Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec 10 - 16

Mon-AM: 2:11, 3300' ~ Green Mt.
Up Gregory-Greenman and down Bear Canyon from my doorstep.  This is about the flattest possible trail loop you can do in Boulder and still summit one of the 8er peaks.  Taking every single twist and switch-back on the Green-Bear trail, it seems to be almost a full mile longer than the old line.  I must admit, on a day like today where my legs were tired and I was just looking to go easy, that new buffed-out singletrack was pretty fun to cruise.

Tue-AM: 1:01, 800' ~ East Leadville
Got up early in the dark and did an out and back on 7th St before spending the rest of the day doing a film shoot with NB at Turquoise Lake and Twin Lakes.  Bitter cold, windy, and snowy all day, I felt bad for the film crew as I spent a lot of time just sitting in a heated SUV in between takes.

Wed-AM: 2:32, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert (14,433')
I had the morning off from shooting with NB while they constructed an interview set, so I got up early and headed up the mountain--my 26th summit of Elbert all-time and 21st this year.  This might be my slowest-ever ascent (1:48), though, due to breaking trail through ~6" of fresh snow below treeline.

Thu-AM: 1:56, 4000' ~ Green & Bear
Planned on doing some scrambling, but it seems that Boulder received a bit of snow while I was out of town and there was still some ice and snow on the Flatirons, so instead I just opted for the standard Double Hump outing, heading up Bear's West Ridge and down Fern Canyon after summiting Green. Mellow easy effort today.

Fri-AM: 2:18, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Ran from the house up the Mesa trail to Fern Canyon, which was fun because I haven't gone up it in months. Descended the West Ridge of Bear and then grunted up the 1000' climb to the summit of Green before descending the front and heading home.  Such a great loop.  28min ascent of Fern from the Mesa Trail--you'd have to be going really fast in order to make running above the Nebel Horn Saddle worthwhile (I hiked every step today)...

Sat-AM: 2:32, 5800' ~ Flatiron Quinfecta+Green Mt.
Just did my usual outing Chat-to-Chat except that I descended Ranger-Gregory instead of the front of the mountain, adding 5min to the overall time.  I was 1:56:15 at the summit of the Fourth Flatiron (the end of the climbing...I scramble the Fifth before the Fourth), which is only a couple minutes off my PR, so I was moving pretty well despite having to check my foot placements a few times on the Fifth due to a few remaining pockets of snow and ice.  By time I made it to the top of Green the clouds had moved down out of the high mountains and a few flakes were starting to fall.

Sun-AM: 2:46, 5800' ~ Flatiron Quinfecta+Green Mt.
Oy, bit of a rough day on the mountain.  Started out tired and sluggish and then bonked like a champ on the Fourth (and final) Flatiron.  I could tell on the climb to Sentinel Pass that things were going sideways, but then my scramble of the Fifth was fairly normal before totally cratering on the slog up the Fourth.  That flatiron alone took me five minutes longer than usual. Still marched to the summit of the mountain to finish out the day, though.  I guess each of the last five days has been a pretty solid outing and it finally caught up to me.  The real reward today, though, was the low-lying layer of clouds blanketing the city...pretty awesome to be in some heroic, exposed position on the face of a Flatiron and feel like you're just floating on top of the clouds.

Hours: 15h16min
Vert: 28,700'

Another solid week.  Right now, my main goal is to get out and do a lot of scrunbling if the weather and rock conditions permit, and if they don't, then do a more "normal" run.  This has been working out well, giving me a fun mix to the daily rhythm.  I'll be heading home to Nebraska to see my parents at the end of this coming week, but I still want to tick some more December 14er Grid slots before the first of the year...Longs, Grays, and Torreys specifically.  Don't worry, Homie, I'm a neophyte with only 96 grid slots (out of 708) at current.  Silly, arbitrary peak baggery goals such as that are easy for someone like me to denigrate, but the fact of the matter is, there's part of me that is a lists/numbers guy and even more importantly, these kinds of goals can motivate me to get out the door and have experiences that I would otherwise let slip by.  Once I'm actually out there on the mountain my inspiration and motivation becomes much different--it almost always transfers to being the mountain itself, not some tick-mark on a list--but lists admittedly often offer a crucial, initial, inertia-overcoming nudge.

I do have a loose goal for 2013 of summiting Elbert, Grays, Torreys, Longs, Pikes, Evans, and Bierdstadt in each month of the year.  Maybe not Evans and Bierstadt...for some reason I've just never found those peaks to be very inspiring.  Maybe because there's a road to the top of Evans? Maybe because the approach from Echo Lake is so long?  Maybe because the trailhead at Guanella Pass seems cheatingly high? But, they are on the Front Range and that's why I'm including them.  I think March will be the crux month as this is typically the most wintry month of the year in Colorado and I'll be out of the country for most of it.

Moving right along, race-wise 2013 is looking super-exciting for me.  Of course, Hardrock really has no match when it comes to being the race-that-inspires-me-most, but the Ronda del Cims 170K in Andorra three weeks beforehand looks to be at least as aesthetic of a course, and--being included in the Skyrunning Series this year--it should attract a top-shelf group of athletes. At 105 miles/40k' of techy vertical, and the sobering fact that it took Miguel Heras 30hr to get around it...there's no way it won't be an epic outing in the Pyrenees.

My second half of the summer should be equally as quality.  I'm excited to go back to Speedgoat to support Karl's directing efforts and hopefully have a proper good run there--last summer was a scantily-salvaged disaster--and then Dakota's brand-spanking-new Telluride Mountain Run (T-Rad!) is sure to be an instant classic.  I love the fact that it's an off-distance 44mi and comprises one clean loop starting and finishing in Telluride.  As anyone who has been to the San Juans knows, there's simply no way you can go wrong there, course-wise.  And the course he's devised looks to be a true monster.  Right now he's sand-bagging everyone with the 15k' vert number, but it's really more like at least 16k' and we've had some programs register as high as 18k'.  It's gonna hurt.  Seven hours will probably be super impressive. But at least the scenery will be as good as it gets.

After that, I'll be treating my attempt at Nolan's 14 at the end of August like a race effort--train specifically all summer, focus, and taper--and it's probably the thing that I'm most excited about on my calendar.  Finally, if there's any gas in the tank after Nolan's, it'll be hard to stay away from UROC given that it's the Skyrunning Series Final this year and virtually in my backyard.  It looks like Francesca and Gill have done there level-best to put together a proper mountain course whilst linking together a bunch of Colorado's most iconic mountain towns (Breck, Frisco, Copper, Minturn, Vail).

Just gotta remain healthy...

I don't post many (any) Flatiron pics because they are all some variation of this. I find it's really hard to capture the scale and angle of the rock when solo, both because I'm holding onto the rock and because there's no one else around for scale.  This is looking down the East Face from the summit of the Third during a recent enchainment.  The low-angle, slabby final pitch is in the foreground with the rest of the face steepening and disappearing below.  I guess looking straight down on the pine trees nearly 1000' below offers a little scale.
Of course, I'm still making it to the top of Green regularly; I'll be right around 200 summits this year. This is representative of a pretty typical December weather day in Boulder this year.  Wildly mild, though that might finally change later this week...
La Plata Peak as seen from the summit of Elbert on Wednesday. Lots of blowing snow that morning due to some heinous winds and fresh powder.
I know I'm way behind on the whole Beach House thing, but I'm glad I finally gave them a chance. This song and really this whole album has been nearly non-stop for me for a few weeks now.


Anonymous said...

Tony, sounds like your having a great week in fact a great couple of weeks (Injury Free).

I was curious what new model NB are you sporting in the recent Green Picture?

Take Care Man...and it would be cool to see Jesus's Stunt Man/Look Alike start racing again in 2013!

David said...

I saw you as I headed up Green on Saturday, and felt this odd sense of relief that you caught me on a rare stretch of running instead of the usual hands on knees grunting technique I'm usually reduced to. Even trail runners have egos....

I just heard about Dakota's race yesterday and it sounds epic!

Alex Gillespie said...

great pictures as always. you dont mention any races before hardrock - no psring races for you at all?

Anton said...

Dallas - I'm wearing an early early proto of the update to the MT110. Also, I already raced three times in the second half of 2012, so racing in 2013 won't be anything new...

Alex - Check the sidebar; planning on the Tarawera 100K in New Zealand in March and Transvulcania in the Canary Islands in May.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony,

What I meant to say is, it would be cool to see you racing more in 2013 than previous year. As in I look forward to you have a good sold all around year without injury's and or getting sick.

Best of Luck! Not sure if your a Chappo fan, but they have some good tunes that run parallel with the videos you been posting.

And thanks for responding its not ever day that a regular joe gets a reply back from one of his idols...pretty cool of you.


GZ said...

Tony - good stuff as always.

Telluride race looks excellent but comes at a tough spot in the calendar. Not too far after HR, and only a week before Leadville and Pikes.

As nutty as it sounds, I have wondered if that new single track is put in to meet ADA requirements of some sort. I think I recall it adding a kilo to the route when I compared the two. It is a nice approach but that more direct valley was pretty.

I think I hike every step above the Nebel Horn Saddle everytime.

Unknown said...


If you're looking for a more interesting way to get up Bierstadt, you could try the East ridge, starting from Guanella. Run around towards Abyss Lake, then a little short of the lake, grunt up to the ridge and follow some fun third class to the top.

You still miss out on vertical that you might get on another peak, and the bit to Abyss might be a little flat for your taste, but the last bit could make up for that. You also get some solitude from the regular Bierstadt mule train.

Unknown said...

Just wanted to say thanks for letting me get a pic with you on green. We met on green mountain on the 15 of DEC. Good luck with everything.

Unknown said...

hey Tony your a huge inspiration for me to start running the ultra's and being more of a minimalist, love to see you race some more this coming 2013 season. Im sure you'll be succesful, goodluck.

Unknown said...

170k race three weeks before Hardrock? Sounds pretty ambitious

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