Week in Review: May 19-25
Monday, May 19th
AM—10 Miles—1:46—2,600’—Green Mountain
Up Gregory/Ranger and down Bear Canyon. I started off towards the Gregory TH at a decent pace and continued that about halfway up the canyon before my left shin started feeling weird. So I fell into a hike the rest of the way to the summit. My shin started feeling better near the summit, which led me to pick up the pace a bit on the descent. After coasting down the technical stretch back to the Ranger trail junction I started moving a little quicker—running around 6:30-7:15 pace for all of GreenBear and the upper stretches of Bear Canyon. Then it was just ~three miles of the Mesa Trail before calling it a morning.
PM—Climbing at BRC
Tuesday, May 20th
AM—Climbing at BRC
PM—22 Miles—4:16—4,600’—Fowler, Eldo, Walker Ranch, Green Mountain, Mesa
David and I decided to head out for a 20-25 mile run today that included mostly runnable terrain. He wasn’t feeling too great on the climbs and I wasn’t feeling too great on the descents. We parked at the Fowler TH and began our warmup run into Eldorado Canyon before digging into the climb up-and-over to the Walker Ranch trail. From there we took the short side of the loop to the TH, crossed over to the Meyers Gulch trails, pounded out a mile of pavement, and got on Green Mountain’s west ridge to the summit. It was a pretty hot day out, which didn’t mesh too well with our limited supplies of water (one bottle each). After a not-slow-but-not-fast descent of Bear Canyon we just had a few miles of the Mesa Trail to grind out. These miles sucked. My footwork was pretty off from being dehydrated so I just tiptoed along trying not to fall. On the last few miles of dirt road leading to the south Mesa TH I started busting out some ~6:40 pace in an effort to get back to some water quicker. Of course, I snagged a toe and took a good fall. Fortunately, I’m used to that by now and it didn’t really do any damage other than a bloody knee. With less than a mile to go from the TH we plodded along the paved road drunkenly. After downing some water we met up with Aubrey, David’s wife, and their kids to cheer them on in a 5k along Boulder Res.
Wednesday, May 21st
AM—2 Miles—0:20—200’—Dowdy Draw
Easy shakeout run. Legs felt crappy and I was still dehydrated.
PM1—2 Miles—1:07—1,200’—2nd Flatiron Hike
With a tornado watch in effect and rain on the way I decided to shimmy up the 2nd and try to beat the rain. I wore my climbing pants in an effort to resist any temptation I might have to run up the approach. About 30 feet up the route is the crux—a bulge in the rock that took me about 5-10 minutes to figure out how to negotiate in my traction-less 110’s. After that I just cruised up to the walk-off point and trotted back down just in time to avoid being soaked.
PM2—Climbing at BRC
Thursday, May 22nd
AM—12 Miles—3:25—4,200’—Bear Peak and Green Mountain
My legs weren’t really in the mood for much running. So I took off down the Mesa Trail and veered onto Fern Canyon for some power hiking. Pretty slow day.
PM1—6 Miles—0:54—100’—Bike Paths
My left Achilles was a bit sore. So I got out for an easy run to try to loosen things up a bit.
PM2—Climbing at BRC
Friday, May 23rd
AM—7 Miles—1:36—2,500’—Anemone and Mount Sanitas
My legs felt pretty awful this morning. I hiked most of the way up Anemone before turning around and plodding down on shaky quads. For some reason I decided to head over to Sanitas anyways. I made the summit in about 21 minutes with my legs starting to feel better every step of the way. My footwork was spot on for the descent, but I still kept the effort in check. About halfway down I stopped to chat with Darcy and Matt Hart for 5 minutes or so. Shortly after that I passed Peter Bakwin and Buzz on their way up.
Saturday, May 24th
AM—15 Miles—1:50—300’—Bike Paths
A mellow 15 miles along the bike paths and South Boulder Creek from BRC. Kept the pace between 7:00 and 7:30.
Sunday, May 25th
AM—22 Miles—4:39—6,250’—South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain
A nice, fun day bagging all of the local peaks minus Sanitas. I started at Ebin G Fine, ran up to Panorama Point and down to Chautauqua, cruised the length of the Mesa Trail to the south TH, and turned around to start tagging peaks. By the time I hit the steep, technical portions of Shadow I already had about 11 miles on my legs, but they were still feeling pretty good. I pretty much power hiked the entire way up South Boulder. The scamper over to the summit of Bear took about 14 minutes to cover. From Bear I trotted along towards Green Mountain, which I eventually reached in 50 minutes. I lingered on the summit of Green for longer than anticipated to down a gel and chat with Terry Miller (I met him while running Greys and Torreys a while back). Some fatigue started to sink in on my way down Green towards Flagstaff. So, I just took this descent pretty casually and even fell into a power hike up the Ute Trail to Flagstaff. When I reach the Taco at Ebin G Fine I stopped for some water and a couple of bananas while debating whether or not to go tag Sanitas. I’m not the biggest fan of Sanitas (especially with weekend crowds) so I decided to go grab a beer instead.
Time— 19 hours 57 minutes
Elevation Gain— 21,950 feet
Week in Review: May 12-18
Monday, May 12th
AM—5 Miles—0:50—300’—Boulder Creek Path
I decided on a much-needed easy day on the Creek Path. Once the pavement ended the easy run turned into a snowy semi-slog that required more effort than I was really hoping to put out this morning. I knew there was no chance of me getting out for an evening run after finishing this morning’s run.
PM—Climbing at BRC with David
David and I both decided to flail about on the walls for an hour or so. He wasn’t feeling so well after coming off a cold. I just suck at climbing. Fun, regardless.
Tuesday, May 13th
AM—10 Miles—1:17—200’—Bike Paths
A moderate morning run to loosen my legs up a bit before climbing. I was running around mid-7’s for the first five miles before my stomach went to hell and I had to carefully walk to a Johnny-on-the-Spot I saw about a half mile away. So mile six was about 12 minutes. Then I started hitting mid-6 minute pace for the last four miles. Passed TK doing one of his weekly faster turnover creek path runs.
AM—Climbing at BRC
A few hours of climbing immediately after my run on the creek path.
Wednesday, May 14th
AM—10 Miles—2:54—2,700’—Green Mountain
Crappy snow conditions and crappy feeling legs made for a longer than anticipated morning. I hiked from about a half mile below the Bear Canyon-Green Bear junction all the way to the summit. The last steep stairs were all iced over. Ran into Stacey on my way down and chatted for 5-10 minutes. I was a bit glad when I got back to the Taco after this “run”…
PM—5 Miles—0:35—100’—Boulder Running Company Group Run (Bike Paths)
Pearle Vision called to tell me my new contacts and glasses were available. So I picked them up and stopped next door at BRC (the running place, not the climbing place) to talk to a few friends. I was lured into the group run with promises of beer and pizza. My legs still had plenty of energy since I really didn’t do anything difficult on my outing this morning. When we took off I trotted around near the front of the pack waiting for one of the roadies to lead the way since I had no idea where the hell we were running. Finally, the typical roady looking guy who was warming up for 30 minutes prior to the group run and still had a triathlon number Sharpied on his calf bolted out ahead of everyone. I stayed close to him until we reached the Goose Creek pathway (I had no idea how to get there otherwise) and then fell back into a relaxed effort—around 6:30 minutes/mile. I maintained this pace pretty much throughout. With about a mile to go along sidewalks I fell back to ~7:45 pace for a bit of a cool down. I might make this run a weekly thing. It’s sort of fun chasing down a bunch of roadies.
Thursday, May 15th
AM—Climbing at BRC
I didn’t really feel like running first thing this morning. So I hit the climbing gym at 6:30 and spent two hours flailing around on the walls.
AM—13 Miles—2:09—2,600’—Mesa Trail
There were quite a few muddy/slippery stretches of trail this morning. So I decided to push the uphills and relax on the downhills. The first two miles or so after turning around at the South Mesa trailhead are always a fun little climb.
Friday, May 16th
AM—9 Miles—2:07—2,700’—Flagstaff (x2)
My legs were tired. So I mostly hiked up Flagstaff from Chautauqua and then descended the Rangeview, Tenderfoot, and Chapman trails before retracing my steps back to Chautauqua. Pretty blah day.
AM—Climbing at BRC
A fast-and-furious 30 minutes before heading up canyon to help my buddy do a little work.
Saturday, May 17th
AM—4 Miles—0:35—100’—Bike Paths
I got to the climbing gym about an hour too early. So, I headed out for an easy jog. Sweet inversion layer this morning that granted me great views of the Green and Bear summits.
AM—Climbing at BRC
Pretty solid 2.5 hours with minimal rest. I did quite a bit of 5.8’s and 5.9’s with tired arms and downclimbed every 5.8 route. Starting to feel like I can put in longer efforts at the gym. I still only have a few 5.10’s in me during each session before I lose all grip strength.
PM—4 Miles—1:00—1,650’—Mount Sanitas
My cousin came to town for a visit on his way back home from college. So I decided to give him a tough introduction to trail running in Boulder. Pretty mellow effort for me—easy up and mainly a walk down until reaching the Valley trail.
Sunday, May 18th
AM—Climbing at BRC for 3.5 hours
Hit the climbing gym with my cousin for a few hours before getting in some easy running/hiking.
PM1—2.5 Miles—0:31—800’—Green Mountain
I took my cousin up to the West Ridge trailhead on Flagstaff Road to show him the view I get from the summit of Green Mountain several times a week. Easy effort up to the last ~quarter-mile of steep stairs and then I picked up the pace to the summit. Mellow pace back down.
PM2—3.5 Miles—1:26—1,500’—Flatirons Access Trails Hike/Jog
Easy hiking up and even easier running back down. We went up to the top of the 1st. I hit some sub-5 minute pace on the road section back to Chautauqua.
Time— 13 hours 30 minutes
Elevation Gain— 12,650 feet
Monday, May 5th
AM—4.5 Miles—0:40—300’—Creek Path
Mellow run on the Creek Path to see how everything felt after my fall yesterday. Predictably, my face and shoulder both felt like they got hit really hard by a rock. My shoulder also kept feeling like it was popping out of place when I tried swinging my left arm while running. I also had some slight pain in my left knee, which I busted up pretty good in the fall.
PM—4 Miles—0:56—1,600’—Mount Sanitas
I started off with an easy run up-and-over Red Rocks from Settlers Park and continued up Sanitas with the same effort. I topped out in ~22 minutes or so, spent about 15 minutes on the summit, and then closed the loop by descending Sanitas Valley. I walked most of the descent until the valley trail. I didn’t really feel like taking another digger until my shoulder had healed from the previous one.
Tuesday, May 6th
AM—10 Miles—2:14—2,600’—Green Mountain
From Chautauqua, I ascended via Gregory Canyon/Greenman and descended via Bear Canyon. Shortly after the washed out bridge on Gregory I fell into power hike mode. I mostly hiked all the way to the summit with a few short stretches of running: the flat section at the top of Gregory, lower Greenman, the flat stretch of upper Greenman, and the last few switchbacks to the summit. I took the descent even easier; starting off with a slow plod down to the Green-Bear trail junction. When I hit the lower sections of Bear Canyon that follow the rocky creek bed I decided to just walk. I’ve decided to take my runs easy until I get some new contact lenses since I’ve been wearing five-year old glasses the past week or so…
PM—4.5 Miles—0:33—300’—Creek Path
A nice, moderate effort along the creek going up Boulder Canyon.
Wednesday, May 7th
AM—13 Miles—4:25—5,000’—Torreys Peak (14,267’) and Grays Peak (14,270’)
Peter and I had been talking about getting out in the mountains this week. We decided to seize this morning’s weather window before an afternoon storm rolled in. I met Peter and Tara in Golden around 5:30am and we headed off towards Bakerville. We began running from the winter trailhead right off I-70 and I could immediately tell that my legs were lacking energy. I struggled keeping up as we trotted up the three mile stretch of snow-covered road. We reached the summer trailhead in about 0:48. From here up to the summit of Torreys was all hiking. Peter would pull ahead considerably, stop and wait for me, I’d catch up, and we’d repeat. We decided to take the shortcut route to the saddle and hit Torreys first so that we could just come straight down the face of Grays for our descent. Almost immediately after getting on the shortcut we stopped to put on Microspikes since the snow was pretty frozen over and neither of us really felt like taking a 1,000’ slide down the snow slope. From the saddle it was a 600’ slog up to Torreys’ summit that kicked my ass every step of the way. I finally topped out in 2:43. The near-perfect weather allowed us to linger on the summit for a while before heading back down to the saddle for another 600’ slog to the summit of Grays. The altitude really started taking its toll on me during this short ascent; I started feeling dizzy and had to stop fairly often to rest along the way. I hit the summit of Grays in 3:12. Again, the amazing weather permitted us to lounge around on the summit and scheme up bigger routes for the summer. When we finally began our descent we followed a few switchbacks down to a large, continuous snowfield that provided a fun glissading opportunity. Glissading is probably my favorite part about ascending high peaks during this time of year. The snow was beginning to soften up a bit in the willows. Luckily, it stayed firm enough for us to run down without postholing. We hammered out the last three miles from the summer trailhead back to the highway to finish in 4:25. I would guess that Peter would have been somewhere closer to 4:00 without waiting on me. He’s been running G&T every week for 38 weeks. So, he’s got both fitness and acclimation on his side. This was my first time above 11k feet since October, which made this a bit of a sufferfest for me. Couldn’t have been a better day for a sufferfest, though.
Thursday, May 8th
AM—4.5 Miles—0:42—300’—Creek Path
After getting down from Grays and Torreys yesterday I began to feel pretty crappy. Around 5pm I had a pounding headache and felt on the verge of death. I pounded water like crazy in hopes that it was just dehydration and fatigue from my first day up high in a while. I fell asleep around 8pm and woke up around 5am feeling remarkably better. So I went out for an easy jog on the Creek Path this morning. The cool, crisp morning reminded me of heading out early up a 14er in the summer months.
PM—4 Miles—0:45—1,100’—Flatirons Access Trails and Mallory Cave
Legs felt sluggish. So I stayed low and just ran an easy loop of the access trails with the addition of a Mallory Cave loop.
Friday, May 9th
AM—8.5 Miles—1:47—2,650’—Green Mountain
From Chautauqua, up Bear Canyon and down NE Ridge/Frontside. I ran up Bear Canyon at a moderate effort on tired legs. From the summit I began down Greenman before veering onto the NE Ridge route for a mostly offtrail/social trail descent. Sometimes I think I can descend faster off trail than on some of the technical trails in the Boulder area…
PM—5 Miles—2:03—2,500’—2nd Flatiron and Green Mountain
I was supposed to run with JV and George this afternoon, but those plans fell through with Jeff coming down with an illness. So I decided to get out for my first bit of scrambling since falling and hurting my shoulder. Given the afternoon flood of tourists I decided to just hike most of the way up to the base of the 2nd. From there, I began a super slow ascent. My shoes were covered in mud from the lower sections and even after clearing off never really seemed to offer the usual purchase. The entire way up they seemed to be slipping a bit, as if they were a little wet. So I just took my time. After walking off I continued a power hike up to the summit of Green. I took the descent pretty easy until I reached the top of Gregory Canyon. My footwork seemed to be “on” so I picked up the pace on the more technical stretches of Gregory and never missed a step. It’s fun when everything is in perfect rhythm on technical descents.
Saturday, May 10th
AM—8 Miles—2:18—2,650’—Green Mountain
Legs felt like hell today. My original plan was a backside loop, but I ruled that out after power hiking about 75% of the way up the middle route of Green. I descended via the West Ridge, Long Canyon, and Gregory Canyon—walking most of the way. My legs started feeling decent in Gregory Canyon, which led me to picking up the pace a bit. In one of the more technical areas I slightly tweaked my right ankle and decided to walk it on in. Definitely not the day I had in mind, but thankful that I didn’t really hurt my ankle that bad.
Sunday, May 11th
AM—6 Miles—2:36—2,550’—Green Mountain
The mid-May snowstorm that was hammering Boulder gave me the perfect opportunity to take an easy day today. I ran from Chautauqua to the Gregory lot before falling into the slogging pace that I continued up the front side all the way to the summit. I decided to take the middle route back down. I was first tracks from Chautauqua to the summit and back down to the Ranger/Greenman trail junction before seeing Tony’s tracks heading up. My “waterproof” gloves were soaking wet; making for miserably cold hands. If my hands are cold then everything is cold. When I finally got back to Chautauqua I went directly to the bathrooms and used the hand dryers for about 10 minutes to bring some life back into my iced fingers.
Time— 19 hours 05 minutes
Elevation Gain— 21,550 feet
Week in Review: April 28-May4
Monday, April 28th
PM—2 Miles—0:19—500’—Flatirons Access Trails
After driving through horrendous wind in Kansas all day I needed to get out for a run. Predictably, my legs felt like hell. So, I just did a nice and easy two-mile loop around the access trails. Beautiful night in Boulder!
Tuesday, April 29th
AM—9 Miles—3:10—2,950’—2nd Flatiron and Green Mountain
In preparation for the summer I decided to get out on the 2nd Flatiron and test out my scrambling skills that haven’t been used in almost seven months. Of course, I had zero confidence in anything I did. I played around for about 1.5 hours on the 2nd—upclimbing here, downclimbing there, traversing, and what-not. I was basically just trying to get a feel for the rock after so long away. Once I finally topped out I made my way over to the summit of Green and descended Bear Canyon.
PM—3 Miles—1:55—1,200’—2nd Flatiron Hike
David and I decided to get out on the 2nd again this evening. It was his first time in the Flatirons. We just made our way up without ever really being on the Freeway route until the last pitch or two. Come to think of it, I’ve never actually ascended the Freeway route because I have no idea where the hell it really is…
Wednesday, April 30th
AM—5 Miles—2:55—2,850’—Green Mountain Bushwhack
I made my way to the base of the 2nd and spent about an hour scrambling around the lower ~50 feet or so to practice downclimbing. I eventually made my way up between the 2nd and 3rd and enjoyed a little boulder field action as I neared the top of the 2nd. From there I continued up Green via the NE Ridge. I ended up taking a slow-going bushwhack route down that eventually joined with the Gregory Canyon creek bed. I followed the creek until I eventually ended up on the lower stretch of Saddlerock—hopefully that trail was actually open…
Thursday, May 1st
AM—6 Miles—3:24—2,700’—Bear Peak Bushwhack
Gerber and I decided to get out for a hike/bushwhack up the east face of Bear Peak. This was a fun little route that had some decent segments of bushwhacking, some really low-angle slabby scrambling, a little boulder hopping, and some shitty, loose scree’ish sections. This was a great route for a little solitude. We slowly made our way down Fern Canyon, which was surprisingly rockier than I remember. It’s always fun to explore familiar territory in new ways and to have good company along for the ride.
Friday, May 2nd
AM—17.5 Miles—4:11—6,000’—Flagstaff, Green, Bear, South Boulder, Bear, Green, Flagstaff
My quads were still considerably sore this morning. So, I’m not really sure why I decided on this route. Regardless, I felt great on the climbs, but my legs were a little shaky on the descents. So, I ran the ascents at a good pace and coasted on the downhill stuff. With the exception of getting a little thirsty on my way up Green for the second time I never bonked or had any low patches. I hit my turnaround point, South Boulder, at 2:15 from Ebin G Fine Park. I ran into Neeraj on the summit of Green and chatted for a bit before we both made our way down towards the old four-way. He headed off towards Bear and I headed towards Flagstaff. Fun day of running!
Saturday, May 3rd
AM—8 Miles—2:39—2,650’—2nd Flatiron and Green Mountain
I was doing my usual choose-your-own-adventure route up the 2nd when I noticed a guy above me and to the left a little. I made some comment about having no idea where the Freeway route actually is and he invited me to follow him up it. After chatting for a bit I found out that his name is Shawn Mitchell and his car-to-car PR on the 2nd is around 36 minutes. Damn. He was great conversation all the way up and even took a photo of me doing the leap of faith. After topping out I made my way over to Green and descended Bear Canyon.
PM—2 Miles—1:10—1,200’—2nd Flatiron
Easy scramble up the 2nd in the mid-afternoon heat. There were so many hikers on the trail that I walked most of the way up. I spent about 10-15 minutes poking around the lower section trying to figure out how to get over the bulge in the first 30 feet or so. Finally, I just headed up along the right-hand side and veered left to join the Freeway ramp. From there I cruised up pretty quick, but stopped along the way to talk to some other scramblers. I took the descent at an easy paced run.
Sunday, May 4th
AM—3 Miles—0:47—500’—Mesa Trail
I intended to hit Bear via Fern and then head over to Green with a descent of Gregory Canyon. However, about 1.5 miles into the run I snagged my right foot on a rock, tripped, busted open my left knee, nailed my left shoulder on a rock pretty hard, busted my eye on another rock, and ripped open my right palm. I sat on the ground for a few minutes, shaken by the blow to my head. I finally got up and started walking back towards Chautauqua. When I hit the half-mile of road that leads down to the ranger cottage I started jogging again. The worst part about falls like that is treating all of the wounds…
Time— 20 hours 34 minutes
Elevation Gain— 20,550 feet