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!

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