Monday, July 16, 2012

Week Ending July 15

Mon - 7.5 miles (1,800'). Horsetooth summit: Audra/Southridge. Legs felt good for the first time since WS100. Pushed both ways. Fun outing.

Tues - AM: 7 miles (1,800') easy. Horsetooth summit with Brian Stef. Up Rock/Vintage/Bushwhack to South Summit, down Audra/Southridge. Super hazy again to the north and west. Smoke from Wyoming, I assume.
PM: 7.5 miles track. Workout was 800 open, then 3 x mile with 2:40 stationary rest. I felt tonight like I was starting to get my running legs back a bit, but I still couldn't hang on for the full workout. Another couple of rounds and I hope to be back running sub-5:20 mile repeats with a reasonable degree of comfort. Splits: 2:36, 5:23, 5:26, 5:30.

Weds - AM: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Quick Falls loop.
PM: 7.5 miles (1,800') easy. Horsetooth summit late in the day. Perfect evening. Southridge/Audra.

Thurs - AM: 11.5 miles (5,200') Longs Peak (14,250'). Met Brian and Adam super early (3:20) for a pre-work trip above 14,000 feet. Left the East Longs TH at 4:20 and took the standard trail to the Chasm turn-off with a few shortcuts below Goblins. Pace was casual and I was happy to slot into Brian's hike/run rhythm. Chasm turnoff at 49 mins, then full Loft route to the summit, which we hit at 6:35 (2:15). Awesome sunrise on the way up, clear morning and very little wind. Took Keyhole/Jim's Grove down (1:26) for a 3:41 RT or 3:51 with summit time. At my desk working by 9:30.
PM: 9 miles (1,900') easy. Took an easy-effort ride up Towers with the FCTR group. Legs were unhappy to be going again after the Longs effort, but started cooperating with a mile or two of warming up. Starting to feel good about reloading the effort. Got to keep moving.

Fri - Noon: 7.5 miles (1,800') easy. Horsetooth summit. Southridge/Audra.
PM - 3.5 miles easy with Dana. Bluesky TH to Towers and back. 

Sat - AM: 17 miles (6,100') mountains. Mummy Mania. My third crack at this classic traverse, which takes in six peaks of the Mummy Range. The standard route goes from the Chapin Pass trailhead, some seven miles up the Old Fall River Road and then follows the range of peaks from Chapin to Mummy in a horseshoe line before dropping all the way down the southeast slopes of Mummy to the Lawn Lake trail. I just about have this route dialed now, but still managed to make a couple of egregious line choices that cost me somewhere in the order of 30 minutes. Nonetheless, I was still able to chop 53 minutes off my time from last year and set a new standard at 5:37.

Chapin, Chiquita, Ypsilon, Fairchild. Four of the six Mummy Mania summits.

South and southeast face of Mummy Mountain.
Some notes for future reference:

I again cut south too early for the Chapin summit (12,454'), hitting the false summit to the west and requiring additional rock hopping to the east. A better line here is probably worth four to five minutes. Chiquita (13,069') as always was very straight forward, but the cairn'ed route is best avoided as it is somewhat circuitous. Ypsilon  (13,514') is also very straightforward, but again the correct line - avoiding the false summit to the south - is worth a few minutes. Ypsilon to Fairchild is the crux of this route. I chose to explore firmer rock on the north side of the connecting ridge / saddle between the two summits, rather than hop the choss on the south side as I have on my two previous Mummy Mania outings. This was a definite error that left me negotiating some low class five sections, adding probably 10 minutes to the trip. I also chose to take the west ridge up Fairchild (13,502') and ended up having to down-climb to get around some dicey exposed rock, and then skirt east before being able to ascend the boulders for the gentler summit slopes. All told, I probably gave up 15 minutes tooling around between the two summits. Fairchild to Hagues (13,571') I nailed, skirting a little ways east 300 feet below the Hagues summit for a much easier and quicker walk-up ascent. Hagues to Mummy (13,425') was textbook too. However, my descent off Mummy was a disaster. From the summit, I felt like I saw a reasonable scree descent down one of the steep gulleys on the southeast face. I figured that rather than take the standard Black Canyon drainage route, I could save myself significant time by heading directly for the Roaring River and Lawn Lake Trail. I'm not sure I hit the correct gulley - or maybe the view from the summit was deceptive - but as it turned out I ended up committed to down-climbing some very sketchy rock with limited choices, which meant extreme caution and many lost minutes. Once on trail, I ran quite hard for the TH.

This route can go under five hours for sure with the correct route choices.

Splits with 2011 in parentheses:

Chapin: 31 (39)
Chiquita: 55 (1:03)
Ypsilon: 1:16 (1:34)
Fairchild: 2:26 (2:45)
Hagues: 3:19 (3:57)
Mummy: 4:01 (4:49)
Lawn Lake/Black Canyon intersection: 4:56 (5:39)
Lawn Lake TH: 5:37:22 (6:30) 

Sun - AM: 17.5 miles (1,300') easy. Redstone Canyon with some folks from the Fort Collins Running Club.
PM: 4.5 miles (1,500') hiking. Horsetooth summit with Alistair and my dad. Up the Rock Trail, down Audra/Southridge. 

Total: 105.5 miles (24,200')

Managed to grind out a pretty good week, with recovery from Western States feeling like it is pretty much complete. Any week with 13 summits in it has to be considered a success, regardless of other stats. Perhaps the most encouraging part of the week, however, was the rapidity with which I seem to be readjusting to working above timberline. Last week on Hagues, I was feeling a bit out of sorts with the altitude; this week with Hagues as my fifth alpine summit of the morning I really wasn't thinking about the altitude factor with the exception of a low-grade headache. This all bodes well for Leadville - where incidentally we'll be camping and scouting next weekend. Three more big weeks and then a shorter two-week taper (maybe 2.5 weeks) and I think I'll be good and ready for a stab at this Colorado classic.

The Pearl Train coming into Dusty Corners last month. Not sure who took this, but it popped up on Dana's Facebook thingy the other day.


  1. Diana's facebook thing?

    Glad to see you coming back around.

  2. If you need company or a tour guide or just someone to beat up an ascent, let me know. I will be around.

  3. Nice work on Mummy Mania. I did this last Wednesday, and my time was a very respectable (for a rock climber) of 5:58. Reading your description, I think you can easily drop 30+ minutes, and I think it would be cool to see this go under five hours. Here are my hints. You were faster than me on every split except from Ypsilon to Fairchild and from Mummy to the trail. From Ypsilon to Fairchild, don't take the ridge from the saddle. After descending Ypsilon (over the loose scree) I got to the saddle between the two and made a beeline over the scree to Fairchild. It turns out to be solid and straightforward. Coming off of Mummy, go straight towards the easternmost part of the cliff line, and there is a cairned trail taking you almost straight to the Lawn Lake/Black Lake intersection, about 0.3 miles away. The cairns are a little hard to see, but this makes for a fast descent of Mummy. If you meet my splits for Ypsilon to Fairchild and Mummy to the junction, that would save you 30 minutes, and I believe you could make seven minutes elsewhere.


  4. BF - will contact you separately. Would certainly welcome the company.

    Elijah - nice work yourself. We should hit this one together sometime. Agreed on Ypsilon to Fairchild. The last two times on this route, I've traversed low and then cut up on the boulders, but thought the ridge might be a better option. Wrong. And on the Mummy descent, another friend told me about the line you describe; I just thought I saw something better. Wrong again. I wasted a ton of time getting off Mummy. But now I know.

    1. I think I almost took the same line you did off of Mummy. Started down the gully for about 10 yards and decided to look for something different, and wondered all day if that gully would have been faster. Thanks for checking it out for me.

      I would love to do it again. It was one of the better outing I have done in the park. So much time above tree line. There are a couple of extra credit peaks that would be fun, and I would like to do some hikes around glacier gorge. Keep me in mind.


  5. I wouldn't put money on him, but Mike Aish will likely get the popular vote going into Leadville.

  6. JM - had no idea he was running, but great to see a world-class road runner step outside his comfort zone to test himself against the lunacy of the longer stuff. Could be great, could be ugly, could be somewhere in between. That's the beauty of 100 mile racing.

  7. In the recap (!), I read that he won the Leadville 50 over the weekend too.

  8. I read it! Just didn't get there yet this week.

  9. Rumor has it this was Aish's first trail race - hard to imagine him dominating a distance like the 100 with no experience, but he definitely did well at Silver Rush on Sunday...