Mon- off. Last day in Missoula, MT for Unbreakable screening. Really great turn-out last night, nearly 700 enthusiastic Montanans.
Tue-AM: 1:06, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. All hiking, really nice to get back on the mountain after four days completely off in MT.
Wed-AM: 1:32, 3000' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up 2nd Flatiron, down 1st Saddle. 7:40 PR on the 2nd scramble, shin was noticeably improved from yesterday but then my stomach was completely off on the way down the mountain (hence the extra 20min or so of hiking) and I spent much of the rest of the morning with some sort of quickly-passing bug.
Thu-AM: 1:14, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd, down 1st Saddle. All hiking, but shin felt encouragingly solid.
Fri-AM: 2:22, 4500' ~ Cameron Cone
Parked below the Cog in Manitou Springs and then hiked up and down the mountain with Joe. Really great "in-town" mountain with the non-trivial summit altitude of 10,700'. Great mix of terrain with good trail in spots and all-fours scrambling in others. Massage for the shin with Elke Reese afterwards.
Sat-AM: 1:17, 3000' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up 2nd Flatiron, down 1st Saddle. Really great hike with a PR 6:45 scramble of the 2nd.
Sun-AM: 2:06, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert
Up and down NE Ridge with Joe. Casual 10am start, but it was borderline summer conditions with only a few steps of snow the whole way. Summit was, unfortunately, clouded in and chilly, but otherwise a stellar morning. Can't wait to get back from Spain and move up there for the summer.
This morning Joe and I rallied up to Leadville for a high summit. I had to get a taste of the high country before I move up there in two weeks (post-Canary Islands/Spain) for the summer. Leadville as a summer base is an easy place to hate when one is presented with the completely open possibilities that I currently have (why not Silverton? Aspen? Telluride? Crested Butte?), but I have many intricate ties to the area and nostalgia and sentimentality is powerful.
So is thin air. Some people have trouble recovering, even sleeping, above 10,000' but I've always felt I've thrived at the higher altitudes, gaining as much psychic and emotional strength as physical from the alpine environment. Plus, there's a just-right coffeehouse, no condos, a community that fully embraces all manner of mountain endurance sport and plenty of free camping. And only two hours from the more civilized environs of Boulder.
This morning's ascent of Elbert included only a smattering of steps of snow just below treeline and as-ideal-as-can-be-expected early May summit conditions. I took the liberty of some running on the descent (painfree!), but am committed to returning to primarily hiking for the next couple of weeks overseas; I want to be able to run the next time I'm back up there in a couple of weeks.
|All photos: Joe Grant.|