8/26, Tuesday - Longs Peak, 15 miles, 5,200', 8:53
Up the Loft (new route for Cordis!) down the Keyhole with my friend Jon. We went quite leisurely, as I was still on haggard legs from Saturday. Surprisingly, the weather was beautiful all morning aside from being a bit chipper up top. Hopefully I can get back up to Longs once or twice before snow flies to work out the kinks in the Loft route, but it was fairly straightforward. The mountain was empty today, we had the summit to ourselves for about 20 minutes and were only seeing people every 30 minutes - unheard of on a popular Front Range Peak. I also brought a box of ~18 donuts up with me and gave them away to people on top and that we passed. Just for funsies.
|The Ship's Prow from the Loft at sunrise|
|Enjoying one of my many donuts up top.|
8/27, Wednesday - Boulder Canyon, 10 miles, 570', 1:05
Almost didn't go, but glad I did. My legs felt surprisingly peppy and I was able to crank out a 7:09 min/mile average (miles: [GPS could find signal for 1st mile], 6:44, 7:29, 8:08, 7:58, 6:17, 7:30, 7:08, 6:15, 6:32). Coming down the canyon in the rain, a double rainbow illuminated a beautiful bridge across the canyon's walls. I almost got a sub-6 mile in sandals too. Maybe its about time to give a crack at that sub 5 mile again...
8/28, Thursday - Creek Path, 7 miles, 200', 0:51
Sat down to do homework and couldn't. Went for a run to clear my head just as the sun was setting. The last 20 minutes were a bit sketchy in the near pitch black barely illuminated by my watch light. Solid speed again today (miles: 7:02, 7:18, 7:29, 7:44, 7:04, 7:46, 7:45), though my legs were certainly feeling the harder effort from yesterday.
8/30, Saturday - Mt. Yale (14,196'), 10 miles, 4,300', 2:45
Cleaning up a peak that would likely have haunted me all winter that I didn't summit last time. Opted for the full minimalist life today with no food, water or pack. Just a wind breaker tied around my waste (thankfully). Made it up in 1:48 going at a reasonably controlled pace. Pretty encouraging to cover that kind of vertical at that altitude at that speed. Went down with purpose but by no means with any serious effort for speed in 55:52. I like this one.
|Top of Yale with Harvard and Columbia behind me.|
8/31, Sunday - Mt. Shavano (14,229'), Tabaguache Pk (14,155'), 12 miles, 7,000', 4:21
What a day. Things started well enough, I thought I was going really slow, but in reality the trail was just stupid steep - I was still getting ~2.4k' per hour. The wind steadily built until I finally got exposure from the West and the constant roar nearly toppled over my svelte frame. I traversed over to the Southeast slope - somewhat out of the wind and made Shavano's summit in 2:01. The quick over and back from Tabaguache (Ta-buh-gwatch?) proved to actually be quite nice with far less wind - took about an hour to Tabaguache and back to Shavano. Finally heading back down I felt pretty tired. After descending about 2000' I decided on a whim to head back a few hundred more feet. On a totally unrelated note, velcro is not a sufficient securement for keeping your iPhone in your pocket. On another unrelated note, I currently am in possession of an iPhone. Now descending - for the last time - I passed some runners heading up who told me Gavin Makenzie and Brandon Stapanowich were on their way up Shavano for their last peak in Nolans 14! After I finally finished, I stuck around at the trailhead to watch them coast in - looking alarmingly well given their undertaking - with none other than Anna Frost! Crazy. Didn't bring a pack today either, but brough a heavier shell, gloves and a hat as well as two gels which I ate on the 1st and 2nd summits of Shavano.
|Top of Tabaguache with Shavano behind me|
|Nolan's 14 finishers cruising into Blank Cabin TH.|
Decent week considering the first few days were recovery from a marathon distance. Felt good doing Saturday & Sunday sans pack, going that light enables a lot of speed. Generally, just feeling good.