Monday, December 30, 2013

Bear Peak Hike

Since the foot decided to take a step back in its healing, I was off for another walk up Bear. It's always good to hike this one since it's on the fringe of being "un-runnable". Made it up and down in about 2:10 which I was really pleased about, especially for walking (as fast as I could walk that is). Also gave me a chance to try out my new micro-spikes too! They worked really well in the hard packed steep snow, a little sketchy on rocks, but a life-saver on the descent.

Peculiar mixture of dry dirt and snow that makes up most of North ridge to the summit

View from the trail on the north ridge

Storms along the divide

Summit of Bear

King of the North!(-ern front range, Longs Peak)

New friend from Missoula abandoning me after we just met... 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2nd Flatiron

Just beginning to get back into the groove of constant running, its been fun to add some climbing/scrambling into the routine as well. It adds tons of vertical while keeping speed at a minimum. Yesterday Dre (from my trip on Pawnee Pass) and I took a break from finals studying to go get some trails in. Apparently he hasn't ran since the Pawnee adventure, but he kept up just fine. We originally planned on doing Bear Peak, but decided on climbing the 2nd instead - less time on the trail meant more time studying later. I'm starting to find a good route up the second flatiron that I can really move on. I want to get my time down around 25 minutes, which seems feasible. The climb isn't hard, but I feel like finding the right route is what makes you go fast rather than just climbing fast. Yesterday's time was 38 minutes up, but we went really casually; with my PR at 33 I'll get the time eventually.

Dre about half-way up
Facial expression looking super intelligent
Dre on the moves to the top
 Distance door to door from apartment was 6.5 miles, pace 19:41 (9ish, excluding the time on the rock), and a gain of 1,700 ft

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Green Mountain

I finally made it up Green Mountain in Boulder today. Hadn't got up there since early July (Used to do Green every weekend). I left home with the thermometer at -2F so I was well layered like an onion. Even still it was really cold most of the time. I took the skunk canyon trail from Broadway-ish up to the mesa trail. First photo pit stop was at a frozen creek crossing:
Frozen Pine Needles (my personal favorite picture)
Frozen Pine Needles
A few sketchy parts with the snow
I had borrowed my friends slip on mini-spikes, but they were for a bigger foot size and for boots, so they kept on falling off and I ended up carrying them half the time. I don't think they could have helped to much in these conditions either, as it was mostly powder. From the Mesa trail, I took Bear Canyon. About halfway up Bear Canyon I went for my first water. I found my camelbak tube completely froze, despite being inside my pack and inside an insulator. The next result of the cold, was eating a gel, I basically had to chew it. I ran for about 10 minutes tightly gripping the tube until it thawed. The going was really slow, partly from the weather, partly from doing 10 miles up Boulder Canyon last night and mostly from me just starting getting back into trail running shape. Thus I was forced into a quite a bit of power hiking. My favorite part about taking Bear Canyon up is that I always feel like when you reach the summit it almost surprises you, it feels like there is going to be more to climb. Views on the summit were pretty cool too:
Panorama looking North from summit (apparently broken on the right side)
Summit scenery
The descent was pretty fun (and stressful in parts). I took the Saddle down (which I have never been on before). Most of the time it was just finding a way to go fast without falling. At a couple points, it was easiest to just sit down and slide on my butt down a steep section. I'll probably choose Greenman next time next time descending in the snow, but I can imagine Gregory canyon being pretty terrible too. Another fun adventure was getting a pebble out of my shoe in the snow, really hard to do without submerging the foot in snow. Final pictures from descent:
Typical section of trial on Saddle-Amphitheater descent
This is a shoe. In fact, its my shoe.
Total: 12.5 miles, pace: 14:00, Elevation: +3,200