High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Too Busy Playing to Update This Old Blog—November 3rd to December 7th

Well, this is probably a new record for me—almost two months since I last updated this blog. I’ve still been getting out and doing something almost every day, but I haven’t been running as much due to persistent pain in my left knee. So, I’ve been climbing and scrambling considerably more than usual. Since the first week of November I’ve been climbing at BRC about five days per week and have been scrambling in the Flatirons almost as much. I’ll get the past two+ months of photos up here, eventually…

Week in Review: December 1-7
Monday, December 1st

Tuesday, December 2nd  
PM—5 Miles—2:32—2,700’—South Boulder Peak   
After driving back from Missouri all day I went straight to Stuart’s place in Eldorado Springs for an easy trip up-and-down South Boulder Peak. I always have to do something after driving all day to stretch the legs out.

Wednesday, December 3rd  
AM—3 Miles—1:47—1,600’—1st Spyronêtte
A slow, sunrise scamper up to the summit of the 1st. Cold rock made for cold hands.

Thursday, December 4th
Climbing in Eldorado Canyon with Stuart
Stuart and I decided to get together to go over some big wall climbing technique. After jumaring for a bit we decided to climb up the Bastille Crack. Great climb, but a little nippy outside. Brrrrr….We descended in darkness with the flashlights from our iPhones.

Friday, December 5th
AM—3.5 Miles—2:19—1,900’—Lost Flatironette and Last Flatironette
An easy early morning outing with Tony Bubb and Stuart. Flatiron excursions with Tony are always great because the routes are obscure and he knows every square inch of the terrain.

PM—Climbing in Eldorado Canyon with Evan
During our morning outing Stuart got a call from Evan seeking a climbing partner for the day. He offered my belaying services. Evan and I climbed my second uber-classic Eldo route in as many days—Rewritten. This ended up being an awesome climb with great exposure and a few memorable sections, such as the hand traverse into a nice finger crack.

Saturday, December 6th   

Sunday, December 7th
AM—3.5 Miles—3:07—3,850’—1st Spyronêtte, Sunset Flatironette, 2nd Flatiron, 1st Flatiron
I just got a newly resoled pair of scrambling shoes back from Rock and Resole here in Boulder. The rubber has slightly more aggressive lugs than a dot rubber, but still seemed like it should provide for sufficient surface contact on the rock. So, I had to test them out on these routes:

1st Flatironette>The Spy>1st Flatiron (North Arête)>Sunset Flatironette (Chase the Sun)>2nd Flatiron (Free for All)>1st Flatiron (East Face North Side)

The rubber handled quite well on all routes with the exception of the DEF of the 1st. I slipped a couple of times within the first 10-15 feet, which made me decide to head over to the north side of the face. Overall, the rubber wasn’t too bad considering it’s made for fishing shoes…

PM—3 Miles—1:50—1,600’—1st Spyronêtte
Easy lap in the late afternoon hours.

Weekly Totals
Time—11 hours 37 minutes
Elevation Gain—11,650 feet

Week in Review: November 24-30
Basically took the entire week off. I did one dinky little two-mile run on the roads of Orrick, but that’s it…Felt lazy all week…

Week in Review: November 17-23
Monday, November 17th

Tuesday, November 18th
AM—8 Miles—1:14—2,000’—Treadmill  
Left knee is hurting a bit.

Wednesday, November 19th
AM—13 Miles—2:36—3,250’—Mesa Trail
Easy day on sometimes snowy and icy trails. Pretty much an even split out-and-back.

Thursday, November 20th
AM—3 Miles—0:31—1,100’—Treadmill
Left knee still hurts…

PM—6.5 Miles—3:18—1,050’—Sourdough Trail Snowshoe
Got out for a nice late afternoon snowshoe outing with Val. We ended up finishing in the dark.

Friday, November 21st
AM—5 Miles—0:48—2,050’—Treadmill
Left knee is still nagging me a bit…

PM—4 Miles—2:40—1,800’—SE Ridge of North Shanahan Crag
Went out with Tony Bubb and Stuart Paul to tackle the next-to-last route in Roach’s “Flatiron Classics” book for Tony. It was a snowy approach and descent, but the rock was fairly dry for the most part. There were a few nice spots with exposed moves, but overall it was a pretty mellow scramble.

Saturday, November 22nd  
AM—3 Miles—0:26—1,000’—Treadmill
Damn knee is starting to hurt a little worse…

Sunday, November 23rd
AM—11.5 Miles—2:40—3,000’—Green Mountain
Up via Bear Canyon and down the West Ridge/Flagstaff Road/Flagstaff Trail. Lots of icy trails today. I took a pretty good fall descending into Skunk Canyon. Ran into Wendy around Bear Canyon and Justin up on the summit. I decided to descend via the West Ridge and road to avoid the inevitable ice on Ranger. Eventually, I veered onto the Flagstaff Trail once the ice disappeared and continued down to Chautauqua.

Weekly Totals
Time—14 hours 16 minutes
Elevation Gain—15,250 feet

Week in Review: November 10-16
Monday, November 10th
AM—2.5 Miles—0:56—1,600’—Flatiron Access Trail
I ran into Britt at Chautauqua and joined her for an easy day up the access trail to the top of the 1st. Always great to see her smiling face and have good company. The temperature dropped like a rock during our brief run.

Tuesday, November 11th

Wednesday, November 12th

Thursday, November 13th
PM—5.5 Miles—1:50—2,700’—Green Mountain
Up NE Ridge and down backside. This was a slow, snowy trudge to the summit.

Friday, November 14th

Saturday, November 15th
AM—10 Miles—3:18—1,500’—4th of July Road and Trail
After a mile or two the snow started getting pretty deep—up to mid-calf in places. Once I reached the trailhead the snow was knee-deep most of the way. It was a pretty serene morning as the snow was hammering down.

Sunday, November 16th
AM—7 Miles—3:44—1,300’—Lost Lake Snowshoe
First snowshoe outing of the season. Went out with Val and braved the cold, windy weather. By the time we finished both of us were pretty frozen. I was glad that I decided against heading up Audubon today.

Weekly Totals
Time—9 hours 49 minutes
Elevation Gain—7,100 feet

Week in Review: November 3-9
Monday, November 3rd
AM—3 Miles—1:10?—1,600’—1st Spyronêtte
Not really sure what my time was on this since I lost the GPS track.

Tuesday, November 4th
PM—3 Miles—1:10?—1,600’—1st Spyronêtte
Not really sure what my time was on this since I lost the GPS track.

Wednesday, November 5th

Thursday, November 6th
AM—5.5 Miles—6:30’ish—4,200’—Flatiron Quinfecta’ish
The Regency > Royal Arch > 5th Flatiron > 4th Flatiron > 3rd Flatironette > 3rd Flatiron > 2nd Flatiron > 1st Flatironette > The Spy > 1st Flatiron via North Arête

Pretty mellow approach to the Quinfecta. Started off the day heading up The Regency/Royal Arch/5th Flatiron linkup with Bill Wright and Peter Bakwin. Peter and I parted ways with Bill and continued up the broken 4th Flatiron. We then made our way up to the 3rd’s East Bench via the 3rd Flatironette. After downclimbing the SW Chimney we parted ways and I continued on toward the 2nd where I met Nicole. She was standing at the base, debating her first solo scramble in the Flatirons. I invited her to follow me up to the point where Free for All splits off from Freeway. She walked off the Freeway and came up to the West Face to join me on the summit. This was only my second time doing Free for All and I was pleased with how easy it seemed. Nicole and I then made our way down to the base of the 1st where we eyed the Direct East Face. She didn’t seem too keen on this route today. So, I took her up via the Spyronêtte route. I parted ways with Nicole at the shortcut to the base of the 2nd and made my way back to the Taco at the lower Skunk Canyon Trailhead. Pretty dehydrated at the end of it all…

Friday, November 7th

Saturday, November 8th
PM—3 Miles—0:53—1,600’—1st Spyronêtte
Everything felt really on point tonight, especially the descent run. From the point I hit the ground after the downclimb to the trailhead took me 13:27, which surprised the hell out of me considering how busy the trails was.

Sunday, November 9th
AM—9 Miles—5:32—6,300’—Ten Easy Climbs in a Day
I took a page out of Mark Oveson’s list in Haas’ guidebook and created my own list of ten easy climbs to do in a day using routes that I had already done before. Here’s the list that I followed:
  1. 1st Flatironette > South Ridge
  2. The Spy > East Ridge
  3. 1st Flatiron > North Arête
  4. Sunset Flatiron > Chase the Sun
  5. 1st Flatiron > Direct East Face
  6. 2nd Flatiron > Freeway
  7. 2nd Flatiron > Free for All
  8. 3rd Flatiron > Standard East Face
  9. Royal Arch > East Face
  10. Ridge One > Stairway to Heaven
When it was all said and done, this list ended up being around 7,000’ of scrambling with almost 1,000’ of downclimbing. I was quite surprised at how easy this day ended up feeling. I didn’t take any food or water with me and never really felt too thirsty or on the verge of a bonk.  I PR’ed the 1st Flatiron downclimb (3:37) and the Freeway (8:30).

Weekly Totals
Time—15 hours 16 minutes
Elevation Gain—15,300 feet