Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, 01/23/12 Green Mountain

Up Steep Snow/Down NE(ish)

3.07 miles/2,337 vert./1:09:57 (46:17 up)/149 avg HR  Garmin Data

Started off from the Gregory side of the Gregory lot and headed S/SW up the steep hillside in a stupid effort to avoid the ice.  I was moving fast and felt as though I would get to the top of Amphi at or ahead of a "normal" split for a comparable effort (6:30ish).  Gained a ridge above the actual Amphitheater and could see the trail about 75 vertical feet below, so I tried to contour toward it without losing elevation, but got cliffed out several times and was forced in directions I did not want to go and still had to do some scrambling and elevation loss to get back on track.  Finally made the junction at 11:05, having wasted nearly 5 minutes (all to avoid a minute or two worth of ice).  I was annoyed with myself at this poor decision and considered a do over, as I was feeling really strong and knew I had a good climb in me today, but much of the purpose of going "fast" today was because I was in a hurry to get home at a decent time.

Back on track, I pushed hard again to make up some time for my mistake, but once I got to the ice between the 1st Flatiron access trail and the spring, I started heading up the hillside again (yes to avoid the ice and having to take the 20 seconds to put on my spikes).  The path of least resistance only lasted for 20 seconds or so and then it was a very steep, slippery and brushy climb, forcing frequent stops to wrestle with branches and contemplate the least worst way.  That was the easy part.  Soon, the snow deepened on the North slopes to a very surprising depth, necessitating waist deep wallowing over deadfall, crawling and the occasional bush/tree hand belay.  Making good time was now a non issue and the only question now was if I would be able to make it up the in your face hillside.  That was a major mistake and when I got to familiar terrain, I was now 10-11 minutes behind where I should be for a comparable effort and not nearly as high on the NE Ridge Trail as I had predicted.

Back on track, again, it was an comparatively easy jaunt to the summit and got there in 46 (a bummer, knowing that I would have been at least 11 minutes quicker had I chosen better lines).  Headed back down the NE ridge and stuck to known paths and familiar (and clear) woods.  A bit of an oops in the ascent route and was frustrating at times, but looking back, it was cool to see a few new areas that I had not seen before.

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