Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, 08/28/10 "Lakawanna Peak" (13,823)

“Lackawanna Peak” (13,823)
6.6 miles/3,323 vertical
Partners: Dave and Emily Hale, Sierra, Shep, Kiefer
Ascent: NW Ridge
Descent: Lakawanna Gulch

“Lakawanna”, my last Sawatch Centennial has somewhat eluded me for a while. I have had numerous trips to the vicinity over the past few years, where I had hoped to zip up it and back via the S. Slopes route while passing through and even attempted it back in July, late one afternoon after a run on La Plata (bailed early on because of storms). Fortunately, plans solidified with Dave and Emily late in the week and the stage was set.

Sierra and I left the house at 4:35am and after a 10 minute stop in Twin Lakes, we made it to the TH around 7:15am, made our final preparations and were on the trail by 7:28am. I did a little bit of research on this route which entailed skimming the guidebook and glancing at a map, but it seemed very straight forward and intuitive. We missed the first ‘turn’ after .2 miles and went just a bit further and eventually realized our minor error. The creek crossing was easy here and we soon found what we thought might have been the correct old and faded mining road. We followed it for a few minutes and realized that it was leading us somewhat astray, so we just headed East up Lakawanna Gulch on the N. side of the creek for a short while on a well worn game trail, until it seemed appropriate to cross to the S. side in search of the proper dirt road.

After crossing the creek, we soon came across the proper road, followed it for a few short minutes and after a bit of debating which may be the best way, attacked the fall line through the woods to gain the Northwest Ridge. The bushwhack up the ridge was steep, yet fun and easy at the same time. Treeline appeared before long and the views opened up before us on this perfect morning. We took our time working our way up the ridge, going an easy pace and enjoying ourselves as we caught up on summer trips and happenings.

Before long, the angle of the ridge receded and made for enjoyable tundra walking, with a bit of boulder hopping mixed in along the way. We stopped for a long break on Pt. 13,660, taking in the views and I was surprised at how distant the true summit of Lakawanna appeared, but knew that it would be a quicker and easier trip than it initially appeared.

A few false summits later, we were standing on the true summit at 10:09am. We spent about a half hour on top, enjoying the amazing views, chatting it up, taking pictures and eating. I really missed having Allison along more than any time this summer and this summit seemed bittersweet, as it was so enjoyable, but was a bit incomplete at the same time. The potential for this to be my last, or one of my last high mountain outings before the twins are born also weighed heavily on my conscience, along with the obvious signs of fall made the trip even that much more poignant.

We decided to make a nice loop out of the hike and descend Lakawanna Gulch. Dropping off from the saddle into the gulch was steep and loose, but pretty short and once below the headwall, it was a very scenic and enjoyable stroll. We stopped a few times to let the dogs frolic in the few remaining snow patches and play in the water along the way. The willows in the valley looked daunting, but we stayed somewhat high on the South side of the valley, often just above the willows, following some convenient game trails that always led us in the proper direction.

Once at treeline, we found a very nice path, passed a few cabins and we were soon back on the dirt road, thus closing our loop. We followed the lower section of the road that we had skipped in the morning, came to the creek and were thankful we crossed a short ways above, as it was wider here with very few rocks to cross on. Dave made it across mostly dry, but it being minutes from the car, I just splashed through, not even trying to stay dry. It felt great. Another great day out with Dave, Emily and the dogs.

Steep, my favorite.

Sierra was the climbing champ this day, there was no way to match her pace.

Sierra leading to a false summit.

Another false summit.  Fall is apparent.

Some of the best summit views around.

Queen of the mountains.

My best Halladay impression.

Heading down.



Scrubble gulley.

Unusual area of sand at 13,000 feet.


Cooling off.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday, 08/27/10 Longs Peak

Longs Peak
Jeff Valliere and Dan Mottinger

On a whim yesterday, I decided to plan a run up Longs Peak. I sent out a few e-mails to a few potential, but unlikely candidates and coincidentally, I got an e-mail from Dan inviting me on a run next week, so I threw out the invite to him and he was game.

After a bathroom stop at the TH, Dan got a bit of a head start while I drove down the road to park the car and finish getting ready. I got on the trail a bit after 7am and was feeling a bit sluggish from a poor night sleep and my legs were not at all zippy.

I plugged along, having doubts about even getting to the summit, as I was feeling a little less than optimum and the tree tops were rustling in the wind. Though it was warm, the breezy and clear conditions seemed to me to be a harbinger of the quickly approaching Fall season.

My plan was to surpass my 1:52 ascent PR from 2005, then push hard on the descent and take some time off of our previous 1:26 descent (Homie and I) which was quick, but somewhat casual as we had chatted the whole way down.  I was very doubtful on the ascent portion, but was confident that I could rally and make up a bunch of minutes on that descent time.

Above treeline and approaching Granite Pass, the headwind was picking up to an annoying level, adding a bit to the physical/mental effort, so I soon stopped to add my windbreaker, gloves and get my hat handy.

The “trail” through the Boulder Field was a little tedious and not conducive to fast running, but I was moving pretty well and made quick work to the Keyhole. At the Keyhole, I was surprised to see that I was a minute or so ahead of PR pace, but was discouraged to see how many people there were picking their way along the route (vs. just a few people in 2005). I politely picked my way past nervous newbies, clinging to the rock and made descent time, but at a few choke points, there was no good way around and I was forced to wait. Also, in the trough, I made OK time, but I was constantly on alert for falling rocks, as there were so many people slipping/sliding their way up down, but fortunately, not a one was dislodged. I pushed hard along the Narrows and then wormed my way through the queues of people on the Homestretch and topped out in 1:51:59, about even with my previous PR. I think I would have taken a little more off without the crowds, but considering I did not feel very strong on the ascent, I took it as a positive.

On the summit, somebody relayed a message to me that Dan (who had ascended the N. Face route/Old Cables route) had topped out and already started down. I was confused, as I had not seen him on the Keyhole route and figured he must have changed his mind and descended the way he came. It was sunny, calm and not yet crowded on top, so I took the time to explore around the summit a bit and relaxed for while enjoying the views and the company of a few fellow hikers. It was such a nice day, I was in no hurry to run down.

The Homestretch is easy on the ascent, but I only fully trust about half of my foot placements coming down, as the rocks have been mostly worn smooth.  Even though the rock was perfectly dry, I was very careful and deliberate through here and took my time all the way back to the Keyhole, going quick when I could, but cautious when I had to. Negotiating the rocks through the Boulderfield, I never really got into a good rhythm, but still did OK with it, no accidents or mishaps at least. Once on the trail, I picked up the pace a little, but often times caught myself being overly cautious due to the technical nature of the trail and my ankles were a little sore for some reason. For the majority of the descent, I was just cruising along, never really pushing, just enjoying the run really.

I made it back to the TH, to find Dan who was already finished and learned that we had unwittingly passed each other on the Keyhole route, probably on the Homestretch where it was particularly crowded and we were focused on the rock. Funny.

So, I managed to scrape a few seconds off of my PR from 2005, but it was essentially and identical run, which I was quite happy with considering the crowds and my lack of commitment once I started and felt myself struggling a bit. My thoughts of getting this run closer to 3 hours I realize might be a real pipe dream, unless I experiment with the old Cables route, which I can’t ever see myself doing. So, for now, 3:18 on two occasions is about all I can muster up.

Ascent Splits:

Start: 0:00
Goblin CG: 13:38
BoulderField: 1:08?
Keyhole: 1:20
Trough: 1:30
Narrows: 1:42?
Summit: 1:51:59

Descent Splits:

Summit: 0:00
Keyhole: 31:??
BoulderField: 41ish
Finish: 1:26:28

RT: 3:18:27

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, 08/26/10 Bear Peak, S. Boulder Peak

Took Sierra out for some exercise, went super easy, hiking mostly, up Fern from Cragmoor (Sierra was dogging it and I was happy to do the same).  The raspberries are ripe for the picking on SoBo, so I spent a good amount of time getting my fill.  Nice morning, felt good to just hike with the dog.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday, 08/24/10 Bear Peak

After an involved trip to the dentist to have two fillings replaced and a crown put on, I was close to home and it was still somewhat early.  With the cooler weather today, I decided to include Sierra, as she has been cooped up lately and called Tim at the last minute.

We met at the Cragmoor TH at 4:30pm and started off at a casual, but somewhat labored pace as I was still tight from my previous nights grudge run up/down Green Mountain and was preoccupied with my still novacained mouth and tongue.

A short ways up the Fern Canyon trail, we jumped off (left) onto the Slab access trail and took that to the upper/back side of the Slab.  From there, we scampered up a steep spine of broken rock ledge and talus on the East face, nearly to the summit, where we found a lightly used access trail to the main trail just ~200 feet from the top.  I have done this "route" a handful of times, but it was new for Tim.  I could tell he was wondering where the heck I was leading him and was thinking we might spend the night out, kind of like our Winter Longs Peak trip last year.

1:06 up
???? down

Tuesday, 08/23/10 Green Mountain, 3 new PRs

All day at work, I was itching to get outside for a run and blow off some steam, more mental than physical, but I could tell that my body was revved up too.

I decided to run the front side of Green, the standard Amphi/Saddle/Greenman route and I was thankful that it was reasonably cool from the afternoon clouds/rain. I put on my headphones and cranked up the music (something I never do) and I was off. Though a little heavy and tired, my legs were reluctantly doing what I asked of them and I was surprised to be flowing up the hill in a state determination unlike anything I have felt in a long time. A few minutes in, I knew it could be a good run and I was now committed to a hard effort. My time splits were decent, but I knew I would have to keep the effort very high to compensate for the increasingly fading legs and it became a war between my brain and my body. I was spitting, snotting and making all kinds of noises, not caring at all since I was the only one out there and I was in my own cocoon of loud music and suffering. I had nothing to lose. On and on I went, knowing that any minute I could blow, just one ill-timed breath or foot placement might have done me in.

Finally, I tagged the summit and collapsed in a heap, a new PR by 11 seconds. It is not much, but it meant a lot to me and the sheer physical effort, coupled with the PR boosted my spirits immensely. Still jacked up from the high, I turned around and headed back the way I came, putting similar effort into the descent as the ascent. Despite wearing treadless road shoes, I was so dialed and on it, I found that I was minutes ahead of normal pace at my usual checks. I was going for broke down the hill pouring everything I had into it, hitting every step, every turn, leaping off every rock with once in a blue moon precision and accuracy. About 2/3’s of the way down, it began to rain, which felt great, but slowed me considerably on the now slippery trail, compounded by the slick shoes. I still pushed though and made it back to the TH in what I suspect to be a new PR for me as well.  A PR on the RT too on that route.


Gregory TH: 0:00
Top of Amphi: 6:10
Overlook: 14:03
Greenman: 18:19
Summit: 32:24
Descent: 19:26
RT: 51:50

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, 08/21/10 Pikes Peak Ascent

13.32 miles
7,815 vertical

Well, what can I say, another Pikes Peak Ascent has come and gone and yet again I failed to meet, what I felt to be, my realistic and attainable goals. I did not necessarily have a bad day, nor did I have a very good day. Everything indicated to me that I was ready to match or beat my PR of 2:46:10 from 2006, as my fitness was as good or better overall this year as it has ever been, I had no injuries and I deliberately avoided the majority of the pre-race hype as to not get too psyched up mentally and went into the race with a relatively laid back attitude. I ran 25 14ers in the preceding months, 106 trips up Green Mountain in Boulder, a handful of 13ers, 175 peaks in all with a total of 465,000 vertical feet, tapered well, slept well prior to the race, ate well etc….

One moment I am accepting of this, the next moment it stings a little bit, as I have developed a true love/hate relationship with the race. I often times question what it is I love so much about Pikes Peak and why I keep coming back despite the radically mixed emotions I feel. Maybe the camaraderie? The training and anticipation? Having a goal for the year? The excitement of the race itself? All of the above?

Though I know better, I have trouble avoiding the pitfalls of judging my entire year on one morning in August and associate a disproportionate amount of athletic self worth on this one race. I know there is much more to it than that. I run mountains almost every day simply because that is what I love to do most and I never run a step because I feel I have to, it is always because I love to. Pikes or no Pikes, I would be out doing the exact same things year round. I do truly consider myself to be fortunate to be able to run up and enjoy high peaks. In the overall big picture of my life, it is a minor irritant, but since these outdoor pursuits are such a major part of my life, I can’t help but to let it affect me, good or bad.

Despite not living up to my race day expectations, I did have a great time. The weather was perfect and I got to enjoy the company of many good friends and even make some new friends. I could try to dissect the race more, my training leading up the race, my motivation, expectations and perceptions vs. reality, but I have done that enough times. It is what it is.

It might sound like a cop out, but increasingly, I feel that Pikes just might not be the ideal race course for me or suit my strengths (whatever they are?). I also only race a few times per year and though I often times fancy myself racing more often and getting better at it, the truth of the matter is that I really don’t race more because I am just not that into racing. There I said it. The days I spend running in the mountains by myself or with a few friends leading up to a race or any other time of the year are FAR more enjoyable to me than the race itself.

I am not sure if I will be back for the Pikes Peak Ascent next year, as Allison and I are expecting twins this fall. I am very much looking forward to this new chapter in my life and don’t yet know how much that will impact my running, but I expect that it will a lot!

A brief overview of the race:

After a great Spaghetti dinner and a good night’s sleep (dinner and accommodations provided by Hoot and his wife Cindy, thanks Hoot!), Nate and I arrived at Memorial Park before 5:30am and scored an excellent parking spot with a view of the park, which made for convenient trips to the bathroom and a good feeling of not missing out on anything.

I took several productive trips to the porta johns and took my time eating and getting ready. I was antsy and a little nervous, but felt as though I had a good mindset and perspective and had a strong sense of confidence that I was as ready as ever for this day. We finally left the car a bit after 6:30am to head over to the start line, where we bumped into many good friends and acquaintances. I milled about for a bit, having brief exchanges, but my mind was elsewhere. I feigned a warm up, running back and forth up and down the road with the other runners, but it was really just some jogging around, debating one last pee.

My plan was to not go out too hard, so I placed myself accordingly, two or three rows back, but in the last minutes, it got really crowded up front and I found myself virtually in the 7th or 8th row, feeling a bit swamped. As the race started, the front runners took it out very hard, but I just did my best to stay upright in the crowd and work my way through those who had placed themselves incorrectly at the start line and held what I felt to be a good pace. As we turned onto Ruxton Ave. and the road tilted up, it was tempting to up the tempo and pick people off, but I knew that would of course be a bad move, expending so much energy so early in the race, so I just kept my HR and breathing under control, took short steps on the steeper stuff and slowly and non-deliberately began to pick my way past people along the way through the W’s.

I was working hard, but I felt good and the pace at no point felt un-sustainable and was confident that I could maintain that or more all the way to the top. On the “flattish” rolling section to Barr Camp, I passed a few people and a few people passed me, but I felt as though I were holding my own pretty well. Though I always want to do more passing than I want to get passed, I was not overly concerned specifically about placement, as there were so many fast people ahead. I knew if I stuck to what felt to be the right pace for me at the time, I would be better off in the long run, vs. trying to directly compete with whomever I was running near at the time. This worked great, until Barr Camp.

Beyond Barr Camp, there was no one point where I felt like the wheels came off and had I been alone, I might have felt better about how I was running, but I soon began to notice people creeping up on me. One here, two there, another one, then three. I lost count. Each time I thought to myself ‘this is it, this one can go by, but no more, that is all’, but of course I had no choice. No matter how I sliced it, it was taking a bit of mental toll. I walked some of the steeper steps on the switchbacks before the A-Frame and spent a bit of time sucking down my now 3rd gel, kidding myself that I was only walking to eat and drink, but deep down, I knew I was in a bit of trouble.

My time split at the A-Frame indicated that I was still on track to come close to PR if I could really pull it together and I actually felt a little better above tree line, mentally and for a short while, physically. I had been playing a bit of leap frog with a racer from Slovenia since before the rock arch early in the race and he was slowly creeping up on me again. I did not really care all that much, until he cut a switchback, and in an instant closed in significantly. I pointed out his mistake to him, but my comments went seemingly un-noticed. Soon after, he did it again, and I made mention that this was not an open course. No response. Before I knew it, he had done it 2 more times and was now moving ahead and I was a bit pissed at the nerve of this guy. Whenever we were moving along equal ground, I would gain on him and even passed him back at one point, but sticking to the trail proved to be no match for cutting switchbacks, as he continued to do all the way to the summit.

Over the final mile or so, my determination was fading and was really just ready to be done with it, as I knew that I was falling far short of my goal and what little fight I had left was fading quickly. Though I did not feel terrible, I was just not producing the power I knew that I should be and was walking more than I care to admit. I forced myself to run as much as I could, as I knew I was going to get some much welcomed flack from George, Homie, Justin and Scott (an 8 time winner no less). Their cheers boosted me a bit over the final section and I just squeaked in before 2 guys who were charging hard up the final section (one who I later found out was Jim P setting a 10 minute PR for himself, congrats Jim!!, well done!). Had the race continued on another few hundred yards, they would have passed me for sure.

I spent about 40 minutes on the summit, reporting the wayward Slovenian to the race timing crew (not sure if it did any good though, as I still see his name in the standings), chatting with friends and fellow competitors and just enjoying the nice day and the fact that I was finished, regardless of the outcome. The shuttle down the mountain was efficient and I was pleased to ride on the bus with Jim Mallory, whose conversation made the always long trip down go by much quicker.

As always, the race was run extremely well and I want to express my gratitude to all of the volunteers, SAR and the race organization. This race is a model in which all other races should follow. I also appreciate the timely and almost live results, awesome!

Oh, of course, can’t forget my splits/results:


8/154 in the 35-39 age group
53/1166 out of all males
65/1716 total participants


Ruxton: 3:00
Hydro: 9:07
Top of Ws: 30:28
No Name: 45:08
Barr Camp: 1:20
BP turn: 1:34
A Frame Aid: 1:58 (2:01 at the sign?)
Summit: 2:56:11

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday, 08/19/10 Green Mountain

Same format as yesterday, except I opted for the Ranger Trail, as I had Sierra with me.  This outing was more for Sierra than for me, as she has not been out for a few days.  Started at 8:23am under cloudy skys that soon turned to intermittent soft fainfall.  I went easier than yesterday, topping out in 30 minutes on a shorter route (I probably hiked 40-50% of the up and the rest was the lightest jog I could muster).  Very easy on the down too, jogged and walked mostly.

30 up
?? down (forgot to look at the watch and stopped for a while to pick red raspberries).

Wednesday, 08/18/10 Green Mountain

I wanted to keep my run shorter today to conform with my very loose and unscientific taper plan.  I debated between Sanitas and my old taper standby, Flagstaff.  Sanitas is too hot and a bit steeper than I prefer for tapering and Flagstaff is not my favorite, as it crosses the road many times and is not particularly exciting and lacks a distinct summit.

It took me years to figure this out, but I came up with the last minute idea to drive up Flag to the turnoff and run Green from the halfway point to keep things mellow.

I ran down to the Ranger Cabin, then took Greenman all the way to the summit.  It was relatively cool and my legs, mind and body were feeling top notch.  Though I was raring to go, I went SUPER easy, just lightly jogging the gentle grade to the summit and took it really easy on the down.

29:50 up
23 down

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, 08/16/10 Green Mountain

Up Gregory Ranger/Down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi

The plan for the day was to take it mellow, just roll with how I felt and not push too hard.  I started off at a very mellow effort, but my time check at the cabin was a surprising 16:02 and I was putting nothing into it.  Then I was 19:32 at the next junction, 24:38 at the flat spot on the ridge, near PR pace I think and I was still going pretty mellow, moderate at most.  I literally had to force myself to back off a bit, as I don't need to be setting a PR so close to my racing highlight of the year.  Made the summit in 37 and change, just as a strong storm was bearing down.  I tagged the top and immidiately started cruising the descent, hoping I could get to the car before the worst of it.  There was some good flashing and banging, but luckily nothing too close.  About half way down, steady rain turned to torrential downpour and I had a blast sloshing in the creek that is usually trail.  Made it down in 21 despite the poor conditions (or because of).

Saturday, 08/14/10 Grays and Torreys

My sister Darcie came to visit for a few days and instead of going to Leadville to cheer on Lance as originally planned (Lance decided not to race), plan B was a 14er or two.  With perfect weather and the company of Nate, Brandon and Sierra, Darcie successfully summitted her first and second 14ers and did an awesome job, having only been in Colorado for a day since travelling here from sea level.  I am so proud of her.
Instead of writing more, I'll just post a few pictures from the day:

Nate, Rock Star, me

Nate (who is not pooping), Rock Star


Sasquatch or Rock Star?


Nate and Darcie

Nate, Sierra, Darcie on Grays

Darcie, me, Nate on Grays

Darcie and I on Torreys

Nate and I at the saddle


Oh, and for Lucho, we saw a Wolf hybrid on Pearl St. the following day.  It seemed more Malamute in the face/eyes/head, but the body was Wolf without a doubt.  Either way, a beautiful animal (very friendly too).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, 08/13/10 RMNP

Took my sister Darcie up to RMNP along with Allison.  Walked around Bear Lake, then to Alberta Falls and a little beyond.  Was dreaming of climbing Longs, maybe next week.....

Thursday, 08/12/10 Green Mountain

With Brandon and GZ for most of the way up Gregory/Old Trail/Ranger, down Ranger/Greenman/Saddle/Amphi.  Bumped into GZ again, Tim, Lucho, then Tony.

46 up
?? down

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, 08/11/10 Green Mountain

Got out of work early again today and headed over to Green.  It was pretty hot out and I took it very easy again, hard to get too motivated in the heat (at least for me).  Went up Gregory to un-named trail, to Greenman to summit, back down standard front, easy on the down as well.

Up in 44
Down in 25

Tuesday, 08/10/10 Flagstaff

I was short on time and it was hot, so I opted to do something a little shorter than normal and not too steep.  Ran Flagstaff from Eben G. Fine Park and went super easy.  Running this easy pace ended up taking almost as long as doing Green, but it was a nice change of scenery.

31 up
20 down

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, 08/09/10 Mt. Audubon (13,223ft.)

7.8 miles/2,730 vertical feet
56:24 up
42:26 down
1:38:50 RT

Everything came together for a Monday morning run up Audubon, a Brainard pass with one day left (thanks to GZ), some use it or lose it PTO I needed to take and the desire to get up high for more quality training.  I left the house at 5:12am, arrived at the TH at 6:08, then spent some time in the outhouse lightening up and getting ready in the car.  The sky was quite overcast and the Front Range forecast was sketchy at best, but the report for Longs stated a 30% chance of storms after noon. 

As I started up the trail at 6:23am, it was starting to sprinkle, but was not too cold and it was calm at least.  I went pretty moderate early on, just trying to feel things out.  My legs were a little heavy and I was sure I would not be anywhere close to my 55:?? minute PR, so I just plodded along, enjoying the morning and tranquility.  Above treeline, the rain started to pick up in earnest and I figured as long as I did not hear any thunder, I would just continue up.  The precipitation intensified as I approached the saddle a bit more and the wind started to blow from the West.  The rocks were very slick, even with a nice and grippy new pair of shoes.  I was surprised to arrive at the saddle in 47 minutes, 1 minute ahead of PR pace, crazy since I was not really pushing at all and being cautious not to slip.

Above the saddle, I was careful to follow the cairned route, but with my dilligence of watching the slick rocks, the rain and wind, I followed a cairned trail that wound a bit SE instead of the proper trail the went SW, then S on the ridge.  As many times as I have been up here, I am not sure I ever take the exact same variation of cairned "trail".

I pressed hard over the last few minutes, but this was tempered by caution on the slippery, lichen covered rocks.  Stopped the watch in 56:24 despite having last minute visions of pulling a PR out of the bag.
I spent a very short moment taking in the very limited views, as the cloud ceiling was low and thick, then started the tricky descent on the trail I should have taken up.  I was not really dressed for the weather with shorts, tee shirt and a light (but hooded at least) non water proof windbreaker and was careful to not have any mishaps, as there was nobody else on the mountain on this dismal Monday morning.  As I descended, the rain continued to pick up and was just short of pouring for a good period of time.  I continued to go slow and cautious back down, and of course as soon as the thought creeped into my head that my feet were being quite accurate, I stubbed a toe and flew through the air, but fortunately pulled out of it.  Back at the car, the thermometer read 50 degrees and the rain was steady with some frozen precip mixed in.  Despite the poor weather, it was a really fun run that built character, I had the whole peak to myself (not a great thing today) and was an excellent workout.


TH:  0:00
Start of climbing at switchbacks:  8:28
Treeline:  15:57
Jct.:  19:38
Saddle:  47:2?
Summit:  56:24
Descent: 42:26
RT: 1:38:50

Sunday, 08/08/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Homie and GZ at the Gregory TH, went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman, conversational pace and ended up walking 1/2 to 2/3's of the route, light jogging otherwise.  We spent a few minutes on the summit, identifying peaks, chatting it up and then went down Greenman/Gregory for something a little different.

40:2? up
31ish down?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday, 08/06/10 Grays and Torreys

Got an early start with Nate. Drove to the summer TH in the Corolla and it did great, as the road is in pretty good condition. There were a surprising amount of cars which required us to park down the road a little bit, crowded like a Saturday and way more cars than last Friday.

Nate was ready to go, so he hit the trail, as I took care of some business in the woods and took my time getting ready and warming up a bit. Began my run at 7:51am and it felt like I had started off a bit hot. I backed off a some and was able to regain my composure along the flatish section below Kelso. I was moving good, but I could tell I was not at my best and had a sneaking suspicion that a PR was not in the cards today. I continued to push myself, running when I could, but power-hiking often on the upper sections. I eventually caught up to Nate not too far below the summit and he put up a strong effort, running more than I was for sure, but my legs were about had and I was stooped over, hands on knees and breathing very hard. Relieved to see the vacant summit, I collapsed on a rock in a heap, huffing and catching my breath after a 55:58 ascent (~1:20 shy of PR).

Nate arrived a few minutes after and with only a minute or two pause, we began the traverse to Torreys. The rocks were a bit wet from a very recent hailstorm/rainstorm, but the “super-computer” was firing at full speed and I made quick work of it. Crossed the very low point of the saddle in 5:18 and felt pretty solid heading up Torreys and topped out in 15:18, which was a traverse PR for me by 20 seconds. I could see that Nate was not on his way up, so figuring he had cut off at the saddle, so I turned on the jets to chase him down. Arrived back at the saddle in 4:??, then ripped the descent until I caught him at around 13k. I was feeling good and having a fun time with the down, so after a few words, kept on cranking back to the TH, setting a descent PR of 34:57.

Though I missed PR up Grays by 1:20, I was not at all disappointed, as I was not really committed to it from the start. I am really feeling acclimated, especially on the traverse to Torreys, it really felt smooth and effortless (OK, not really, but I felt very good). Everything seems to be coming together and I am looking forward to August 21st.


Summer TH 0:00

Sign: 17:??

Kelso cutoff: 22:05

Grays Summit: 55:58

Grays to Torreys: 15:18

Torreys back to TH: 34:57

Total RT: 1:46:14

Thursday, 08/05/10 Green Mountain #100

Today I celebrated my 100th ascent of Green Mountain thus far in 2010 and GZ and Sierra were kind enough to join in the festivities, which really added to the enjoyment.  Took George up a new route (for him) that he was impressed with, got to start hitting this one more.  I think I had 43 on the up from Gregory over the convoluted route, spent some time enjoying the summit, then came down Ranger/Gregory, not sure how fast, as I was too busy chatting to look at the watch or care.  Another awesome day in Boulder.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

08/04/10 Green Mountain #99

Hit up Green this morning with Sierra, as she has obviously been itching to get out for some exercise.  Up Gregory/Ranger very easy, down the front very easy.  Sierra was busy checking out all the new changes ("improvements") on the front side, it was interesting to see her stop and say to herself "what, where are the rocks that used to be here?  This log is new.....  torn up ground?  This was never here before..."

Today was trip #99 up Green for me this year, #361 since I began accurate record keeping in December of 2004.  A careful guestimate puts me at ~520 total ascents since I moved to Boulder in 1996.

If anybody wants to celebrate trip #100 for the year with me tomorrow, I plan to start from Gregory at 6:30am (easy dog jog).

Up: 44ish?
Down: 26?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

08/03/10 Green Mountain

Met GZ at Chautauqua at 5:45am and headed up Gregory/Ranger, easy pace, chatting the whole way of course.  We slowed to walk a short section and of course got busted by Tony.  Chatted with him for a bit.  53 up from Chautauqua, 1:33 RT (I never stopped the timer for social stops/dog stops/summit break).  Great morning.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, 08/02/10 Green Mountain

Had a most excellent run this evening after work.  Started up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman around 4:25pm, it was sprinkling a bit and nice and cool.  Went easy up Amphitheater, got to the jct. in a very unpressed 6:39 and upped the pace a little bit.  14:53 to the overlook, 19:mid to the Greenman jct..  I felt as though I was getting stronger the higher I went, instead of the recent fading from the start.  Made the summit in 33:34 which I was happy with given the distinct lack of effort, the heavy shoes and the floppy hiking shorts.

It was raining pretty steady on the upper half of the mountain, but it was so refreshing and invigorating, I took the long way back via W. Ridge to SuperFlag, then down Long Canyon to Gregory.  11 to SuperFlag, 22 to the cabin, 33:07 down, just barely quicker than my ascent time.  Even the 35 minute drive home (should have been 12-15, but there was a major traffic jam on 36) could not dampen my mood.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday, 07/31/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Ranger

Took Sierra up Green, started at 7:17am and it was already starting to get pretty warm.  Allison dropped us off at the TH and she drove further up to hike Long Canyon, but Sierra could not be convinced that she was not following behind, so Sierra would continually stop to wait.  I ended up doing a lot of stopping, backtracking and encouraging.  Total time to the top was 53 minutes, a solid 10 of which was spent waiting/backtracking.  She was still slow on the descent as it warmed, 35 down.

July stats:

182 miles
77,680 vertical
7 14ers
1 12er
1 11er
12 x Green
3 x Bear
2 x SoBo

Yearly stats thus far:

1143 miles
429,665 vertical
96 x Green
13 x Sanitas
12 x Bear
10 x SoBo
21 x 14ers
160 total summits