Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Feb 25 - March 3

Mon-AM: 1:21, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
From Chat, went up and down the front. Slow ascent with lots of loose footing in all the new snow.

Tue-AM: 1:17, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
Exact same run as yesterday except that it was dumping snow again this morning and I went up with poles, which made a big difference in uphill efficiency with the still poor footing. Got acupuncture afterwards.

Wed-AM: 1:14, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
Same run again but slightly better trail conditions so I climbed a couple minutes faster. Warm, sunny morning had me in a short-sleeve shirt.

Thu-AM: 5:24, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
Oy. Long, tough day on the hill. Left the parking lot knowing it would be cold and breezy (-30F windchills), but was still hoping to get up and down via the Cables in 3h30 or so. Within 10min or so I knew I should've brought my trekking poles for uphill efficiency---the shortcuts were still covered in fresh snow and above treeline there were lots of deep drifts to wallow through---but so it goes.
                    Once past Jim's Grove the blowing snow became pretty out of hand and I began wishing I had goggles. This only got worse once I popped over the ridge onto the Boulderfield and I eventually decided that soloing up the Cables sounded pretty sketchy in such high winds. So I headed to the Keyhole, but just past the other side a particularly obnoxious gust of wind tore my sunglasses right from my face and flung them somewhere far down the snowy slope, never to be seen again. Dammit. I decided to try on-sighting the Northwest Gulley, hoping that getting in the chute would shield me from the hurricane a bit, but about half-way up the spindrift was insane and it was all I could do to keep my eyes from freezing shut. I had fleeting thoughts of even completely bailing at this point, but with only ~1000' of vertical left I was loathe to give up now.
                    So I meticulously backtracked down the 4th Class terrain to the standard Keyhole Route and took that over to the Trough and up to the Narrows and the Homestretch. The Narrows surprised me with how much snow there was in a couple spots---much more and I don't think I would've been too happy to be soloing it. Crampons and axe were definitely mandatory, and the Homestretch was a total snow climb as well. Finally made the summit after a very hard-fought 3:28, threw on the puffy, sucked down a gel, and descended the North Face via the Cables rappel. Rappeling that line, I definitely kicked myself for not just ascending the North Face because it seemed to be oddly (relatively) sheltered from the wind there, and there was so much snow in the crux dihedral that it would've been quite easy to climb.
                    Felt like I spent quite a bit of time bumbling with the rope and my crampons, but I finally got into a stilted rhythm stumbling my way back across the Boulderfield and down to treeline where I again wallowed around in the snow way too much looking for the easiest line down. Below treeline I finally got back on packed trail and made it back to the parking lot about two hours later than I'd planned. Oh well, any time I can stand on top of Longs, it's a good day; I love that mountain.

Fri-AM: 1:16, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
Up Gregory-Ranger and down the front, from Chautauqua. Legs were tired from yesterday but it felt good to get out and do some running on the way up instead of the hiking that typically occurs when going up the front. Trail conditions are really good (packed snow) right now except for all the drifting from last night.
PM: 1000', Climbing in Eldo with Dakota
Really debated on whether we should pay to get into Eldo if there wasn't going to be anything dry to climb. Despite there still being a ton of snow almost everywhere (including the 500' of vert on the approach) the rock itself was 99% dry. Dakota led up the first long pitch of the Green Spur, and then from the Red Ledge we went up pitches 3-6 of Rewritten. Another stellar day in the canyon. A little chilly on the rock, but not bad.

Sat-AM: 1:12, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
Really nice run from Chat up the back and down the front. Trail is in great snow shape.
PM: 500', Climbing in Eldo with Jon and Jenny.

Sun-AM: 3:57, 5300' ~ Torreys (14,267') & Grays (14,270') Peaks
Parked at Bakerville and ran up the road to the trailhead. Took Kelso Ridge up Torreys before tagging Grays and heading back down. The main trail was decently packed but heavily drifted in some spots. Once I was on the ridge I enjoyed a totally unexpected reprieve from the wind until I was right below the summit. The traverse between the two peaks was super windy and by far the most unpleasant part of the day. Didn't see anyone else out there until I was running back down the road to the highway.
PM: 0:31 ~ Runners Roost Denver group run
First completely flat miles I've done in a long time, so it was nice to start working those back in. Hip was 100% and there was loads of pizza and beer afterwards, so it was a fun evening.

Hours: 16h12min
Vert: 25,300'

It feels like I've finally really turned the corner with my hip flexor.  I've run every day for three full weeks now, and my pair of forays into the high country last week have registered zero negative effects, so things are really looking up.  Having said that, I decided over a week ago to not make the trip down to New Zealand for the Tarawera 100K in 10 days, and despite my hip showing significant improvement I know it was the right choice. I've done no long runs of any type since December and don't have any desire to travel all that way to muddle through 62 miles with poor fitness and a very likely chance of re-injuring myself. Depending on how things go over the next few weeks, I could see myself joining the fun at Lake Sonoma next month, however. We'll see. Transvulcania is a race that I'm very excited about and I don't want to jeopardize my preparation for that...or all the necessary groundwork that needs to be laid now in order to reach the goals I have for this summer.

Unpleasant conditions on Longs last Thursday. Looking up the North Face, which I just rappelled.
Summit of Longs Peak.
Torreys Peak on Sunday. Kelso Ridge is the right skyline.
Nearly to the summit, looking back down Kelso Ridge.
Grays Peak, from Kelso Ridge.
Could use a drummer, but otherwise not bad.


Lauren said...

You are definitely way, way crazier than I am. :) Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Tony- Looking at your Longs Summit photo has placed you in another category one that is way beyond your 2007 era of "Indulgence 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sun". Your making/made that documentary video look like some Micky Mouse Club/Kiddie Stuff ha!

Great Stuff, but damn man... grab some Nutella and De-Ice yourself! Reminds me something off of the book "Into Thin Air".

Rob said...

It would have been great to see you run in NZ, but if you could get added to Sonoma that would be phenomenal! Such a deep field on both the women's and men's side - sounds like your kind of race.

theBrainrunner said...

Nice post! Where do you find your musical selections? I've enjoyed several of the groups you've highlighted.

Barry Bliss said...

Cool Thursday adventure.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just love looking at the photos of where you run. Simply amazing :)

Unknown said...


I'm looking for some detail on Pagoda's West Ridge. How would you compare it to any of the Flatirons. Or, I did the Owl (in Boulder Canyon) today in some La Sportiva X Countries and found that I wouldn't be comfortable soloing something at that level (if you've climbed it perhaps you could compare). Any insight/comparison you could provide would be much appreciated. Love your blog btw.

eliza fe said...

You should definitely come back to NZ when you can. The Heaphy Track in the South Island is worth a look in too!

Unknown said...

Hi Anton

through how many mt 110 have you gone so far?

just being curious

Rob Timko said...

New glasses recommendations.

Anton said...

Nathan - Well, I've actually never been on the West Ridge of Pagoda. When I did the Glacier Gorge Traverse last fall I took an alternate route to Pagoda's summit that traverses a narrow ledge across most of Pagoda's SW face, climbs maybe 20' of 5.2-ish slab, and then takes a 3rd class ramp back up and left before some more 5.easy scrambling to pop over Pagoda's SE ridge just below it's summit.

I've heard the West Ridge goes at 5.6-7, but, of course, you would need to find that precise line. I have done The Owl a couple of times (though never in approach shoes) and wouldn't be comfortable soloing it mainly because of that hand-crack near the top of the first pitch. I've led the crux roof on the second pitch a couple of times and it feels way more secure (but awkward) to me than that lower hand-crack.

I was actually on the Dome yesterday as well, sneaking in a quick simul-climbing lap on East of the Sun, another fun 5.7.

Toby - I really have no idea. Dozens?

Rob - Nah, I already have a replacement pair of the Rudy Project Ultimatums on the way.

Unknown said...

Anton- Thanks for the insight. I'm psyched to know there are some alternate (easier) routes then. I didn't want to have to do any scouting trips so I'll just take your word and give it a go then. Happy trails...

Cobey Williamson said...

Anton - thanks for all the great music. you have opened my ears to some great stuff over the years. you know these?

Patrick Watson - Lighthouse

Light Line feat. I Am Not Lefthanded

MV said...

Having you considered running the Cayuga Trails 50 in early June?

Rain said...

Way to brave the cold! Happy to hear about the hip improvement!!

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