Monday, July 30, 2012

Week Summary: July 23 - 29

Mon-AM: 1:09, 2000' ~ Kelso Ridge
Out and back from my usual 1.4mi sign start on the Grays & Torreys access road.  Parked at 7:30am, but felt exhausted so crawled in the Roost for a little nap and ended up sleeping another two hours.  Stumbled up the mountain for a while, but once I got to the start of the ridge and still felt terrible I just turned around and stumped back down to the truck. Body is still wrecked from last week's Nolan's run on Tuesday and overall high volume/vertical, despite taking the last three days easy.

Tue-AM: 2:13, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up West Ridge and down NE Ridge. Really solid run and felt like my legs might actually be back.  Just went mellow, but PRed up the West Ridge with a 49:20 ascent from the rock cairn to the summit. Great to get back to the high country and have the legs feeling solid.

Wed-AM: 2:02, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up and down NE Ridge. Just did the standard route from Halfmoon Creek TH.  Right at 2hr roundtrip. Went really easy to treeline with Anna and then maintained a very mellow effort for the rest of the run. Just tried to get up and down the hill as easy as possible. Energy was good. Cool, blustery, cloudy conditions on the summit, but was still surprised to see (via the interwebs) that it had snowed on Pikes Peak. Drove to SLC in the afternoon.

Thu-AM: 1:00, 1600' ~ Snowbird, UT
Parked at the Speedgoat starting area and tried to check out the first part of the course. Frustratingly squirrelly lay-out to the beginning of the race---just charge up the mountain!---but my legs felt really peppy, which was nice after a week of lethargy. Anna, on the other hand, seriously considered canceling any plans to race.

Fri-AM: 0:52, 1400' ~ Catherine's Pass/Sunset Peak, Alta UT
Easy pre-race jog.  Parked at the Cath Pass TH and jogged up to the pass in a blustery drizzle. Sunshine came out on the jog up to Sunset Peak before we descended a nice double-track to Albion Basin (that I'd run with Karl years ago) and the Roost. Definitely feeling rested for the first time pretty much all summer. Last week's Nolan's run forced a much more aggressive taper than I would normally employ for a race this short, but that's probably a good thing.

Sat-AM: 5:38, 11,500' ~ Speedgoat 50K
Warmed up with a 15min jog. Finished 4th in 5:23. Felt terrible for the first 4 hours, which meant there was a 22min gap to the front of the race with 10 miles to go.  Finally turned things around and closed that to 9min at the finish after passing Max and moving into 3rd with a couple of miles to go.  Of course, Max passed me back on the downhill road, but I was able to keep it to within 26sec at the finish. Satisfying and fun finish to an otherwise remarkably off day.

Sun-AM: 2:02, 3000' ~ Catherine Pass/Sunset Peak, Alta UT
Slept in the Alta parking lot and got up for a mellow jog up the road to the trail to the pass to the peak and then down some of the Wasatch 100 course before coming back up to the pass and taking the doubletrack back down into the valley and back to the Roost. Felt surprisingly decent after yesterday's hectic final downhill charge. Drove to the Tetons in the afternoon.

Hours: 14h56min
Vert: 28,500'

Early in the week I thought my legs would never come around in time for the race this past weekend; and after my performance there it seems they actually never really did.  But that's okay, it was still a blast to get back amongst it this weekend.  I think Karl put on an excellent race and I'd do it again.  Stringent regulations prevent us from devising perfectly aesthetic courses here in the US, but I think Karl does a fantastic job with the limitations he has at Snowbird--a solid amount of vertical, stunning scenery, some steep bits, prize money, and a jovial post-race atmosphere.  Sure, there could definitely be improvements, but in my opinion Speedgoat is a welcome departure from the usual 3h20-40 carpet trail 50Ks that exist across the country.  Be sure to check out some of Kevin Winzeler's photos from the race to get a flavor for the day.

Already haggard on the first summit of the day at Speedgoat. Photo: Marty Bess.
Roost dinner table on the shores of the Snake River Sunday evening, Teton Range WY. Photo: Anna Frost.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week Summary: July 16 - 22

Mon-AM: 1:48, 3500' ~ Mt. Sneffels (14,150')
Up the Southwest Ridge and down the South Slopes scree (standard route) starting from just below the Governors aid station on Camp Bird Road. Ran everything to Blue Lakes Pass and then the 3rd Class scramble up the ridge was a lot of fun.  At first it was quite sketchy/loose, but once I dropped into and climbed out of a major talus couloir the ridge turned to very solid, sticky pumice-like rock all the way to the summit. Up in a lazy 1:10, with a quick :38 descent.  On most of these climbs Frosty is only 15-20min back, I would put her at 2:40-45 PPA shape right now.

Tue-AM: 11:34, 22500' ~ Massive (14,421'), Elbert (14,433'), La Plata (14,336'), Huron (14,003'), Missouri (14,067')
Big day, but not nearly as long as I'd hoped. Chased off of Elkhead Pass (between Missouri and Belford) by an epic hail/electrical storm. Frosty was on Belford's summit with some more gels for me, but thankfully scampered down from there once the rocks started buzzing and her hair was standing on end.  Would've really liked to have been able to at least tag the two gimme peaks--Belford and Oxford--before calling it a day, but sometimes larger forces don't care about our silly plans.

Wed-AM: 2:41, 5000' ~ Mt. Yale (14,196')
Parked at the Avalance Gulch TH, took the CT up to the pass on Yale's East Ridge, which we then took to the summit. Really tired hiking legs today, but not sore at all.  Descended (per Homie's recommendation) via the saddle between Yale and Mascot Peak before dropping into Avalanche Gulch and hooking back up with the CT at ~10,600'. The descent route actually goes quite well by sticking to the right side of the valley. Probably a 55-60min descent on Nolan's legs, but it would be in the dark, so maybe it's not worth the off-trail action?
PM: 1:02, 500' ~ East Leadville+15min barefoot
First flat run I've done in a long, long time.  Trying to work in some flatter stuff for all the roadie action at the LT100 next month. Also want to keep working barefoot in as much as I can.

Thu-AM: 2:13, 4500' ~ Torreys & Grays Peaks (14,267' & 14,270')
From the usual 1.4mi sign, up Kelso Ridge and down Grays. Pretty tired morning, but just took it easy and had fun. Early start before needing to be down in Boulder for a 10am appt.
PM: 1:01, 3000' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up the 2nd and down behind the 3rd with Rickey.  Really hot (like, 100F) at mid-day, but my legs actually felt semi-decent. Probably went a bit too hard.

Fri-AM: 2:16, 4000' ~ S. & N. Arapaho Peaks (13,397' & 13,502')
Really lethargic morning after a late night. Got up and down the mountain from the 4th of July TH, but it was pretty uninspired, except for the always fun 3rd Class traverse between the two peaks.

Sat-AM: 2:02, 3500' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up the 2nd Flatiron and down Ranger-Flagstaff. Really tired.  Also, really hot.

Sun-AM: 2:14, 3500' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Up the 2nd Flatiron and down Bear Canyon. First time I've been in Bear Canyon in months, fun trail.  Legs felt way better, but still seems to be some lingering fatigue in there.  Still hot. A bee stung me in the eye, which was not fun.

Hours: 26h51min
Vert: 50,000'

This was another monster week in terms of vert, and by the end of the it I knew that I hadn't given my Tuesday effort enough respect.  I should've taken Wednesday and Thursday much more mellow so that I didn't feel so shitty later in the week.  Now my only hope is that I can shake this fatigue before Speedgoat rolls around this coming weekend.  I'm in really good shape, I just need to show up to the start line fresh, with poppy legs.  This fatigue has me seriously reconsidering taking a shot at the full Nolan's 14 line between the Leadville 100 in August and Cavalls del Vent at the end of September.  I think such an effort would simply leave me too fatigued to run well at CdV, so I'll probably re-set my goal to just linking up the first 10 peaks (Massive through Yale) in a solid time (I think I can do 16:30-17hr).  It bums me out, but real racing will undoubtedly take precedent for me in the next couple of months.

My chosen ridge of ascent on Sneffels Monday.
Blue Lakes from Sneffels' summit.
Sneffels summit.
Frosty stomping it out.
Nothing beats the San Juans.
Summit of Yale, looking north.
Avalanche Gulch CT descent off of Yale.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week Summary: July 9 - 15

Mon-AM: 2:46, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
Up and down the Cables/North Face route. This was a miserably slow morning.  From the start I had zero pep in my legs and couldn't believe how slowly I was moving up the Reveley Route.  Things only got worse on the Jim Grove trail before I moved into the very thick fog on the Boulder Field where the slick, wet talus, my leaden legs, and the low visibility had me moving at what felt to be a snail's pace. Scrambled up the Cables in a virtual waterfall before slogging to the summit in an exhausted 1:38.  Spent some time on the summit wondering just how I was going to find the energy to get back to the TH, but eventually started down. When I hit the standard trail just below Granite Pass, I took it all the way down to Battle Mt where I took the Reveley Route down to the long straightaway on the standard trail, which I then took all the way back to the car. Incredibly haggard morning, but always good to get more practice going up and down the Cables.
PM: 1:33, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Ran to the base of the First, changed into rock shoes, soloed it in :31 with a 9min downclimb, stashed my rock shoes and then proceeded on to the summit of Green before running back down to Chautauqua. Had some route-finding errors on the upper half of the First that slowed me down a bit.

Tue-AM: 2:06, 4500' ~ La Plata Peak (14,336')
Up and down the NW Ridge, with Anna. Mellow 1:21 ascent to rest up for what is hopefully a nice run on the Hardrock course tomorrow. Perfect, sunny conditions on the mountain this morning.

Wed-AM: 8:01, 13500' ~ Silverton to Ouray CW on the Hardrock Course
Really great day in the mountains.  I'd never done a big chunk of the HR course, so I was keen to get a sense for what a sustainable pace would feel like on it.  The whole day actually went really well, with my only route-finding error being an extra 4min near the KT aid station site, looking for the entrance to the Kamm Traverse. I felt really strong all day, until the last 20min or so on the Camp Bird Rd descent, which was the only portion of the run that I pushed beyond what I would consider a 100mi race effort.  After the first 1h30, I started hitting a gel every 45min. Carried one bottle and dipped from streams all day. I was feeling so good that I was ready to run to Grouse, but, fortunately, Frosty talked some sense into me. Really excited to actually get around the whole course as soon as possible. May the lottery and injury gods be kind.

River Crossing - :20
Start of climb up Putnam (hard right) - 1:00
Putnam Saddle - 1:25
Putnam Summit - 1:30
KT Road - 2:10
Ice Lake Stream - 2:30
Grant-Swamp Pass - 3:00
Chapman - 3:30
Oscars Pass - 4:23
Telluride - 5:22 (this was descending Bridal Veil Basin Rd, which is ~2mi longer than the 2008 CR course)
Virginius Pass - 6:41
Governors - 7:05
Ouray - 8:01

Thu-AM: 2:01, 4500' ~ Handies Peak (14,048')
Up and down the mountain from Grouse Gulch with the Wolfepaw and Frosty. 1:13 to the summit and only 40min to get back down. Jogged down the road a bit to round out the morning. Legs felt surprisingly untouched after yesterday's outing.

Fri-AM: 1:01, 2600' ~ Little Giant Pass (13,000')
After watching the 6:00am race start for Hardrock, DBo, Frosty, and I went back to Cunningham Gulch for a quick burn up the final climb of the race. :40 to the pass, followed by some ogling of peaks and a fun ~:17min descent.
PM: 7:39, 9400' ~ Hardrock Pacing from Ouray (mi 46) to Sherman (mi 74)
Picked Joe up and marched up the vertical mile to Engineer Pass very steady, and most of it with Dakota.  The run down the road to Grouse was kinda rough, but our climb up Handies Peak was solid, with the descent (now in the dark) down to Burrows and Sherman being sort of hampered again by Joe's inability to stomach much more than Coke. All in all, though, Joe rallied in a massive way over the last 20mi to pass Dakota and move into 2nd place, cut Hal's lead from 52min to 16min, and run the fastest last 20mi ever in this direction--26min faster than Kyle's CR splits from 2008.  Fantastic race for Joe.

Sat-AM: 1:47, 4000' ~ US Grant Peak (13,767')
After watching Hal, Joe, and Dakota finish Hardrock, Anna and I parked at the South Mineral Creek TH for the Ice Lake Basin, but then turned off on the trail to Grant-Swamp Pass before scrambling the loose, hyper-chossy 3rd/4th Class ridge to the summit. What a gorgeous part of the world.  Frosty traded the summit for a nap beside Island Lake, which was much needed after staying up all night crewing for Joe.

Sun-AM: :30, 500' ~ Cunningham Road
Just jogged up and back on the road because I had a flat tire that I needed to change before the Hardrock awards breakfast.
PM: 1:39, 4000' ~ Kendall Mt. (13,066')
Up the avalanche chute and down most of the road back to town, w/ Frosty. Really nice line directly up the face of the mountain got me to its summit tower in :58. The loose rock at the top motivated a more circuitous descent, however.

Hours: 29h13min
Vert: 51,000'

My goodness, what a week. Hardrock is one of the only races that truly inspires me anymore. After seeing ~85mi of the course this past week, I can affirm what generally everyone seems to agree on: it's about as good as it gets.  A big part of me was second-guessing my decision to not race this week, but I think my shin will be far happier the rest of the year as a result of restraining myself. Anyone who finishes or even attempts that beast of a loop garners my respect, but of course I was doubly inspired by the efforts of the top three this past Friday.  I was especially proud of Joe's performance as I think it's been a long time coming for him, and he closed out the race on a high note, with a remarkably strong finish. As for Hal, I'm ashamed at how I seem to serially underestimate his abilities going into competitive races.  He showed this past week that not only can he crank the flatter 100s, but that he is clearly a consummate mountain runner as well. What a competitor.

This next week only holds more adventures, with hopefully an attempt on the Grenadiers' Arrow Peak and Wham Ridge in the morning (weather permitting), and quite possibly a big chunk of the Nolan's route on Wednesday (again, with enough cooperation from the weather).

La Plata Peak, Tuesday morning.
Anna on the final grunt to the summit of Handies Peak.
DBo approaching the summit of Little Giant Pass.
Island Lake, just below Grant-Swamp Pass on the Hardrock course.
Grant-Swamp Pass (on the left) as seen on the way to the US Grant Peak summit.
Looking down the G-S Pass scree descent and across to the next giant climb: Oscars Pass.

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.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week Summary: June 25 - July 1

Mon-AM: 1:00, 3000' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green Mt.
Had an early morning Ultimate Direction photo shoot, so just got out for a quick lap on the local hill afterwards. Really hot, but fun to get a non-alpine scramble back in the mix. Little did I know it would probably the last for a long time, considering the fires burning up there now.
PM: 1:59, 3700' ~ S. & N. Arapaho Peaks (13,397' & 13,502')
From the Fourth of July TH w/ Joe. Nice outing in the evening; happy to miss most of the rain from the surrounding clouds.

Tue-AM: 2:44, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,259')
Up Kieners, down Cables. Really tired today, and I was trying out my new camera, so it was a casual outing--1:47 up and :57 down. Did my first-ever downclimb of the Cables (5.4), and while the route was still water-slick, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Two left feet today.

Wed-AM: 1:07, 2700' ~ 2 x Mt. Sanitas
The fire in Boulder had OSMP closed from Eldo to Boulder Canyon so I was forced onto a couple laps of the small hill. Nice and mellow (but hot!), I went easy with a pair of 18:50 ascents of the South Ridge.
PM: 1:58, 4500' ~ Torreys & Grays Peaks (14,267' & 14,270')
Up the Kelso Ridge from the 1.4mi to go sign on the Stevens Gulch Road. Did the roundtrip loop from trailhead to trailhead in 1:30:57 despite the sun setting on Torreys' summit and it being pretty much dark the last 20min. Splits: big sign, 16:30; ridge, 22:35; Torreys summit, 52:33; Grays summit, 1:04:56; big sign, 1:21:45. Legs felt great and I descended hard despite the lack of light.

Thu-AM: 2:17, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up West Ridge, down NE Ridge. Pretty tired this morning after the late evening outing yesterday. Jogged over to the backside of the mountain and then grunted to the summit. :52 from the road to the top, which is 5min faster than I've done it before, despite the haggard legs. :37 descent but it felt clunky.

Fri-AM: 2:00, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
Up and down NE Ridge in a roundtrip 1:42:55 (1:11:58 up, 30:57 down). PRs for all three numbers, which was rewarding, especially since my legs are pretty tired right now. When Kilian was out here two years ago I'm pretty sure he went 1:08/:34 for a 1:42 roundtrip. Either way, a nice fitness check.

Sat-AM: 5:50, 11,500' ~ Huron (14,003'), Missouri (14,067'), Belford (14,197'), Oxford (14,153'), Belford and Missouri again
Started from Winfield and followed the Nolan's line out to Oxford. Returned the same way, except that I climbed Missouri's chossy East Ridge (Class 4) from Elkhead Pass on the way back, and then down at Clohesy Lake I ran down to Rockdale and back to Winfield on the road instead of humping back over Huron because the skies were darkening in all directions.  I'll save my lightning-avoidance karma for when I really need it, like in a race, or whilst making an attempt at Nolans. Solid energy all day, five gels.

Missouri's East Ridge is definitely worth taking when going South-North (only took me 33min from Belford to Missouri, vs. 39min from Missouri to Belford using my standard scree chute descent to 13,500' or so before traversing over to Elkhead).  I don't think I'd ever risk downclimbing that rotten rock, though.

Full Splits, from Winfield:
Huron TH - 19:40
Treeline - 43:00
Headwall - 50:15
Huron - 1:15:00
Clohesy Lake outlet - 1:45/:48 (took 3min to drink and fill bottle and empty shoes of scree)
Missouri - 2:49:45
Elkhead Pass - 3:10:20
Belford - 3:28:45
Oxford - 3:48:10
Belford - 4:09:25
Elkhead - 4:17:40
Missouri - 4:42:20
Clohesy - 5:10
Clear Creek - 5:33
Winfield - 5:50

Sun-AM: 2:54, 4300' ~ Quandary Peak (14,265') and Fletcher Mt (13,951')
Ugh. Sluggish morning. Stumbled up Quandary's East Ridge in 1hr flat (breaking an hour is usually a given for me on that) and then took another 45min to pick my way through the 3rd Class traverse over to Fletcher. Lots of gendarmes, talus, and some short-lived moderate exposure. I'd been hoping to traverse the entire Blue Lakes Valley Rim (Quandary to Fletcher to Wheeler to North Star) but I was w/o calories or water and on a tired pair of pegs, so bailed after climbing to the next couple high points past Fletcher and just ran back down the valley. Picked up a nice trail and opened up the legs on the road back to the trailhead. Still a great morning in the mountains, of course.
PM: 1:11, 2000' ~ Anenome & Mt. Sanitas
Late afternoon jog in the only hills still open. Hot.

Hours: 23hr
Vert: 45,500'

Really great week, despite Boulder joining the other raging infernos across the state. I can't believe my home peaks are burning. I was super tired on Longs early in the week, but the second half of the week was marked by a solid effort on Elbert and a long run that seemed to have no negative effect on my shin.  Of course, that has/had me second-guessing my decision to not do Hardrock, but upon further reflection I think I made the right choice.  I have plenty of great opportunities for racing later this year, and I'd hate to ruin my chances at those by rushing into an uber-long effort.

Broadway on Longs' East Face.
Crossing the Boulder Field after descending the North Face of Longs Peak, Tuesday.
Looking back up the North Face (Cables) slabs downclimb.
Alpenglow on McClellan Ridge Wednesday evening.
Wildfire-induced color from the summit of Torreys Peak Wednesday evening.
PRs on Mt. Elbert this week (photo from the day before).
This morning's two summits: Quandary (right) and Fletcher (left).
Always an inspiration.
The nightmarish Fletcher-Atlantic ridge, from the west.
Still so much more rock to go before I'd reach Wheeler (far left).
Retreating down Blue Lakes Valley. Fletcher Mt on the right-center horizon.