Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week Summary: July 2 - 8

Mon-AM: 1:00, 1200' ~ Gordon Gulch & Switzerland Trail
Ran from near Sugarloaf Mt at mid-day. Easy shake-out after a big weekend of running.
PM: 1:00, 2800' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Chat to summit via the Flattie in 36:10, which I think is a big PR on that route. Legs felt nice and poppy. Was planning two laps on Green, but about half-way down on the first lap the heavens opened up and it down-poured for a while.  Took refuge under a boulder at the base of the 2nd and watched a waterfall form on the rock face, pretty cool.  With the rock wet and it nearly dark I just jogged back down to Chat with Joe once it stopped raining.

Tue-AM: 2:27, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
up Kieners, down Cables. This ended up being a pretty solid outing. I had a slow first 15min out of the gate, waiting for my legs to warm-up, but then I was hitting good splits up the mountain. I think I would've PRed on the ascent if I'd just done a warm-up in the parking lot. The crossing of Lambs Slide was a giant pain in the ass as in the past week it has turned into largely glacial ice. As a result I ended up crossing much lower down so as to avoid most of the ice and awkwardly climbed the rock on the west side of the couloir instead of the east. This was techy (definitely some 4th Class) and felt slow, but I still got to Broadway with a good split. The downclimb of the Cables was fine, if still quite wet, but I couldn't get my footwork very dialed in on the crossing of the Boulder Field, so my descent (50:37) wasn't quite as fast as I would've liked. All in all, still an excellent day on the mountain, even if I was a bit over a minute slower for the RT than when I descended the Keyhole route last week.

Full Splits:
Goblin: 13:50
Battle Mt: 28:30
Chasm Cut-off: 38:30
Chasm Lake: 48:30
Base of Lambs Slide: 1:00:40
Broadway: 1:12:45
Base of Notch: 1:17:30
Diamond Step: 1:33:15
Summit: 1:36:54
Top of Cables: 1:44
Chasm View: 1:48:55
Trail: 2:05:20
Battle Mt: 2:14:10
Goblin: 2:21:40
Parking Lot: 2:27:31

PM: 1:34, 2200' ~ First and Second Flatiron w/ Joe.
Ran up to the base of the First (~12min), changed into rock shoes, soloed the standard East Face, downclimbed the back, changed back into running shoes and ran down the trail to the base of the Second, scrambled up the Freeway, and ran back down the trail back to Chautauqua.  I'd only been on the First once before (on belay with Buzz last October) and Joe had never been on the rock so I was a bit apprehensive about route-finding, but we never had any issues.  The first couple hundred feet is quite thin, slabby 5.6 that I can't imagine being comfortable on w/o rock shoes for quite some time, but it went well. The First itself took 43min and the downclimb another 10min.  Really fun to finally solo the First after thinking about it a lot.

Wed-AM: 4:24, 6500' ~ Longs Peak (14,255') via Glacier Gorge w/ Joe
Wow, long day on the mountain. Got a late start from the Bear Lake parking lot in RMNP, but enjoyed the magnificent run up the trail approach through the gorge. Eventually started route-finding across the brush and slabs past Black Lake shooting for the couloir leading to the Chiefs Head-Pagoda saddle, which I reached 1h43 into the day. The scramble up the couloir was surprisingly secure Class 3, and then the scouting/route-finding fun began on Pagoda's daunting West Ridge.  Everything I'd heard/read reported 5.6-7 climbing to reach the summit, but I was somehow hoping we could find an easier line traversing below the ridge. Once the 4th Class and low-5th Class terrain petered out, Joe and I couldn't find anything we were comfortable soloing in running shoes w/o knowing what was above us, so we ultimately came short of the summit and humbly descended 1500' back below Pagoda's north cliffs before climbing the 1500' of boulders and talus to the Pagoda-Longs saddle.  From there it was another 1000' and a couple of 5.0 cliff bands to pop out on the Narrows and take the Homestretch to Longs summit, 25min from the Pag-Longs saddle. Downclimbed the Cables and then cut cross-country through the Boulder Field before bushwhacking into the Boulder Brook drainage and connecting with the North Longs Peak trail and taking it back to the Bear Lake trailhead, 1:20 descent.  I really want to get Pagoda figured out as it's the only thing preventing me from taking a crack at the full uber-classic Glacier Gorge Traverse.

Thu-AM: 1:04, 2800' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Really hot and humid (by Colorado standards) morning had me sweating buckets, but I felt good otherwise.
PM: 2:16, 4500' ~ Torreys & Grays (14,267' & 14,270') Peaks
Via Kelso Ridge. Got a late (7:30pm) start from the 1.4mi sign and the heavy cloud cover had it getting dark a lot sooner, too.  Felt great on the ridge, but then my entire descent from Grays back to the Roost was pretty much in the dark, easily lost 15min there.

Fri-AM: 2:16, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up West Ridge, down NE Ridge. Tired after last night's late run, but the jog over to the backside of the mountain woke me up before the 51min climb up the wet, slick talus on the west ridge. Peppy 36min descent.

Sat-AM: 2:54, 5000' ~ Mt. Massive (14,421')
up and down Highline-East Ridge from Fish Hatchery. Rainy, cloudy, foggy morning was an interesting change of conditions, but was frustrating in that the talus and boulders were slick and route-finding almost impossible at times (where's the ridge? where's this gully lead? I know I've never been on this part of the mountain before!). On the descent, I consulted the compass on my watch for maybe the first time ever in order to muddle my way out of the mess and down out of the clouds and into more familiar territory. So, a little longer than I was looking for, but as always, still a fun day out.
PM: 1:01, 2200' ~ Mt. Sherman (14,036')
From Iowa Gulch. Got started at 6pm after it had stopped raining, but there were still lots of crazy, swirling clouds. Impulsively took a steep gully straight up while crossing the first talus field and ended up encountering some very brief Class 4 moves to gain the ridge. Summit in 38:20 with a 20:30 descent via the standard trail. Legs felt solid.

Sun-AM: 2:05, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up and down the NE ridge. More cool, cloudy conditions and a damp, tacky trail set me up to shave another 20sec off my ascent PR. 1:11:37 up, followed by a casual :39 descent. Legs felt very good. Gut might be starting to exhibit some sort of microbial habitation symptoms, though...
PM: 1:58, 4000' ~ Green Mt+First Flatiron
Holy cow.  Fantastic afternoon on the hill.  After my run this morning I felt I still had some more pep in the legs, so I decided to try for a fast time on Green's standard front route...the first in at least a year and a half.

When in Boulder I try to take advantage of all the available pleasures, so for a warm-up I jogged from Chat up to the base of the First Flatiron to stash a pair of rock shoes for a solo after my run up the mountain.  The rock was still a little damp, so I was doubtful about actually doing any climbing, but thought I'd at least give myself the option.  Jogged from there over to the junction of the Baseline Trail and Amphitheater and started charging up the hill.  All in all I feel like I hit the bottom half of the mountain too hard--a bit over-enthusiastic with all the oxygen--but I was able to recover (relatively) on the fast, flat stuff after the Greenman junction and then completely wrecked myself on the last 1000' of steep stuff to the summit.  To be 100% clear, my timing was from the Amphi/Baseline junction to the summitpost (where I proceeded to nearly lose my breakfast).

Saddle Rock Junction - 6:02
Flatiron cut-off - 11:16
Overlook tree - 13:38
Greenman Junction - 16:54
Talus switchback tree - 20:24
NE ridge trail post - 23:40
Snow fence - 26:29
Summitpost - 28:54

The actual summit rock was a cluster of humanity, so I didn't even attempt to plow up through that and just collapsed onto the log next to the summitpost before eventually tagging the actual top of the rock.  I kind of couldn't believe that I'd just PRed by almost 2min, but it makes sense considering I've taken over 4min off my Elbert PR so far this summer.  This time probably wasn't quite fast enough to establish a clear FKT on Green and erase Rickey's nebulous time, but I'm getting close.  Either way, Kilian will probably drop a 26:xx or some bullshit like that in a couple of weeks :)

Descended down between the First and Second Flatirons, changed into my cached rock shoes, tucked my running shoes in my waistband, and soloed the First in 27min, plus a careful 9min downclimb before re-changing shoes and running back down to Chat to finish out the afternoon.  Was really psyched to get the First in between light sprinkles/drizzle.

Hours: 23h59min
Vert: 45,200'

This was an incredible week with a nice mix of scrambling, hiking, and real running. Today (Sunday) has me incredibly excited to race, which I will do in three week's time at the Speedgoat 50K Skyrace.  The field there is crazy stacked, but I couldn't be more confident about my fitness.  I honestly never thought I'd ever be capable of running that kind of time on Green; apparently all it takes is a year and a half of hiking and then a month and a half of more hiking (ok, some solid running, too) at high altitude.

The coming week-plus is going to be crazy fun.  With the ice on Lambs Slide I'll probably use that as an excuse to avoid Kieners tomorrow and instead do my first up and back on the North Face of Longs--I'll go hard if my legs are feeling good, but won't force anything.  Then it's down to the San Juans with Frosty to help Joe get around the mountain on Friday. I hope to run a good chunk of the course on Wednesday before pacing Joe from Ouray to Sherman on Friday evening.  Before I make it back up to Central/Northern Colorado, I'm definitely going to do my best to tag some San Juan 14ers (Handies Group, Wilson Group, Sneffels) and see some of the Grenadiers (at least Arrow and Vestal, hopefully, maybe try and snag a Trinity Traverse, too).  That's all a lot, but I don't have to be back this way until the Jurkers tie the knot in 10 days, so I have some time.

Joe in the upper basin of Glacier Gorge on Wednesday. McHenry's Peak and Arrowhead behind.
Joe topping out on the Chiefs Head-Pagoda saddle with the Glacier Gorge and Mummy Range behind.
Hitting a dead-end on the north side of Pagoda's West Ridge. The Keyhole is visible on the far ridge.
At the Pagoda-Longs saddle with obvious vertical obstacles to reach the summit.
Joe at the top of the Homestretch, steps away from Longs' summit plateau.
Clagged in summit of Massive on Saturday.
Sherman has an interesting west face. I ascended the furthest right scree/talus chute.
The crux cliff of the ascent.
Looking back towards Leadville and Turquoise Lake from Sherman's summit.


Tory said...

Nice PR on the front of Green. I was up in Leadville last week and managed to get up and down La Plata via the northwest ridge--that's a ridiculously enjoyable route for someone less vertically-inclined (as I am). Keep it up.27

R. Logan Brooks said...

What an amazing story you have authored over the last few months. So stoked Tony.

GZ said...

Damn. Can you get at least a half dozen seconds so we can put the sun dial time story to bed? ;)

Damn nice work Tony.

Unknown said...

I allways love reading your blog tony! The pictures are freaking awesome!! Keep um coming bro.

dyldahl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Jurkers = Scott Correct? That is awesome, send them my best of wishes!

Also; amazing as always Tony; keep on beasting up the trails and you'll be a force to reckon with in the Speadgoat!

Jamie said...

Dang! I was feeling pretty good about my 39:04 up Green on Sunday until I read your post!

Way to kill it!

Court5km said...

yesss! so happy for you Anton!

Rain said...

I have loved to read about your progress these last months!
I can't wait to hear all about your race!
SUPER happy for you!

Jackie said...

Isn't it great to be able to smash yourself to near puking again?! You are also looking quite thin, training must be going great. Don't forget to rest.

Dan said...

When you say you switched to 'rock shoes' do you mean actual rock climbing shoes or just more specialized running shoes like the La Sportiva Skylite? I have also noticed in the pictures that you've had some La Sportiva model on for the big rocky climbs that you've been doing... wondering what model you choose for rocky terrain.

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