Easy jog with Jack around the XC course and along the streets.
4/4, Tuesday - Off
No time to run.
4/5, Wednesday - Off
Same as yesterday.
4/6, Thursday - Mt Pennel - 5 miles, 4100', 2:18
Elliot drove the dirt road until stopped by a fallen tree across the road where we continued upwards on foot. If I was driving we would have stopped a mile sooner -- I hate driving, especially on 4WD roads. Last time I attempted this peak in March, 2015 the road was a postholing nightmare laden with icy crust. So, this time I was determined to not only bag the summit but also avoid the miseries of the standard trail. The southeast ridge looked the most dry and accessible from our position so we trudged up the remarkably steep dirt for a ways. Having started after driving all the way from Boulder daylight wasn't guarenteed so 1,000ft below the summit Elliot turned around while I blitzed up to tag the summit. It was cold and very windy which made sense when the summit marker read 11,371ft. A vast pallete of colors extended into the distance; an expanse of red desert, dark brown canyons and the other isolated peaks of the southern Henry Range. The descent was a bit bumbly and uncoordinated at first -- really, just trying to get warm before I could enjoy anything. Eventually, I eyed a perfect looking gully filled with snow. I was even more delighted to see Elliot's footsteps shoe skiing all the way to the bottom where it met the road. The snow was perfect for glissading and soon I met Elliot back at the car with proper stoke in the dying evening light.
|Views to the South|
|Icy crust for the last ~700ft or so cuts the shins. Tis the season!|
4/7, Friday - Bike: Blue Notch Rd - 35 miles, 4600', 4:56
This was the big one for Elliot, and since he wonderfully and irrationally signed up for the Dirty 30 (his current longest run being 7 miles!) it was time to put him in the pain cave. First up is gaining the "notch" from the highway, a moderate 700ft climb. Elliot encountered some mechanical issues that we sorted out on top then enjoyed net downhill but rolling route through canyons and washes to the waters of Lake Powell. The water looked gross and it wasn't particularly warm so we opted not to take a dip. Now the fun starts: back up to the notch its a 2,000ft climb but the road winds and rolls so you really don't gain a whole lot of vert until the last couple miles. This was tough on Elliot. Tough for me too, though, the final climb had me out of the saddle just to get the wheels to move up the steep incline. Finally we crested back to the notch and enjoyed the final descent to the car.
|Typical section of road.|
|Elliot at Lake Powell|
|Stealtha laying down for a rest just below the notch.|
|Elliot topping out on the homeward bound push!|
4/8, Saturday - Navajo Knobs - 9 miles, 3500', 2:49
For our final day in the desert we found ourselves conveniently proximal to Capitol Reef NP so we checked it out. In retrospect, we should have done Spring Canyon, stashing the bikes at the other end, but oh well. Instead we chose the Navajo Knobs purely as my executive decision as it was the longest and steepest route listed on the park trail map. The trail followed the canyon rim passing a viewpoint for the Hickman Bridge among other views until it topped out at a relative high point. The wind was really slamming up top so we turned right back around. Jogged some of the descent and evaded a light rain storm.
|Capitol Dome (I think?)|
|Views were great.|
|Finishing back to the road.|
After arriving home very late I met Kyle at a belated start for an easy lap of his hill (he is now at 102 or so summits for 2017). I went annoyingly slow up the first as I elected to wear speedcross which are perfect for trail and off trail days but decidedly terrible for scrambling due to their lug pattern. Got a call from Abby at the Saddle Rock junction while descending that she finished 2nd in the Austin Rattler 66k (2nd only to Michele Yates) and is headed to Leadville! Super psyched.
Week Totals (running):
Week Totals (biking):
A descent down-week of mixed activities and a fantastic little trip to the desert with Elliot to bag a couple peaks and enjoy some biking. Excited to get back in gear and running next week!