July 8 – 1407/16/2013
Mon-AM: 1:48, 3500′ ~ Mt. Sneffels
Up the SW ridge and down the standard south slopes route, from a little bit below the Governor Basin aid station location on Camp Bird road.
Tue-AM: 7:38, 12,000′ ~ Hardrock Course – Grouse Gulch to Silverton clockwise
Handies summit – 1:16; Burrows – 1:51:30; Sherman – 2:21:30; Pole Creek – 3:53; Maggies – 4:44:30; Stony Pass – 5:18; Cunningham – 5:55; Little Giant summit – 6:43.
Started at Grouse Gulch (mile 58) and ran the 42mi back to Silverton. Kept a steady pace all day and was able to feel really strong and push quite hard on the final 2700′ climb up Little Giant. The course is surprisingly rolling/runnable from the top of Cataract Gulch (out of Sherman) through Pole Creek and over to Maggies. The final mining road descent down Arastra Gulch was a bit of a bummer, though, and seemed to drag on forever.
Wed-AM: 2:44, 5000′ ~ Vermilion Peak (13,894′) & Golden Horn (13,780′)
I knew I wanted to run up and scramble something in the Ice Lakes Basin, but I didn’t decide on these two striking peaks until I got up there. The ridge descending from Vermilion to the north seemed to cliff out so I ended up going down a nasty scree chute before climbing Golden Horn. Really fun run even if my legs were tired. Wished I had the energy to do the full ridge scramble over to Grant-Swamp Pass.
Thu-AM: 4:19, 8500′ ~ Ice Lakes Basin Traverse – US Grant Peak (13,767′), V4 (13,502′), Pilot Knob (13,738′), Golden Horn (13,780′), Vermilion Peak (13,894′), Fuller Peak (13,761′)
From the South Mineral Creek TH. Grant-Swamp Pass, 0:54; US Grant Peak, 1:13:30; V4, 1:33; Pilot Knob, 2:27; Golden Horn, 2:52; Vermillion Peak, 3:15:30; Fuller Peak, 3:27; Ice Lake, 3:51.
Really fun morning in the mountains. After yesterday’s run I was thinking it would be nice to do the full traverse of these high-13ers, but I wasn’t planning on that this morning. However, once I got up in the high basin it was pretty tough to not be inspired, so I just went for it. Grant wasn’t too bad–maybe one short section of 4th Class–but then there was some delicate 5th Class choss negotiation going on to get to the summit of V4. Definitely the most technical bit of the whole traverse and not something that I would’ve enjoyed downclimbing. From there it was a long traverse on heinous scree/talus slopes to get to the climb up to Pilot Knob. Again, some mellow 4th Class stuff to tag that one and then a pretty straightforward ascent up Golden Horn. From Golden Horn I wanted to take the ridge up to Vermilion instead of the nasty scree chute I descended yesterday and it actually worked out quite well. I was able to find a reasonable enough weakness in the cliff band that turned me around yesterday and I was soon on top. From Vermilion it’s easy talus over to Fuller and then some pretty crazy scree/talus surfing to get back down into the basin. Awesome day, but a gel and a little water would’ve made the second half a little more enjoyable.
Fri- off, crewing for Joe at the Hardrock 100. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do the planned long march through the night.
Sat-AM: 1:55, 4500′ ~ Handies Peak
After sleeping in, went up and down the mountain from Grouse Gulch. Pushed the uphill pretty hard to tag a 1:06 ascent and then jogged the downhill. Lots of monsoony swirling clouds and sprinkles.
Sun-AM: 2:18, 4500′ ~ US Grant Peak & V4
From South Mineral Creek TH. One last run up in one of the most beautiful basins in the state. After running up to Grant-Swamp Pass I scrambled over the two mountains and then took the Kamm Traverse for a little longer descent back to the car.
A great week down in the San Juans. There is a ton of super high quality stuff down here, but a lot of it requires long running approaches, which is fine. I’ve gotten to do a lot—notably the Grenadier traverse, the Chicago Basin 14ers, and the Ice Lakes Basin traverse—but I’m excited to head back north and get out of this perpetually rainy/damp monsoon weather cycle.
This Friday and Saturday are the Boulder premieres of Joel Wolpert’s new film In The High Country, at the Dairy Center. Friday night is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the Saturday screening, which you can purchase here. I, of course, will be at both screenings along with Joel himself.
|Left to right: Fuller Peak, Vermilion Peak, and Golden Horn.|
|The trail leading up to Grant-Swamp Pass and US Grant Peak.|
|Island Lake with Fuller Peak, Vermilion Peak, and Golden Horn in the distance.|
|Standing on the summit of V4, there’s still a lot of ridge to go.|
|Summit of Pilot Knob with Golden Horn, Vermilion and Fuller coming up.|
|From the summit of Pilot Knob, looking back to V4 and US Grant.|
|Vermilion and Fuller from the summit of Golden Horn…almost done.|
|Looking back at the full ridge: Vermilion, Golden Horn, Pilot Knob, V4, US Grant and Grant-Swamp Pass on the extreme right.|