Saturday, March 31, 2012

South Boulder Peak

We biked to the South Mesa trailhead for a hike up South Boulder Peak. 17mi round trip on the bikes, 7mi round trip hiking. It was clear enough to see Denver, Pikes Peak, and Longs Peak, and we caught a glimpse of a train going through the tunnel on Eldorado Mountain. We ran some of the way back.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

North Table Mountain, take 2!

Laurel and I went back to North Table Mountain today for some climbing. Tim, Adam, and Natalie were all busy instructing and taking the CMC's Basic Mountaineering School (BMS) so we were on our own.

We didn't bring a guide book, since the ones we have aren't very useful, but we were able to get on one of the climbs we were familiar with. I led up Sloping Forehead, which was a more difficult lead than I had imagined it would have been after toproping it last weekend. We both climbed it on toprope a few times, and also climbed Ivory Tower again since it shares the same anchors.

Then we moved over into unknown territory. We found a wall that looked somewhat reasonable and had an easy chimney to the side that I could ascend if the face was too difficult to lead. And that's exactly what I did. I set up an anchor at the top, belayed Laurel up, lowered her, lowered myself, and then we were set for some toproping fun. We both took a few turns on climbs called In Between The Lines and Offline. Supposedly they're 5.9- and 5.8. I guess maybe that's about right, but I don't think I'm ready to lead them, even though I'm leading 2 grades higher in the gym.

Very exciting that we've done so much climbing outside so far this year!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Laurel's 2nd day biking to school!

This has been a very warm end-of-winter and beginning-of-spring! Laurel biked to school on Tuesday the 13th, and again on Friday the 23rd. Both days I met her halfway on the way home. We stopped for ice cream the first time but then realized neither of us had any money. This time we got delicious ice cream from Glacier though! Very nice to be eating ice cream outside in T-shirts in March.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Run with Donna

Donna and I went out for a run around the Twin Lakes on Wednesday. Weather is still awesome, must be outside!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

North Table Mountain

Adam invited us to climb at North Table with him and Natalie. I led a route called Wholly Holey, Adam led Ivory Tower, and then we all toproped the climbs a few times. At the end I toproped a climb to the side called Sloping Forehead. All of the climbs were rated 5.7 or 5.8 but this crag is horribly sandbagged. Or we don't have a clue how to climb this kind of rock! Or both. It was a fun day, but cut short when the wind started to whip sand into our eyes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sharin' O' the Green 5k

Laurel's friend Marcia invited us to run on her team in the Sharin' O' the Green 5k race up in Fort Collins. There were a lot of people at the race -- maybe more than the organizers had anticipated, because the start was a bit of a zoo! We had a good time though, and ran pretty fast. I finished in 23:32 and Laurel in 25:54.

After the race we stopped in at the Devil's Backbone, just south of the Horsetooth Reservoir. We wanted to run up to our turnaround point for the Blue Sky Marathon, but we were both kinda sore so we only ran 2.5 miles. Very pretty up there.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Climbing in Eldorado Canyon

We went to Eldorado Canyon State Park (aka Eldo) for our first time to climb! Our friend Tim had been there before so he was able to show us a few routes. We climbed Boulder Direct and Breezy, each in two pitches, with Tim and I swapping leads. It was just the right temperature for climbing and we had a really good time. Adam and Natalie were there also and climbed a few routes over from us.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I got into the mountains a bunch this week.

The day after we got back from our trip (Sunday 3/4/12) was gorgeous -- beautiful T-shirt weather day, blue skies and sunny. I only planned to run up Flagstaff, but once up there I decided to see what Green looked like. There was a ton of snow on the upper part of the mountain and it was quite difficult to run without any traction, but I continued on anyway. Took me about 2.5 hours for the 10-mile round trip with about 3000' vertical. Biked there and back.

The weather continued to be great during the week. On Thursday I did a 3.3 mile hike around Sanitas. Only took about 30 minutes to summit, but the East Ridge trail on the way down had some horrendous ice! Round trip 80 minutes, around 1300' gain.

Still awesome weather on the weekend, so on Saturday I did another big mountain run. This time I biked to NCAR to head up Bear Peak via Bear Canyon. This time I had my microspikes! The trails were decent but it still took a bit longer than expected to summit -- that last half mile is SOOOO steep. I continued over to South Boulder Peak. There were lots of people on Bear but I had SBP to myself. For the return trip I ran down Shadow Canyon. It wasn't as snowy as I expected, but in hindsight it's a south-facing canyon so that makes sense. 10.5 miles, 3h20m, 3400' vertical.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grand Junction

Laurel had a two-day conference in Grand Junction so I tagged along and worked from the hotel during the days. It was a snowy drive out on the 28th but we made it. So nice to be back at Colorado National Monument -- definitely one of my favorite places.

I worked from the hotel room on Wednesday while Laurel was at her conference. In the afternoon we hiked part of the Liberty Cap trail at Colorado National Monument. We ran out of daylight to make it to the top, but still got to see some amazing landscapes. Hiked 3.5 miles in about an hour and a half.

Thursday morning we got up early for some trail running. We ran the Ute Canyon trail (also at Colorado Nat'l Monument). There was a bit of snow on the trail and more coming down. We made it to our turnaround point from last year when we hiked Ute Canyon from the other side. Ran 6 miles in about an hour and a half.

After finishing our work Thursday we headed back out to the Monument. We hiked a ways up Gold Star Canyon until it got too slippery to continue -- a bit more than 2 miles round trip, in about an hour. The trail gained over 500' in the first half mile!

Friday we both had off. We started by hiking Monument Canyon and looping around through Wedding Canyon. It was a beautiful morning -- about an inch of snow on the trail and some sunshine poking through the clouds.

Our turnaround point was a large monolith:

Following the Wedding Cyn trail on the way back was a challenge! It hadn't seen any foot traffic in a while and was covered in snow. 4.7 miles in 3h20m.

Friday afternoon we drove to Fruita and checked out some mountain bike trails at the Book cliffs. We were just hiking, but it looks like an awesome place to bike! We hiked about 4 miles in just under 2 hours.

On the way home on Saturday we stopped at Copper for a day of skiing. It was windy on the open slopes, surface was mostly packed powder, but we found some fresh powder in the trees and skied some bumps too.