Monday, June 27, 2016

June 13 - June 26

6/13, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:48
Standard RMR.

6/14, Tuesday - 1st Flatiron Tempo + Salomon - 5 miles, 3000', 1:38
Met Kendrick before the group run to hammer out a tempo lap of the 1st. I felt really good on the approach running strong until the final 3 or 4 switchbacks before the rock, just to get my heart rate down a bit. I felt like molasses on the scramble and was more than a bit frusterated to see a roped party right in the thick of the slot shortcut. I hadn't been the other way in months so I lost a bit of time there. I was then surprised/stoked to see my split on the face of 11:09, definitely could have broken 11min had the slot been open. Descended to Chautauqua for a round trip time of 34:32. Salomon group run and gelato afterwards.

6/15, Wednesday - Satan's Slab, Fist, Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2600', 2:01
Skunk Canyon was opened early (it is closed half the year for raptor nesting), so I finally got back in there. Today was supposed to be somewhat relaxed though so I limited myself to Satan's Slab, which was just as thin or thinner than I remember before hiking over to the Fist and then Green.

6/16, Thursday - Longs Peak - 11 miles, 5700', 5:25
The goal was to take Kyle up the Cables route, which we kind of succeeded in doing. We made great time to the base of the route but found the dihedral absolutely soaking and chocked with ice. I climbed up as far as I felt comfortable and tried punching the ice off to avail. We then downclimbed a bit and ascended a smooth slab of granite up to another ledge which traversed right to easier terrain. We ran into Peter on top (him ascending Kieners, saying it was perfect), he was headed down to Cables. He brought a rappel line and we should have just asked to borrow that as you will read. We definitely weren't downclimbing Cables so we thought the NW gully would shortcut the keyhole route well. Unfortunately, this too was full of ice so we humped back over the summit for a long descent of the standard keyhole. Having expected a much shorter day we were pretty beat and elated to finally reach running water in the boulder field.

6/17, Friday - Grays & Torreys - 7 miles, 3600', 2:21
With Jason and Doug. Tempo'ed up to Torreys hoping to break an hour but it wasn't in the cards today, 1:04:59. Waited to regroup on top before tagging Grays and running back down.

A photo posted by Jason Antin (@jasonantin) on

6/18, Saturday - 2nd, 1st, Morning After, Challenger, Takin' Care of Business, Hammerhead, Achean Pronouncement, Primal Rib - 8 miles, 4000', 3:30
Started stupid early to squeeze a bunch in before work which meant it was still basically dark for most of the 1st scramble. After I was heading down from Challenger I randomly decided I could do the chimney of Takin' Care of Business and it ended up going quite smoothly. Getting over to south skunk canyon was a bit heinous but soon enough I was enjoying the crack on Achean Pronouncement. I completely forgot how to downclimb off of that so I ended up doing some horrible zig zag down the west face then bailed halfway up Primal Rib to be able to get some breakfast before work.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/19, Sunday - Longs Pk - 11 miles, 5100', 3:55
Boulder was far too hot run when I finished work so I drove straight to Longs. After getting some good beta I thought Kieners was worth a shot, I could always turn around. Well, I got to Lambs Slide and found the snow to be absolutely perfect, didn't even need rocks for hand traction (I still brought them just in case the snow changed though). Broadway was essentially clear and aside from a couple very wet (basically raining) spots the climb was nice and dry. Descending Cables felt very casual given the last few times its either been in winter with numb hands and crampons or earlier this week with 4 inches of ice on everything. Easy jog back down to the car with several stops to turn around and watch the sunset.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

Week Totals:
55 miles

Good high volume week with quality time up high and at high intensity. I also spent most of the outings hanging out with good friends so that was even better.

6/20, Monday - Longs Pk - 11 miles, 5100', 4:01
After only being home for 9 hours I was back heading for Longs, this time with Kyle for his virgin trip up Kieners. We were able to follow all the steps I had kicked across the snow last night needing zero traction at all. Its always a priviledge to see someone on Broadway for the first time, so special. Cables was even more of a waterfall than yesterday but we got down just fine. This route is also perfect as there is running water every 10 minutes after you make it to Chasm Lake, so with a few snacks in my pocket I hardly need to bring anything!

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/21, Tuesday - Freeway & Salomon Group - 5 miles, 2300', 1:06
Easy 2nd with Kory then the usual group run.

6/22, Wednesday - Shavano, Tabaguache, Antero - 21 miles, 9200', 7:13
Started from Blanks cabin and after a few switchbacks took the east ridge all the way to Shavano's summit. I feel like the trail is probably just as fast here as the jumbled talus sort of messes with my hiking cadence and rhythm. I was on Tabaguache 30 minutes later ready to figure out my descent to Browns Creek. I decided to take a rib of talus which ended up being the most loose pile of rock I've ever been on, I had so many rocks tumble into my ankles I started getting really frusterated! Thankfully, I was able to traverse over to some snow and glissaded to just below treeline. I found a nice line along the marsh then waded through Brown's creek to take a line directly over Mt White's shoulder which contoured into Antero's south ridge. From Antero I ran east along a ridge then descended another miserable pile of talus until I found a very long stretch of snow which was fantastic for glissading. The trail down to the Colorado trail was great but I didn't quite realize how much running I had left to get back to the car, all with no calories or water.
On top of Tabaguache looking at Antero in the distance.
6/23, Thursday - South & North Arapaho - 6 miles, 3600', 2:16
Kyle and I wanted to Audubon to Navajo but we both had almost no cash and were $4 short of the $10 needed to get to the trailhead. After learning that the nearest ATM was in Nederland it just made more sense to go do the Arapaho traverse. I hadn't been on the fun 3rd class traverse in a while and it may have been the better choice as the clouds situation suggested we'd probably have had to bail off the traverse anyways.

6/24, Friday - Longs Peak - 11 miles, 5100', 4:10
Up Kieners, down Cables with Kyle and Logan. Hadn't seen Logan in far too long (sometime early last fall), so I was stoked to show him up Kieners for his first time. We went quite casually for a slightly longer round trip time, but the weather was nice and we able to watch Tony and Jed work their way up the Diamond from various vantages on Kieners. Cables was less of cascading waterfall than it was, but there is still a few snow crossings on the upper north face.
If you look really, really close you can see Tony on the Diamond
6/25, Saturday - Longs Peak - 9 miles, 5000', 3:07
Up and down Cables in the evening with Jack, who hadn't ever been on anything remotely technical or above 8,000ft in about 2 months. Not including a few stops for pictures I think we were under 3 hours, an especially good time for a first time up high in months!
Still a good glissade below the North Face
6/26, Sunday - Creek Path - 5 miles, 0:36
Long way to the grocery store.

Week Totals:
70 miles

Sunday, June 12, 2016

May 30 - June 12

5/30, Monday - AM: Climbing || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:33
Easy climbing with Jack and his brothers on Treasure Wall in the morning to avoid Bolder Boulder congestion. Green in the evening with a tiny (6 maybe) RMR group, we made great time though!

5/31, Tuesday - AM: Jamestown Peaks Duathlon - Bike: 30 miles, 3600', 2:08; Run: 8 miles, 2800', 2:09 || PM: Salomon Run - 4 miles, 1700', 0:43
Biked up to Jamestown which (un)fortunately includes Lee Hill with the Lefthand construction so I got two doses of that beast. There are three ranked peaks just north of Jamestown, Bald Mountain, Porphyry Mountain and Golden Age Mountain. None have trails and a few have a bit of private property to skirt around. Fun little outing in the hills. Salomon group run to Royal Arch in the evening.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/1, Wednesday - Off
It may have been national running day but I was beat from yesterday so I rested.

6/2, Thursday - Tomato Rock, Regency, Royal Arch, 5th Flatiron, Fist, Green Mtn - 6 miles, 3200', 1:57
Quick-ish lap on a linkup that I should probably frequent more often. In the case where I go from the 5th to the Fist it would probably make more sense to do use the "hole" descent rather than the south side ledge.

6/3, Friday - 1st Flatiron, Chase the Sun, 1st Pinnacle, Slot - 4 miles, 2100', 1:17
Out late last night so I just got out for an easy scramble with Kyle in the evening. Met him at the base of the 1st before running through the list. I hadn't been down into the Amphitheater in ages and had only ascended the 1st Pinnacle by its Southeast Face once so it was fun to get up that once more. After downclimbing the west bench dihedral I was feeling good so I went for the Slot which I had only once ascended (and had to use climbing shoes). This time I felt very comfortable though still had to suss things out quite a bit for the exit move from the slot to the face. The whole Amphitheater has really great routes I should do more often, a lot more honest climbing too.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/4, Saturday - Golden Gate Canyon - 14 miles, 2100', 4:43
Managed to get completely lost on the approach to the aid station we were volunteering at (luckily we left several hours early) so we ended up taking a rather large tour hike around the park. Then I was running up the hill to grab bottles from runners, bombing down the hill to get ahead of them, then filling up their bottles so they wouldn't have to wait around for that. So that gave me about eighty 8ft hill repeats before hiking back out (on the correct course).

6/5, Sunday - Free For All, Butterfly/Fandango, Red Slab, T-Zero, 1st Pinnacle, Slot - 5 miles, 3100', 3:37
Fairly tired from being on my feet all yesterday so I took it pretty easy effort-wise. Started with practice lap of Free For All then randomly decided I needed to check out Butterfly. I'm not sure if I ended up on the correct route (may have been on Yellow Brick Road), but I started at the base of the 1st and stemmed along the Witch's Cabin boulder until I hiked up a bit of dirt to a large slab which I climbed up into a series of strenuous roofs. There were several places where had I had a rope to catch a fall I would have made very fun moves but alas, without that safety net I limited the risk taking and took generally safe lines. Rather than rejoining the Direct route I branched farther over again and climbed the Fandango dihedral which was pretty fun. For a second lap of the 1st I worked on Red Slab before descending to the Amphitheater. There I went through a counter clockwise circuit ending with the Slot. My hands were sweaty at this point I could barely lock them into the jams to pull out of the chimney, certainly a tough route for me which is at the limit of what I'll solo.

Week Totals:
10 unicorns
4 goblins
0 wizards

6/6, Monday - Longs Peak - 12 miles, 5100', 5:56
A proper day of alpine scrambling! Kyle and I made good time to the Keyhole where we donned crampons to ascend the class 2/3 ramp to the False Keyhole and join the sort of technical Keyhole Ridge. The ramp up was all snow so we used crampons and axes. After we finished the ramp Kyle said he wanted to dry off his shoes, I informed him then that it was futile and he could expect to be climbing on wet rock for the next hour or so. We managed our way up to the first tower finishing with some precarious sloping ledges and a vertical flake with enormous exposure. The second tower didn't seem quite as hard but the exposure was consistently huge. The final notch to gain the last piece of ridge to the summit proved to be the biggest time-suck, we ended up downclimbing almost all the way to the Northwest Gully. We finally gained the summit in about 3:30 elapsed and I decided on the Loft as our descent route. variable snow conditions from dry to icy crust to soft led us to Clark's Arrow before glissading some 800ft down to Chasm Lake, probably the highlight of the day. Ran most of the way back down at a good clip -- setting the bar high for good times in the alpine already this summer!
Kyle working his way up early on.
We weren't sure this part was "on-route" but it provided the most exciting move of the day: a layback to mantle with only smears for feet!
Big exposure but easier moves on the second tower. The Dove snowfield lurks a few hundred feet under Kyle's heels!
6/7, Tuesday - Freeway + Salomon Group Run - 6 miles, 2100', 1:23
Went for a quick lap up and down Freeway and ended up PR-ing by a good margin on the round trip (27:41 car-to-car). Salomon group run afterwards.

6/8, Wednesday - Bike: Brainard Lake - 52 miles, 6400', 4:03
Wanted to duathlon my way up Queens Way to Apache peak but I arrived far to late to be climbing up warm and soft snow. I tried to salvage things by heading to Mt Audubon but the approach was solid with about 3ft of snow, so I just turned back around. I was feeling dreadfully tired most of the time so I stopped in Ward for a cheap espresso and a couple cookies before coasting back to Boulder.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/9, Thursday - Kelso Mtn, Torreys Pk, Grays Pk - 9 miles, 4800', 3:34
Parked at the decrepit old cabin  with Kyle and Barkley'ed up some obscenely steep terrain (2,000ft in a mile), of which half was postholing in the trees. The ridge from Kelso Mtn to the saddle had some painful ice crust but thankfully the final couple hundred feet of 3rd class downhill was dry enough to enjoy. Kelso Ridge was in way better shape than I thought, which is good because I only brought poles. Tagged Grays and decided the ridge over to McClellan/Edwards/Ganley looked too snowy to enjoy so we dropped back down and postholed back to the car.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

6/10, Friday - Tomato Rock, Regency, Royal Arch, 5th, Fist, Green. T-Zero, 1st Pinnacle - 7 miles, 2900', 2:40
Kendrick had been fixin' to get up a couple new scrambles lately so today I aimed to take him up the Fist. Of course, getting to the Fist is an arduous enough task so we made sure to take the line of most excitement beforehand. Our first detour was to Tomato Rock when I learned he had never done it. Made it through the Regency and passed Nick on the arch. As expected, the downclimb off the Fist took a bit longer than usual as Kendrick had never seen the thin crimps before. Tagged Green (as bushwhacking back down would probably take longer than up and over), and descended to the Amphitheater to tag T-Zero and the First Pinnacle.

6/11, Saturday - Grays Pk & Torreys Pk - 8 miles, 3800', 2:29
Guy and I were meeting friends to camp in Leadville and figured a sunset ascent was in order. I felt great on the ascent and PR'ed big on the climb up Kelso Ridge. I jogged back down to Guy and we made our way over to Grays to enjoy a truly unbelievable sunset. Pushed the descent just enough to not need to turn on my headlamp.

A photo posted by Guy Love (@glovevt) on

A photo posted by Guy Love (@glovevt) on

6/12, Sunday - South Massive & Mt Massive - 14 miles, 4900', 4:10
Started with a big group that eventually broke up to some running on the Colorado Trail and myself, Clare and Guy heading up to Massive. I managed to find myself a good distance in front of the pack so I pushed ahead to tag South Massive. Jogged back down to regroup then finished to the top together.
Guy and Clare heading back down the ridge.

Ah, the summer alpine, can't beat it...