Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 4 - 10

Mon-AM: 1:34, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Started from the library and ran up the front and then down Ranger to Flagstaff to Eben G. Fine and back to the library. The trails were pretty much bulletproof ice which was sort of frustrating, but my hip was 100%. Top of Green was in a cloud.

Tue-AM: 1:31, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Started from the library again, but went up Gregory-Ranger and down the front. Felt good.

Wed-AM: 3:54, 5000' ~ Longs Peak
          Up and down the Cables. Really good day on the mountain. Was on the trail shortly after 7am and made the right decision to take poles this time. It's sort of awkward because it would be good to wear KTS crampons below treeline, then Microspikes across the tundra and Boulderfield and then back to crampons for the technical bit up and down the North Face, but I always start out in Microspikes below treeline even though they don't offer quite enough bite. Anyway.
          Made good time up to treeline but then lost a bunch of time wallowing around in the drifted snow right at treeline and in various spots across the tundra. I will pick a much better line next time. Only a few big gusts of wind as I came over the shoulder of Mt. Lady Washington and onto the Boulderfield and it was downright warm if you were in the sun. The climb up the Cables went really well. The first crux at the base of the dihedral is non-existent right now because of all the snow piled up at the base. But it was difficult wading through that. Above there I was able to feel really solid the whole way and even questioned why I brought a rope for the rappel, but I'm glad I did. No reason to go out and take unnecessary risks.
          Topped out after 2:32, spent a couple minutes eating a gel and taking a couple pics before heading back down. The rappel went well with the 30m rope. It leaves you a few feet short of the second eyebolt, but the angle there is mellow enough that it's not a big deal to just lean into the wall and set up the second rappel, which is quite short down to the snow apron. As I started running down the boulders below the Cables a large party of climbers started trickling uphill, which sort of surprised me. No less than four of them were wearing La Sportiva Spantiks. Which is a crazy 7000m double-boot that costs $750. Maybe they were training for something, but I was sure comfy enough in my 8oz New Balance 110 Winter's (with KTS Steel crampons). The rest of the run was uneventful but so warm that I stripped down to my short-sleeve shirt well before treeline.
PM: 0:49, 1600' ~ First Flatiron
Was excited by the nearly +60F day, so got out for a cruiser lap on the First at sunset. In retrospect, I probably should've waited one more day before climbing it as there ended up being a lot of water running down the face and lots of snow on ledges and in cracks. This made it a touch more adventurous than I'd bargained for in a few spots, but it worked out. Due to the wet conditions, the scramble took me a full 20min.

Thu-AM: 1:48, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Met Jurker at the library and headed up Gregory-Ranger and down Greenman-Flagstaff. Lots and lots of ice. Almost too much. Nice warm morning, though. Afterwards, simul-climbed a quick lap on the Dome in Boulder Canyon with jLu to complete the Team Jurker morning. Acupuncture in the afternoon.
PM: 1:16, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Biked to Chat, ran up through the heinous mud and slush and ice, and scrambled the First before heading up to the top of Green right at sunset. The First was quite a bit more dry than yesterday, only a couple wet spots. Descended the front.

Fri-AM: 3:22, 5000' ~ Longs Peak (14,255')
          Up and down the Cables. I wanted to get in another lap on the big mountain before the storm this weekend, and I was treated with a winter car-to-car PR and nearly perfect weather conditions. The trail below treeline was packed out pretty much perfectly and I (finally) wisely just followed the packed track up past treeline instead of trying to blaze the shortcut that was packed in earlier this winter. This got me to treeline 6min faster than usual. Across the tundra up to the Boulderfield I also did my best job yet picking an as-snowless-as-possible line and enjoyed essentially completely calm conditions before making it to Chasm View in 1:49 where I stopped to put on a couple extra layers and my crampons (the lower cardiac output of technical climbing always requires a little more insulation to stay warm).
          The Cables dihedral went quickly (~5min climbing time), and then I enjoyed a packed trench through most of the 3rd Class terrain to the summit, courtesy, I'm sure, of the Southern Adventist mountaineering class I ran into on Wednesday. I was at the summit at 2:14 and only took a couple minutes to hit a gel, sign the register, put on my harness, and snap a couple pics. It only took me 6min to descend back to the top of the Cables where I rappelled the first 50' (I have a 100' rope) and then I decided to just downclimb the bottom half, which felt totally secure and definitely saved me a couple of minutes. I was back at Chasm View at 2:30 total time where I removed my crampons and ran all the way back down to the trailhead sans metal traction, hitting treeline at 3:09 and completing the full descent in 1:08. Really fun morning.
PM: 1:14, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
The rain/snow showed up later than I thought it would, so I biked up to Chat to sneak in one more lap on the First and Green Mountain. Rock was the driest it's been all week, so I cruised up it in 14min before marching through the slush to the top of the mountain. Only bummer was that when I got back down to Chat my bike had a flat, making for a long, chilly walk home. I could've run it, but I didn't want to push things after already putting in such a big day.

Sat-AM: 1:58, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
From my apartment up Gregory-Ranger and down the front. Started out in lightly falling snow but by time I was on the trails it was a full-on blizzard with rapidly accumulating snow. Heavy, wet, slushy spring-time snow. Which didn't help things with my super-tired legs, but good to get out and tag the summit in the winter conditions.

Sun-AM: 1:55, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Ran from my doorstep, up Gregory-Ranger and down the front. The trails were packed out but generally punchy and unconsolidated, making for inefficient footing and slow times. Gorgeous morning, though.

Hours: 19h21min
Vert: 32,600'

I think I can finally feel some fitness returning to my legs and lungs. It's definitely spring-time now, so my return to health is happily coinciding with my competitive juices starting to flow again.  I need to start gradually building up the running legs, so will probably add a weekly long run (as opposed to a long hike/slog/scramble/14er summit) from here on out. We'll see how that goes, it's certainly been a while since that's been a regular part of my weekly regimen.

Also, I've got a new post over on the UD Blog.

Mt. Meeker, from the summit of Longs Peak.
The north face of Longs pierces an azure sky on Wednesday.
Summit of Longs, Wednesday. Mummy Range on the right skyline.
The Longs-Arapaho traverse (L.A. Freeway) stretches out behind me.
Chasm Lake and Peacock Pool 2000' below, from the summit of Longs.


Wyatt Hornsby said...

Good to see you running well again, Anton. Stay healthy and you'll be back on top again. Hope to see you Leadville this August.


Dusty said...

That last photo is really beautiful. What a fantastic view.

David Henry said...

Great photos! I've had to have about 3 weeks of more actual running than I'd like because of scheduling, sickness and what not, but it has probably been a good thing. Definitely have to balance that mix of just getting out in the mountains and actually running some decent mileage, at least if you race much in the US since most races are just so much flatter than what we like to "run". All the best for the upcoming season Tony.


mtnrunner2 said...

Yeah, I'm glad to hear you're feeling good. I think injuries suck and I'm not even a competitor.

The stuff you do on Longs is fantastic, and you're making me pine for Longs Peak. What a great trail. The snow at treeline can get crazy though, I've post-holed in 2 or 3 feet even in Spring.

Heart Transplant Runner said...

Great blog again, You're one of the main inspirations for me to run in the mountains here in England, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

The 110's are the best thing I have ever put on my them. Amazing Elevation...Good job.

J said...


I´m going for a training camp to the Pyrenees for 16 day, and hoped you could pas me some so recommendations on trails and running folks.

Keep up the goood work, your an inspiration!!

Where can I find your contact info?

Johan, Sweden

Scott McMurtrey said...

Killer pics as always. Good luck with the training.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anton, As always a fantastic read. I have a quick enquiry.

Is there any way possible you could make a short movie clip addressed to the children in my school for an assembly on 'power of positive thinking'?

I would love to tailor my assembly on this subject with the theme of ultra running?

Thanks again for your posts and your deep roots post was a superb read too! :)