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RTW Ruminations: March 30 – Apr 1204/15/2015

first3/30/2015
Mon – Flatirons Scrambling+Green Mt (4:19, 7000′)
After the last four days on the road, it was glorious to get back to Boulder for a full day of scrambling: 1st Flatiron-Morning After-Green Mt Pinnacle-Challenger-Yodeling Moves-5th Flatiron-Angels Way-AP-PR-S-F before tagging the summit of Green and finishing off with a quick ascent of the 1st Pinnacle in the Amphitheater. Phew!

3/31/2015
Tue – Fatiron+SoBo+Bear+Seal Rock+Green (4:29, 7500′)
Today involved more running than yesterday–it’s about 50min from Chautauqua just to get over to the base of the Fatiron, followed by a full ascent of SoBo/Bear Peaks and descent of Fern Canyon. I really like this loop for the vert and balanced mix of running and scrambling; it’s definitely becoming one of my favorites.

4/1/2015
Wed – Flatirons Link-up w/ Buzz (3:00, 3000′) + Climbing Gym
Buzz is going to Zion in a few weeks for a big scrambling/peak bagging outing with Jared, so he was interested in putting in a couple hours in the Flatirons, dusting off his scrambling skills. After the last two big days of vert, I was in need of an easier day, and so much the better to share some time with Buzz out on the slabs.

On the bike up to Chat I noticed an ominous strained feeling in the back of my throat, which I can now look back on as the very beginning of a most hideous bout with the flu. Buzz and I started off with the First Flatiron, but he showed me an exciting variation that engages an improbably steep looking headwall. There are just the right amount of positive holds on it, though, so this is a slower paced line that I’ll probably hit more in the future. After downclimbing, Buzz was game for more, so I suggested we head over to the Morning After. This went well, and Buzz found a sneak around to the south to avoid the crux 5.7 roof moves. From there, we headed over to the Green Mt Pinnacle Chimney and Challenger—in my opinion, a couple of the most aesthetic shorter routes in the Flatirons (the Chimney takes ~2min to stem up, Challenger is a beautiful 4-5min arete). Buzz hadn’t been in the Chimney for over ten years, but he worked his way up the exposed rift with aplomb. We finished off the morning with a downclimb of Yodeling Moves.

I’d had plans to get out cragging with Jenny afterwards, but rain was threatening in the afternoon, so we instead went to they gym where I had one of my worst performances ever. My sore throat was gradually worsening and causing me to lose my voice and I felt laughably weak on the wall. Now, looking back, I know that the illness was just starting to sink in its teeth—of course I wasn’t going to be up to par.

4/2-8/2015
Nothing. I left the house exactly once during this seven-day period. Geez, the flu can be rough.

4/9/2015
Thu – 1st Flatiron+Green+Morning After (2:16, 3700′)
I finally felt strong enough to get out for a little perambulation today, so I biked up to Chat and did the usual thing. It was an uncharacteristically gloomy, chilly morning with low clouds and a notable nip in the air. I liked it, as it kinda fit my mood anyways. I barely ran any of this, just strolling up to the base of the First, having fun taking all kinds of little micro-variations on my usual route on the rock, and then continuing my walk to the summit of the mountain. On the way down I was feeling excited for a little more scrambling, so I descended down behind the Morning After and hit an easy lap on that, too. My body felt crazy stiff and creaky on the jog back down to Chautauqua, but at least by then the sun was starting to break through.

4/10/2015
Fri – 1st Flatiron+Green+Dinosaur Mt scrambling
I still have a handful of Gerry Roach’s 53 Classics to tick off, so today, after my usual ascent of Green, I descended over to Dinosaur and scoped out Fi Fun on Fi and Quadratic Equation on Fo, adjacent formations very near the summit of Dino Mt. I think I’d been avoiding these for so long because Roach calls Fi “a dangerous summit to be on without a rope” and the 5.6 slab action of QE deterred me a bit. As I’ve found in most of my scouting of these routes, however, ground-truthing the guidebook is key and downclimbing off of Fi turned out to not be too much of an issue (but it took as long as the actual scramble to the summit), and QE ended up feeling basically as difficult as Fi Fun; I guess it was about as thin as, say, Satan’s Slab or the First Flatiron (other 5.6 slabs in the Flatirons), but I felt comfortable the whole time.

Now I only have the Backporch, the two Dinosaur Eggs, a route on the Central Shanahan Crag, and Tiny Tower remaining on the list. I’m looking forward to getting to them soon.

4/11/2015
Sat – Fatiron+SoBo+Bear+Regency-Royal Arch-5th Flatiron-Fist+Green (4:12, 6500′)
More of the usual thing. I will say that the Regency-RA-5th-Fist ascent of Green off of the Mesa trail is a very pleasingly scramble-intensive route up the mountain. All of these formations are essentially in a straight line, topping out ~500′ below the summit of the mountain. On the initial run over to the base of the Fatiron I felt pretty terrible—damn you, flu—but I was surprised with the energy and pep I had going up Shadow Canyon. My ascent of Green was an unmitigated slog, though. I nearly gave up and headed home when I reached the summit of the 5th, but figured I could just go really easy. That’s sort of what happened. I mostly just grunted a lot. Of course, once on the downhill (Ranger-Gregory) everything was happy again.

4/12/2015
Sun – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt (1:41, 3000′)
I had big plans today, but even on the bike up to Chat I could tell that my legs had nothing. This was confirmed when I tried running up to the base of the First and instead just settled into a desultory hike. Yesterday’s effort took more out of me than I wanted to admit; that flu nipped me hard.

Acoustic probably isn’t the most appropriate style for these guys, but I still like it.

22 responses to “RTW Ruminations: March 30 – Apr 12”

  1. Eric Whitbrook says:

    Thoughts on Trofeo Kima? I’m a has-been rock climber turned more of a trail runner these days and that one looks great from the pics.

  2. jsr says:

    I totally digged that song. That voice distortion reminds me of “long cool woman in a black dress” by the hollies (i think that is its name). Is that hat your wearing by any chance your AK buff? Does the bill flip down over your glasses if need be?

    • anton says:

      It’s just a normal Cap BUFF (not signature, though I think it is coming out in my signature version soon), and yes, the neoprene brim flips up and down.

  3. tim says:

    I hope you’re back to 100% soon. Did your bout with the flu put a kink in Zane Grey? I was hoping to pop over there and watch you blaze across the finish line. All the best in the lead up to Hardrock!! I’ve got it on my calendar for a trip up to Silverton to spectate. Not sure if you’re at all into wine but I’m planning on bringing some with me to share compliments of myself and my partner at Caduceus Cellars here in Northern AZ. Take care.

    • anton says:

      Tim – thanks for the offer on the wine, but I won’t be at ZG, unfortunately. The flu definitely set me back in my fitness, but my continued battle with my right shin is the reason I won’t be running the race.

      • mike says:

        is there anything that can be done for your shim? it has been an issue for quite a while now. other than surgery i am sure you have tried a lot of different therapies.

    • Chad says:

      Tim,

      Your “partner” isnt MJK is it?;)

  4. Daniel Sheffield says:

    Good Shit My Man!

    Motha Fuckin Flue…shits for the birds.

  5. Hogball says:

    Here’s an easy question. What do these times you publish indicate? Is that house-to-house? Do you stop the clock for rests / eating / walking / tequila drinking, etc? Or when you put up 4:29 hours on the 31st does that basically just mean you spent 4.5 hours outdoors?

    • anton says:

      Hogball – Those times are “moving time”, i.e. running, hiking, scrambling (but doesn’t include the biking to and from the trailhead; I start my watch from Chautauqua or from my doorstep if I’m running from my doorstep). Which, when I’m scrambling is probably better described as “with intent to move”, haha, as there is plenty of time when I’m in the middle of a rock formation virtually stationary, planning the next holds. Unless I’m going for a time-trial or some kind of FKT attempt, I stop my watch whenever I stop moving, which is typically when I stop to sit on the summit of a Flatiron or a peak. Otherwise, there’s not much intentional stopping in my outings. However, on a four and a half hour outing like on the 31st, I was probably out for an extra 20-30min of accumulated sitting-on-summits time. Curiously, however, whenever I’m skiing, I don’t stop my watch for the transitions of applying and removing skins—I guess my rationalization there is that those pauses are intrinsic to the activity.

  6. Dylan says:

    Have you ever done the (relatively new) Lion’s Lair trail that leads up the backside of Sanitas? If not, it’s worth doing. You can link it up with Sunshine Canyon trail for a sweet loop. And speaking of Sanitas, what’s your PR on the standard route ascent?

    • anton says:

      I have done Lion’s Lair, but I much preferred it when it wasn’t an “official” trail and there were actually grades on it in excess of 5%. I’ve never time-trialed the south ridge of Sanitas despite its iconic status in the Boulder community. So my “best” is in the high-17min range, I believe, but I’m pretty sure that was part of a session of multiple laps all right around the same time. I suspect an all-out effort on it from me wouldn’t be very impressive, though; I don’t possess the power/fast-twitch fibers to really be fast on such a short climb. Maybe low-16s? Certainly way off of Kilian’s 14:12 FKT.

  7. David says:

    A great read which I think you will appreciate: http://eveningsends.com/climbing/the-day-i-sent-golden-5-14b/

  8. David Hill says:

    With summer around the corner I’m quite vexed over one issue – sunscreen. Do you wear it? There’s conflicting info out there…the stuff can either be a life saver or a cancer inducing toxin depending on what you read. Thanks

  9. jsr says:

    Thanks dude!

  10. Tony Wood says:

    Quality instrumental layering from these guys.
    Any more suggestions Anton?

    Big fan of yours btw. I raced the TGC 33k.
    Unbelievable that your time for the last 33k was my overall time.(about 4 hrs)
    Respect man.

    Im running 1year now. Running the trails in Norway.
    Ill keep reading if you keep writing.

    Nice one

    Tony From Liverpool, England

  11. Owen Fenton says:

    For running junip or tame impala
    What do you think of when you run – running?

  12. Dave (Scotland) says:

    Anton, hope you’re feeling better…

    Any thoughts on UTMB yet? :-/

    Dave

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