Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ben Lomond

Maybe the best thing about living in Boulder, CO is that I think it has some of the best "in town" mountains of just about anywhere I've seen. (This is, of course, ignoring towns of, say, less than 15,000 people.  There are scads of little mountain towns all over the American West that can claim better quality, larger scale run-from-downtown access...but actually finding a job and a community of like-minded people there can often be a little tough.)  Being able to reasonably run to a peak from my doorstep is very high on my list when it comes to determining quality-of-life factors.

Queenstown might take that to a new level with its backyard summits of Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak.  Ben Lomond offers 4600' of vert in ~4mi with the trailhead being only a couple minutes of jogging from the city center.  In addition to the stats, though, is the variety the trail offers.  The start is nestled snugly at the mouth of a major drainage, but quickly climbs out into lush coniferous forest that, at times, is so thick it can be hard to see even at midday.  After ~25min of climbing, though, the route pops out of the trees and into the open grasses that is characteristic above timberline, taking a steep but runnable tack up the slope to Ben Lomond Saddle at ~4300'.  The final 1500' of vert, though, really kicks up, with options for a bee-line to the top even offering some brief but fun scrambly moves on large outcrops of gneiss.  Definitely a world-class daily summit.

Lake Wakatipu, Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak.
Ben Lomond trailhead with the sun rising on the peak itself.
Photo: Mick Donges.
Photo: MD.

At Ben Lomond Saddle, with 1500' to go.

Photo: MD
Photo: MD.
Other NZ posts over at Running Times.


Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd read a post from you that had the word "jogging" in it:) I also thought Ben Lomond was in Scotland. That doesn't look anywhere like Scotland:)

Unknown said...

I think Australia will dissapoint you a little - mountain wise at least

Rich said...

Who's the hottie?

Anonymous said...

That would be Anita Frost (Frosty).

M said...

man, Ben Lomond is one tough hike. and you call it a day summit :)

Rich said...

Anton, you should check out Telluride during the summer. You may never leave that place. If you do go, you should run the Sneffels High Line Trail.

RunnerJESS said...

tim white said...

Unknown you're assuming Rich is referring to the female.

Mathew said...

Hey Anton,
Are you going anywhere else around AU/NZ while you are down this way? Send me an e-mail if you are coming to Tasmnania (, I would love to go for a run with you!

There are literally endless beautiful runs down here to keep you busy.

Becca said...

Hi Anton,

So funny thing, this is my first time visiting your blog I saw your title of your post and I was like no way. Is he running in the same neck of the woods as me. Turns out different states. Mine California, yours CO. Still lovely!

Fairbanks said...

Dude, tons of towns with more than what boulder gotz. in the wayz of peaks/vert at youz door. You're young you'll see. Boulder do have the center of its own universe thing going for it....

pavle radonic said...

Nice sporting profile in today's Straits Times Anton. Many points of attraction. Welcome to SG - a highly odd place, lovable and infuriating in equal measure - and of course not a mound in sight, never mind a mountain.
An Australian writer of Montenegrin ancestry, I've been writing about the place these almost 10 months.
A cup of teh tarik in my neighbourhood near Malay Kampung while yr in town if u have time.

Neorider said...

Hi Anton, this is Pablo from Granada at Andalucia in south of Spain. If you love a city where you can do trails really near your home door, this is the place. You have to check it out. Here you have the power of Sierra Nevada and the highest peaks of Spain, The Mulhacen (3480 mt) and The Veleta (3400mt). And thousand of tracks near your home door.

If you want to check it out, contact with me, i´m the community manager of a Utra Trail Running Club, it is Granada Ultra Trail. This is my email:

Thanks and cheers!!!

Andy said...

Love the pics. Notice you're wearing the 110s rather than the 1010s -- any particular rationale (e.g., terrain type, preference, etc.)? Have been wondering what your take is on all the hoo ha about the lateral footbed, etc. I, for one, have love, love, loved the 110s and although I do notice the footbed issue I've got a few hundred miles on them with nothing but joyful running. Thoughts? Thanks!

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