Week Summary: Sept 19-2509/26/2011
Mon-AM: 1:24, 2500′
Green Mt. up and down Amphi-Greenman. Tired after last night’s ascent.
Tue-AM: 1:20, 2500′
Green Mt. up and down Amp-Gman. Snappy 35:15 ascent and THREE bear sightings! The first was a small black bear on lower Greenman who promptly went crashing into the underbrush. The second and third were when I was coming down on Saddle Rock below the spring and just above the first rock outcropping. They were hanging out in the drainage to the west and both were quite large, one black and the other tinted more with brown. They seemed only mildly anxious and eventually ambled off into the woods up towards the Saddle Rock itself.
PM: 1:33, 2500′
Green Mt. up and down Amp-Gman. 34:30PR hike up and I somehow managed to see two more bears, which brings my seasonal tally to nine! The first was just after the Bluebell-Baird trail junction, right as the trail drops down to connect with the start of Amphitheater. A big black bear was right on the trail and went crashing down into the Gregory Creek drainage to the north. The second was drinking from the spring on Saddle Rock trail, right in the middle of the trail. Another big black bear. I wonder whether that was the same big black bear I saw in that general area this morning. My 6:30pm start meant that the hike down was almost entirely in the dark and quite slow going as a result.
Wed-AM: 1:20, 2500′
Green Mt. up and down Amp-Gman. Tired from last night’s ascent.
Thu-AM: 2:22, 2700′
Eldorado Mt. via Rattlesnake Gulch and NW Ridge. Really slow-going in places but got lots of practice on boulder fields. Most notably, I actually ran the last 26min back down to town with only minor protest from my post-tib/soleus. Definitely progress. All the rest was hiking, of course, which was especially frustrating on the way up the initial shallow grades.
Fri-AM: 2:30, 2100′
2xFlattie3. Met Buzz and Peter at Chat and went up the super-classic East Face of the Third. After making the 200ft mostly free rappel directly off the backside the ropes wouldn’t pull, so Peter and I cruised a much, much quicker second ascent (:26 vs. almost an hour for the first lap) and instead descended the two-pitch rappel down the SW side. Fantastic morning with only one other party on the rock (on the first pitch of the second lap).
PM: 1:14, 2500′
Green Mt. up and down Amp-Gman. 33:20 PR climb, felt great. Got caught by darkness on Saddle Rock on the way down, but not nearly as bad as on Tuesday.
Sat-AM: 1:58, 3200′
Bear Pk+Slab from Cragmoor. Hiking the whole way did 46:10 to the summit (much too flat between Crag and the mouth to warrant a hike, but my shin is still limiting me) and 23:00 from the mouth of Fern to the top. Felt pretty good about hiking the canyon in 10:15 (Horn)/12:45 (to the summit). Slab lap was quick, and then I ran the 18min back down to Cragmoor from behind the Slab with moderate babying of the shin.
PM: 1:37, 2700′
Mt. Victoria (11,785′) in Frisco. Didn’t start until 7pm, so most of the climb was in very dim to no light and the run/walk descent was entirely by the light of my headlamp. Bailed on the Peak 1 ascent goal because I wasn’t sure of the route above Mt. V, and it was completely dark.
Sun-AM: Video shoot at the Maroon Bells in Aspen. Spectacular fall colors, and mountains, but too much running for my shin.
PM: 2:26, 4500′
La Plata Peak (14,336′). Pow-hike to the summit from Highway 82 of 1:23:55. Mixed in a fair bit of running (about 25min worth) on the way down in 1:02. Had the mountain almost entirely to myself the whole way and made it down just before the sun really set and it got dark.
Hours: 17h44 (a little more than an hour of which was actual running)
This was a great week with lots of quality time in the mountains, but some lower-leg tendonitis is still preventing me from enjoying much of that time in the form of running. Nevertheless, I seem to actually be getting into decent-ish shape as evidenced by reasonably quick hiking ascents of Green. I was particularly pleased to get in my first 14er of the year this evening. On one hand, it is semi-depressing/disappointing that it’s taken me this long to get up a real mountain this year, but on the other–after breaking my leg this summer–I have to just remind myself how grateful and happy I am to be getting out in the mountains at all right now! I put in a good effort on La Plata and I’d be interested to know how that ascent stacks up against someone fit who is trying to run every step.
Saturday and Sunday I was doing a bit of filming (well, talking and running for me) for this forth-coming documentary, and the trip up to Aspen and the Maroon Bells was well worth the drive. I usually make it up there at some point every year during peak foliage, but for some reason the beauty of the Bells was particularly striking today.
|Rare perspective on SoBo and Bear Peaks from Eldo Mt.|
|Third Flatiron. BB photo.|
|Route on La Plata. 14ers.com photo.|
|Ellingwood Ridge and Mt. Elbert.|