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.


  1. Nice week, very smart to stick with hiking early in the week. That Chasm View is epic, would love to come up and see that.

    1. Longs is so far and above every mountain I've ever been on (except maybe when I was in the Italian Alps...) in every category. It has everything, easy trails, easy scrambling, insane scrambling, insane climbing, alpine lakes, wildlife and most important of all, vault toilets at several locations! If you like mountains and are in CO, its a given you're going to Longs!