Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Morning Green Descent

Got out pretty early this morning before hitting the road for what is sure to be a long day/evening of driving home to Nebraska to see my parents for Christmas.  I ran the 15min of streets to the Gregory lot and then trudged to the summit via the First Saddle route.  For some reason I wore my absolute dullest pair of Microspikes (the "spikes" are worn down to flat nubs) this morning, so I wasn't getting great purchase in the punchy and somewhat loose snow, but I was still impressed at how relatively well the trail had set up overnight, even compared to yesterday evening.  This was enough to convince me to go for a fast time on the descent via the standard frontside route of Greenman-Saddlerock-Amphitheater, inspired by Homie's antics of the past month or so.

I took off strong right from the top and it was a total kamikaze blast careening through switchbacks, leaping down drops and swinging around trees all with very little concern for catching a toe or tripping on anything; I was anaerobic pretty much the entire way down, with the unstable, soft footing definitely making me work harder than usual.  I've actually never gone all-out on a Green descent, snow conditions or not, so didn't really know what to expect, but summit post to Amphi/Baseline junction post was 14:08 with another 6 seconds to the Gregory lot pavement for a 14:14.  I would say that I was taking some pretty wild risks and was definitely out-of-control at times, but with all the deep powder everywhere it never felt that risky.  I only thought once or twice about how heinously unpleasant it would be to miscalculate a footplant, hyperextend a knee and break my leg again; the only split I dared take my eyes off the trail to glance at my watch for was an 11:32 at the Saddle Rock/Amphi junction.

Trail conditions were definitely not perfect, especially on Greenman where it's still quite loose and unconsolidated and I think just a fresh, sharp pair of Microspikes alone would've easily carried me under 14min this morning as I was definitely losing time sliding out on turns.  With a perfect packed track I think sub-13 might be possible.  I'm super bummed that I'm driving to Nebraska today and will miss the next few days of what are sure to be stellar trail conditions, but so it goes.  BRING IT, HOMIE!

A couple pics from the uphill portion of the morning:

Longs Peak.
Sunrise reflected on the NE ridge.


Jeff Valliere said...

Wow, nice work! Not sure how we missed one another today, we started up the front at 7:05, came down the same way. You must have just been going too fast!

Anton said...

Jeff, yeah I was bummed when I got home, checked my email and saw you'd sent out the invite last night; would've been fun to have some company. Not sure on the exact timing, but I think I was back at the base right around 7am; I did duck into the bushes between the bottom of Amphi and Baseline to pee, probably right about when you were heading up.

Did you guys wear snowshoes? I took snowshoes up last night to try and do some packing...can't wait to take another crack at the descent with a better track. Hope your knee heals up quick so you can join in the fun!

Jeff Valliere said...

I had snowshoes in the car, but Homie talked me out of it (good call), but I did use poles which helped take some pressure off the knee. Wish I could throw my hat into the downhill ring, but that would certainly set me back right now. Conditions today were definitely sub optimal for the best descent, so you will certainly shave time off on a better day.

GZ said...

Ah, but the snot rockets in the video ... classic.

John "Homie" Prater said...

Awesome, Tony! As I told Jeff in a note after my 16:27 this week, "I'm limited by my fitness on this. Any number of folks (you, Tony, Schlarb of the Green regulars) could be crushing this time."

Glad to see you have a go at it. Amazing time given the conditions. Conditions will improve and, I think/hope, be excellent for fast times for a while.

Rob Timko said...

I hope you stayed within 200yd of the switchbacks otherwise it doesn't count you know...

Merry Christmas!

Kiki said...

Hello from Catalunya (Spain) Anton! Just say that you are an inspiration for me to run in such a wild way. Thank you!
I have a little question, which camera do you use in your trails, and where you carry it, especially in summer.


By the way, Feliz Navidad!!


Andy said...

Hmm, Catalunya, heh? I was just wondering how a fellow Catalonian might fare bombing down a snow-packed Green - without skis.

Tony, Great to hear the leg is performing well. Enjoy the holiday in the flatlands.

Dallan said...

Love your blog!

Trail Snail said...

Lookout! Snot-missles! Ah, Boulder. My birth place. Been years. Thanks for the perfect pictures from up on high. All happiness to you.

ruzzel01 said...

You just made it to the top of the world. Kudos!

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