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


  1. That left just below the summit is a bit tricky. i missed it the other day too.

    Well done ... (you are ready ... just be ready at tree line).

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Way to pull on the big boy pants and get yourself up that mountain in such crappy weather. Not sure I would have had the chops not to hang it up and go home.

  4. Thanks. Yeah, just above the saddle, I missed a junction where I should have gone right at a big cairn, but saw big cairns to the left so went that way. Coming down, it was a bit more obvious and intuitive finding the best of the braided, cairned trails. I am guessing taking the longer variation cost me a good minute, the wet rocks perhaps another, or maybe ~90 seconds total. Felt good about it all though.

  5. Nice running, JV. Days like that...I often skip it or turn around if I'm just getting started but once you're out there, it can be pretty cool. Unlike many of your runs, I can actually picture this one.