Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 24 - August 30

8/24, Monday - AM: Campus Loop - 4 miles, 0:32, 200' - PM: 4th Flatiron + Green Mtn - 5 miles, 2600', 1:30
Easy loop around campus in the morning. Instead of the usual Green, Logan showed me his weird route up the 4th that puts you in this leg-splits chimney on the 3rd piece. It looks freaky at first (especially when you're me and have little experience with chimneys), but when you step in its pretty easy and secure. We made a quick tag of Green and just missed catching back up to the group with my extensive knowledge of shortcuts.

8/25, Tuesday - Flagstaff Intervals - 12 miles, 1600', 1:36
Good hard workout with Guy, 6 x 3min with 1min rest up the road; just trying to get faster! Longest true run in a while had me feeling my calves a lot on the way home, but everything else seemed to be in good shape for this foreign movement.

8/26, Wednesday - Tomato Rock, T-Zero, The Slot, Juniper Crack - 4 miles, 1000', 2:00
My legs felt pretty tired today so I today a recovery triathlon of biking, run-hiking and climbing. I started off with Tomato Rock, a peculiar sphere of boulder tucked away in the trees. I found some finger pockets on the south side that I felt really comfortable. I went up and down it a few times to memorize the sequence. Next was T-Zero which felt ridiculously easy on the second round. Next was The Slot which is an off-width 5.6 chimney. It took a little bit for me to figure out each sequence, specifically entering and exiting the chimney. Last I ascended the entirety of the First Pinnacle via the East Bench dihedral, then stepped across onto the south face and traversed into the 5.6 Juniper Crack. This was one felt way easier than the slot, but was much more exposed.
The Slot chimney.
8/27, Thursday - Marshall Mesa - 15 miles, 900', 1:53
This run ended up being very fun, despite me not being too excited for it as it is long and generally flat. Jack and I woke up early and started off at a good clip for the first miles. At about 4 miles in we saw a rattlesnake! It was lurking in the grass and I would not have seen it had it not been pointed out to me. I'd never seen one before but I was ever vigilant for the remainder of the run. At about 6 miles I began feeling pretty good and rolled on a downhill and kept an up tempo pace for the remainder of the loop with Jack coming in a few minutes after me. This was cool because I never beat Jack on something pure running, but since he has taken so much time off from his ankle woes he wasn't in prime fitness. Average pace was 7:27, so I think that was PR half-marathon (1:38) for me; I'll take it. Stiff calves walking around campus again today.

8/28, Friday - Off

8/29, Longs Peak Triathlon - Bike: 84 miles, 8500', 6:09 (Part 1 | Part 2) - Run/Climb: 12 miles, 5300', 5:11
I am so happy to finish this! I had wanted to do it last year, but I also wanted it to count as a triathlon of biking, running and climbing so I had postponed until I learned a technical route (though the true triathlon is climbing the - gulp - Diamond). Today I chose Kieners which meant I would non-chalantly be riding my bike out of Boulder with an ice-axe at 3:30AM. The ride passed peacefully though not without effort in the dark. I find I feel neither past nor future in the dark, its like it doesn't even happen. Of course that changes when you hop off the bike and you have to waddle your sore cycling bum up a snowfield. The ice was worse than last week to the point where I don't think I'll take the route again until May or June. Upper Kieners dragged on a while especially when I tried skirting around a roped party to the South and ended up looking up a (later confirmed) pitch of 5.7 in the Notch, I had to downclimb back to the roped party then go around. I was hearing rockfall all over the Diamond and Loft (Bill Wright abandoned climbing the face entirely, it was apparently so bad!); thankfully there was only one other party on Kieners and they were moving slow enough that I doubt they could generate the momentum to move a rock. The summit was a mob, but I needed a short break so I chatted a bit.Cables was surprisingly dry-ish so I dispatched it with ease then jogged the trail in.. I was completely sure that the ride home would be the hardest part, and it didn't disappoint. There are several rolling hills to surmount before descending South St Vrain, and then the innumerable hills back to Boulder are always quite soul-crushing. I ran out of water and calories about 17 miles from home, and I had already been over-rationing the few I had brought. Times for this are measured from the "gentlemen's club" on the edge of town since it has the final traffic light before open road, so I suffered through the mounds then after passing my checkpoint bought a Dr. Pepper at the first gas station I could find, chugged it and finished off the last 5 miles feeling a lot better.
A long way from home and only a waterbottle of Tailwind left!
8/30, Sunday - Bike - 16 miles, 500', 1:21
Met mama for a ride around before ending at her place for some breakfast!

Week Totals:
54 miles running /  119 miles biking
12,700' running / 11,900' biking
14:07 running / 7:49 biking

So many activities! Road running, trail running, hiking, bouldering, rock climbing, snow climbing and road biking. These are the weeks I should work towards, I had good quality throughout the week, took rest days very easy and put in a good long effort on the weekend. That's what will work best with classes too.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 17 - August 23

8/17, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:15
The usual RMR shenanigans, always a good time.

8/18, Tuesday - Longs Pk (14,255') - 13 miles, 5300', 5:03
Up Kieners, down Cables with Kendrick. We made decent time up the forested trails and found an efficient way up the gully on glacier rib. Lambs Slide had a good 8 feet or so of solid ice to tip-toe around on some exposed rocks before engaging a very hard snowfield to Broadway -- axes mandatory, spikes did the trick but crampons would have been ideal. Cables was complete verglas, which made things a bit more interesting, I felt fine having done it in ice before but Kendrick found it a little tougher having not been on the route in a few years and now having to on-sight downclimb it. Nice and easy descent.
I found an exposed and sneaky step across to "Table Ledge", which tapers off to zero-width as it bisects the Diamond. This is the final ledge which the Casual route and Pervertical Sanctuary end on. Allegedly, the climbing above this ledge is all 5.11 and up to overcome those sinister roofs! Photo: Kendrick
8/19, Wednesday - AM: Flatiron Quinfecta, Takin' Care of Business, Challenger, Green Mtn, T-Zero - 9 miles, 5800', 3:51 - PM: 3rd Flatiron - 3 miles, 1700', 1:20
2-1-3-5-4, pushing just a smidge given the nice cool weather. I topped out on the 4th in 2:30 so I'm quite confident sub-3hrs would not be too hard for me on a Quinfecta. Next I spent a good while wriggling up the chimney on Green Mountain Pinnacle, "Takin' Care of Business" is a "Top 10 Classic", but I wasn't overly thrilled with it. After Challenger I hoofed up to Green and chatted with Justin a bit and happily consumed a couple twizzler chunks from him. I jogged easy down to the Amphitheater and after having to step down on my first try, sent the short but physical 5.6 hand crack of T-Zero. My friend Guy soloed this last week and his experience soloing in the flatirons is significantly less than mine, so I couldn't let him have this short but classic route over me! Went on an easy night scramble of the 3rd with Jason and Jeff, the downclimb took a bit more time in the dark, so I was on my own for the jog down since they zipped down on rappel.

8/20, Thursday - Grays (14,270') & Torreys (14,267') - 7 miles, 3600', 2:03
Nice cruise with Gociety folks. I started off running at a good clip but made a point to maintain a relaxed pace and keep my heartrate pretty low. I could definitely feel the last few big days in my legs.
Enjoying the only 20ft of good rock on Kelso Ridge. That haze is smoke all the way from Washington! Photo: Jason
Top of Torreys with Doug (who hammered the ascent!).  Photo: Jason
8/21, Friday - 5 x 1st Flatiron - 6 miles, 4600', 2:53
Five laps on the rock with a moderate effort each lap. I wanted to stay under 20min for each lap and split 18:58, 16:32, 16:52, 18:41 and 18:17. I also broke 2 minutes on the downclimb twice during this which is hugely encouraging. I kept a couple bottles of Tailwind stashed at the base to have some sips between each lap.

8/22, Saturday - 2nd Flatiron - 3 miles, 1400', 0:55
Took today easy by doing an easy lap on the Freeway with Kory and Joe. We finished with me showing Joe the route up the West Face of the 2nd and then briefly crossing paths with Timothy Olson!

8/23, Sunday - Flatiron Quinfecta - 6 miles, 4700', 2:33
Well, I went for it all today but came up short. Bill Briggs (who still has tons of records all over the greater Boulder area that have held for decades) set the FKT on the Quinfecta at 2:16:08 in 2001. He did ascend the order of 1-2-3-5-4; I go 2-1-3-5-4 so we should be on the 3rd around the same time, Briggs was at 0:52, I was at 1:00. I made up time time on the 5th, despite I route finding blunder which I believe added a couple minutes. The 4th is what shut me down, I ascended the entirety of the 4th Flatironette by mistake and had downclimb off of a notch to get onto the lower piece of the 4th. Granted, I didn't start from the true base, but it seems fair enough since the 100' I missed on the 4th is just as technical as 4th Flatironette. I worked steadily up the face, eventually passing a couple scrambling legends Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin near the summit. I snuck around Peter and Buzz -- clearly, seeing my exertion -- graciously let me pass. I topped out and laid seige to the dirt, deadfall and talus down to the trail. I blitzed down the Royal Arch trail trying at least to sneak under 2:30 with the FKT well out of reach. Even at ~5:20min/mi pace down Bluebell I couldn't quite come in under the mark though. Still, I was quite pleased with the outing, I PR'ed on Free For All (11:41), the 5th (7:53), the 1st downclimb (1:37) and the 3rd downclimb (5:48). I'll be trying this one again!

Week Totals:
53 miles

And so ends the greatest summer of my life. What a fantastic summer vacation it was, so many great experiences. I accomplished maybe one fourth of what I planned on and the rest just sort of happened. The best part was that compared to last summer I was able to share so many fun days in the mountains with some great friends which really makes the experience several times more special. School starts tomorrow and it will likely necessitate a shift from sheer volume to some more quality (30,000ft/week sounds pretty hard to hit during school). I'd like to start doing some interval training to really get prepared for some flatirons FKTs, hopefully I can snag a few before Anton is healed and puts them completely out of reach!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 10 - August 16

8/10, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:09
I spent most of the previous night paging through the IPW guidebook and messing around with Caltopo routes, so I was running on 5.5 hours of sleep and 3 days of Longs. Surprisingly I felt phenomenal the whole time. I was able to stay on or just in front of Smith, though I'm certain he wasn't having to work nearly as hard as I was. This dude ran Pikes Peak 50 mile (leading from start to finish, of course), Four Pass (28mi, 8000') and a 29mi/6600' Boulder skyline all last week; beware UTMB!

8/11, Tuesday - Off
Felt like it.

8/12, Wednesday - 2nd Flatiron FKT - 4 miles, 1800', 1:18
Just by chance the morning RMR run was meeting at Chautauqua so Jack and I bumped up our already early meeting from 6 to 5:45AM and joined them on the initial jog before we broke off for the 2nd. I wanted to see what sort of time I could go on just the route of Freeway, I was hoping for something around 7:30. I split the watch and marched up for the 108th time, this is nice since I can keep my head down and stay on the fastest line without looking or thinking much. I usually take a glance down at my watch at the jump and saw 5:30, way faster than I thought I would be. Gave just enough gas to firmly sneak under Stefan's FKT of 6:50 at 6:33 before collapsing on top while Jack came up in 7:15ish. We were able to join right back with RMR as the route tops out on the trail they were on, so we finished off with a few extra miles for fun with them.
Jack, Peter, Kea Dog, Me, Doug, Seth, Tim, Dude visiting from Iowa behind the 1st. Photo by Silke.
From the new apartment I met Jack on the creek path where we ran another easy mile into the canyon before starting the first of ten intervals of 90 seconds on, 60 seconds off. The first 3 were much easier in the canyon, then the last 7 climbing up the back of Flagstaff Mtn on Chapman Drive were good n' rough. Cruised back to my old apartment to do some cleaning and ride my bike over.

Woke up ungodly early at 2:45 and met Smith, Alberto and Jack to tag some peaks before Ryan and Alberto had work and Jack and I had to go back to sleep. Despite the rough hour it was pretty cool to see the sunrise at 13k'. Didn't really push much and had a great time.
Couldn't resist a fun little ledge scramble on the East Face of Paiute, or Jack's dad called it "Death Mountain". Photo: Ryan Smith
Silohuettes of Alberto, Jack and myself on top of Audubon with the cities of the front range just behind. Photo: Ryan Smith

Probably the highlight of the summer thus far. Jack and I had considered the Mohling Traverese, but after reading Peter Bakwin's TR where he used the sentence "The entire cliff-band felt like it would peel off at any moment" to describe one particularly daunting section I found a slightly longer but less death-defyingly technical route. We got an early start and hammered up and over Pawnee Pass from Brainard Lake then cut south to Crater Lake. The views of Lone Eagle were immaculate, especially from the perspective at Mirror Lake. We lost quite a bit of time leaving the trail too late to the northeast gully. Dodging Achonee Tower, I took a 5.4 variation on the northeast face to the summit of Mt Achonee, while Jack took a 4th class ledge system to the saddle without summiting. This was one of the best technical scrambles I've done, wild exposure, thrilling position and steadfast rock. The traverse to Hopi was the easiest section by far. Getting to Iroquois from there was a bit interesting, but never seemed to cliff out. Iroquois  was a pleasure to stand atop and marked our exit from the Lone Eagle cirque. The terrain from Iroquois over Mt George to Apache Pk was hellish to say the least. At this point my memory is a bit hazy as we were pretty beat, but there were 3 or 4 significant notches that were reasonably tricky. The south ridge of Apache could potentially be a glorious climb, however it felt like 5.7/8 and I was completely unwillingly to pull through the crux. Its a beautiful ridge though. Instead I went around to the south while Jack downclimbed some truly heinous overhang thing on the north face (I don't really know, he said it was crazy). We reconvened on a sub-summit of Apache (I unknowingly side traversed around the true summit) and just barely willed ourselves to not butt slide down the glacier where (some meager amount of) food and water awaited in the car. Heading up Navajo we were both extremely tired, certain we both felt better at the finale of our respective 50 milers. Nevertheless, we took an exciting 5.4/5 route up the north face and collapsed for a brief moment, finished with the day's peaks. Thankfully we had a fun descent (aside from the 2.5 miles of flat crowded trail) which included a perfectly scree filled gully which had an old airplane crash's wreckage scattered throughout. Then we were able to glissade down the San Isabelle glacier to where it became a soft waterfall, where we each drank a few bottles since being on a ridge for the last 5 hours had prevented any water collection. The stats in no way reflect how truly difficult this was for me. On paper it looks much easier so I had taken one handheld bottle of tailwind (100cal), another bag of tailwind (100cal) and one gel (100cal), Strava estimates I burned 3600 calories which I would guess is an underestimate given it fails to incorporate technicality (and I'm assuming) elevation into its estimates. Definitely one of the toughest and best days of my life, and gets me thinking...Pfiffner Traverse?

Splits (from Long Lake TH):
Pawnee-Pass/Lake-Isabelle Junction -- 0:22:44
Pawnee-Pass -- 1:02:00
Crater-Lake/Cascade-Creek Junction -- 1:47:28
Left Crater Lake -- 2:23:07
Achonee Tower Saddle -- 3:18:24
Achonee -- 3:42:41
Hopi -- 4:10:35
Iroquois -- 4:54:30
George --5:25:30
What my deranged mind thought was Apache -- 6:20:47
Navajo -- 6:47:08
Lake Isabelle -- 7:48:37
Long Lake TH -- 8:28:56
Mirror Lake is a popular camping spot for this hard to believe view of Lone Eagle. The people here would be the last we would see (aside from the ominous Search & Rescue helicopter circling around us, looking for some other guy) for the next several hours.
From where we left Crater Lake out of the photo to the right to Achonee. The ridge between "Hopi" and "Iroquois" can be seen on the skyline, that was one of the easier sections, to give some perspective.
8/16, Sunday - Off

Week Totals:
50 miles

Not as a high a volume week as I have been recently, but a lot higher in terms of quality, and well, 2 days off will take down the volume quite a bit. The FKT up the 2nd Flatiron and Saturday's ridge run were both really satisfying objectives. One more week till classes, so I need to make it good!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 3 - August 9

8/3, Monday - AM: Longs Peak - 12 miles, 5500', 4:07 - PM: Flatiron Trifecta - 4 miles, 2600', 2:30
I woke up feeling almost reluctant to head up, but I knew I would be happy once I was up there and I was right about that. I felt so-so but split a reasonable time to treeline and headed up to the Loft. I definitely didn't descend to Clark's Arrow (the correct gully) and ended up in some loosey goosey dirt chute. It wasn't so bad as much as it was frustratingly slow, meaning my sub 2hr summit goal was out the window. On the fly while I was heading up Keplinger's Couloir I decided to ascend all the way up to the Notch and traversed on some tricky flakes and boulders around to the upper southeast face. In retrospect I think I could have just downclimbed into the Notch from the Loft (allegedly called "The Beaver"), next time. From there I spied a little knobby crack system  (which I later found out was "Staircase", 5.5) which put me a few easy moves beneath the summit. Took the Cables down and jogged it home. In the evening I did an easy hike and scramble up the 1st, down the 2nd and up the 3rd instead of the typical Green run. Beautiful evening.
Jack topping out on the 3rd in a fresh pair of Nikes for his first time up.
8/4, Tuesday - Off
Helped Jack move then promptly fell back asleep at 10 until mid-afternoon. Ankle felt a little sore since I'm still building up strength and yesterday was reasonably big so rather than fight mid-day heat I took the day off.

8/5, Wednesday - Flatiron Trifecta - 4 miles, 3200', 2:25
2-1-3, met up with Logan and his friend Brendan at the base of the third for their first time up. Easy pace. The one piece of excitement came when I was hiking around the back of the 3rd when a flying object exploded some 10 to 20 feet from me. A few curses followed the detonation which also conveyed that the object was an iPhone which had plummeted 200ft into solid rock. BOOM! Ah, so sad but oh so funny. Ankle felt really good on the descent.

8/6, Thursday - Freeway, Zig-Zag, Direct
With Jack, we started up the Freeway at a good pace and apparently never let up, clocking out at 8:58 (Jack at ~8:45). We planned on tackling Atalanta next but my continued route blunders on the south side of the First took us up Zig-Zag instead. I had much better rubber on my shoes so I was okay pulling around the 5.7 flake traverse while Jack downclimbed back to dirt. I ran back down and after a little rest hit the Direct route. Man, tempoing these things hurts, its the class 3 stuff roughly halfway up that I dread as you just about have to run it. I gave myself 5 seconds at the arete to re-oxygenate just a tiny bit, then sprinted along the ridge to finish in 11:07, a PR by 1:55! It was a good effort but I don't feel like I'm as fit as I could be for this; I have the base but I need to start doing some tempo and interval work to get outright speed.
Pouring it on up the Arete. Photo: Jack
8/7, Friday - Longs Peak - 13 miles, 5500', 5:19
Woah! I don't think anyone can discover Kieners route and not be at least a bit intrigued. Today I had the privilege of being lead by Justin on one of the most classic route on the peak. From Chasm Lake we took glacier rib up, making a few wrong turns and climbing a 5.6-5.7 buttress. After navigating some loose stuff I pulled out my tent stakes and timidly ventured onto Lambs Slide kicking steps across using the stakes as hand traction. The entrance to Broadway was pretty easy to identify, even without being told. The Broadway ledge is glorious, but is far less freaky than pictures can make it seem. The rest of the route was cruiser with some fun 5.4 stuff in there and tons of options for refining a faster line. Speaking of speed it took us an stupid 4 hours from the car (admittedly parked way down the road) to the summit, double the usual as of late; this route needs serious refining. Uneventfully descended Cables to close out an awesome day.
The route goes up the left of the snow/ice/glacier before crossing it and taking the faintly visible ledge (starting from the dark rock) until you can engage the unseen rock behind and left of the Diamond.
The Broadway Ledge!
I'm usually not one to have his stomach turn from exposure, but upon peering over the edge the confidence in my ability to stand without falling immediately came into question. At the top of  the Diamond (see first pic for view from bottom). Photo: Justin
8/8, Saturday - Longs Peak - 13 miles, 5600', 4:42
Not tired of it. Was moving well and hitting every line perfect until I got to the Lambs Slide crossing where I found the outer edges of each side solid ice with a 3 inch layer of very soft snow. Thus, tent stakes and kick steps would not work. Instead I headed up and around and downclimbed to the entrance of Broadway which took a full a hour of time. Dumb. Romped up the remaining route feeling good and continued almost straight onto the North Face/Cables. Given the conditions of this thing I stopped and bought an axe on the way home, probably past due for one anyways.
A little cloud inversion to the west from the summit. I was conveniently well sheltered from some whipping winds by staying generally on the East face.
8/9, Sunday - Longs Peak - 13 miles, 5500', 7:19
Kieners-Cables, again, again. Relatively easy day with Rush. He's been dealing with some serious over-training-syndrome effects so we hiked all the way to Chasm Lake. My line on the rib wasn't as efficient as yesterday, but with the security of my newly purchased ice axe, the crossing of Lambs was infinitely more secure which also meant 55 minutes faster than yesterday. I had a fun time fitting the axe onto my AK race vest, but with some extra rope I managed to rig a tight and bounce-free pack. Given his health, Rush had scarcely trained over the past several weeks, which also meant his acclimatization to altitude was nonexistent. We slowed to a crawl on Upper Kieners, step. step breathe sort of day. Met a ranger on top who had just made his 122nd summit of Longs (and his only 14er, oddly). After a quick break from the extra exertion and heart rate required for the Cables downclimb we jog-walked it down to Estes for some burritos and much needed oxygen.
Rush taking in the views on Broadway.
Week Totals:
64 miles
31,000 feet

Obviously, a week nearly entirely dedicated to Longs and more specifically Kieners. I think the biggest allure of this route for me is that it can be a quick summit route. Sure, its not Cables fast, but its far more complex, technical and outright fun. Within the general route of Kieners there exists a huge margin for variation. For instance, would it be faster to take Lambs Slide all the way up instead of scrambling alongside on Glacier Rib, which poses its own difficulties? Is the Diamond Step or the Stepladder or the Staircase route the most efficient? What about in different conditions, would one way be safer, drier or faster? There is whole host of nuances which make this route much more fun than something like the Keyhole, where there are stupid painted bull's eyes for you to follow every 15 feet. I feel like this is how the mountains are supposed to be experienced. Not to mention, the wandering about is far more environmentally friendly since you're on rock or snow the entire time, as opposed to the fragile tundra which covers many other landmark mountains. I also thought it would be good to take full advantage of this time before classes start up in a couple weeks and I'm more confined to the more immediate Boulder area.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 27 - August 2

7/27, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:53
First day back on the ankle. It felt fragile yet reasonably strong; just need to be focused on my footing. I hiked the whole ascent and went unbelievably slow on the downhill, staying cautious and babying the biking battered quads.

7/28, Tuesday - 2nd Flatiron, 1st Flatiron, Green Mtn - 6 miles, 3300', 1:58
I felt fantastic today, even though I still was hiking everything I felt very fluid on the slabs. Beautiful evening too, really couldn't have imagined a better evening.

7/29, Wednesday - 2nd Flatiron, 1st Flatiron, Chase the Sun - 3 miles, 2400', 2:04
Still hiking. I started way to late in the day and the rock was scorching hot. The 5.6 crux sequence on the 2nd was particularly sweaty which made me stop for second to get it lined up perfect. The 1st was also an inferno, so I resigned to a vaguely more sheltered and short scramble of Chase the Sun before heading home.

7/30, Thursday - Longs Peak (14,255') - 12 miles, 5000', 4:20
Started fairly late for Longs (7:30ish) with Logan and powered up to Granite Pass before toning down on the boulder hop up to the North Face/Cables route start. I hadn't been up this line before, but its listed at 5.4 -- well, when its dry. Today it was soaking wet with verglas coating seemingly every good foothold. Anyways, you basically foot/hand-jam until you can't, then you stem over to the other side of the dihedral. We royaling bungled the 3rd/4th section above the technical bit on both the remaining ascent and subsequent descent. Logan ended up downclimbing a handcrack to the ascender's left of Cables which put him pretty close to the edge of the Diamond. We spent a good while at the Chasm view watching brave souls on the East Face before jogging the descent pretty casually. In terms of going for speed on this mountain, this route is the fastest, I'll be trying to dial this route for a faster timer for sure

Enjoying the warm and cloudless weather with all of the technical difficulties completed.
Enjoying some of the plentiful air around me at Chasm View. What place.
7/31, Friday - Longs Peak (14,255') - 11 miles, 5000', 3:35
Looking to dial in the route a bit better I headed up to Longs again this morning. The forested miles went easily, maybe a touch faster than yesterday. I didn't take Mt. Lady Washington's shoulder, which I think added a couple minutes in getting to Chasm View. I marched right through the 5.4 section almost without pause and trended a bit farther from the Diamond's edge and found the cairned class 2/3 route Logan and I would have sold our souls to find yesterday. I figured I could put a good dent in my ascent time from yesterday so I pushed just enough to sneak in under 2 hours, which I did in 1:53:34 (TH to summit marker). This left only 3 minutes to descend to the parking lot and snag the FKT, so I chatted a bit on the summit. "Where is your water?" No. "Where is your rope?" No. Always the same questions. I found my back down casually and had to stop at the Boulder Field to remove my ankle wrap which had densely folded itself beneath the outer bone of my foot. Ow. I continued on extra slowly since I wasn't much caring about RT time and the last thing I needed was to recklessly re-sprain my ankle.
Looking down the Cables route. At this position I had to go around to the right of this photo a touch before engaging the wet looking parallel cracks in the second tier of slabs down. From what I hear its always wet, so footjams and cracks are favorable over the usual crimps and friction I'm used to on Flatirons.
8/1, Saturday - AM: Flatiron Quinfecta - 7 miles, 5000', 4:53 - PM: Second Flatiron - 1400'
Well, the 3rd opens August 1st (after being closed since Feb 1 for raptor nesting), so I figured to make a full day on the slabs. I like the order 2-1-3-5-4, just since the downclimbs linking trails work very well for this sequence. I split 20 minutes for both the 2nd and 1st, then excitedly hopped down the talus field to the base of the 3rd. I could easily feel all the work I've done my technical skills over the last months, when I nonchalantly breezed over the 5.3-5.4 final pitch without pause; the downclimb felt unnaturally easy. Really, after the past two days on Cables, I was happy to just have dry rock! For the 5th I decided to check out the much longer Northeast Face. I think I was too far North as I pulled a few 5.5/6 moves for the 5.2 rating Roach gives it. I went for the South downclimb again -- and failed, staying too far South on much harder rock. At this point the bonk was in full effect and the prospect of the massive 4th was disheartening. Before I could give in, I started up the face. The finaly piece was quite miserable, stopping every 10 or so steps to recover. It was calories and water (neither of which I had) I needed though so these breaks did little to appease my system. Hoping to expedite my acquisition of water I opted out of bopping over Green which meant suffering through the disgusting gully to Sentinel Pass, in retrospect I should have just gone over Green, having a trail would have been much faster. I spent almost 2 hours from the top of the 5th to Chat, which should be like an hour! Thankfully, I arbitrarily drove to Chautauqua (for the first time since January, unless I was getting groceries afterwards) so I was united with food and hydration shortly after finishing. Easy jaunt up the Freeway with some friends in the evening.
Seeing the altitude vs. time graph shows pretty obviously the effect of the bonk starting on the 5th (4th bump).
8/2, Sunday - Betasso Preserve - 7 miles, 1500', 1:10
Fun run with my friend Kevin is in town from Indiana. Betasso is such an under appreciated run.

Week Totals:
55 miles
1 day (or precisely, 24:00:02!)

Started off with some easy days, then packed most of the weeks volume into Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I'm still hoping to get someone to lead me up Kieners before school, if only to just be on the Broadway ledge. Fun stuff.