Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 7 - September 20

9/7, Monday - 1st Flatiron - 3 miles, 1400', 2:00
Scrambled the 1st with Rush and his friend from Chicago. Walking everything, 40 minute scramble, super easy. Definitely recovery mode.

9/8, Tuesday - Off

9/9, Wednesday - Off

9/10, Thursday - Anemone Ridge & Mt Sanitas - 11 miles, 2200', 1:37
With RMR, we first tackled the newly opened Anemone Ridge which was super fun, before zipping (past a bear, no less) up the backside of Sanitas. Three scoops of gelato for dinner afterwards. Great idea, but limiting myself to two is likely more sensible.

9/11, Friday - Climbing
Well, the streak of never using a rope is over. Jack took me up Boulder Canyon for some sport climbing. I first top roped a 5.8, Edges and Ledges, then lead a 5.9, Brand New Bosch. Awesome to climb something where falling is actually possible but death isn't. My mind still isn't quite all back from the sleep deprivation yet so I stupidly forgot my rock shoes and was wearing Jack's one size too small shoes. As a result, my toes were squeezed lifeless and on my last rappel down I was wincing with each bump into the rock.

9/12, Saturday - Flatiron Quinfecta, 5th Flatiron, 4th Flatiron - 7 miles, 6200', 3:58
Ugh. Set out to do the Double Quinfecta but made the mistake of bringing no water despite the hot temps. I made it through the trifecta in my usual hour, then my experimental line from the 3rd to the Royal Arch trail was a bust. I hopped on the Northeast Buttress on the 5th for a change and found it to be an amazing route with a couple super thin 5.5/6 sections in the typical 5.who-cares slab. I then found a way better downclimb off the south side of the 5th that shaves off several minutes, the 5th turned out to be the one highlight of the day. After finishing the 4th I had already eaten both the gels I brought and was feeling pretty dehydrated. Lap 2 on the 5th I perfected the line, but my split was nearly 14min (versus 9min on lap one). Things really started unraveling with a bunch of hip cramps and more slow movement on the 4th with a nearly 30min scramble. I started heading up to the 3rd but I was fading pretty badly and expecting a pretty miserable time for the last 3, so I called it and jogged back down. Still a good day on paper, just not what I was hoping for.

9/13 Sunday - Campus Loop
Slept through my alarm then found out I'll be doing a little scramble shindig on Wednesday so rather then battle the heat (again) I did an easy loop around campus.

Week Totals:
24 miles

9/14, Monday - AM: 3rd Flatiron Tour - 5 miles, 2800', 2:21 - PM: Green Mtn + Dome Rappel - 6 miles, 2500', 1:30
In the morning I met Kendrick and Stuart for some scrambling, we did the 3rd Flatironette, then walked back down to the true bottom of the 3rd (standard start is 200' higher at the East Bench), then scrambled up to the "U" before I cut over and checked out the North side. Its more fun (difficult) but the rock is sort of crumbly and with the 50ft drop a few feet away I won't frequent it. RMR Green in the evening, followed by a quick session in Boulder Canyon learning how to rappel, just in case that skill comes in handy over the next few days.

9/15, Tuesday - Off
Boy, its hard getting into the groove of running and school again, super inconsistent.

9/16, Wednesday - Tour de Flatirons, Stage 1 (Freeway, 1st Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron) - 4 miles, 2600', 1:15
Eh, not sure how I felt about my performance, but it was pretty cool to compete against some guys I really look up to. My first mistake was running with Anton and Matthias way too hard to the 2nd (not like I kept up too well anyways), had I gone even 30 seconds slower here I think I could have held a much better pace later in the course. The big mishap was having my rope super tangled coming down the 3rd, which wasted 10 minutes and dropped me two places. I finished 7th.
Beginning the rappel of the 3rd. Photo: Eric Lee
Working my way up the face of the 3rd Flatiron, trying to hold onto my 5th place position.
9/17, Thursday - AM: Bike: 16 miles, 300', 0:50 - PM: Mt Sanitas - 9 miles, 1500', 1:20
Quick ride to pick up a circuit component for lab in the morning. RMR Sanitas in the evening.

9/18, Friday - Bike: Flagstaff Mtn - 14 miles, 2400', 1:07
I had biked Flag before, but never as just a standalone road bike ride, but its really fun! You gain a ton of elevation pretty quickly and are rewarded with some great views. Maybe the best part is not having to throw yourself down the mountain, but instead coasting down in the cool breeze without smashing your joints on rocks. Nice change of pace.

9/19, Saturday - Little-Bear Pk (14,037'), Blanca Pk (14,345'), Ellingwood Pt (14,042') - 15 miles, 6700', 5:24
Jack and I made the long haul across the near longitudinal length of the state and made it up to 8800' in his jeep. Lake Como Rd is one of the worst roads in America (like actually, its a thing). A more accurate description than "road" would be "Class 2 trail cars can drive on". We leisurely began at 7:30AM and hike/jogged the loose rubble road up to Lake Como, its not only a technical road its also steep. The standard route of Little Bear is the most dangerous standard route on a Colorado 14er due to rockfall. So instead we took the NW Face, a more technical route, but being mostly 3rd/4th and maybe one or two 5.easy moves it was the obvious choice (especially without helmets). The face turned out to be great fun on its own. We quickly darted out and back on the ridge to tag Little Bear before embarking on the greatest ridge run I can imagine. All of the rock was solid, and it mostly alternated between short 3rd/4th class and extended sections of 2ft (or less!) wide ridge that you could run across. The greatest. Blanca would be the high point of the day, and the views back to Little Bear with the backdrop of the San Luis Valley were near perfect. Last we dropped down and up to Ellingwood Point, our final summit. We descended a talus gully directly off the summit and made our way to the standard trail to Lake Como. Jack didn't want to re-re-re-re-sprain his ankle (its a vicious cycle), so I took the road much quicker slaloming between boulders and baby-heads to stay on dirt for a fun descent back to the heat of the valley. Might be the most fun route I've ever done, its a quintessential mountain run!
Jack standing high above the San Luis Valley, with the traverse from Little Bear dominating the view.
Charging to the first peak of the day, Little Bear, with the next two Blanca (right) and Ellingwood (left) 
Standing on the summit of Blanca looking back to Little Bear. Not sure why I'm frowning, I was loving it! Photo: Jack
9/20, Sunday - Tomato Rock, Hammerhead, Royal Arch, 5th Flatiron, Stairway to Heaven, Primal Rib, Achean Pronouncement, Satan's Slab, Fist, Green Mtn - 10 miles, 5600', 5:34
I finally tried scrambling with a pack and water. I hate to abandon UD (a local Boulder company), but the Salomon packs are on a whole other level in terms of comfort and utility. With a liter of water (in soft flasks, rather than bottles another great purchase) I jogged up to Tomato Rock and quickly mounted the 5.8 sphere. I followed a well defined trail up to the Hammerhead for Yodeling Moves then zipped over to the Royal Arch. The west face of the arch is rated 5.6, but it felt very easy -- I would be comfortable downclimbing it. Next was the south side of 5th, I hugged the far edge and found the climbing much more fun than my slightly less south route I've taken before. I shwacked over and then proceeded to downclimb (like a bumbling idiot) Stairway to Heaven. Being a virgin to the depths of Skunk Canyon it took me a bit to navigate the flood debris and hop on the razor sharp ridge of Primal Rib which uneventfully passed. I descended down in front of Achean Pronouncement to scout my downclimb then jogged all the way to the bottom. The first couple moves are 5.7, but it gradually eases in difficulty until the end is 4th class. Downclimbing was easy since I didn't finish to the 5.6 pinnacle. There were 2 groups on Satan's Slab (I've never seen anyone in Skunk Canyon before), but they were taking the 5.8 direct route. The bottom of the slab is so insanely polished it makes the 1st look quite featured. I eventually found a very thin fault in the rock which angled back left across the face directly to the 5.8 roof, then took a 5.5/6 slab route around the roof and romped up the slab. There were several bulges and notches that felt between 5.5 and 5.7, its a sustained route! I picked up a faint trail which lead me to the south edge of the Fist and followed ledges and fist cracks to the summit. The downclimb off the back isn't particularly hard but the holds are extremely thin, so it takes quite awhile to identify the route, especially on-site. Out of water, I finished up to Green and took a relaxed jaunt completely on trail back down.
The Norther Slabs of Skunk Canyon, From left, Mohling Arete, Angel's Way, Satan's Slab, Stairway to Heaven, Hillbilly Rock.
Looking back up the super crimpy downclimb off the Fist. Keep in mind this is at about 70 degrees!
Week Totals (Run):
48 miles

Week Totals (Bike):
48 miles

Now there is a week of training I can be happy about. Even more, throw in a math test -- which I believe -- I did great on, and its an even better week.

No comments:

Post a Comment