Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday, 11/16/12 Three Peaks Plus One

Green/Bear/SOmelittlepeakIcan'tBOothertorememberthenameof/Green Again

10.28 miles
5,256 (dang it, just 24 ft. shy of a vertical mile)

I had a surprise and very rare morning to do as I pleased, with no real pressure to get home anytime soon, so I headed into Boulder to get in some leisurely hill running.

Headed up A/S/G on Green in an easy 38, down to the 4-way, got a little confused here and ended up on some hardly recognizable trail.  Miraculously, this trail dumped me off right where I had hoped, at the start of the West Ridge trail for Bear, which just opened a few days ago after being closed since the Flagstaff Fire in June.

**Side note, I was expecting total devastation on the W. Ridge, as it looks pretty wiped out from afar and heck, it was closed for 5 months, so it must be really bad right?  I was shocked to observe that, though burnt, it was not nearly as bad as I expected.  It is absolutely ridiculous that this was closed for 5 months.  2 or 3 weeks may have been more appropriate, then a simple "proceed at your own risk" sign, would have been more than sufficient.  All the trail work?  I noticed they minorly reworked/rerouted the trail in at least one spot, some nice steps, but 5 months?  Really?**

Back to the run, I again got a little disoriented, but I could eventually hear voices on Bear, as SOmeBOdy was talking loudly and I eventually topped out and enjoyed the views.  Looking over to South Boulder Peak, it looked pretty bad, IS pretty bad (from what I hear).  Sure wish they would open that soon, I am really itching to go check it out myself.

From Bear, I headed down W. Ridge which was really good to get re-acquainted with after not having run through there since before the fire.  Once back to Bear Canyon, I again got a little disoriented, but soon found myself back at the 4 Way and then headed up to tag Green once again.  Bumped into Ben K and Johannes R, so we stopped to chat for a bit.

On Green, I was feeling awesome and seriously considered tacking on Flagstaff and possibly Sanitas, but then 5 minutes into the descent, I bonked bad, probably my worst bonk in many years, as the early breakfast and lack of fueling caught up to me.  I was a stumbling fool and what is normally a 20 minute cruise, ended up being a 27 minute struggle to not trip and fall.

It was awesome to get out for a little longer run than the norm and I really hope I can do this again on Thanksgiving if I can talk the in-laws into watching the girls (if anybody wants to join, gotta earn that Turkey and those measly 5 or 10ks just do not cut it ;)).


  1. Disoriented.

    So you think that SoBo looking as in bad shape as it IS (from a distance) the closure is still appropriate?

  2. Yeah, disoriented, I am a bit new to these peaks... ;).

    Well, from what I can tell (from afar of course), the damage on SoBo is more severe than W. Ridge. The trees are really burnt to the core vs. just being singed/mildly toasted.

    I personally would avoid these areas on windy days, but I have already been of that mindset for many years after close calls with falling trees in healthy forests.

    That said, I am somewhat on the fence with the closure, as I want to be free to make that choice. Keeping the trail closed at this point is just easier for OSMP, easy to make the decisions later and perhaps eliminate their risk of liability? I am not quite sure why they are dragging their feet like this, they have had 5 months to work on this. Just a sign warning of the dangers would be sufficient, then proceed at your own risk.

    I will say that if you were not familiar with the trail on upper SoBo, it would be hard to follow. I can see people getting off route there easily and causing erosion, so I don't know, maybe not quite ready yet for the masses (but ready for some).