Ten Years a Slave (to my running habbit)

The earliest running photo I can find (July 3rd, 2006).

The earliest running photo I can find (July 3rd, 2006).

I was looking through some old stuff the other day and discovered that the tenth anniversary of my first run was coming up.  Whoa!  Has it been ten years already?  I remember that night clearly: a couple climbing friends got together and took a run along the Bobolink (aka South Boulder Creek) trail on a weeknight in January figuring it would be a good way to keep in shape for some upcoming mountaineering ventures.  One thing lead to another and here we are… Continue reading

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2015 Year in Review

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All the runs, courtesy of Sisu

Obviously, it’s been a big year for me running-wise.  In previous years, I’ve hit 1000 miles only twice and that was in mid-December.  This year I rolled over that fourth digit on June 20th.  The pace fell off quite a bit after that, but I still managed another 427 miles during the rest of the year, surpassing my old record (from 2014) by 380 miles.

The highlight of the year was definitely Bighorn. However, I had a number of wonderful, adventurous runs in the training beforehand and golden summer/autumn/winter after the race.  Since a new year is time for retrospection and smugness, here are some highlights that haven’t made this blog so far. Continue reading

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Walking the Planks

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Been a while since I was up here in snow mode…

It’s been a long time since I was on skis; 18 months to be precise.  Last winter I spent all my free time (and more) running my way into some semblance of fitness for Bighorn.  No, the last time I was on planks was in May of 2014 when I made a ski descent of Horseshoe Mountain.  It wasn’t super-pretty, but I wore skis the whole way down and only fell about ten times.  Technicalities count, right?

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Last Call for Summer Mountains

No, this photo is not upside down.

No, this photo is not upside down.

October in Colorado is a weird month.  Unlike summer in the high country, which arrives gradually, winter arrives like a slamming door.  The first significant snowfall of the year could be in September, or it could wait until Halloween.  In any case, by the middle of October, the days are statistically numbered and any chance you get for one last chance in the mountains before the snow flies should be taken advantage of.

Nice colors at the start.

Nice colors at the start.

Accordingly, Brian and I met up at the Lawn Lake Trailhead in RMNP and did a “run” up to Ypsillon Lake and beyond.  I’ve been to Lawn Lake a couple times, but never taken the left turn up the long, forested ridge to Ypsillon Lake.  It’s nice.  Steep, decent trail, and something new under the sun.  I haven’t seen Brian since Bighorn (where we had somewhat different experiences), so it was fun to do a detailed debriefing.  He’s trying again, so it looks like I’ll be up there as well pacing him for as little or as much of the course as he would like.  I’m pretty excited about that.

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Got Yer Goat

Goats wandering north toward Peak 5

Goats wandering north toward Peak 5

A weekend in Summit County… so many options and, as with so many other occasions, my activity was choice was driven by the goals of others. In this case, my friend and hostess Meggan has been working on hiking the Colorado Trail section by section. I’m not list-driven, but never mind the opportunity to draw a new line on the map of familiar terrain. CT Segment 7 is a relatively short (12 miles), but fierce as it climbs up and over the Tenmile Range. Continue reading

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Blue Lake Moon

IMG_0209Most summers we attempt, or at least talk up attempting, a night ascent of Mt. Audubon.  Some years, it’s amazing and beautiful.  Some years, it’s horrific type-3 fun.

The 2015 edition looked good in weather forecast, but less good in feet-on-the-trailhead conditions (moderate rain).  Still, we’d driven all this way, I activated a show-the-flag Plan B and we saddled up for a short run up the Mitchell Lake trail to at least see what might happen.

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Snow Pass Circuit

Paintbrush and Snow Peak

Paintbrush and Snow Peak

My fascination with the Gore Range is well known and has, so far, been well rewarded. It’s a range of jagged mountains in Summit and Eagle Counties less than two hours from the Denver Metro area, yet a lack of 14ers or easy access means that hardly anyone knows of it. There aren’t any conventional guidebooks and no single map does a decent job of covering this complicated and confusing area. I started at the relatively well-known southern end of the range in 2011 and have been slowly working my way north and west each season. At this rate, I’ll stay happy and curious for another decade at least!

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