Sunday, August 30, 2009

Longs Peak

On Sunday we climbed Longs Peak. It lived up to its name.

A quick synopsis:

4pm Sat: Set up camp at campground at trailhead. Checked out trail.
8pm Sat: Went to bed
2am Sun: Got up
2:45am: Started hiking with Ann and Sean
4:00am: Another hiker joins our group because his is going too fast. Patrick, a CSU football player, joins us for a good part of the day.
6:00am: Sunrise at the Keyhole
8:45am: Dan and Laurel summit
9:30am: Ann and Sean summit, L&D begin descent
11:30am: L&D reach Keyhole
1:30pm: Ann and Sean reach Keyhole
3:30pm: All four of us reach trailhead around the same time, with thunder rumbling overhead
4:30pm: Arrive home
5:30pm: Eat dinner
6:30pm: L&D go to bed and wake 7am Monday

Stats: 16 miles, 5,000 elevation gain == ONE LONG DAY!
Click for more pics

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Pinnacle

Yay! Dan's home! So, we went climbing today. Because his toe is not completely healed, we wanted to try something less committing than a Flatiron. We went to one of our favorite and very accessible areas--the Amphitheater. Here, Dan led up a line on the East Bench we hadn't done before. As he was belaying me he heard someone talking on a cellphone and then some groaning noises. When I reached the top we looked over the edge and saw the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group practicing a rescue. One volunteer was acting as the victim and kept groaning which was the source of constant amusement for us.

Rather than rapping down into their rescue staging area, Dan led up the First Pinnacle and then I down-led a pitch to the ground. We called it a short day to protect Dan's toe. Unfortunately, he slipped on the trail as we were walking out and bruised his bum :(

Click pic to see album

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cameron, Lincoln & Bross

Ann, Kitty and I drove out to Alma to finish a 14er circuit that we attempted in June with Dan and Sean. Fortunately, the weather was beautiful and we were not hiking in the clouds. Unlike June, though, when there were maybe 50 people on the mountain yesterday there were hundreds there. Cars lined the road to the parking lot and beelines of hikers climbed Mount Democrat. Lucky for us Democrat wasn't on our agenda because we did it in June. So, we were able to jump in front of the masses and head straight up Cameron.

Once we hit the ridge it got very windy and cool, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Cameron, which is not "technically" a fourteener because there is a not a 300' vertical difference between it and Lincoln, was actually a more distinctive summit than I had thought. We stopped there briefly before heading on to Lincoln. Lincoln was very rocky on the top and there was a cool turret-like feature just before the top. Again, it was very windy so we descended quickly. We hiked over to Bross which had a huge, almost flat summit--big enough for a couple of football fields.

The only tricky part of the hike was finding the descent down Bross. We ended up going down the non-standard route down a very steep gully. To get to the gully we had to cross a large scree field. The three of us were fine, but we were concerned about the other hikers near us. Three guys and a woman with three dogs glissaded down the scree. One of the poor dogs was yelping the whole way and was not very happy. The woman actually asked Kitty to push her dog down. Right. Like that's a smart thing to do. Another woman who ended up miles from her 8 hiking partners tagged along with us in case she fell or whatever. Just what we wanted--a babysitting charge. We all got down ok and then had a wonderful time hiking back to the car through fields of wild flowers. A great day overall!

Click here for pics!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nederland or Bust!

I decided to go for a bike this morning--in the canyon. I thought I would see how far I could get and then turn around.

After 2 hours and 20 minutes I arrived in the town of Nederland--19 miles away and 3,000 feet higher than Boulder. I have always (well, the last two years anyway) wanted to do this and made it! Once in town I stopped at a little cafe for a hearty French toast breakfast and then coasted back down to the city. Amazingly, it took only on hour to descend. Click here for my route.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August Happenings

Well, it's been a while since we posted anything, so I thought I would do a quick summary.

Many of you know that Dan is in Mass. this week and next. He's thoroughly enjoyed visiting with everyone! I started school this week (no kids yet) so I've been very busy while he's been gone. I even had to work all last weekend (Move Manager stuff for the schools' construction projects) so we didn't get to do anything adventurous.

However, last weekend we did go out to the Med (tapas restaurant) downtown and then to the Outdoor Cinema to see Office Space in celebration of Dan's birthday. That was very fun. We have both been running in preparation for a half marathon in September. I rode my bike to my new school two days this past week (12 miles one way) in preparation for a 50 mile ride which will also happen in September.

We're still looking at real estate. We found one condo two weeks ago that we put an offer on, but we were out bid. No big deal, there are plenty of other places out there! I looked today at a handful of places with the realtor and there's one or two I think Dan should see when he returns. Other than that, I did hike up Sugarloaf today after my long run.

Oh right, a week ago Monday we celebrated our 7th anniversary (wow!). After Dan got his toe nail removed (yes, very gross), we went to the Gold Hill Inn--the Boulder equivalent to the Wayside.

Hopefully next weekend there will be more exciting stories to tell and pictures to see!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

St. Vrain and Meadow Mountains

I got to do a weekday hike with Nick from our WTS class. He agreed to go with me to do one of my projects--St. Vrain and Meadow Mountains. We drove up to Allenspark and parked on the Rock Creek 4-wheel drive road. The regular trailhead is closed due to an aggressive animal that is protecting her young.

We started up the road and eventually had to move off trail to get to the saddle connecting St. Vrain and Meadow. The flowers alongside the creek were gorgeous and we enjoyed the picturesque vistas. The bushwhacking got a bit treacherous towards the treeline but we did our best to follow game paths.

We found the St. Vrain Mountain trail and followed it to the south side of the peak. Once again we left the trail and then summited St. Vrain. There was a rock shelter at the top, but we didn't need it because it was such a beautiful day.

The skies were not threatening at all, so we headed east to Meadow Mountain. We followed the trail back to the saddle and scoped out the best route up Meadow. It was just a couple hundred feet to summit.

Because it was difficult following the right 4-wheel drive roads we decided to follow the traditional trail back to about half a mile from the trailhead and then we cut over across the ridge back to the car. Overall, we did about 10 miles and 3800' elevation gain. It was an awesome (and dry!) day.

Our route.
Click for pics!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Second Flatiron

We did it! The real climb, that is! A few weeks ago when we tried to climb "Free for All" we didn't do it right and then we had to bail on the last pitch because of thunderstorms. Today, we did what we were supposed to and actually summited.

The route was really fun. The first two pitches were 4th class straight up the slab. The third and fourth pitches were more like 5.2 and got us up onto the ridge and over the first gully. The fifth pitch went right underneath the Pullman Car and then skirted to the left of it. I actually think we were supposed to get into another gully at this point and walk to the base of the next pitch, but Dan led the climb up around it. There were some definite 5.6 moves here. The last pitch got us to the top of the Car at which point I led down the 4th class scramble to the trail.

It was a really fun, but very hot, day!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eldora 10K

A 10k trail race at 9,000 feet isn't as easy as it sounds. Well, Dan thought it was easy enough because he beat his Bolder Boulder time by almost 2 minutes while dodging rocks, roots, and lots of mud. I, on the other hand, felt thankful to finish all in one piece.

The race was held on the cross country trails up at the Eldora Ski Resort about 30 minutes west of Boulder. The resort was also hosting an xTerra triathlon at the same time. I have a lot of respect for those folks -- swimming in 60 degree water, mountain biking and then running.

Anyway, we got up to the resort with Ann at around 7:30. At the pre-race meeting they warned us how muddy the course was going to be because Nederland had seen a lot of rain the last few days. And boy, the race director was right. There was a lot of mud to jump over or try to squish through. Aside from that, the race course was pretty neat. We winded through the woods, up hills, down hills, through meadows, single track, rocky wide sections -- you name it, we ran on it! I think the hardest part, though, was not knowing how far you had gone or how much was left. There was only one mileage marker on the whole course -- "2" (miles? km?) -- and aside from that you were out in the woods with 200 other people. A fun morning after all! Oh, to see our results, click here.