Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week Summary: June 18 - 24

Mon-AM: 1:01, 2500' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up 2nd down 1st Saddle. Nice mellow morning outing, but hot. From Chautauqua.
PM: 4:31, 4500' ~ La Plata Peak (14,336')
Got out for a mellow hike in the evening. Finished just as it was getting dark.

Tue-AM: 2:23, 4500' ~ Pyramid Peak (14,018')
From the Maroon Lake parking lot. 1:25 up, :58 down. The last 1000' is an exposed 4th Class chosspile of a ridge that took me 22min to navigate on the way up and 20min on the way down. That should attest to its techiness and generally shittiness. Still, the Elks have to be in the running for most scenic mountain range in the state.

Wed-AM: 2:07, 4500' ~ Torreys (14,267') and Grays (14,270') Peaks via Kelso Ridge.
Parked 1.5mi from the trailhead. Fighting a bit of a cold, so didn't have a ton of pep, but legs felt solid on the ridge and the time between summits was only 13:30. Cloudy, gloomy morning in Boulder, but I enjoyed brilliant sun up high. 1:39 for the run trailhead-to-trailhead.

Thu-AM: 2:57, 6500' ~ La Plata Peak (14,336') via the Ellingwood Ridge
Really good morning. Car-to-car (up Ellingwood, down NW Ridge from Highway 82) I managed a 2:57:46 with a 2:21:33 ascent and a 35:46 descent after ~30sec hitting a gel on the summit. Perfect weather. Could see shaving a few minutes off this now that I have some familiarity w/ the routefinding on the ridge.

Fri-AM: 2:22, 5200' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up and down from Echo Canyon. I was crewing Joe for his run over Massive, Elbert, and La Plata, so after parking on Highway 82 I ran up to the summit, waited for him there, and then showed him the line back down.  Tired legs today, yesterday took a bit more out of me than I thought. Long, techy route, too. Really fun descent below Golden Fleece Mine, though. 1:30 up/:52 down.

Sat-AM: 3:25, 6000' ~ Mt. Princeton (14,197')
From the South Cottonwood TH on the CT, over to Maxwell Gulch, then up the gulch to the NE ridge to the summit. Back the same way. With Joe (though he turned around at the ridge w/ tired legs). More Nolan's scouting. Took 48min to run the CT over to Maxwell Creek after which 15min of heinous bushwhacking occurred, heading up the gulch. Finally emerged from the jungle, gained the ridge and grunted to the summit. Took 1:19 to do the 4500' of vert from the CT to the summit. On the way down, I slalomed down a particularly nasty scree/talus chute, cut across to the south side of the gulch above treeline, and gained the actually quite nice abandoned road/trail that offers a remarkably clear path back down to the CT (48min descent).  Took another 30min to run the CT back to the Roost at South Cottonwood.  Before finding the abandoned trail on the way down, I was convinced this climb is the crux of Nolan''s still a giant vertical mile of gain, but much smoother now that I know the line. Very important, as I almost certainly will be doing Princeton at night.

Sun-AM: 2:26, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,259')
Up Kieners, down Keyhole+Reveley Route.

Improved my car-to-car time by a couple minutes: 2:26:11 RT = 1:34:54 up/51:17 down.
With the hot, calm weather I decided to just go in shoes and shorts--didn't take a jacket this time--and carried a pair of tent stakes again for the traverse of Lambs Slide.  I was right on my splits from last week until treeline (legs were a bit heavy again, coming off the run up Princeton yesterday), and then I gained a few minutes between treeline and the base of Lambs Slide (no wind to deal with this time, so I could actually run most of it).

My climb up the east ridge of Lambs Slide was sort of hairy this time, as for some reason I ventured into high 4th Class terrain with even some 5th Class moves.  I was just stubborn about not losing elevation I guess. The snow traverse was easy as the snow was very soft and I basically didn't even need the stakes. I also traversed way lower than last week, which saved a ton of time. Above Broadway I'm getting the route pretty dialed in, so that went quickly and soon enough I was on the summit, with a nearly 7min PR.

Since I'm not yet comfortable downclimbing the wet North Face, though, after literally 5 seconds of catching my breath I descended the Keyhole route, passing a bunch of people on the Narrows and moving quite well down a completely dry Trough.  After the Boulder Field outhouse I cut across for the ridge and took my now usual descent down to Jim Grove and back to the TH, running pretty much as hard as I could because I needed to get back to Boulder for an appointment.

Full Splits:                                                (last week's split)
Goblin - 12:30                                          (12:30)
Battle Mt sign - 26:35                               (26:45)
Chasm cut-off - 36:30                               (37:50)
East side of Chasm Lake - 45:35              (47:30)
Base of Lambs Slide east ridge - 58:??     (59:40)
Broadway entry - 1:12:??                         (1:17:??)
Base of Notch Couloir - 1:17:15              (1:23:10)
Diamond Step - 1:31:30                           (1:38:15)
Summit - 1:34:54                                      (1:41:37)

Top of Trough - 1:39:30
Bottom of Trough - 1:44:??
Keyhole - 1:49:30
Boulder Field outhouse - 1:55:10
Crossed trail - 2:04:45                               (2:05:40)
Battle Mt trail - 2:13:15                             (2:14:50)
Goblin - 2:20:20                                        (2:22:25)
Pavement - 2:26:11                                    (2:28:31)

With the dry Trough conditions, I think I may take a crack at the true standard Keyhole route up and down FKT sometime in the next week or so.  Something in the 2:30-40 range seems possible (1:35-40 up, 55-60min down).  It looks like that with a descent of the North Face instead of the Keyhole, I could come close to cracking 2:20 on the roundtrip of Kieners. 

Hours: 21h12min
Vertical: 39,000'

This was a nice comeback week for the shin after having a bit of a scare the previous week and realizing that it isn't ready for the really long days yet.  I'm more than happy with the way it held up this week, though, and am grateful for every summit and day in the mountains.  Speedgoat will probably be my first race back.  I haven't decided yet if my shin will be up for all the running at Leadville (less than 4mi of that race is worth hiking if you're going as fast as I like to), but I'm just excited to get back to some competition.

Of course, yesterday's WS100 can't be ignored.  I think we all knew that heat has an adverse effect on distance running performance, but wow, quite a spectacle that everyone out in California put on yesterday.  Really inspiring stuff from lots of people; it's awesome to see the sport continue to move forward.  I'm extremely excited to get back amongst it, that's for sure.

At the same time, I'm more inspired than ever by the Nolan's 14 line and am scheming as to when exactly I'll be able to fit it in during the next couple of months, and if the shin will allow it...we'll see...

La Plata summit, Monday evening.
Maroon Bells and Snowmass from the summit of Pyramid Peak. 
La Plata's Ellingwood Ridge.
Pretty much only been listening to The Walkmen's new album for the past month.


Brett said...

Yes weather has an immense impact on ultra running performances. And not that 15:44 is slow, but its not like Tim put up a 14:44 and then there was a 14:55, 15:05, 15:20, 15:30, get the point. The average performances were indeed faster (record number of 24 hour belt buckles), but Tim and indeed Ryan's performances were still crazy outliers.

Brett said...

3rd place and beyond were at that 15:44+...way back from the 2 leaders.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about your summits. I also loved the video of you Joe going up Kiener's Route on Longs Peak....awesome stuff!!!

Jason Schlarb said...

Nice work man. Let me know if you want to do the 4 pass loop in the next month.
Really looking forward to Speedgoat and running with you out there!

Nemo Camino said...


Don't forget to rest, take some days off !

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Unknown said...

I'm so psyched that you're considering Nolan's 14. I know it's cool to win popular races (not from first hand experience or anything) but throwing down the FKT on Nolan's would be (in my opinion) a much more epic accomplishment. It would echo in the hills far longer than some podium finish at a forgettable race. I may be a bit biased, and I may have a bit too much pride in my home state though. I just know that if I had your legs I'd be going for Nolan's FKT, and the eternal glory that'll come with it :)

Unknown said...

I saw you running down Torreys on June 20, 2012, with only a pair of shorts and shoes (no socks). I was heading up Torreys, and you were heading down, almost at the saddle. It was cold this day. That week I hiked six 14ers, but you are truly an inspiration!!!!!!!

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