Sunday, June 26, 2011


I rode my bike up to Hygiene today. It was fun, but it was really hot (90 degrees) and windy (west wind gusts over 30mph). I still managed to do just over 30 miles in just over 2 hours. Not too bad! Here's the map.

On an unrelated note, today is our Boulderversary! Yup, we've been in Boulder for three years now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Woodland Lake

Today we took a very long hike to Woodland Lake. We started at the Hessie trailhead before 7:00 this morning. The first few miles were very pretty and peaceful. Then, as we gained a bit of elevation, we also gained a whole lot of snow. That's right, it's almost July and above 10,300 there were still FEET of snow. Of course it didn't help that it was 70+ degrees, so the snow was getting soft and proved difficult to hike. The going was really slow as there was no way we could stay on trail (what trail?), and we had to keep weaving in and out of trees and rocks to try to stay on the most solid snow.

We finally got to the lake 4.5 hours after we started--and it was only 5 miles away. Our original intent was to climb a glacier (snow field) to the summit of Skyscraper Peak, but by the time we got to the lake (the base of the climb) we were both too tired and frustrated to continue. Plus, it was getting late in the day to be above the treeline. So, after a nice lunch, we navigated back down the snow. Snowshoes proved to be more trouble than they were worth, so we ended up postholing quite a bit. I have to say, throughout the day it was amazing to see all the creeks flowing with such rampant force--and SO much water!

Anyway, we finally got back down 2.75 hours later. Once we got back to the less-snowy section we started running into A LOT of hikers and a few backpackers. It was a great sunny day to be out in the mountains.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hall Ranch Run

This morning I went for a 9.5 mile run up at Hall Ranch in Lyons. I've done the run several times before, but never brought a camera. So, here are some early morning shots.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sidewalk turtle

On my way back from checking out an apartment for Donna and JJ, I saw a turtle on the path! This is the first time I've seen a turtle in Boulder. It wasn't too far from the ditch, so I guess that's where it lives. Not sure what he was doing out.

Also, I recently found Waldo somewhere in Boulder (not telling where).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bike Ride 2

Today we went for another bike ride. This ride was on trails, though. We made up our own "dirty B-180", including a lot of singletrack. We rode up to the Rez, where a Sprint Triathlon was going on. Some of the volunteers thought we were part of it and signaled to us to turn in. Anyway, we rode on to the Sage Trail and made a loop out of the Lefthand Trail and North Rim Trail (which was such narrow overgrown singletrack it should be called quarter-track!). Then up the steep Eagle trail to the mesa, down to route 36 and then on to Foothills. We passed Wonderland Lake and then headed east back home. It was another 22 mile day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bike Ride 1

Today we did a lot of biking. We rode downtown to the Farmer's Market and yoga festival. I got yummy peas and Dan got some turnips. Then we rode to south Boulder to get a book out of the library for my summer school class. We traveled east to see if we could find the bears in the tree. Unfortunately, we had no luck. Then we headed home for a bit.

Later in the afternoon we rode to Gunbarrel to check out an apartment for Donna and JJ, who may be moving to Boulder this summer. On the way back, we stopped at Jay Hill Farm and got some beets. All in all we rode over 23 miles.

Friday, June 17, 2011

White Ranch Open Space run

This morning we did a 12 mile trail run at WROS in JeffCo. What a great trail system! The whole thing allows bikes too, which is phenomenal. Lots of nice singletrack. Took us a bit over 3 hours.

View WROS-run in a larger map

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

B-180 and Bike Park

Every year we miss the official B-360 ride around Boulder -- this year I think because we were out climbing that Saturday. We decided to check it out Wednesday night -- actually we did the B-180 so it was just 18 miles, not 26.

Before heading home we checked out the new Valmont Bike Park that opened in our neighborhood last weekend. Pretty sweet! It was lots of fun riding the well-designed one-way singletrack with bumps and curves and optional "features" that we mostly skipped. I say mostly because at one point I went over a small wooden bridge thing and then over some cobbles laid into the path. And then I went over a wavy wooden bridge and nearly made it. Just before the end my front tire slipped off the bridge, I went over the handlebars, and my bike somersaulted over me (and landed on two wheels). I got scraped up a bit but it was pretty funny to see the bike land like that in front of me. Laurel was right behind me, saw the whole thing, and was relieved that I was laughing afterward.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

South Sneak Success!

In September, we tried to climb the South Sneak route, but somehow missed a right turn and ended up walking off the rock prematurely. Today we decided to give it another shot.

We rode to Chautauqua with our packs and hiked up to the base of the 2nd Flatiron. About 5 minutes from the start of the climb, Laurel asks if I grabbed her shoes. Whoops. So our early start to the day was eroded a bit.

I led the first two pitches as before, trying to keep an eye out for a good place to head north. Probably turned too soon, as the rock I climbed was fairly vertical -- definitely not in line with the "class 4" rating the route was given (not that the rest of the route felt like class 4 either though). In any case, I found a way up to the ridge and followed that to the summit of the South Block. From there, an easy scramble over to the base of the Pullman Car and the trail back home.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Intermediate Snow Part 2-LMR

You may recall that last summer I sprained my shoulder. Yup, I remember! The injury not only prevented me from participating in the sprint triathlon last summer, but it also precluded me from going to the Intermediate Snow field trip with Dan. Well, today was my make-up day. The snow school director invited me to join this year's class, so I did.

We met in South Boulder at 3:30 this morning. We drove up to the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a gorgeous, bluebird day from the start. We began hiking as dawn was breaking in the east. To everyone's surprise, there was a ton of snow everywhere! Not 30 minutes from the trailhead did we put our crampons on because the snow on the trail was ubiquitous and very icy.

We hiked up to a slope near Lake Helene. There we practiced crampon and self-arresting techniques for about an hour. Then we started hiking towards the couloir at the edge of the bowl. However, once we got past Lake Helene our instructors noticed huge cornices on both sides of our route that might break off in the hot sun. So, it was on to plan B.

There was another slope off to our left that we decided to try. The bottom 300 feet or so were at a 30-degree angle, and then what looked like the upper part was a steeper 35- to 40-angle. However, once we got past that section, the slope started to gradually flatten. So much so, that repeatedly I thought I was 20 steps from the top, but it was more like 400 steps. We stopped for lunch shy of the Flattop Mountain summit. Then, the plan was to hike the rest of the way up the mountain and take the neighboring Tyndall Glacier down back to Bear Lake. Unfortunately, 200 feet from the summit, we had a good look at the glacier and it was more corniced than the other side! It looked like some weather was rolling in, so we quickly turned around and glissaded down the slope we had just come up. Then we traced our route back to the parking lot.

Using crampons to attack snow slopes is so much fun! I really want my own pair of plastic boots and spikes to climb up all our snow! All in all, today was super fun and we were out hiking 10 hours. It's 6:30 and I'm ready for bed!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Benjamin Loop run

We rode up Boulder Canyon to the Betasso connector trail, parked our bikes, and started our run. The connector is steep! Beyond that segment though, it was nice rolling narrow trail. The new Benjamin loop adds about another 3 miles, so we ended up doing an 8.5 mile run before heading home.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fifth Flatiron

Today we climbed the Fifth Flatiron. The morning started with a vigorous hike to the Royal Arch. Then we bushwhacked up a steep slope to the base of the rock. Dan led four pitches to the summit via the East Face South Side route. It was a fun climb on pretty good rock. The summit block was neat and the rappel was into 75 feet of thin air.

The descent was a bitch. The scramble down the south side of the rock was as steep as the rock itself, but covered in pine needles, small pebbles, rocks, and lots of other slippery things. Rather than hiking down the Royal Arch trail, we detoured to Woods Quarry and down the Mesa trail.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I completed my first triathlon--and an Olympic distance one, at that! It was hard. The swimming was probably the most difficult part. The water was really cold, and putting my face in to swim was tough to get used to. It was also hard to swim around all the other people, sight the buoys, and swim through the wake that everyone was kicking up. If I ever do another tri, I definitely need more practice in open water swimming!

By the time the swim was over, my feet were numb. Good thing I put cages on my pedals, because all I had to do was slip my feet in and move my legs. I felt really slow on the 26-mile route, but I did it 15 minutes faster than any of my training rides. I think I was just spent from the swim, so I felt more tired. Fortunately, my training kicked in and just got those legs moving!

The run was tedious. The course was an out-and-back and then another out-and-back (there were also people racing a sprint tri which required a 5K, so the course was really set up for them). It was hot, sunny, and boring. Oh well. At least I did it in under an hour!

So, the whole thing (.9mi swim, 26mi bike, 6.2mi run) took me 3 hours and 16 minutes. Not bad, huh, for my first one? It was a fun, but very tiring, day!

Triathlon Training

Sunday through Thursday...

Run/hike/walk: 25 miles
bike: 58
swim: 1/2 mile


Run/hike/walk: 31 miles
bike: 90 miles
swim: 1.4 miles