Another beautiful week, with suspiciously similar mileage as last week.
1/21/14 – Freeway on the 2nd Flatiron x4
I’ve been bouldering a bit as of lately, but I finally hurt myself by doing too much, too quickly. So, still wanting to climb, but not feel as if I’m ripping the tendons out of my bicep, I made my way to the 2nd, to do four laps via Freeway. Stoked I’m now literally able to run up the route, getting my best time at ~ 11:31. The first time I did the route, I was pretty terrified of basically peeling off, and falling to my untimely death, but I’ve since chilled out about it all.
Some snow/ice on the start of the route, which made keeping my shoes nice and dry difficult. Learned my lesson on the second lap – managed to skitter down a good 30 feet, somewhat uncontrollably. No damage done, just a little embarrassing because of the hiker passing me. Anyways, I love this route and all the variations. Can’t wait till the route is again dry to try to beat my best time, once again.
1/21/14 – Bear Peak
After my day of doing laps on the 2nd, I met up with a few people to do Bear Peak at night: I almost never run with anyone else, and I haven’t actually done an ascent of one of the Boulder skyline peaks at night. Both were pretty damn fun. The energy I burned off from earlier that day, made it a lot easier to not act like the rabid dog I usually am on a run. Really icy on the route.
1/23 – Green, Bear, Sobo
What I remember of this day was the descent down Shadow Canyon basically twisted my ankle about a half dozen times. The late start didn’t afford me to do more this day – I wanted to bag Sobo, Bear and Green again, after descending shadow, but it did afford me some amazing light to view almost everything around me. Just felt really special.
1/26 – Longs Peak attempt.
With last weeks proof of concept of riding to the Longs Peak TH and then ascending a mountain a complete success, I rested up to attempt Longs Peak itself, having procured myself a new ice axe, after losing mine last year on James Peak.
The wind, on the other hand, had other plans. The ride in went well enough – although I was quite battered from going both uphill and against the wind for 4 1/2 hours. I also managed to crack the rails of my well-loved, well-used and oft-abused saddle only two miles into the ride. That would usually turn back most everyone, as the thought of doing any distance without, you know: a saddle is unthinkable. “BAH!” I muttered to myself, on the side of the road – not even out of the city of Boulder. I rejiggered the saddle, so the cracked portion of the rails sat on the seatpost clamps, thus holding the rails where they needed to be. It moved my saddle about an inch+ forward, which my knees protested about, but… it worked!
Once booting up the trail, it was quite obvious that the wind wasn’t going to let me get too far. I had hopes that I could get through it, but my thoughts went from, “Well, when one of the huge gusts come, I’ll just grab anything close by and hang on for dear life!” to “I can’t even make forward progress!” The wind was so great that I literally could not walk towards the Keyhole and I was shut down right before Granite Pass. The sky was filling with lenticular clouds shaped like airships and flying saucers. It was an incredible experience.
Rocketed home, now with the help of the wind in < 2:00 hours from the Trailhead to the Bustop in Boulder at 19.2 mph, with a top speed of 50 mph. A nice consolation for missing the summit of Longs, yet again (fourth time?), as the canyon on the descent is quite beautiful.
Once I got home, I found out Bill Wright was also on the massif that same day, having started about 1 1/2 hours before me at the trail head and was able to summit via the Cables route with two buddies. He reports on the wind as well. Wish I could have started that much earlier, but I already had woken up for the day at 2:30 am! Bill writes about it, here.
And with that, I think this was a successful week. I was feeling it on that hike up to Longs, though, so the next week may be a way easy week for my legs, while I just climb indoors (it also just snowed here about 3-5″). My legs are a bit grumpy and I’ve been losing quite a bit of weight, recently. I should also put in some more work-work in, so that I can purchase a new camera without it being on my conscious!
Week total on my feet: 36.1 miles, 14,310 feet of elevation (steeper week!)
Week total on the bike: 92.1 miles, 8,174 feet of elevation (one day of riding! – same as last week)