Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter triathlon day

It was soooo nice today! This morning we biked to the gym and climbed for an hour and a half. When we left the gym, it was so warm we didn't need hat or gloves. The roads and bike paths are still kinda a mess, but they're melting. We meandered over to Sanitas. It was t-shirt weather in the sun! I ran a lap on the Dakota Ridge trail and SVT and Laurel did some hiking, then we biked home for lunch.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chautauqua Skiing

The skiing was awesome at Chautauqua this morning. I skied Baseline to Bluebell-Baird to Mesa as far as Skunk Canyon, and then back on Kohler Mesa and Enchanted Mesa. Beautiful!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Snowstorm

We got over 16 inches of snow overnight. When I got up this morning, I put on my cross-country skis and skied the Cottonwood Trail. It was a lot of work to break trail for 2 miles. The way back was a lot easier!

Then, I went snowshoeing with Tanya and her mother who was visiting from Pennsylvania. We hiked some of the Mesa Trail and then looped back around to Kohler Mesa and Enchanted Mesa. It was absolutely gorgeous!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We went to the Pats game today. It was awesome! The sun was out and it was very, very warm. The high was supposed to be in the mid-fifties, but in the sunshine it felt more like high 70s. We tailgated in the parking lot of the Aquarium and Children's Museum with some other Pats fans. Then we walked to the stadium and found our seats in the sunshine. Tebow and the Broncos scored two touchdowns in their first two drives, but the Patriots responded with scores of their own and then recovered two Broncos fumbles. Though the Broncos tried to come back in the second half with some sacks of Brady, they weren't able to do so. We won 41-23! It was a great day and great fun.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Twin Sisters and Elk

Saturday morning Ashlee, Adam and I drove up to the Park. Unfortunately, Dan had to stay at home to do homework, so he wasn't able to join us. The hike up to Twin Sisters was beautiful in the snow. It wasn't too cold, especially when we were in the sun.

When we summitted, there was no wind at all. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, so we could see mountains for miles around.

When we got down, there was still some daylight left so we went to Moraine Park to see if there were elk. Boy, did we luck out! There were hundreds of elk grazing. It was really cool to watch them all. On our return home we ate elk for dinner, well, I had a bite but everyone else seemed to like it a lot.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter Park

On the way to Winter Park we stopped and saw the buffalo eat breakfast. It was very cool seeing them run to the hay. It was another beautiful, sunny day that was just perfect for skiing. We skied some great runs and even got on to the Mary Jane side of the mountain. As we headed home, we stopped at Beau Jo's for some delicious pizza.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


On Thursday Adam and Ashlee flew into Denver. That afternoon we hiked Mount Sanitas. It was sunny and warm when we started, but when the sun began set it got really chilly. After we warmed up, we headed to Boulder Beer for some bison burgers and brews.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Run! Climb! Snowshoe!

Laurel and I got up early today to try to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse, but by the time we were up and running the moon had set. Oh well, we had a nice run and got to see the sun come up.

After our run we headed to the climbing gym. Climbed a bunch of overhanging 5.9s and a 5.10a. We've just started climbing again this week, after a few months off, so this was a pretty good start!

After that we picked up Donna and headed to Wild Basin for some snowshoeing. We were able to drive down to the winter closure gate and from there hiked up to Calypso Cascades. It was sunny, but we were in the shadows of the trees most of the way. A bit cold but not windy. It took us just over 2 hours to get to the cascades, which unfortunately were completely covered in snow. Round trip for the day was 4 hours, 6.8 miles, and nearly 800' gain.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Skiing, Climbing and Green Mountain

Saturday it snowed a lot, so I skied out the garage onto the Cottonwood Trail. It was beautiful. Dan ran the trail in the snow. That afternoon we decided to go climbing and get a winter membership to the gym. Climbing was a lot of fun, but hard work! It's been way too long since we've done any difficult routes.

Sunday we hiked up Green Mountain in all the new snow. The trails were broken and mostly beaten down so we didn't need snowshoes. My new Asolo boots were awesome and kept my feet toasty warm. Just past the summit of Green we ran into Fred Ecks on his Sunday Church Run. It's always fun to run into people we know out on the trail! It's too bad Dan forgot the camera, because it was unbelievably beautiful with all the new snow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Vacation Week

On Monday Dan ran up around the Boulder Reservoir and I swam at the pool.

On Tuesday we rode our bikes to Flagstaff and ran up the mountain.

On Wednesday I rode my bike to Boulder Valley Ranch and ran the Lefthand trail. Donna cooked a yummy Thanksgiving dinner and then we drove up to Winter Park to stay at Donna and JJ's skihaus.

On Thursday we skied at Winter Park. There were a handful of runs open that were a lot of fun.

On Friday all four of us hiked up at the Roaring Fork Trail near Lake Granby. It was cool to hike on the "other" side of the Divide. There wasn't enough snow to warrant snowshoes, but it was very pretty. Dan and I drove home Friday night.

The roaring fork

Lake Granby

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Niwot Ridge Ski

I drove up to the CU Research Center to try my first cross-country skiing of the year. The Niwot Ridge Road had enough snow down low for me to ski right from the parking lot.

As I climbed higher and higher up the trail, the snow got deeper and deeper. I didn't see anyone or anything until a ptarmigan caught my eye above the tree line.

I skied down a nice, deep bowl just south of the trail and then retraced my tracks down to the car. On the way down, I did see a few other skiers who thanked me for breaking trail and I ran into another teacher from my school. Pretty cool!

The snow on the road closer to the car was getting melty and slippery with the warm sun. Unfortunately, I took a turn too fast and fell on some small exposed rocks. I fell so hard that the rocks ripped through two pairs of pants and managed to skin my knee and give me a pretty good bruise (it took three weeks before I could kneel again). But, overall it was a gorgeous day of skiing!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lost Lake

Today Dan, JJ and I drove up to the Hessie trailhead outside of Eldora. It was 32 degrees, snowing lightly, and the wind was blowing consistently at 30mph with gusts 10-20mph stronger. We layered up at the car and quickly put on microspikes for the icy road up to the actual trail. The wind was blowing from the west, right into our faces until we got into the trees, about a mile from the car.

Much of the trail was also wind swept (and covered in fallen trees), so we buckled down until we got to higher elevations and more tree coverage. Once we got to the Lost Lake turn-off, the snow did get deeper and we had a bit of a reprieve from the wind.

Unfortunately, the reprieve didn't last long, because we soon got up to the lake where the wind had a huge, flat surface to whip across. Here, we also put on our snowshoes to try to circumnavigate the lake. Our explorations led us off-trail and up a rocky slope.

We then carefully side-stepped down a very steep hill to get back to the shoreline. The rest of the trek was uneventful and as we headed back to the car, the clouds cleared a bit, the wind settled down, and the sun started showing its face. Overall, we hiked 6 miles and gained almost 1,000 feet.

View Lost Lake in a larger map

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flagstaff with Donna

What a great day to go hiking with Donna today! We got a bit of an early start but the day warmed up quickly and the clouds didn't show up until after we were done. Our route went up Gregory Canyon to the Greenman Lodge, then to the summit of Flagstaff, before heading down the Flagstaff and Crown Rock Trails. We hiked 4.6 miles in about 3h30m.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bear Peak run/hike

Laurel and I rode over to the Shanahan Ridge trailhead for a run up Bear Peak. It was a gorgeous day and the trails weren't too snowy or icy, but we did need our microspikes in a few places.

Along the way I noticed a rock that I thought looked like a buffalo, and Laurel saw one that looked like a prairie dog. Honest, we're not crazy!

We ran along the Mesa and Big Bluestem trails until we got to the bottom of Shadow Canyon; from there we decided to hike to the ridge. It's a very steep trail, so even if you think you're running it, it's more like a fast hike (for us anyway). We skipped South Boulder Peak and instead headed to Bear. The summit was wonderful -- no wind, blue sky, fairly warm. We had great views of the Indian Peaks and could even see Pikes Peak far away to the south...

... and Longs Peak to the north.

After enjoying a snack break on the summit we hiked and ran down Fern Canyon, then ran back to the trailhead. In all we did about 8.5 miles on foot and 11.5 on bike.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cottonwood snow run

Laurel and I got up before the sun for a snowy run on the Cottonwood trail. Not only before the sun, but before the plows too, so lots of fresh snow to crunch through! It was a beautiful cold morning. This and another early-season snowstorms dumped 8+ inches each of wet heavy snow, so quite a few tree limbs were down. Not as bad as the northeast, but pretty bad. We sprinted the few times we heard branches cracking overhead!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Green Mountain Run

This morning Dan and I rode bikes to Chautauqua. We ran the Baseline Trail, hiked most of the Gregory Canyon Trail, and then ran/hiked the Ranger Trail to the summit of Green Mountain. It took 1:25, not bad for mostly hiking.

Sugarloaf Mtn. in the foreground, Mt. Audubon behind it. Paiute just to the left of Audubon and Sawtooth farther to the right.

It was quite windy at the top! Still a lot of people out enjoying the day though. We ran down the E.M. Greenman Trail to Saddle Rock and then Amphitheater.

Dan zooming down the Amphitheater trail.

It took about an hour to get down, and then we fought the foot traffic for the CU/Oregon game on the bike path back home. The leaves are still beautiful around town and the weather was in the upper 60s. Nice!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dirty Bismark Run

I rode my bike to Marshall Mesa and ran the entire Dirty Bismark Loop--15 miles. It was surprisingly hot and sunny. It took me 3:10 and then I biked home. I was totally sunburnt--yuck! I only put sunscreen on my face, but I definitely should have know better! A fun run, though.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Isabelle Glacier Hike

On Saturday Dan and I drove to Brainard Lake for a little hike. We parked at the Long Lake Trailhead and hiked up past Long and Isabelle Lakes. The Isabelle Glacier Trail continued for miles up into a very rocky and snowy bowl.

It was surprising how far we were able to follow the trail. It took us to the base of a good-sized couloir that seemed to gain the ridge. Though the sun was beginning to set behind the peaks, we began up the snow slope with our ice axes in hand.

About half way up, Dan suggested a practice with a few steps down the steep snow. Good thinking! It was scary and I'm glad we didn't go all the way up.

Steeper than it looks!

We turned back and made it to the car before it was completely dark. About 10 miles and 7.5 hours overall. A great day!