Springtime!, when a young man’s heart turns to thoughts of lakes and wildflowers and big runs through the mountains. Time to put away the skis and start thinking about trail training.
By early April, it looked like spring was well-sprung.
Back at the end of March, it was clear that the winter of 2012-13, such as it was, was pretty much a done deal and I might as well kick the summer training into gear. Thus began Operation Active April: doing “something aerobic” for 30 minutes a day every day of the month. Maybe alternating running with bike commutes for a nice, rounded training profile.
We’re all about backcountry fashion.
I’ve never quite groked why the anniversary of the ritual execution of your messiah should be called “Good Friday” but there are many things I don’t understand. What I do know is that full day in ski boots definitely falls on the ‘pro’ column any day of the week.
Brian usually comes down to the Boulder area for outdoors fun, so it seemed only right that I trek up to see him for once and see what the Fort Collins area had in the way of backcountry skiing. What it has, after another 1.5 hours driving, is Cameron Pass which is awesome! We’ve been talking about a ski descent of Clark Peak for a long time. Our start was too late and the weather too ominous to seriously contemplate a summit today, but we resolved to find some good turns regardless. Continue reading
Spectacular cliffs along the Barton “Creek”
When I was first planning my work-related visit to Austin/College Station, I sent out an email to the Boulder Trail Runners email list (several thousand people) asking for suggestions on ways to occupy myself for half a day in the area. I ran the lovely Town Lake Loop back in 2008, but was looking for something a bit more amibitious and wild. Quite a few people responded, but they all boiled down to “Go run the Barton Creek Wilderness“. Seven miles of trail running starting in the heart of Austin? That’s a no brainer!
Posted in abroad, exploration, running, solo, travel
Tagged austin, barton creek wilderness, barton springs, messing with texas, texas, trail run, zilker park
The Bonfire Memorial at Texas A&M. It was really peaceful and beautiful to run through in the early morning. Later I learned what it was all about. Spooky!
The Mitchell Center is a remarkably cool building.
College Station, TX, isn’t my first choice of places to visit, but I was invited out by an old grad school chum to give a talk and meet folks. Long story short, it was really fun! The department there (actually, a sub-department as the astronomers are a semi-autonomous branch of the very large physics department) is quite new and has some real up-and-coming talent. Everyone came to my lunch-time talk and then I spent the afternoon talking to people and getting toured about. It was really nice.
Everything’s bigger in Texas.
Anyway, it’s not much of an adventure as these things go, but a definite change of scenery from my usual activities.
Sawtooth Mountain and Buchanan Pass
January and February are busy season for astronomers, or at least those of us who like to use the Hubble Space Telescope for fun and profit. Thus, when March rolls around each year I’m always surprised to find that winter is mostly over and I’ve barely begun to think in terms of snowy fun. Fortunately, this year, the end of proposal season coincided with the beginning of actual winter around here. We’re finally getting some snow.
Accordingly, I called in “sick” <cough cough>, grabbed the skinny skis, and headed up to Peaceful Valley for a day of touring. Much like the adjacent Wild Basin area of RMNP, it’s a long way up the Middle St. Vrain valley before you get to the good stuff. But the good stuff is really good! I followed the very gently rising trail in for about four miles going from well-packed to new snow on top of old packed trail.
Happy to be in the woods on such a beautiful day.
Posted in exploration, skiing, solo, winter
Tagged Beaver Reservoir, Buchanan Pass, Camp Dick, Middle St. Vrain, Peaceful Valley, Red Deer Lake, Sawtooth, Sourdough Trail
I’m usually a pretty go-with-the-flow kind of guy, at least when it comes to my hobbies. This works out well and lots of adventures have happened with little advanced planning but it also often leads to inertia and lethargy winning the day. So this year I set a couple of rather arbitrary and nebulous goals to keep me moving. Two months ago, the New Year’s Resolution was as follows:
1000 miles of running – A thousand miles of running is a lot (for me, at least), but not crazy. I did it in 2008 and, with enough motivation, should be able to do that again. Averaging 2.7 miles a day will get me there. Or 83 miles/month.
2000 miles on a bike – Two thousand on the bike is more of a stretch. My commute to work is 18 miles round trip, so two commutes a week all year and a couple long rides in the summer will do it. But I’ve got a snazzy new road bike and am thinking some 50+ mile days seem intriguing…
10 new summits – This sounds a bit crazy, especially in my eleventh season in Colorado when I’ve already climbed all the nearby easy peaks. But back in the day, I could bag a dozen new peaks pretty easily in a single push. Given a couple good trips this summer, this one shouldn’t be too hard.
1 ski descent – that’s a little tougher and relies on good snow (something we haven’t had yet), willing partners, and the time off to do it. We’ll see.
So here we are two months into 2013. How are things going?
Posted in peak, running, skiing
I used to judge the quality of a day on the slopes by how many runs I could get in. What can I say? I’m cheap and obsessive. If I’m going to shell out beaucoup dinero for lift access, I’m going to get my money’s worth. A good day was anything with 20+ runs in it. Get the first chair in the morning, eat lunch on the lift, push it until the last chair in the afternoon… I think my personal record out here in Colorado is something like 25 runs. Sure, your legs are jelly by early afternoon and you end up with blisters from all that lift time with heavy boots and skis yanking your legs down, but doggone it, economic efficiency is achieved.
Whether you plan it or not, parenthood changes ones approach to a lot of things. Continue reading