Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, 12/31/10 Green Mountain

Final run of the year, you guessed it, another lap on Green.  Went up/down the front side on a well worn track, but the snow was still pretty unconsolidated due to the freshness and temperature.  Hopefully it will set up nice in the next few days.  Wore Microspikes the whole time, but footing was still a bit slippy on the up and unpredictable on the down, so we took it super casual and chatted the whole time.  It was great to close out the year with Homie on this cold and snowy day and what a great year it has been.  Happy New Year!!


Up:  52
Down:  25

Thursday 12/30/10 Green Mountain

Had a great day out in the snow with Allison and Sierra (up/down Gregory/Ranger).  Met up with Homie on the summit and he joined us for the descent.  It is not close to Joel Wolpert/Tony quality, but here is a short video from the day.


Up in 1:23
Down in ???

Green Mountain 12/30/10 from Jeff Valliere on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday, 12/29/10 Green Mountain

Whether or not I would be able to get out today remained tenuous at best, though I was always at the ready and pounced on the opportunity at the last minute, as I found it nearly impossible not to get out for a run in shorts one last time for the year.

Started up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman a bit after 3pm.  It was a good bit warmer than yesterday, but a bit windier.  My perceived effort was a little bit higher than both laps the previous day, but most of this was because I was in a hurry and tight on time.  Even though I pushed a little harder (moderate to upper moderate), my legs were feeling a bit sluggish and I ended up putting in the slowest time of 3 ascents in 2 days.  Descended back down the front on cruise control.


Up:  36:27
Down:  21:36

RT: 58:03

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday, 12/28/10 Green Mountain x 2

Snuck in 2 laps on Green today, up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  Went pretty easy on the first lap, moderately casual, but took it very easy on the down, as the 6oz race flats I was wearing/testing (Inov 8 F-lite 195s) were a bit too minimal and soft for rocky and technical trails.

Second lap seemed to be a bit more conservative to start, but I ended up 10 seconds ahead of the first lap at the Saddle/Greenman jct., so I upped the effort a bit to the harder side of moderate and ended up a minute faster by the summit.  Went a little quicker on the second descent, but still somewhat slow due to the next pair of shoes I was testing (K-Swiss road shoes), as they had better cushion, but less than optimal support on the upper for this type of terrain and I was worried about twisting an ankle.


1st lap:

Saddle/Greenman: 20:30
Summit:  36:20
Descent: 25

2nd lap:

Saddle/Greenman: 20:20
Summit:  35:20
Descent: 23

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, 12/26/10 Green Mountain

Started at 7:30am, up back/down front.  Easy jog up, took my time coming down for a little trail work and stuck to Saddle to the bottom instead of Amphi.

Did not see another person outside of the parking lot.

25 down

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, 12/25/10 Green Mountain

Started around 1pm.  Up/down front, felt a little better than yesterday (at least I had no phlegm/throat issues).  Super crowded at the TH and on the trail/summit, more than the average weekend day for this time of year.  Was great to be running in shorts and a T (it seemed warmer at 8,000 feet than it was at the TH, but the Gregory TH is always an ice box).


Gregory TH to summit:  33:19
Descent:  19:20

Run RT: 52:39

Drive from home in Louisville to Gregory TH: 12:45

Drive from Gregory TH back home: 13:35

Total RT with driving:  1:18:59

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, 12/24/10 Green Mountain

I was in a bit of a hurry today, as I promised to get in my run quickly and get home to get ready for Christmas Eve festivities.  I sent Homie an invite and our timing was perfect, as he was on his way there in the morning as well.  I told him to get a head start and I would either catch him along the way, or meet him on the summit depending on which came first. 

My need to get this run in quickly, coupled with my motivation to chase Homie had me going light, with shorts, long sleeve shirt and fast feeling shoes.  I almost started off too fast, but geared back a bit to warm up some.  Hit the 1st jct. in 6:24, decent, but not super fast and still no sign of Homie.  I kept a steady tempo and eventually spotted him above as I neared the first spring, figuring I would pass him near the 1st Flatiron jct..  About this time, my throat started gurgling up phlegm and I was hacking up a lung, which gave away my stealth approach.  Homie heard/saw me coming and put up a good fight, not allowing me to pass until Saddle Rock. 

I made the Greenman jct. in 18:40, still solid, but not near PR.  I debated going for broke, but my motivation was not really there and I just wanted to cruise it in and finish 33-34 minutes as I had intended.  I tagged the summit at 33:30 which I was pleased with considering the time of year, hung out for a minute or so and then backtracked about 2 switchbacks down to finish back up with Homie (who was pushing pretty good and had a killer sprint on the final stretch).

After a short break on the summit, we headed back down, just chatting at a coasting pace.  Great to get out on an awesome Christmas Eve day. 

Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday!!


Top of Amphi:  6:24
Saddle/Greenman jct.:  18:40
Summit:  33:30
Descent: 23 high or low 24??

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, 12/23/10 Green Mountain

A.M.  3 road miles running back/forth to Big O for an oil change.

P.M.  Met up with Aron shortly after 3 for a trip up Green.  Went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a casual pace for me, but pushing Aron to go a bit faster than on our previous few trips.  A short ways up Saddle Rock Trail, we crept up on the BTR Thursday HHR run and I think that inspired Aron to push a bit harder than normal, combined with the fact that I was not making him talk as much as I typically do.  The BTR group turned out to be a few people we vaguely know, or know of.  Fred Ecks, Peter B and Steph E, Maria P and Chris ?.  We became somewhat mingled in their group and chatted with them off and on for the remainder of the hike and for a while at the summit.  It was surprisingly warm and calm and with a bit of daylight remaining, Aron and I opted to descend Bear Canyon, a new route for him.  Of course, we had our picture taken twice along the way.  Aron probably thought it was the papparazzi stalking him for some 127 hours dirt ;).

Finished up around 5:15 just as it was getting dark.  Awesome evening run.


44:30 up
1:07 back to Chautauqua
5 or 6 back to the cars near the bridge

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday, 12/19/10 Green Mountain

Met Homie at the Gregory lot at 4pm, up Gregory/Ranger at a casual pace.  Wore my studded shoes today and scratched on rock for the most part, but was thankful to have them in a few spots coming down the front side.

Up: 47
Down: 30

Saturday, 12/18/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Dave a few minutes past 11am at Chautauqua.  Headed up Flagstaff/Ranger at a generally casual to moderate pace, chatting and laughing about posing for the wildlife cameras placed around OSMP to verify our claims of running Green Mountain ### amount of times.  We went a little harder over the final 10 or 15 minutes to the top of Green, but it did not seem as though we were going fast, just slipping around in the loose snow conditions and I was sucking wind.

We spent a few minutes on the summit and then parted ways, as Dave was tacking on Bear and SoBo, while I went down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi.  I threw on the spikes for the upper switchbacks which helped, but soon became overkill, as there was just enough snow to make things slick, but not enough to make the spikes the right choice.  Spotted some fresh Homie prints in the snow and was hoping to cross paths, but no sign of him.  I went home and drilled up a pair of screw shoes.


58 up (from Chautauqua via Flag with a few minutes of stopping included)
25 back to Gregory/5 more to Chautauqua

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, 12/17/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Long Canyon/W. Ridge.  Finally it feels as though Winter has arrived.  A dusting at home turned into snow covered roads by Chautauqua and then several inches on the trail.  Followed 3 sets of tracks up Gregory and was playing the tracking game.  What kind of shoes, gait, age of tracks, is it somebody I know?, how fast are they moving, when or if I will catch them?. 

I finally passed them at the top of Gregory, a group of 3 hikers with serious day packs and gear.  I was still following some down tracks to the cabin and was itching to get some freshies, so I headed up Long Canyon.  Damn, more down tracks, a new set laid by a duck footed hiker, male, size 11 or 12.  It was snowing reasonably heavy, very peaceful though and when I topped out, I noticed a OSMP ranger truck and did the track math, figuring out who belonged to the tracks. 

Coast clear, up through the woods to Super Flag, then got the freshies I was looking for on W. Ridge to Green and was surprised to be the first one to summit that morning (or at least since the snow accumulated).  On the way back down, I passed the 3 well equipped hikers from earlier and the duck footed ranger laboring behind.  It was fun to follow my own tracks back and critique my own prints.  I definitely do not pronate or supinate and was impressed with my artwork, perfectly straight, in line and well spaced, cutting the apex just right.

Footing was REALLY crappy all day with the several inches of light snow and no base.  Traction would not have worked, as you would be scraping on everything underneath, but it was slick and prime conditions to roll an ankle, so I took it super casual, especially on the descent (and even then, still managed to minorly roll my weak right ankle).  An amazing morning in the snow, let's hope for more.


56:27 up
41:59 down

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, 12/16/10 Green Mountain

Got out a little later than I had hoped, maybe started at 1:30pm or so from the Gregorty TH.  Up Gregory/ Ranger at a moderate pace.  My legs felt strong, but my right ankle made a loud snap 3 steps in (is surprisingly gimpy from twisting it last week and also my achilles was very tight (ongoing issues since April)), so I just rolled along at a conservative tempo.  Back down the same way, going a decent pace, but still being careful and favoring my right ankle a bit.




Down:  22:40

RT:  1:00:09

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, 12/13/10 Green Mountain

Allison and I met Aron at the Gregory TH at 4:15pm for a leisurely trip up Green, as it was in the 60's here today and none of us could resist an evening hike.  Up Gregory/Ranger, down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi at an easy conversational walk the entire way.  What a beautiful night to be out, hard to believe it is December.

Up:  60
Down: 50

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, 12/11/10 A new route on Green Mountain

For years, I have been eyeing the steep and narrow canyon, adjacent to the rock outcrop/overlook near the top of Gregory Canyon. This canyon creates the deep North/South cleft between Saddle Rock and lower Greenman and has been luring me since first noticing it, so I decided on somewhat of a whim to finally get off trail and do some exploring.

I started up the Gregory Canyon Trail shortly after 2pm, jogged easy to a point just beyond the second wooden bridge and then dropped down into the bush choked canyon. Progress up the canyon was slow, as the walls narrowed and the Gregory Canyon Trail soon seemed to soar quite the distance above. Before long, the canyon steepened as it turned SW, then South, leading to a pronounced headwall.

Staying in the center of the canyon proved to be impossible through this section, as the creek had frozen here into a nice waterfall of ice. This was easily bypassed to climbers right on a nice (but a little exposed) ledge system and immediately the canyon became relatively level again. From here on, the going continued to be slow and somewhat tedious at times when sticking to the canyon floor. I encountered a real tangle of bushes (sometimes thorny), deadfall, mossy rocks and boulders, ice etc…., as I stuck to my arbitrary “rule” of staying within 10 vertical feet of the canyon floor.  At any time, I could have made quicker progress on the relatively clear hillsides above. 

It never ceases to amaze me how getting off trail just a little bit can bring such a sense of isolation and adventure. I could have reached a busy trail in 5-10 minutes in any direction, but it felt like I may have well have been in Alaska. After 47 minutes of hunching over, crawling, zig zagging, shimmying, back tracking, extricating myself from leg grabbing bushes, galumphing and getting slapped in the face with branches, I finally intersected with the Greenman Trail, exactly where I anticipated a few minutes below the Saddle Rock junction. It was a welcome relief to be on the familiar and well travelled trail, which I continued on to the summit, then down Ranger/Gregory so I could view bits of my ascent route from afar. My only regrets were not having a camera, thicker gloves, eye/face protection, or good company to share the exploration with.


Intersect with Greenman Trail below Saddle Rock jct.: 47

Summit: 1:04

Descent: 29 (easy with a few stops)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, 12/10/10 Green Mountain

Started from Chautauqua, then up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  It was very windy and I was not particularly motivated.  I pushed somewhat hard for a short while (5 or so minutes at best), but my physical performance, mindset and unity of the two were lackluster at best.  I felt decent on the down, but my right ankle that I twisted yesterday was still a bit sore, so I just cruised (quick, but not taking any risks).



4:23 warmup to Amphi from Chuatauqua

Reset watch:


20:33 to Gregory TH/23:55 to Chautauqua

1:02:13 RT

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, 12/09/10 Green Mountain

It was a beautiful morning, mid 50's, calm, sunny and all week I was looking forward to throwing down another quick(er) run like I did last Thursday.  I used the bathroom at Chautauqua to drop a few lbs. and when I came out, the wind was just cranking, which shifted my mood a bit.  I started off across Chautauqua with the wind nearly stopping me in my tracks several times and knocking me off balance.  I made it to the start of the Amphitheater Trail in 4:43 and as I started up, I quickly decided that I was just not that into it anymore.  My legs felt OK, but I was just not at all into it mentally, no willingness to dig in and I knew within a few steps that I would be lucky to break 33 if I decided to push.

I turned around and headed back down to the car, not quite sure what I was going to do, but since I knew I was not going to be going fast, I at least wanted to change out of my race flats and maybe grab a windbreaker if the wind was going to persist.  On the way back to Chautauqua, the wind completely died down and the day was warm and pleasant again. 

To save time, I drove back up to the Gregory TH, parked and started up the Gregory Trail at a very mellow pace, just enjoying the sunshine and now calmness.  Just before descending to the second wooden bridge, I cut straight to follow the faint trail that sticks to the canyon floor.  This soon fizzled out, leaving me bushwhacking in a choked dry creek bed.  I cut left and up, in the general direction of the trail, but intended to stick to the ridge as much as I could. 

Soon I was back on the trail, but only stuck to it for another 60-90 seconds and then jumped off again just before the upper steep rocky pitch and continued on the ridge.  The going was slow, but fun as I zig zagged to pick my way through the ledges, deadfall, cacti and yucca.  Again I met up with the trail at the top of Gregory and followed it to the Ranger Cabin, where I again felt inclined to get away from things and worked my way up the hillside, hiking up the steep and deadfall laden hillside which eventually brought me to the base of the steps on the NW Ridge section of Ranger.  Again, I casually jogged the trail while it stuck to the ridge, but alternately cut my way along the ridgecrest and did some heavy bushwhacking and scrambling near the summit.

Once on top, I figured I would make up for my slow ascent by cranking down the front side, but within 20 seconds, I rolled my right ankle heavily.  I cussed up a storm as I hopped forward, trying to shrug it off and was fearing that this was my long overdue descent injury that would keep me grounded for a while.  The pain surprisingly started to subside within 2 minutes, but my mind was still rattled by it, as this sort of thing happens so infrequently to me.  As I was pondering this, I carelessly stepped on a patch of snow/ice that looked to be dirty enough for good traction and sent me for a huge flailing slip and slide, propelling my down the trail much faster than I could controllably handle.  Somehow though, I managed to pull out of it with out further injury and just resolved to take it really easy and careful the remainder of the descent.  I again got off the beaten track and took the NE Ridge, occasionally stopping to toss logs and branches down the hillside that might have ended up there from previous wind storms.

Though it was not the run (way more hiking and bushwhacking than running) I had hoped, it was still great to get out on a gorgeous December day and see some new scenery.


Ranger Cabin:  18:30ish
4-Way:  38:28
Summit:  42:12

Descent:  22:20

1:04:32 RT

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, 12/06/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Aron and Tim at 4:15pm for a casual trip on Green.  Went up Gregory/Ranger at a relaxed and conversational pace, hiking most of the way.  Made it to the top without lights, but they were soon essential for the trip down Greenman/Amphi/Saddle.  It was a great evening to be out, with great company.
Up:  54
Down:  ~40?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday, 12/04/10 Green Mountain

Met Homie for a trip up Green at 1:30pm.  Went fairly easy up the front side with a few periods of moderate, cracking the whip on him to push for a PR.  He was moving at roughly a 35:30-36:00 minute ascent pace until after the 1st Flatiron jct., then slowed a bit, but still managed to put in his best time since June, just a few seconds under 40 I think, a good effort for him and he was happy with his recent improvement.

Went down Greenman/Canter cut/Gregory in 31 at a casual pace.

Up front:  39:50
Down Greenman/Canter/Gregory:  31

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, 12/03/10 Green Mountain

I was debating whether or not I wanted to get out and fight the wind today, but temps in the mid 60's, coupled with Homie's morning sighting of a family of bears on the Saddle Rock Trail had me eagerly speeding out the door.

Headed up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a 'looking for bears and watching out for widow maker trees' pace and just before the Amphitheater, heard what I thought to be a bear cub make a loud moan, so I paused and looked up the hillside to the right.  I slowly backtracked a few paces and looked through the bushes up the hillside.  Then I hear a cascade of rocks and boulders, "Cool" I thought, this is my chance to finally see a bear(s) on the trail and was straining my eyes, contemplating a careful pursuit, until I saw a guy rapelling and knocking a slew of rocks.  Dammit.

I continued on at a casually moderate pace, constantly on guard.  Tagged the summit and took a few minutes to take in the view and headed back down at a moderate pace.  Awesome day out despite the wind, it was almost hot by the time I got back to the car.


Top of Amphi:  7:??
1st Flat jct.:  13:05
Greenman jct.:  19:58
Summit:  35:08

Descent:  22:30

57:38 RT

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, 12/02/10 Green Mountain

Started from Chautauqua, up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  I was eager to try out a pair of test shoes I recently acquired, the Brooks Racer ST5 , an 8oz. road race flat that seemed like it would be adequate (though not ideal) for the trail.  With their bright orange color with flashy blue trim, you can't help but to want to go fast in them. 

It was really warm today in the sunshine and I quickly realized that I was over-dressed with one too many shirts and gloves.  I put my gloves in my pockets and just sweated it out with my short sleeve over long sleeve combo.  Jogged at a quickish but not too hard warm-up pace to the start of the Amphi trail in 4:27, reset the watch and got down to business.  I felt good right from the start, but wanted to play it a bit conservative and see how things went as the run progressed.  A minute or two into the run, a duo of runners passed on the way down and said "hi Jeff", I think it was Aaron and said hi back, but I had a decent rythym going and did not want to stop (sorry).

I generally went reasonably hard, but never felt as though I was really pushing at PR pace.  My splits were decent, but I didn't (don't) think they were near PR, so I just kept a steady pace and did not worry about it at all.  Beyond the Saddle/Greenman junction, I upped the intensity a bit and was rolling good, but once I got to the final icy switchbacks, I was spinning out some on the sheer ice and was wishing I had a shoe with just a little bit of tread instead of a smooth-ish road shoe.  I tagged the summit and folded over in a heap, only 4 seconds off PR.  I am sure that without the ice, I would have gained 4 or more seconds.  Either way, I was very happy with that time, considering that it is December and I have been kicking back in Holiday mode for a while now.

I had topped out at the same time as a woman coming up from the other side and we exchanged pleasantries.  She started down Greenman about 20 seconds ahead of me and I assumed that I would pass her quickly, but she was moving pretty good and I very slowly gained on her, as I danced and slipped my way cautiously down the upper icy sections.  I finally passed her at the bottom of the wooden steps, but she was not too far behind until the rocky overlook, then I think I opened up some gap on the flattish section between the spring and the Greenman/Saddle junction.  Whoever she was, she was pretty quick!

The remainder of the run down was quick, but never really pushing, just getting used to the shoes I was wearing, which were OK, but not perfect for the rocky technical trail.


Chautauqua to start of Amphi:  4:27
(Reset watch)
6:20 top of Amphi
12:07 1st Flatiron jct.
18:30 Saddle/Greenman
32:28 Green Summit

24:54 back to Chautauqua (21:27 down to Gregory lot)

1:01:49 RT

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, 11/30/10 "127 Hours" on Green

OK, not really, I don't have 5.291666666666667 days to spend on Green (it was more like 1h 29min on Green).

I had not seen Aron since an early October “Friends and Family” screening of his movie “127 Hours” in Boulder and had not hiked/ran together since late Spring, as he has been busy with movie promoting and such. We met at the Gregory TH and started up around 4:15pm and headed up the Amphi/Saddle/Greenman route at an easy pace. As we went higher, the wind picked up as it got darker and darker, but good conversation and some warm clothing lessened the effect. We made the summit at 5:09pm, just as it was getting dark and the lights in town created an amazing sight, almost illuminating our surroundings. There was quite the cloud cap over the divide, indicating snow and explaining the hammering wind. As soon as we started the descent, I switched on my 205 Lumen Fenix LD-20 and am always amazed at how much light it puts out. The trip down was uneventful, save for a few minor slips on the icy upper switchbacks and 2 (what appeared to be) college students heading up near the Greenman/NE junction without lights. Aron revealed that he is going on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday, so check it out if you get a chance.

Up Front: ~54
Down Front: ~35