Thursday, September 20, 2012

Week Summary: Sept 10 - 16

9/10/2012
Mon-AM: 3:55, 5500 ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
Oy, quite the day on the hill with Joel. I wanted to show Joel the Kieners Route with the exhilarating and airy position you achieve on the Broadway traverse but with the Lambs Slide snow being in horrible late-season shape we decided to gain access to Broadway via Alexander's Chimney--an alleged 5.5 mixed route just to the right of Lambs Slide.  All in all, it was a terrible idea.  We started by gingerly climbing the Mills Glacier to the base of the wall, which was basically a conglomerate slab pitch of ice. Once on the wall there were some 4th Class slabs/cracks (definitely found some 5th Class in there, unfortunately) to get to the base of the chimney, which we then started up.  Being in the shade, and being September, the first pitch up to the chockstone held significant ice with more water running down.  We made it up, but it was sphincter-tightening to say the least. After spending some time re-warming ourselves on a sunny ledge we traversed over to a steep, left-facing dihedral with insane exposure. This was even more intimidating and took a couple tries. Above there was some easier terrain that led into the "Yellow Bowl" and a final left-facing dihedral that again was steep and hand-jammy.  More cruxing.  Reaching Broadway was never so wonderful.  After making the summit, Joel and I descended the North Face down to the top of the Cables Route, which we found, of course, to be completely iced in.  This 5.4 downclimb is usually almost brainless, but especially after our already hair-raising morning we had no nerves left to deal with the ice and trudged the 500' back to the summit to descend the standard Keyhole Route.

9/11/2012
Tue-AM: 1:05, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Did a headlamp ascent via the 3rd access route before spending all day in the Indian Peaks near Isabelle Lake for an Ultimate Direction photo/film shoot.
PM: 1:06, 3200' ~ Second Flatiron+Third Flatiron Minions Gathering
What a blast. Some friends were going to be putting in a hard car-to-car effort on the Third Flatiron, so I warmed up by first doing a quick lap on the Second.  After a little delay we headed up Bluebell Road and charged to the base of the rock.  I got there first (14:22) with Dave maybe 30sec back and Matt and Stefan in close pursuit.  I was moving well on the rock but was basically too anaerobic to go any harder and Stefan caught me right after the Kiddy Kar Ledge with Dave stepping on to the summit right behind me (22:22).  There were three rap ropes fixed on the top, so we all dropped off the back but Dave and I proceeded to get tangled and lost a bunch of time...it took me a full 3min to rap the 200' to the ground (25:34).  After I finally got off the line, though, it was wing-suit time and I took off down through the boulderfield catching Dave and then Stefan down in the trees.  From there it was just an incredibly painful sprint back down to Chat for a 33:48 finishing time, a minute ahead of Dave.  Dave has the record at 33:17, and I like to think I would've been close without the tangling on the rappel, but that's all part of the fun!


9/12/2012
Wed-AM: 2:17, 5300' ~ 2xGreen Mt.
Up and down the standard frontside route the first lap and then up the front and down the back on the second lap.  34min laps were slowed by the insistently falling rain making all of the rocks slick.  Felt like a very Fall day, that's for sure.  Good to get some consistent running in with solid vertical.
PM: 1:02, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down front.  The continuing-to-fall rain and low clouds prevented any scrambling (wet rock), so just went for another lap on the hill, but a bit steeper line this time.

9/13/2012
Thu-AM: 2:18, 5300' ~ 2xGreen Mt.
Two more laps on the mountain, but this time up the back and down the front for each. Managed 37min and 36min efforts this time on the slightly longer/more runnable Gregory-Ranger ascents.  Been a long time since I've done running repeats on Green, so these last two mornings have been really good.
PM: 1:03, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
I was a in a bit of a hurry to get this in before the Reel Rock Film World Premiere, so had some extra incentive to get up the hill quick and ended up scrambling the First Flatiron in a PR 11:25, which was fun, before continuing on to the summit of the mountain.

9/14/2012
Fri-AM: 2:39, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
Got an early start up the hill and because I knew the Cables Route was iced in I used a combo of the Reveley Route up to the Boulder Field and the standard Keyhole route above there.  Descended the same way.  Didn't have particularly peppy legs after all the vert the last few days, but I did enjoy perfectly still, crisp conditions on the summit.  A small bit of snow and ice to deal with in the Trough and on the Homestretch.
PM: off - driving to Wyoming.

9/15/2012
Sat-AM: 2:51, 4400' ~ Arrow Mt (11,678')
Started from the Trail Lakes TH outside of Dubois, WY, which is ~20min from my sister's house and also the start of the Glacier Trail, one of the standard (extremely long) approaches to Gannet Peak, Wyoming's highest peak at 13,804' (the Grand Teton is 13,770').  The run in up Bomber Basin was quite flat, and the mountain itself was fairly unimpressive, but the views of the Wind River peaks and glaciers surrounding Gannet were totally worth it, even with all the smoke in the air.

9/16/2012
Sun-AM: 1:41, 3700' ~ Whiskey Mt (11,2xx')
A different trail/mountain from the same trailhead as yesterday.  This one was mercifully more steep and direct, though, and I was on top of the hill in just a few minutes over an hour.  There was so much smoke in the air, though, that my throat hurt. First easy-ish day I've taken in quite some time, but it was deliberate, as I'm planning on ticking probably Wyoming's two proudest peaks over the next two days: the Grand Teton on Monday and Gannet Peak on Tuesday.

Hours: 19h57min
Vert: 41,000'

This was a fun, varied week, with a couple tags of Longs, an incredibly painful sprint up and down the Third Flatiron on Tuesday, running laps of Green mid-week and then getting up to some new mountains by the end of the week.  I was pretty tired by the end of the week, but my multiple laps on Green have started re-building some confidence in my fitness and I'm really starting to look forward to Cavalls del Vent in a couple of weeks.  A big part of me is at least as inspired by getting out for as many mountain adventures as possible before the weather really turns.

About 20' below Broadway on Longs Peak. Final crux crack. Chasm Lake 1500' below... Photo: Joel Wolpert.
Longs Peak summit with the Loft in the background. Photo: Joel Wolpert.

8 comments:

Bradley said...

How do you think your winter outings will change compared to what you've been doing this summer? I imagine the snow will stifle these kinds of ascents, no? Do you think you may repeat the kind of winter you had in 2010, with your Green summits?

Rain said...

Sounds like a fun but challenging week. What do you do in winter when your routes are almost all snowy and icy? I can't imagine an already hard ascent with ice!
Sounds like a pain free week too! Yay!

Rob said...

Read up on the Cavalls del Vent you added to the event schedule and almost puked just looking at the route. Looking at the pictures in the gallery all it shows are the worst parts of Leadville-like climbs. A mile of ascent in the first 13k...hope you kill it!

This trail seems built for you with the ramped up elevation gains you've been doing the last few years. I'll be watching the internet feed to see how things progress. Do well!

Astroyam said...

Hi Anton,
Re. your experience on Alexander's, just in case you hadn't heard of it, there's a website mountainproject.com that lists peoples beta descriptions for pretty much any rock climb route around. Having climbed the Diamond a bunch, it's known that Alexander's is wet and unpleasant most of the time except later as an ice climb, and not often soloed relative to say the North Chimney, which itself is unpleasant due to folks above loosing bombs at you. At any rate good job keeping it together when it got sticky!

Anton said...

Bradley - I hope to keep getting into the higher mountains this winter, although, obviously, at a slower, snow-hampered pace. But yeah, I expect many laps on Green as well.

Astroyam - Oh, believe me, I read the reports on mountainproject beforehand, but just stupidly, naively ignored the warnings that the route was "wet and freaky" and "felt a lot harder than 5.5". I imagine I'll head up the North Chimney in the future, and probably with a helmet.

Jamie Falk said...

Good luck at the CdV this weekend! Looks like it plays to your strengths!

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