Monday, October 29, 2012

Week Ending October 28

Mon - 18 miles (6,500') peaks. Sprague, Stones w/Joe in the park.

Tues - 6.5 miles (1,600') easy. Horsetooth north summit via north notch w/Wesir and Burch.

Weds - 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth south summit.

Thus - 8 miles (1,800') steady. Towers in 32:37. Felt like I was working at a 30-min effort. Conditions weren't the best, with some snow up high, but not that bad. My fitness is apparently not that great right now. 

Fri - 6.5 miles (1,600') easy. Horsetooth north summit in the snow w/Wesir. Up in the dark via Southridge/Audra, down in the mist via the Rock trail.

Sat - Off. Not quite sure where the day went, but a running window never quite materialized.

Sun - 4.5 miles (1,900') peakbaggery. Unnamed, but ranked, peak 6,674'. This one has been sitting there bugging me since a failed attempt months back. The first time I tried this, I parked up across from the Cherry Store at the west end of the Big Thompson Narrows with a view to ascending via Dickson Gulch. Unfortunately, this route requires the use of an aggressively signed private road (Stagecoach?) and the passing of several houses in the early going, and I didn't want to deal with that hassle, so turned around and came home. I have since scouted a couple of alternative routes, dismissing the route from the east which would require trespassing on the Horsetooth Canal Road, and opting instead for a steep scramble up from the canyon floor of the Big Thompson Narrows on NF land. The other option that looks viable is to come in on Bear Track Rd from Pole Hill Rd to the south, but I have no idea what the status of that road is. It is marked on maps as a county road, but I have learned in recent months that that doesn't necessarily make it a public road.

Anyway, I parked the car at a pull-off in the first major bend of the east side of the narrows - just before the Roosevelt NF sign. From that pull-off, there were flags indicating a route up the south side of the canyon. This had me confused at first, but then I remembered that there had been a small fire up there this summer and figured it was flagging for the fire-fighting effort. Sure enough, after a steep, scrambly climb following the flagging, I was in the small burn area (maybe 20 acres) on the northeastern shoulder of the first summit of the 6,674' ridgeline. The actual highpoint is on the southern end of the ridgeline, with four or five points along the way. I hit three of the four summits on the ridge before finally getting up on 6,674. The going was decent, as bushwhacking goes, but not great: plenty of downed trees, typical scrub and lots of pointy, prickly stuff. The views from 6,674' were good, with a great line of sight to the southeastern ridge of Round Mtn, including the Stone Mtn rock outcropping. Other views included Palisade and Alexander in all their glory to the east, in addition to some high snow-capped peaks to the north. On the return trip, I skirted the ridgeline to the north and west, and ended up having to traverse east a half mile on some sketchy terrain high above the narrows in order to be able to descend back into the canyon at a point where the road was on the correct side of the river (a bend west of the NF sign). Would have been much better off retracing my steps. Glad to finally have this one ticked off the list.   

Total: 50 miles (15,100')

Finding it hard right now to motivate for hard quality sessions. The plan for the off-season was to drop the mileage and focus on quality. I have succeeded in dropping the mileage, but not so much with the quality part. Back on track (badda, bing) this week, one hopes.


  1. I mean this in the most sincere way, you are a beast! These races and times are truly incredible. Thanks for the cool pics to go with. I have two dreams as a runner, 1. Run on every continent, including Antarctica; 2. Run an ultra. I am not there yet, but I am working towards it, slowly.

  2. Brilliant!

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