Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 25 - 31

Mon-AM: 2:07, 4400' ~ Bear & Green
Started from Chautauqua with Joel and ran the Mesa over to Bear and then up it via Fern. Fern trail conditions were mostly excellently-packed, but only a couple people had been down the West Ridge. From Bear Canyon we blazed through shin-deep snow (with Joel bonking like a champ) up to Green before descending the front. Really nice outing in all the glorious snow but with comfortable temps.

Tue-AM: 1:07, 2700' ~ Green Mt.
From Chautauqua, ran up and down the front with Joel. My shin was a little touchy, but the snow-packed trail was in perfect condition.

Wed-AM: 6:30, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
Up and down the Cables. Started from the trailhead at 6am with Joel. We wanted an early start to ostensibly capture alpenglow on the Diamond, but the clouds had different ideas. Joel still got some shots with great light above treeline, but there was a ton of blowing snow and the mountain itself was completely socked in all day, so not many epic views. Joel on-sight soloed the Cables (because he wanted to shoot me from above), which was especially notable considering his oxygen-depleted state and the near-constant spindrift. Above there I endured exhausting, hip-deep trail breaking to reach the summit. Of my eight Longs summits so far this year, this one had the most snow, by far. The round-trip would've been a couple hours faster without all the camera-work.

Thu-AM: 1:34, 4000' ~ 1st Flatiron+Green+1st Flatiron
Cruised up to the flattie starting from Chautauqua and found it in surprisingly dry conditions (there were still some wet spots, but not as much as I expected) considering how much snow is still on the ground. Scrambled it in 15:05 and then slogged up to the summit of Green before descending to the base and scrambling it again in 12:25 with a 2:05 downclimb. That's the fastest I've scrambled the First since last fall, and a 40sec PR on the downclimb. Really fun morning on the hill.
PM: Climbing with jLu at Animal World in Boulder Canyon. A rare afternoon mostly clipping bolts.

Fri-AM: 3:53, 5000' ~ Longs Peak
Up and down the Cables with Joe. I had a bunch of energy this morning for some reason...part of which, I suspect, was due to the new 6mm x 35m string I had in my pack for rappeling. Which is substantially lighter than the 7.8mm cord I used to carry. Anyways, the trail was excellently packed, but when we got to treeline it was snowing fairly hard and would stay that way the entire rest of the day, sometimes snowing really hard. When we got to the Cables, the dihedral had way more snow than just two days ago, which made it the most secure-feeling it's been all winter soloing it. We didn't spend much time on the summit as a nasty wind was blowing tons of snow around (really this was the case for a lot of the day), so made quick work of the North Face before running back down to the car amidst really heavy snowfall. Of course, there was sun at the parking lot.
PM: Climbing with Buzz on the 3rd and 2nd Elephant Buttresses. Got in four pitches.

Sat-AM: 2:19, 4500' ~ 1st+2nd+5th Flatirons+Green Mt.
Biked to Chat, then scrambled the flatties. First flatiron link-up that I've done in a while. The slab on the left side of the Pullman Car on the 2nd was really wet, but some judicious stemming got me through. The morning's sun and warm temps got to me a bit, though, and sitting on the summit of the 5th while drinking from the pothole up there I decided I didn't have the juice to tack on the 4th as well before heading to the summit of Green. I also wasn't very excited about the certain post-holing on the descent on the south side of the 5th.

Sun-AM: 3:25, 5000' ~ Longs Peak
Up and down the Cables, solo. Moved well up to the boulderfield, picking a good line across the tundra. There was a nasty wind above treeline, but nothing atypical or unreasonable and it died almost completely except for a few gusts once I got onto the boulderfield. The Cables climb went very quickly as a bunch of snow was packed into the corner, but then I slogged for days up the rest of the north face to the summit...lots and lots of postholing/trailbreaking. The summit was exceedingly pleasant; I didn't even need to put on my puffy jacket. The downhill went very quickly. I plunged back down to the Cables in 6min, didn't even bother to get out my harness and rap cord and instead just downclimbed the whole thing in less than 5min before taking off my crampons, stripping down to only a short-sleeve t-shirt, and running back to the trailhead. The whole descent took me 0:58.
PM: 1:03, 3000' ~ 1st Flatiron+Green Mt.
Couldn't resist the 70F weather, so biked up to Chat for a scramble and a summit. One of those glorious outings where the legs just never really get tired, felt very strong on the uphill and descended the front back to Chat in only 21min.

Hours: 21h53min
Vert: 33,600'

Wow, this turned into a really good week of mountains. I had a little scare with the shin again on Tuesday, but my avoidance of extended flat running since then seems to have kept it happy. It felt 100% today. Weeks like this get me very very excited for racing and summer and adventures in the high peaks. Just have to remain patient and not do anything silly so I can stay healthy.

Joe rappels through spindrift on the Cables route on Longs Peak on Friday morning.
Joe at Chasm View.
Looking back toward the Twin Sisters from above treeline on Longs this morning.
Keyhole moonset.
Crossing the Boulderfield after tagging the summit this morning.


R. Logan Brooks said...

Good solid week. Keep the positive vibes and all will fall into place. Seen any good shows lately? I am super stoked to get to see Polica in a few weeks in a tiny little lounge called the Rythmn Room. If you havnt gave them a listen its a must Tony, trust me. But you probably have. Take care.

Freebird said...

Quick question, can you please let me know what you wear in regard to socks and shoes when you are doing Longs in winter/early spring?


Court5km said...

3:25 up Longs Peak (!!!!!) Your mountain pic with the moonset is......unreal and your ability to translate your experience into words is lovely and poetic. Happy to read :)Reminds me of J.Muir

Anton said...

Freebird - My winter-conditions footwear set-up on Longs consists of Swiftwick merino wool socks, Winter MT110s (with the zip-up covering), Kahtoola KTS Steel crampons for the technical bits and steep snow, and lightweight knee-high gaiters for all the post-holing. Going this light definitely requires that you keep moving at a pretty good pace...but it also enables that. The classic alpine equation.

Unknown said...

Do you think it's the shoes that is causing Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis. I went on the internet and there are a number of people who are experiencing PTT because of some extra rubber on the lateral side which causes the shoe to slant inward while standing. Have you shaved your 110's so that they are flat?

Unknown said...

Greg, nice and interesting question.
I think the MT 110s were particularly made to Anton's specifications in a sense that they matched his gait to 100%.
However, this possible issue seems to have been solved by the MT 110s in the new colorways.