river.

Once past the river, it was smooth sailing on mostly dry trails along the river, up to the main lot, along the ridge and over to the spot where the trail drops into the steep switchbacks on the N. facing slopes. This section was very snowy and icy and took some skill/careful foot placements to make it through upright. The next junction at the dirt road was thick with gloppy mud, the type that will pile onto your shoes and render you helpless, so I stayed in the grass for a bit, until the mud relented and I could get into some nice sloppy slush.

I made it back to the Eldo/Walker junction after a 1:16 loop. Not an impressive time, as the conditions were lousy, but when the trail was good, I felt like I was flying. I think if conditions were dry, I might have been close to PR time, but that is pure speculation. It just felt so awesome to be running fast on dry rolling trails (when possible) and I really feel like my fitness is starting to come around.

At the junction, I took a few minutes to eat a Clif bar and emptied the dirt out of my Injinji socks I had just purchased the day before. The mini crew is too short and does not have a snug band, so there are nice wide gaps to let in dirt and muck.... poor planning! I do like the individual toes which seem to prevent blistering, so I might get the crew length which will work better, but are a little tall and grandpa-ish. Wish they made something in the middle and with a snugger band. I also gave my newish Brooks Cascadias a whirl on their first long run. They were awesome for the first ~2 hours and I was positive these would be the shoes I took for RRR in April, but then my feet started to get sore in certain areas, so I am not sure if it is my tender/under trained feet or the shoes, but I plan to give my new Montrail Streaks a whirl soon on the same route for comparison.

After a short stop, I headed back up the trail in a counter clockwise direction, around the muck, up the snowy/icy switchbacks, past the parking lot and down the hill a ways until I bumped into Allison and Emily. I then walked the remainder of the way back with them and the whole outing ended up being 5:45 by the time we got back to the car. I felt great and could have easily run that entire time, but was trying to balance training with being a good husband.

Hopefully the warmer weather holds up, this route will improve by the day and I can't wait to get out there again soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday, 03/12/10 Green Mountain

Enjoyed a casual hike with Allison and Sierra today up Green. Conditions were excellent with Gregory Canyon being mostly dry, no traction needed and the upper half above the cottage being perfectly packed snow. It was sunny and warmer than usual, regular shorts wearing is getting close. I wore convertable hiking pants just in case I wanted to opt for shorts, but it never really got THAT warm.

On the way down we had a minor confrontation with some foreign tourists who let us know they are afraid of dogs. We stated that Sierra is friendly and just wanted to get past (as did we). One of the girls screamed in terror as Sierra scooted past and we were treated to a barrage of bilingual foul language as we passed. If you are afraid of dogs, hiking an off leash trail in Boulder might not be the best place to go? Go figure.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday, 03/11/10 Green/Bear/S. Boulder

Met up with Mike O, Brandon and Brandon's neighbor John at the Gregory TH around 9am. Took it super casual through Gregory, then Mike upped the tempo a bit after the Ranger Hut, soon after Jim had caught up to us. There was a surprising amount of fresh snow, just the right amount to slip slide in regardless of what kind of traction you have on your feet. Made the summit of Green in 48 I think (according to Mike). Back at the 4-way, Brandon and Jim went right as Mike and I went left down Green/Bear to Bear Peak W. Ridge.

I kept the pace casual in the fresh snow, as my goal for the day was to just go moderate and the fresh snow did not inspire speed. It was a bit of a slog breaking trail up Bear, over to S. Boulder (to the saddle) and then all the way back down Fern, as you never knew what you were stepping on/in.

We sped things up a bit at times on the Mesa Trail, sloshing through copious amounts of muck and packed snow. I am so ready for dry trails.
The whole loop back to the car via a Chautauqua detour was 3:20 including stops. Mike kept on top of the timing and had our loop at about 3 hours of moving time.

Despite the tedious conditions, it was a great day of playing in the snow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, 03/09/10 Cougar Sighting on Green Mountain

Ran Green again today with Mike and showed him the more runable Gregory/Ranger route. We started off going moderate pace, but before long, we were going fairly hard. I think we passed Kerrie in the canyon, but it did not register until after the fact (still not entirely sure).

We made it to the Ranger Cabin in ~16:50 or so and took a short break to put on Yak Trax. After the short stop, it took me a while to get back into a groove (if I did at all). I pushed hard and felt as though I was sucking wind a bit, hacking up a lot of pflegm, but forced myself to run most of the way up even when traction sucked.

Made the 4-way in 35:15, then the summit in 38:56. Not too bad given my still somewhat lacking fitness and less than ideal conditions. Mike ran quite well, as he was breathing down my neck the entire run, except for the final few minutes where it was real steep, but he was only 15 or 20 seconds back by the top. One or two more days and I will be chasing him. Awesome for his 2nd mountain run ever.

We cruised the descent at a moderate conversational 28 mintues.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, 03/08/10 Green Mountain

Today I met up with Mike O from Ohio, who tracked me down through Tony's blog. Mike is town visiting while on his Spring Break from Shawnee State University and wanted to check out the infamous Green Mountain that is getting some due notoriety thanks to Tony's current streak of daily (sometimes twice daily) training runs.

We ran a moderate pace most of the way and I backed off a few times to make sure Mike went the proper way through the intersections as I did not want to get too far ahead. My legs felt decent today and I was feeling as though I could go quick, but I figured I would be best to play it conservative as I know I am still recovering from a nice string of workouts culminating with a nice climb of Antero on Saturday.

I made the summit in 38 and Mike was only about 2 minutes back, pretty impressive I thought for never having run this peak and not really being acclimated. Mike recently set a 5k PR of 15:18, so I am sure that if he had the time to fully acclimate and run this a few times, he would certainly put in some really competetive times here. Great run, I plan on repeating tomorrow.

Saturday, 03/06/10 Mt. Antero 14,269

Mt. Antero 14,269
~13 miles/4,900 vertical from Baldwin Gulch TH
7:22 RT
Partners: John Prater, Dave and Emily Hale, Sierra, Shep, Kiefer

For at least a month, Dave and I had occasionally discussed the possibility of climbing Antero before Winter came to an end. The fact that there might still be a decent track left over from the recent Sarah/Dwight/Dominic/Kevin trip for us to take advantage of heavily influenced our decision, as did the ever improving weather forecast.

Since Dave and Emily stayed the night in Buena Vista and John and I would be driving to the TH in the morning, I suggested that they start as early as they would like and John and I would arrive a little later and do our best to catch up along the way.

The drive to the Baldwin Gulch TH ended up taking ~3 hours from my house in Louisville by the time I picked up John, stopped for gas, drove cautiously across the ice glazed roads from Kenosha Pass to Fairplay and stopped at Johnson’s Corner to use their facilities.

We finally got on the trail at 8:15am under sunny clear/calm skies and reasonably pleasant temperatures. I got a hold of Dave on the two-way radio and he indicated that they were about 1.5 miles up the road. John and I made good progress, going a steady but very comfortable pace, enjoying the nicely packed trail and the easy walking with Microspikes instead of snowshoes (I was the only one using them, they were helpful but not really necessary).

A short while after the creek crossing, I upped the pace a little, anticipating (hoping) that I would catch Dave and Emily by treeline where I could take a short stop for some food/drink/clothing adjustments.

I made great progress, but as I neared treeline, I took a few deep plunges into the snow, I was forced to put on my snowshoes very near treeline as the previous track petered out and the only tracks now were Dave/Em’s. I followed their tracks to the base of a low angled gulley and I could see them high above. Sierra saw them as well and took off up the slope and covered the ~800 vertical in just a few minutes, but unfortunately, there was no way I could match her pace.

I plugged along up the gulley and before long, we all convened on the road near the upper most switchback, where the road tracks toward the Cronin/Antero saddle. Instead of following the road on it's circuitous path away from the summit, we continued directly up the fall line, through variable snow and talus to the ~13,800 foot sub-summit. I was getting a little hungry by this point and decided that I would just put my head down, “cruise” to the summit and eat once I got all the climbing behind me.

The ridge was less “cruisy” than I expected, complicated a bit by the ample snow. I bypassed the most significant initial rock outcrop on the West side of the ridge which generally worked well, but this bypass was still a bit slower and more tedious than I expected. I should have just re-gained the ridge after the first tower, but instead was not exactly sure where would be the best spot to go back up. As a result, I continued a bit too far and got into some steeper terrain than I preferred and had to backtrack a bit to easily attain the ridge where Sierra was waiting patiently for me. I should have just followed her, as she always seems to find the easier way.

John and I met up again here and continued on to the summit together, where my long hiatus from the high peaks, lack of sleep the previous night and a bit of a bonk all added up and I was feeling a little crappy. I was very relieved to reach the summit, where I quickly gulped down a thermos of soup and soon started to feel a little bit better. Dave and Emily arrived soon after and we celebrated with congrats and high fives, taking some pictures and enjoying the excellent views.

The descent was straight forward, but a bit tedious with the variable snow and loose rock and I was regretting leaving my poles in the car, as they would have helped quite a bit. Once back at the snowshoe cache, it was smooth sailing down the lightly snow covered gentle ridge back down to the valley (if I had to do it over again, I would ascend this way as well, unless the snow in the gullies were more consolidated).

Dave set a mean pace all the way back down to the car and we only stopped once for just a minute or two, just cruising the packed trail and gentle terrain. As always, the miles of road on the descent seemed twice as long as the ascent and the cars were a welcome sight after a long day out.

Aside from a short amount of time near the summit, I was dressed quite lightly all day, just a base layer and light fleece, glove liners, ball cap. Unbelievable weather for this date, it could not have been better.

Antero was a new Winter peak for myself, Dave and Emily, satisfied a March grid slot for John and was a new 14er for both Sierra and Kiefer.
Thanks to the previous group and Dave and Emily for breaking trail, it really made the day quite a bit easier, it ALMOST felt like cheating.

Start from Baldwin Gulch TH: 8:15am
Creek crossing: 9:23am
Last road crossing/Snowshoe cache: ~10:50ish
~13,800 sub summit: 11:47am
Summit: 12:33pm
Leave Summit: ~12:55
Finish: 3:37pm


Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday, 03/05/10 Green Mountain

Up in 1:03
Down in 50ish?

It was a bit colder than yesterday, actually a lot colder with the wind on the upper half of the Ranger Trail. The snow that was so soft yesterday was a skating rink this morning. I just tagged along with Allison and Sierra, content to go their pace, even though my legs felt surprisingly good. Trying to fully recover a bit from the past few days and rest up in anticipation for my Winter climb of Antero tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to getting up high, but know that I will be sucking wind big time, especially chasing Homie on snow at high altitude. I have not been to 14k since 12/19/09 and it has been since mid Jan. since I have been above 13,000. Either way, it will be a fun and challenging day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday, 03/04/10 S. Boulder, Bear, Green, Flagstaff, Sanitas

Ran/hiked the skyline traverse with Brandon from the S. Mesa TH today. Forecast was for near 60 degrees and I decided to go with shorts/tee (with arm warmers), which turned out to be a good call.

The weather was perfect, but trail conditions were all over the place, dry, muddy, slushy, icy, hard packed snow, knee deep post holing snow and 10lbs of mud sticking to each shoe sloppy. We went a moderate pace most of the time with some easy cruising mixed in. Sanitas as usual was a grunt and I was thankful to be done, as today's run is about at the limit of my not yet enduring endurance, but was a great stepping stone.

We just had an awesome time enjoying good conversation, warm sun and great scenery. Bumped into the elusive Kraig K at the top of Green and chatted with him for a while.


S. Boulder: 1:04
Leave S. Boulder: 1:12
Bear: 1:22
Splits in the middle were fuzzy, I never really looked.
Base of Sanitas: 3:23
Summit of Sanitas: 3:47

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday, 03/03/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Tony this afternoon for a lap on Green. We started off chatting, but not long up Amphitheater, I was sucking wind, knowing that my fitness is not near where I want it to be, but as I tell George all the time, "It is only [insert month]".

Even though it was Tony's second lap for the day, I knew I was holding him up and after 6:45 at the first junction, he took me up on my earlier offer to go his own pace. He cruised on ahead and I kept him occasionally in sight on some of the more open areas, last seeing him just after I crossed the spring below the big, talus switchback ~10 minutes from the top.

I continued to fade and made the top in a somewhat disappointing 36:47. I was hoping to be in the 35 minute range, but I see after today that is a bit much for me to expect with the type of inconsistent training I have done over the last many months. No worries though, it is only March.

Tony was nice enough to wait ~4 minutes for me on the summit, then a few extra while I enjoyed some time on the summit. We took the descent at a casually quick conversational pace, getting back down in 22ish.

Spring was once again in the air today, it has me so mentally rejuvenated. It was also great to get my butt kicked and have a bit of a push up the hill, it will only make me better in the long run. My records indicate that I am on par or maybe even a little ahead of previous years with more consistent training, so I know the fitness will come.

Thanks for a great run and conversation Tony. I look forward to doing it again soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday, 03/02/10 Green Mountain

Met Wayne at Chautauqua, jogged the road to the Gregory TH to avoid the copious amounts of mud along the way. We started off jogging the Amphitheater Trail, but it was a bit steeper than Wayne was used to, so I let him set the pace.

He jogged most of it and I hiked behind him chatting away about our upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon. It was much warmer than it has been (fast approaching shorts weather), but the snow was still nice and solidly packed on the front side which was a welcome surprise.

Made the summit in a very relaxed 47:15, then jogged the down in a quickish, but not pressed 21:34.