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

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