Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, 11/10/11 Green Mountain

From Chautauqua
Up Front/Down Back

5.87 miles/2,454 vert./1:25:25 (52:42 up) Garmin Data

Met up with GZ at Chautauqua a little before 7am and it was surprisingly balmy, perfect morning for a lap on Green.  Took it super easy, hiking most of the ascent, catching up on all sorts of topics and just enjoying the tranquility.  I had my Microspikes, but since George did not, I did not bother to put them on for the climb and got by just fine since we were going a casual pace.

Since there was a cool breeze and I had to meet the family for breakfast in town, we did not linger on the summit for too long.  I put the Microspikes on at the 4-way and George encouraged me to go ahead and not wait, as he knew he would be slower without any traction.  Although I was reluctant to take off, it was beneficial in the end to not have the family waiting on me, though I simultaneously regretted not getting to spend that extra half hour continuing our always fun conversations.

Conditions on the hill right now are not great (not complaining, I always enjoy it) and there is really no ideal method of getting up/down (mostly the back down part) safely and efficiently.  Going up Gregory Ranger, it is dry all the way up the canyon (aside from the initial ~45 seconds of snow/ice), then mostly snow/ice to the cabin (with some dry spots), then bullet proof ice above the cabin, most of the way to the ridge, then there are long stretches of dry trail, then a lot of ice, then mostly dry from 4 way to the summit.  On the front, it is mostly dry up Amphi/Saddle (you can step around the ice when necessary), then most of upper Greenman is ice with a few spots of rock.  Microspikes are great, but you either have to take them on/off frequently, or accept the fact that you will make them dull prematurely running on rock and dry ground.  Screw shoes are good on the ice also (not as good as Microspikes, but close) and are advantageous in some ways when you are quickly transitioning through varying trail conditions, though I am not eager to be scratching around on bare rock on the lower half of the mountain.

I hear the La Sportiva Hobnails are pretty cool, but I am a bit reluctant too cheap to throw down the $40 dollars.  Maybe a few more days of this stuff though will push me in that direction a bit more.

I guess I could always go back to running the S. ridge on Sanitas for the Winter, but what fun would that be?


  1. I just replaced my first pair of Microspikes due to wear. The on/off decision is a pain, but I'd rather pay for a pair every couple of years than go to the ER.

    And I've gotten used to running with them in one hand (in a bag), and a bottle in the other, when I'm not wearing them. Balances the arms out. I've been on-trail for 4-5 hours like that, no problem.

    The hobnails are interesting, but my credit card is already in flames from recent gear purchases.

  2. Thanks for getting out.

    Yeah, the conditions are mixed between the bottom and the top enough that it makes sense to have spikes versus screw shoes.

    It took me close to 25 minutes to get down to the upper cottage!

  3. Jeff, I agree that going through spikes is much cheaper and less painful that a trip to the hospital. I am halfway through my second pair and have a 3rd brand new pair in the garage waiting.

    I sometimes wear my Nathan HPL-020 pack (or PFD as Tony likes to call them) and just throw the spikes in there, but have recently just started tucking them in the back of my shorts/pants waist band and cinching it up a little tighter and that seems to work quite well.