High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week in Review: August 19-25—Lacking Motivation

Monday, August 19th
OFF—After waking up pretty late with slightly sore legs and a little fatigue I decided to take an off day and do laundry. Laundry was much needed and it felt nice to take a REAL shower and put on CLEAN clothes afterward…

Tuesday, August 20th
OFF—Ben talked me into crashing another night at his place in Ridgway. So I figured if one rest day is good then two must be better (at least in moderation). 

Wednesday, August 21st
AM—11 Miles—2:39—3,400’—San Luis Peak (14,014’)
I wasn’t really feeling too motivated to get on this mountain today. Eventually, I headed out and fell into a power hike in no time. When I reached the three mile stretch on the Colorado Trail my legs finally decided to wake up and I cruised up to the summit effortlessly. I had some weird lightheaded feelings for the first thousand feet or so of descent, but they subsided as I got closer to the CT. I just coasted back to the Taco to put an end to a pretty blah day. The six total miles of runnable terrain on the CT was by far the highlight of the day. 

Thursday, August 22nd
AM—10 Miles—3:44—5,400’—Mount Shavano (14,229’), Tabeguache Peak (14,155’), Mount Shavano
Still unmotivated. I rolled out of bed for another late (8am) start up the mountains. The ascent of Shavano seemed to take everything I had just to top out in 1:44.At the summit I glanced down the mile of ridgeline that separated me from Tabeguache and felt a nice little burst of energy. I never ran any of the traverse, but had a definite pep in my step. The two-mile roundtrip traverse from Shavano to Tabeguache and back took about 55 minutes. Without lingering on my second summit of Shavano I dove into the descent at a casual pace taking about 1:04 to get back to the Taco in 3:44 roundtrip.  Although my legs felt like crap most of the day, I was pretty pleased with this time considering that when I did Shavano by itself on July 15th it was a 3:37 roundtrip time. It’s nice what an additional month of acclimation and fitness can do. 

Friday, August 23rd
AM—17 Miles—4:51—5,850’—Mount Massive Attack
I was pretty surprised that I was able to start at 6:30 this morning considering my week-long difficulties with getting out of bed. I still had motivational issues, but was able to shrug them off and hit the trail at a reasonable time. The trail up Mount Massive is pleasantly runnable to well above treeline. Just before reaching the saddle between South Massive and Mount Massive I veered off trail for a direct route up to the summit of the sub-14er South Massive. From there I headed northwest along the ridgeline tagging the summit of Mount Massive as well as the remaining sub-14ers: Massive Green, North Massive, and Point 14, 169 (Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness HP). Tagging the five points above 14k feet was basically a casual meander on talus with the notable exception being the much-welcomed short sections of 3rd/4th class terrain I used to top North Massive. After hitting the summits I made my way back towards Mount Massive (where I chatted with a few stoners) to rejoin the main trail and begin my descent. I was pleased with how runnable trail was above treeline. Almost immediately upon hitting treeline the trail becomes cruiser singletrack back to the trailhead. So I did just that—I cruised back to the trailhead.
Summits of the day:
“South Massive” (14,132’)
Mount Massive (14,421’)
“Massive Green” (14,300’)
“North Massive” (14,340’)
“Point 14,169/Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness HP” (14,169’)

Saturday, August 24th
AM—11 Miles—3:15—5,600’—Mount of the Holy Cross (14,005’)
Absolutely zero motivation to get out of bed this morning. I finally started moving with a bit of purpose around 7:45am and hit the trail shortly after 8am. Once I started moving my legs and mind both embraced the run and worked fairly well. I topped out on Half Moon Pass around 25 minutes, descended a thousand feet into the creek bed, then began the true ascent of Holy Cross. I basically put my down and charged up the mountain while trying to ignore all of the hikers and the two most popular questions of the day: “Where’s your water?” and “Training for something?”…Near the final summit pitch I just took a direct route and scrambled the boulders to reach the top in 1:45. Near the beginning of the descent I lost footing on a slabby rock and slid down a few feet before catching my left foot on the edge of a rock below to come to a stop. I felt a “pop” in my foot near the base of my big toe and just sort of shrugged it off as my joint popping. I took the rest of the descent pretty easy and got back to the Taco in 3:15. My foot hurt pretty bad the rest of the day.

Sunday, August 25th
AM—OFF—Preparing for my Nolan’s pacing duties tonight. I’m almost certain my foot is broken from yesterday’s slip on Holy Cross, but I told Ben I would join him through some night sections. I’m not about to let him down…So, I’m just going to pad my foot as much as possible and man-up to do my small part in helping out with this huge undertaking.
PM—OFF—Ben was running 3-4 hours behind coming into Clohesy Lake. So my pacing duties didn’t begin until after midnight. I tried to sleep a little, but it just wasn’t in the cards. 

Time—14 hours 31 minutes
Elevation Gain—20,250 feet

This ended up being a little unplanned recovery week—one that I likely really needed after two of the last three weeks being 30+ hour weeks. My legs were also a little sluggish after a big day in the Chicago Basin last Sunday. So, two days of R&R at Ben’s house in Ridgway were a little taste of heaven. 

Even after resting, motivation seemed to be my biggest struggle of the week with massive effort being needed just to get my ass out of bed…

My outings this week were used to finish off the last few 14ers I had remaining in the San Juans and Sawatch, which I did. Now, the only 14ers I have remaining in my summer project are the entire Elks and Sangres ranges. The current plan is to head out to the Elks tomorrow and have them completed by Sunday. Then I’ll spend a few days to a week in the Front Range playing around the Flatirons (Longs Peak too, maybe?) and getting some rest before venturing south to the Sangres, which should take 5-7 days to complete. I plan to be done with all of the Colorado 14ers by the second week of September. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to sneak in a trip to the Grand Tetons afterwards? Then I suppose I should stick a few days of tapering in there for The Bear on the27th                                              
Completion of the Sawatch Range 14ers has me feeling pretty excited to get back up high again in the Elks Range. This range will no doubt provide the stimulating technical terrain that I’ve come to love along with plenty of rotten rock. On Wednesday I’ll see if my first day out in the Elks is enough to restore some of that missing motivation. 

R&R in Ridgway

Summit of San Luis. My last San Juan 14er.

On the summit of San Luis

I got down from San Luis just as the afternoon storms were starting to build up

Plenty of sweet mining ruins on the drive from Creede to the trailhead for San Luis

Vegan dirtbag dining

Antero (I think) from the summit of Tabeguache

Low hanging clouds on the way up Massive

First glimpse of Holy Cross after getting over Half Moon Pass

Summit of Holy Cross in the distance

Fish Hatchery at 5am for the start for Ben's Nolan's 14 attempt

Sunrise over Leadville

Sunrise on Massive

Clear Creek Res. Waiting for my ride into Clohesy Lake to begin my nighttime pacing duties.

Sweet double rainbow at Clear Creek Res

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