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Back To CO: 10/1 – 1210/13/2014

10/1/2014
Wed – Green Mt (1:39, 3000′)
After spending most of the day traveling back from Boston, it was great to get out in the evening for a lap on the hill. A big rainstorm blew through right before I ran, so scrambling was out and I enjoyed a nice, steep ascent up the 3rd access route. A giant cloud enveloped the summit just as I arrived, creating quite the magical atmosphere, and I had the good fortune to bump into Jeff V for some company on the descent. Immediately afterwards, I met up with Joe at the climbing gym for our first session of the season.

10/2/2014
Thu – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (1:38, 3000′)
Perfect morning on the hill. I felt a little rusty in my scrambling, but I particularly enjoyed the crisp, early morning temps—the last time I did any running in Boulder it was full-on hot, sticky summer. More climbing gym action in the evening with Joe.

10/3/2014
Fri – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (1:41, 3000′)
A reprisal of yesterday’s outing. Climbed through a cloud on the First Flatiron, which rendered the rock unexpectedly slippery near the summit. Combined with the still-cool temps, Joe and I scrapped our plans for climbing outside (wimps, I know) and instead hit the gym for the third day in a row. As such, I was pretty worthless; simply too fatigued and sore in the fingers and forearms.

10/4/2014
Sat – Odd Flatiron Trifecta+Royal Arch (2:08, 4000′)
Still feeling the effects of jet lag, I got out early before meeting Joe for some climbing in Boulder Canyon. After running up to Chat I felt unexpectedly on-point on the rock and ended up enjoying a fantastic morning on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Flatirons. After the Fifth, I descended to the Royal Arch, climbed its West Ridge, and then downclimbed its east face before continuing on down to the Mesa Trail and back to town.
Because of our non-desire to take lead falls on trad gear, Joe and I basically never climb near our limits outside. This meant that today’s session on the Dome and the Elephant Buttresses was a nice break for our fingers and forearms and a nice re-familiarization with rope management, gear placement, and fall weather enjoyment. On the final route of the day, though, we did manage to get a small cam stuck—a first for us—which was a bit of a bummer considering the price tag. Both Joe and I have scored booty cams in the past, though, so, you know, win some, lose some.

10/5/2014
Sun – Longs Peak (3:28, 5000′)
Despite my accumulating fatigue due to returning to training and lack-of-sleep-from-jet-lag, I couldn’t resist the great weather and snagged a shoulder-season summit of Longs. I comfortably stayed in shorts until the Boulder Field, but then donned tights, a jacket, and crampons for the north face where I found what felt like full-on winter conditions . The Cables dihedral was the iciest I’ve ever seen it and I was grateful that I’d anticipated this by bringing a more technical hybrid tool (Petzl Sum’tec) instead of a lighter, straight snow axe. I don’t think I would’ve made it up otherwise and was even wishing I had a second axe. I was definitely happy for the rap cord on the descent, too. As is usual, after two months away from the high altitude I was pretty punted by the thin air and was worthless the rest of the day, nursing an altitude headache.

10h34min, 18,000′

——————————-

10/6/2014
Mon-AM: 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (2:05, 3000′)
After the scramble and ascent to the summit I descended the Red Lion Rd down to Boulder Canyon for a little extra mileage and time-on-feet.
PM: The Regency+Royal Arch+Fifth Flatiron (1:34, 2000′)
Given this morning’s tired legs, I had no plans of getting out this afternoon, but Joe cajoled me into a little scrambling. We parked just down off Broadway and approached via Skunk Canyon before making this nice, logical link-up. The Regency and the East Face-South Side route on the Fifth were both new for me (the whole outing was new scrambling for Joe), and the EFSS route on the Fifth had both Joe and I shaking our heads that it is one of Gerry Roach’s 53 Flatiron designated Classics. Sure, it makes a great, direct link-up from the Royal Arch, but the quality of the line itself is a little suspect. After downclimbing off the Fifth, we descended by climbing back up and over the Royal Arch and trotted back down Skunk Canyon before heading to the gym for a quick hour on the plastic. Both of us were climbing much more strongly after giving our arms a couple days of recovery.

10/7/2014
Tue – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (1:45, 3000′)
Oih, proper tired this morning. A real slog getting up and down the hill. Afterwards, Joe and I went to Eldorado Canyon with the intention of climbing Rewritten on the Redgarden Wall, a favorite of ours, and one that we knew would be easy for us, making a nice re-introduction to the funky climbing in Eldo. Of course, being the classic that it is, it was busy. We didn’t realize just how busy, however, until Joe, having linked the first two pitches, ran into a party of three on the Red Ledge. With another party coming up behind us, and neither of us feeling particularly energetic or bold, we decided to just traverse the ledge a couple hundred feet over and climb the moderate but still very aesthetic Swanson’s Arete. This went fine, but we were reminded of just how tedious multi-pitch rappelling is, and how it seems nearly every trip down to Eldo ends up turning into some kind of ordeal that takes waaaay longer than planned.

10/8/2014
Wed – Arapaho Peaks (2:18, 3500′)
I met Joe and Fred up in Gold Hill at the ungodly hour of 4:30am; the early wake-up was at least partly mitigated by getting to see the brilliantly eclipsing blood moon. An hour later we were marching straight uphill out of the 4th of July trailhead by headlamp, hoping to catch the sunrise up on the 12,500′ ridge above us. Eventually, we made it over to the Arapaho Peaks themselves, where Fred grabbed some snaps of Joe and I on the traverse for Buff USA. It’s nice working with photographers like Fred whose fitness and mountain experience let you mix a worthy morning in the mountains with a photoshoot. After the last two months away, it was really nice to get back up in the high country again before the snow really starts flying.

10/9/2014
Thu-AM: 1st & 3rd Flatirons (1:07, 2500′)
I knew the forecast called for some precip to blow in this afternoon, so I switched things around and got up on the slabs this morning, leaving the up-tempo creek pathing for this evening. I felt pleasantly on-point for both scrambles/downclimbs; kinda nice to do a shorter, shake-out type effort first thing in the morning.
PM: South Boulder Creek Path Loop+barefoot (20mi, 2:06, 700′)
The rain came in as predicted this afternoon, but for a while I thought I would be able to sneak in this run in between downpours. Oh how wrong I was. Things were great for the first 8mi or so—a little too much coffee seemed to preclude my usual need for a warm-up and I was almost immediately cruising along at ~6:10 pace—but then it started raining. Hard. I was still able to maintain this pace through about 15mi or so, but then it seemed like the sky cranked things up to a truly biblical intensity and I gave up trying to run hard, dropping from 6-flats to ~6:40s or so for the last 5mi; all the while I wouldn’t have been entirely surprised to see Noah and his ark come slaloming down Boulder Creek. It was raining hard. Even without the rain I probably would’ve had a tough time maintaining things the last couple miles, but even so, this run was a good fitness check for extended, up-tempo running. I’m further along than I thought I would be at this point.

10/10/2014
Fri – Green Mt. (2:05, 3200′)
The remnants of yesterday’s meteorological theatrics still hung in the air and on the peaks this morning, so I took a rare day off from scrambling and did a simple run up to Green’s summit via the Third Flatiron access route before descending down Bear Canyon. I hadn’t been in this drainage since sometime in June, and it was a glorious run through the mist, low clouds, and brilliant red sumac. My legs were suitably exhausted after yesterday’s efforts, so I just trotted along, enjoying it all.

10/11/2014
Sat – 1st Flatiron+Jaws+Green Mt. (2:20, 3500′)
Another glorious fall morning. On top of the First Flatiron I was sufficiently inspired by the toothy profile of Jaws to actually go over and scramble it for once. After downclimbing the backside of the First, it was an easy 4min trot over to the base of the formation, and then a pleasant if mostly moderate and lichen-y scramble to the summit behind the Third Flatiron. Though this arete looks inviting and extremely impressive from afar, in reality, almost every tooth offers an opportunity to walk-off, which doesn’t lend much of a feeling of commitment or inspiring position. Even so, it was a nice exploratory outing for my still-tired legs, and after marching to the summit of the mountain I did the cruise-y Red Lion Rd descent back to town.

10/12/2014
Sun – 1st Flatiron+Green+Stairway to Heaven+Royal Arch (2:49, 4200′)
I had vague intentions of maybe doing a long run this morning, but within a couple of blocks I could tell that my legs didn’t have it. Sometimes energy levels and motivation are hard to predict. My scramble up the First was desultory, slow, and labored. On the slog to the summit of Green the clouds rolled in and it even started sprinkling a little, which was actually nice as it fit my mood a little better. I motivated to at least run down Bear Canyon for a little extra mileage/scenery, and somewhere in here things finally clicked a little, so on the run back over on the Mesa I spontaneously headed up Skunk Canyon for a little scrambling. I’d only done the top-10 Classic Stairway to Heaven once before, so I headed up this 1000′ ridge, particularly savoring the Like Heaven summit. At the top, I made the bushwhack/traverse over to the Royal Arch and did a quick up/down of its West Ridge—mostly to just practice its steep downclimb—before running back down to town feeling pretty pleased to have salvaged an originally uninspired morning with some fun scrambling and summit-sitting.

18h09min, 26,000′

Waiting for the sun with Joe and Fred in the Indian Peaks.

Waiting for the sun with Joe and Fred in the Indian Peaks.

Traversing from South Arapaho to North with Joe. Photo: Fred Marmsater Photography.

Traversing from South Arapaho to North with Joe. Photo: Fred Marmsater Photography.

Scrambly bit on the Arapaho ridge. Photo: Joe Grant.

Scrambly bit on the Arapaho ridge. Photo: Joe Grant.

South Arapaho looking like a real mountain. Photo: Joe Grant.

South Arapaho looking like a real mountain. Photo: Joe Grant.

30 responses to “Back To CO: 10/1 – 12”

  1. David Hill says:

    Sweet pics; good to see you posting again.

  2. Justin! says:

    Ah! I was on Jaws, today and was a little surprised at some of the gaps in the teeth. I think I passed on one of them completely, and belabored another for a good 10 minutes, trying to figure the best way across before succumbing to just down climbing a tiny gully, to almost the base of the tooth, and scrambling back up. After that, it was cruiser. It’s gotta be a Class 4, rated X route.

    I remember another tooth even before that one, that I wanted to traverse right over, without this, “go diagonal down and then up again” waltz and it turned into a boulder problem, with my best hand hold being a one fingered underclinged pocket, and nothing else.

    Terror Summit was really fun and really pretty, when seen from the West.

    • anton says:

      Hey Justin – I do remember one tooth gap being the crux of the whole thing; I remember thinking that if I wasn’t comfortable pulling the move I could just chimney down the gap to the ground. The next piece that I stepped onto looked really smooth, but once I was on it, little dishes and divots seemed to magically appear in all the right spots, definitely some of the most fun climbing on the route. I still need to get up to Terror summit. I’ve looked at it a lot, haha. See ya on the Third tomorrow night?

      • Justin! says:

        Yeah, I’m trying to get things aligned so I can help Bill and co. with rigging the rappel. Reminder to myself not to totally destroy myself at the gym, tonight.

  3. Will says:

    Shark is been jumpt.

  4. Vern Lovic says:

    I knew it was going to hurt to read this, but I toughed it out. I pulled a calf pretty hard the other day on a down-hill and then re-pulled it joking around with a friend the other day. I’m out for at least another 4-5 days before I can do a slow jog on the flat.

    The access you have to vertical is astounding to me. I have to really go looking for it, and the variety is not much here. I keep going back and forth between moving to Hawaii and Colorado. For trails Colorado seems like Mecca.

    Anton, you plan on writing a book anytime soon? Or, are you by chance in the middle of writing one? Would really enjoy reading it. Cheers man!

  5. tb says:

    You know reading this stuff does inspire me to get out. Not sure why exactly, maybe because where I live on the East Coast has more Walmarts then mountains… Anyway it’s funny how you’re just living your life and simply keeping a log of your activities can inspire so many others to be active.

  6. JOSH says:

    Dude what gloves are those?

  7. Mike says:

    Anton, I’ve been enjoying your videos (and others’) for some time now. Always inspiring to see people actively appreciating the natural world and the joy that a good romp on trails can provide. I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of SW Virginia and have been inspired to take advantage of that. Started trail and back roads training about a year ago at 45 and hope to be enjoying this for the second half! I appreciate all that you share and want to say Thanks!

  8. Roy says:

    Anton, I’m looking for new trail shoes, any suggestions? What are you running in these days? I usually run in low profile shoes.

  9. Chris says:

    Great pics and write up, glad you back to blogging, I missed reading about your adventures!

  10. Daniel says:

    Hey Anton…What shoes are you wearing!?!? Ha!

    Serious Note: Looking fresh and its cool to see you exploring more of the near by Mountain Ranges (Indian Peaks/Rocky Mt National Park)

    I been hanging around Allenspark and being doing some Micro Peaks around the area (St Vrain and Meadow Mountain to name a couple) Beautiful place to explore.

    Respect,
    Dan

  11. JOSH says:

    awesome man CHEAP too thanks!

  12. Edgar says:

    Nice to see you again posting some of your adventures :)

    Keep going man!

    Cheers from Spain

  13. John says:

    Dude, I was just in Boulder and was on Green and 1st on the 11th and was in Bear Canyon on the 12th. How did I miss you?!

  14. Barry Bliss says:

    Thanks.
    Good writing, as always.

  15. jsr says:

    Hey man. The movie “In the high country”. The song that goes ” Tell me that a blind man can see, tell me that a crazy boy can become sane, but if water can become wine well start to believe”

    DUDE ive spent a solid 2 hours trying to find out who that was. I looked up the lyrics and nothing. That song hits me deep dude.

    What is that song?

    • anton says:

      jsr – I’m not sure that actual song is out, but the artist is Cusique (cusique.bandcamp.com), who I highly recommend. Some of the other songs from the movie are available on his bandcamp site, though, and I really like a lot of his stuff that isn’t in the movie. Enjoy!

  16. Adam says:

    hi, it would be so cool if someone could check out my blog, thanks!!

  17. Adam says:

    it is adamervin.blogspot.com

  18. jsr says:

    awesome man thanks! you have no idea how hard i searched haha.

  19. Samuel says:

    Hi, I have a question to ask and I thought you would be a fun person to ask it to. I signed up for the NFEC in Dec but haven’t been running :(. I play tennis 4-5 x week. I’m in good shape, strong and fit. Is it possible to run the event at a super slow pace and finish without doing terrible damage to my body? I won’t be running anymore than a day a week probably until the race. Bad idea to try it?? Thanks for your time!!

  20. Daniel says:

    Tony,

    Was curious to see what your winter climbing setup is. I assume your using technical ice picks and was wondering what pack are you using to carry such equipment (Crampons/Crampon Bag, Ice Picks, etc)

    The UD Fast Pack is really designed for traditional ice picks and not for more angled ice picks.

    Also are you using proper mountaineering boots when using crampons!?!?

    Respect,
    Dan

  21. Daniel says:

    Add on :

    Trying to climb Mt Meeker soon and looking to getting to the Realm of Winter Climbing but in a simple/fast/light manner so I thought you would be a proper source for this.

  22. Pasi says:

    I hope You are ok.

    Four weeks without any posting here ?

    Alltough this is running blog I certainly read Your inspirative texts –

    You have said that if You are not running here are no posts – Why so ???

  23. The name itself is derived from the simple pleasure Partouche gets out of running. But unlike the big juggernauts of athletic wear, Satisfy isn’t putting marketing dollars behind campaigns to build a hashtag-fueled community—Partouche wants something more genuine.

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