Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week Summary: Sept 17 - 23

Mon-AM: 3:23, 7000' ~ Grand Teton (13,770')
Not many mountains are more inspiring than this one. Driving in early in the morning over from Dubois there was a crazy amount of smoke settled in the valley and I could barely see the peaks most of the way, but once I got, such proud summits. I'd heard there was some ice in the chimneys on the Owen-Spalding route, but conditions seemed perfect, so I figured I'd go give it a shot, even if I was turned around only a few hundred feet from the top.  Had pretty decent legs on the run up Garnet Canyon and the climb from the Lower Saddle to the Upper Saddle felt shorter than I remembered from July.  It was cold and blustery on the OS, though, and once in the chimneys there was indeed some ice, not to mention cold rubber that didn't seem to want to stick to the rock as well as I remembered, nor gloved hands that wanted to grip very well either.  I passed a couple of roped-up parties, but had the summit to myself, which was really nice. The descent went well and I mostly just enjoyed being in one of the more special ranges in the country.  Lost probably 6-7min roundtrip due to the ice in the chimneys, but I ascended in 2:08 and descended in 1:15.

Tue-AM: 8:46, 8700' ~ Gannet Peak (13,804')
One of my favorite days in the mountains this season. New FKT.

Wed-AM: 2:05, 4500' ~ Flatiron Trifecta+Green Mt.
After getting up at 5:00am to finish the final 3hr+ drive home from WY, I went straight to Chat and got on the rocks.  My legs were surprisingly minimally affected by yesterday's effort, so on my jog out of the parking lot I decided to hit all three flatirons.  The First went well with a reasonably quick 12:45 scramble and 3min downclimb. On the descent to the base of the Second I could definitely feel all of yesterday's boulder-hopping, but the scramble went well in 11:30.  More boulder-hopping over to the base of the Third, and I laced that in an only-10sec-off-PR 7:30 before a quick 5:50 downclimb. The march to the summit of Green was a bit of a slog, but I held it together and back down at Chat in 1:57 I rounded out the day's time with a mile of barefoot on the lawn there. Awesome morning.
PM: 1:18, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
I was feeling lazy and just kept the whole outing leisurely with a 16:30 scramble and a mellow effort on the rest of the mountain. Amazing sunset from the top of Green, though.

Thu-AM: 4:37, 6500' ~ Audubon (13,233'), Paiute (13,088'), Toll (12,979'), Pawnee (12,943'), Shoshoni (12,967'), Apache (13,441'), Navajo (13,409')
Started from the Long Lake TH with Joe. Ran the 6min on road over to the Audubon TH and headed up the mountain. The pace seemed pretty mellow, but I could tell my legs were still pretty haggard from the past three days. I was really uncoordinated on the ridge traverse of boulder hopping from Audubon to Paiute, but seemed to find some dexterity on the descent down to the north ridge of Toll.  Mount Toll was awesome.  Joe and I located the sneaky ramp on the west side which ends in an even sneakier, exposed, cruxy step-across.  It doesn't look like it's going to go, but it does!  Which would become a theme of the day.  Pawnee was a simple talus walk-up, as was Shoshoni, but then the real fun began as we engaged the airy, sometimes loose 4th Class ledges of The Chessmen that guard the traverse over to Apache.  This section was magnificent, high above Isabelle Glacier and despite my low energy we were having an awesome day out.  The final climb from Dicker's Peck to the summit of Navajo looked quite intimidating, but for seemingly the dozenth time all day, once on the face it was actually very fun 4th Class with enjoyable route-finding and an impressive summit. From there we dropped into Airplane Gully (a plane crashed in there in 1943, there is still wreckage) and made our way back down to Lake Isabelle and the trail back to the car.  Awesome day out on some of the most fun, inspiring terrain anywhere.

Fri-AM: 2:02, 3200' ~ Third Flatiron+Green Mt.
Ran from Eben G. Fine Park up to Chat, scrambled the Third easy in 8:55, downclimbed the SW Chimney and tagged the summit of Green before descending Bear Canyon back to Chautauqua.  This has to be my favorite easy day loop, such a fun variety of terrain from flat running, to scrambling, to steep hiking, to fast descending through the canyon.

Sat-AM: 2:06, 3200' ~ Third Flatiron+Green Mt.
Ran up to Chat and then to the base of the Third, scrambled it in 8:35, downclimbed, grunted to the summit of Green and descended Bear Canyon again. The downclimb took 5min longer than yesterday because of the complete lack of sticky rubber on my shoes.  More exemplary fall weather, though.
PM: 1:05, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Awesome evening out on the hill where I PRed to the top of the First (22:32) by taking it easy to the base (11:42) and then PRing on the actual scramble (10:50 East Face). Did the downclimb in my usual careful 3:50 and then continued on to the summit of Green before running back down the front back to Chat.

Sun-AM: 2:14, 4700' ~ Flatiron Trifecta+Green Mt.
Ran up to Chat and then laced together the first three Flatirons in sequential order. I was feeling quite on point with the scrambling today and had East Face splits of 12:35, 11:10, and 7:55 for the First, Second, and Third, respectively. I still need to try Buzz's route on the Third of not crossing over the gulley at the beginning.  It does seem like it would be a lot faster. Continued on to the summit of Green after the Third before running back down to the Creek. Awesome last morning on the mountain for a few weeks.

Hours: 27h36min
Vert: 43,800'

This was the last week of hard training before heading overseas for Cavalls del Vent and the Otter Run, but I hardly viewed it that way.  Instead, I was just trying to cram in as much autumnal fun as I could knowing that conditions will likely have changed drastically in the high country by time I get back in mid-October.  So it goes, though, and I'm actually really looking forward to the change in seasons. CdV should be a ton of fun as I expect there to be a group of at least five really solid competitors going for it at the front of the pack (Kilian and Miguel, Dakota and myself, and Tofol Castaner), plus probably plenty of other legit but lesser-known Euros.  I'm excited for what is billed as a very tough course and my introduction to European mountain racing.

The Black Dike and Upper Exum Ridge (leading to the Grand Teton summit), as seen from the Lower Saddle.
Looking south from the summit of the Grand on Monday morning.
The view looking east from the summit of Gannet Peak.
On the summit of Shoshoni, considering my immediate future: Apache (center) and Navajo (far left). Photo: Joe Grant.


Rain said...

Hope you have a great trip!
Gosh I would love to spend my monday morning looking out at that! Amazing!
Not much about your I hope that means it's feeling good!

Bidou said...

what was your time up to reach Audubon ?

Unknown said...

I’ve been reading your blog and other writings since 2007 and I’ve got to say, the Gannet piece at UD is one of the best things you’ve ever written (even with what appear to be some unedited errors created in the posting process; I know those aren’t your grammar/spelling mistakes). Truly a thing of beauty from start to finish.
And your comments about the Grand remind me of the first time I stepped off a plane at the JH airport and looked over at that peak. A woman saw the look in my eyes (and what were, admittedly, probably some tears welling up) and said “first time here, huh?”
All the best to you, and stay safe out there.

Alex Gillespie said...

OMG! Those mountains are immense

David Hill said...


After reading your blog for a long time, and seeing the shift you've made over the past year, I can't help but think the following: You should probably just ditch 100 milers (except for Hardrock) and focus on the shorter Skyrunning 50M/50K stuff and busting FKT's. Maybe that's stating the obvious and you're already on this path, but at this point it's hard to imagine seeing you back at something like Rocky Raccoon. All the best this weekend covering the 84 K's.

Robbie said...

Hi Anton,
Its great to read how your approach and your overall mindset to mountain running is evolving. Will this mean that your work with NB will also evolve to encompass something more like an approach/mountain racer shoe hybrid to handle the trickier scrambling moves or do you find the MT110 to be sufficient for grip? Best wishes for Cavall, have fun.

Wayne said...

Great read Tony! Good luck in Europe! Cant wait to read about it.

Sergio said...

Otter run instead of la raid reunion or both?
All the best for upcoming races.

Billy said...

Sweet pics + write up Tony.

Curious: which watch are you using these days? have you upgraded from the Highgear?

Barry Bliss said...

Good luck.

Unknown said...

I would like to second Robbie's question about an approach/mountain running hybrid shoe!!!!! <-- Note the unnecessary amount of explanation points.
Pleeeaase pressure NB to take on the challenge of making a lighter version of the C-Lite or X Country.
Also- please kick the sh*t out of Nolan's 14 sometime in the near future. I've been waiting, and will continue to wait (impatiently) for your report ;)

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