Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I awoke this morning to a layer of fresh snow reflecting the rising sun in through the bedroom window.  I wasn't really expecting that.  Jocelyn, with her SoCal roots, sees this sort of thing and rolls over in bed.  (Not that this makes Jocelyn a wimp.  She's actually one of the more consistently tough runners I've known. In shape or not, Jocelyn knows how to suffer.  This can't be said of a lot of (very fast) runners; I think she's probably just secure in the level of toughness in her constitution and doesn't feel the need to validate it to herself all the time with silly macho gambits like running in all kinds of terrible weather.  Like I apparently tend to need to...) 

I, on the other hand, grunt and groan, kick around the apartment for a couple minutes and prepare to run.  As I put my shirt on, Jocelyn comments that I'm getting too skinny.  Where did those hip bones come from?  Why are there ribs in your back? she asks.  Jocelyn always lets me know when I'm finally getting fit.

(Late season frosty Flatirons.)

The snow actually lended a playful aspect to the run this morning as I danced up and down Green Mountain with a little extra cushion on the path.  I imagined this to be one of the last few crystalline window-dressings of this type, so I was sure to bring the camera along and snap a couple of pictures.
(Looking back down Gregory Canyon towards Chautauqua and Boulder.)

For the past couple of weeks, I've definitely had a paradoxical relationship with my feelings toward continued snowfall.  The alpine hydrologist in me and my interests in water resources all know that Spring-time snows in the Rockies are essential to securing a healthy snowpack, which the Front Range and most of the western United States relies on for its water, via the Colorado River, specifically.

(Stairway to heaven: above the 4-way junction on Green Mt.)

However, the mountain runner in me selfishly wishes that the blasted snowpack was gone yesterday.  I want trail X and secret path Y to be melted out now because I've been slipping and sliding through the white stuff since October and I'm tired of carrying Microspikes in my waistband and dulling them on the rocks that are now poking through and I'm tired of having to plan my long-run routes with postholing and bullet-proof ice in mind and I'm tired of gloves and I'm tired of shirts.  Bring on summer and tan lines and double-fisting water bottles and S-caps!

(Green Mt as seen while descending the Greenman trail.)

Nevertheless, obviously, there is a nexus in my interests and personality where the environmentalist/hydrologist  and the mountain runner are actually one and the same.  I wouldn't be the environmentalist I am if I weren't a mountain runner and vice versa.  So, let it snow.


GZ said...

Amen to that. I see snow and sigh and want to smell the crispness of the pine in the high summer heat. And then I know if we did not have this white stuff, I would smell them burning.

Billy said...

wow, April...snow. hard for this LA boy to comprehend.

anyway, love that you're taking the camera on your Green Mountain runs Anton. definitely adds to your (already engaging) blog posts. love seeing the beautiful terrain of the Colorado Rockies you can to run on every day.

Anonymous said...

You must be running in Sardinia .. I dream run in the snow..

Coolrunnings said...

Those western shirts...are they made of technical shirt material or just like poly/cotton?

Anonymous said...

Good to see you this AM Tony. Turns out I didn't really need the microspikes, I took them off shortly after putting them on for the descent. I went down Green-Bear and Bear Canyon. That route is drying out nicely and the Mesa trail only has a couple icy sections now.

Anton said...

Poly/cotton mix usually--quick-drying, cheap, lightweight, pocketed, and stylish :-). I actually like best the way they fit. I hate the way almost every technical shirt I've ever worn fits. Usually too short and wide.

Good to see you, too. It was a regular traffic jam up there this morning! I hardly ever see anyone on top of Green, and then over on Bear I ran into two more people on the summit before descending Shadow, which was surprisingly grippy with the new layer of snow. Glad I didn't bring the Microspikes this morning--first time this year!


Speedgoat Karl said...

Amen on wanting the snow to melt. Alta's 46" two days ago brings the base to 155". And I thought I'd run up there sometime in June...yah right.

Funny how Jocelyn said you were getting thin. Don't listen to her, I've been hearing that stuff for 20 years, but I weight the same....HMMMMM

Jim P. said...

That was me contributing to the traffic jam this a.m. Good chatting w/ you.

Here's a link to the story I mentioned about the potential for us to hit the snowiest winter on record mark this month:

Jim P.

crowther said...

Hey Tony, you got my response to your Miwok email, right? Just checking. Kyle Skaggs wrote me a couple of times a couple of years ago, and I wrote back both times and didn't get a response from him either time, so I was (and continue to be) worried that I'm getting filtered into spam folders.

Jon Allen said...

I've been having the same snow thoughts as you- I've been very happy that the Utah mountains near me were only at 67% snowpack, so the trails would be clear that much earlier. But then like Karl said, this darn storm just added to that...

Rogue Valley Runners said...

Hey Tony,

Did Scott Elliot have some crazy record of days running up Green Mountain. Please excuse this if it's been talked about.


PS - and have you broken it yet?

Anton said...

Koerner, where you been? Training hard for Miwok (and bigger fish) I hope.

Yeah, SE has done a couple of streaks on both Bear Peak and Green Mountain. I don't know exact days or "records", but he's done 100 summits in 100 days on both peaks for sure. I know just last year he hit 175 Bear Peak summits in the first 182 days (6 months) of the year.

Today was summits number 112 and 113 on Green in the first 100 days of 2010, for me.


Nathan said...

Your so cool wish I can be like you someday. You are my running inspiration. When you were 14 how many miles did you use to run? Your the one that got me into running.

Jeff said...

Great posts. What are you using to measure and track yourdistance/elevation? Was there any standout stretches/exercises/ or straps/bands that helped your knee? Since reading I have striven for consistency and not to get carried away.
Thanks for the inspiration,