Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday, 12/05/13 Green Mountain/Flagstaff

Green #159 on the year (#830 since Dec. 2004)
From Chat, up 1st/NE/Greenman, down Ranger/Flag.
6.36 miles/2,673 vert./2:02

Planned on getting in two laps, but soon into the run I knew that was wishful thinking.  With below zero temps, I was bundled up, feeling more like hiking than running as to not overheat, but I also did not feel too light and sporty with two layers of pants, wool shirt, hoodie shirt, thick Marmot softshell jacket, heavy shoes with Microspikes, balaclava, Nathan pack with backup warm stuff, etc....   Had some contact issues this morning on the way out the door, so scrapped that and was forced to stick with the prescription glasses, which as expected, was a disaster on a cold snowy day and was constantly messing with fogging issues.  I can see OK without correction, but I did not want to stuff the glasses away in a pocket and risk damaging them and I was absolutely incapacitated if I was in the open sun without them, so I was determined to make things right.

I was dressed perfectly and was quite comfortable, but even though I had waterproof eVent shoes (Saucony Razor 2.0) and thick wool socks, built in gaiters/additional gaiters, my feet got quite cold as I broke trail in the deepening, unconsolidated snow.

Made the summit in a very lackluster 1:04 (and noted how that is 4 minutes off my RT PR from Chautauqua for the ascent ONLY), uggh.  I spent a few minutes on top, taking in the better than average scenery and wished I had brought my camera.  Though my toes were cold, I was hoping to rally for a second lap, but soon into the descent of Ranger, my toes went from cold to painfully cold, to numb, to seemingly detached wooden blocks.  This got me a bit worried and I was kicking myself for not wearing my larger shoes in order to accommodate my warmest sock setup.  Thoughts of a second lap quickly vanished and all I could think of was getting down and warming my toes.  I even contemplated hitching a ride down Flag.

Once I got to the ranger cabin, my toes were feeling as though they were being tortured with scalding needles, so I knew they were coming back.  I contemplated that second lap, but I was running far behind on time at this point and I was content to just add on Flagstaff.

Despite the cold temps and colder toes, this was certainly one of the more beautiful runs in a while with all the fresh snow.  I was quite content to go slow and enjoy the beauty.

A few random thoughts:

I have gotten a kick out of the back/forth on the mountain between OSMP and the monkey wrenchers.  It started with police tape/plastic fencing/plastic signs, which within a few weeks of the flood, would quickly disappear, regardless of whether or not the trail was open or not.  It just became a free for all on the trails and was business as usual, families, retirees, dogs, out of towners.  I went weeks, maybe more than a month without ever seeing a sign or closure on Green (or just about anywhere else for that matter), until OSMP decided to up their game with thick cables and metal signs discouraging access to Saddle Rock and Gregory.  Within a day or two, those too disappeared.  Another week or so went by, then I noticed very thick padlocked chains pop up with metal closure signs in the middle.  I figured that was that, party over, as far as running those trails with total impunity.  But, now those are even gone.

I know I should be happy that only 8% of the trails are still closed, but to me, it is nearly 100% of what I normally run.


  1. Well done!! I only managed to get out on the local urban trails early this morning. Nice light at sunrise. So, my question is, where does the "official" closure start? Looks like upper Green is good, but from the cabin down it is closed, and supposedly from the cabin over to flag is also closed? That is only a couple hundred yards. I ask, because I wanted to do the full Skyline the other day, but then half way down Green some ranger told me it was closed over to Flag so there was no way to legally do it (and since he was a ranger, I turned around and just went back the way I came).

  2. Yeah, technically, that few hundred yard stretch you need to access Flagstaff is closed, however, as of today, it is not signed. If you were not willing to risk it though, one could legitimately take Green Mt. W. Ridge to SuperFlag and run down the road for a full Skyline link up.

  3. If it's not signed, then it is good to go ;) Thanks.