Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Never Summer 100K

  
 
This race had been on the radar for a couple of years and I would say it even exceeded my high expectations.  I knew I wanted to be a part of this inaugural event as it had "epic" potential.  When the opportunity came up to "race" it, I jumped at the chance.  I know how much hard work it took by all the volunteers to make this thing work and I thank you all for allowing 197 of us lucky runners to take on this challenge.
 
Being 2 weeks after Hardrock and 1 week before Ouray, I decided not to even think of this as a "race", but instead went very conservative, chatting with friends and taking tons of pictures.  Even with a conservative approach, I felt pretty worked by the finish line.  Pete and Nick have created a monster.  It was like a mix of Hardrock, Bighorn, Bear, and Wasatch all rolled into one incredible 65 mile course!
 
While I had hiked or run several parts of this course in State Forest State Park over my 20 years living in nearby Fort Collins, putting it all together in one big loop made me appreciate it even more.  Put this race on your bucket list everyone!
 
 
The starting line at Gould Community Center
 
Climbing up Seven Utes with the full Never Summer Range about to come into view
 
 
Kristel and Alan traversing the ridge before the drop to Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes
 

The American Lakes

 
The climb to North Diamond Peak to the beat of the kilted drummer

 
The traverse from North Diamond to Montgomery Pass

Near Montgomery Pass

Climbing toward Kelly Lake.  Most amazing wildflowers ever!

Kelly Lake

Some scrambling above Kelly Lake




Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hardrock 2015


No race report this year.  Hardrock is not a "race" anyway.  For the first time in 4 years I did not get a spot in Hardrock.  But as I would learn, you don't need a spot in Hardrock to be a part of Hardrock.  I was left behind at the starting line, geared up and ready to go (#2 on the waitlist).  After experiencing this event as a spectator and pacer for the first time, however, I feel I may have learned even more than if I had run it.  I can't wait for the next opportunity when it comes.  Until then, I will just keeping coming to Silverton to be a "part" of Hardrock every year.

Congrats to Adam Wilcox on a great race just 2 weeks after a strong Western States!  I had a blast sharing his adventure from Ouray to the finish line.

Congrats to all who kissed the rock in 2015!

Watching the action at Grouse Gulch

Adam picks up Kristel at Grouse



Approaching Kroger's Canteen around midnight

A quick bite for the pacer in Telluride


Sunrise on the descent from Oscar's Pass


A beautiful morning climbing out of Chapman


Final grunt up to Grant-Swamp Pass


A still frozen Island Lake below


Descending the Putnam Ridge


Adam getting congrats from an excited AJW.  Western/Hardrock complete!

Long overdue!  Kari crushing her 1st Hardrock! 5th place female!

And a finish to Hardrock we will never forget:  video here

Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Tis the season

'Tis the season to get into the high country.  A great start to summer in one of my favorite places, the Comanche Peak Wilderness (and the Northern tip of RMNP) .










Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pikes Weekend



I would have guessed it to be more like April than June up on the mountain, but I still always find it more than worth the trip to this prominent peak 100 miles south of Fort Collins.  All the reports were telling us it was probably too much snow to the get to the top, much like the whole Front Range right now, but Kristel and I were hopeful.  We at least knew we would get more time at altitude than we have been able to get all this year, a good thing with Hardrock potentially on the horizon for both of us (still moving up the wait list).

As expected, the snow was pretty substantial above 11,000 feet.  We were lucky though to catch the snow in just the right conditions to give the summit a try.  Of the many Pikes Peak summits I have done, this was by far my most enjoyable.  We saw nobody else on the mountain above timberline, until we got to the summit house.  Pretty crazy seeing all the tourists getting off the Cog Railway wearing flip flops.  They all looked at us like we were pretty crazy too.  Kristel's first 14er!

We rounded out the weekend with another climb to the A-Frame shelter at timberline (12000 feet).  With the bright sunshine all morning, we got reports from a couple of climbers coming down that the snow was getting really soft.  We decided one summit was good enough for this weekend.  We also had a good time hanging out at Barr Camp.  Great to see Neal and Theresa back running the camp, at least until the next caretakers come in this summer.  Also spent some time on the mountain with soon-to-be Leadman Shad, soon-to-be Hardrocker Kircher, and JT (no "soon-to-be" because he's already done all that).  Good times!  Didn't even feel like a near 50-mile and 14K climbing weekend, but it was.  I guess that is why I love Pikes Peak.

 
























Thursday, April 2, 2015

Snow in the Canyonlands


I'm a bit late posting this, but the annual late winter trip to Canyonlands National Park was a little more wintry than last year.  The snow certainly made the slickrock a challenge at times, but the beauty more than made up for it.  Kristel and I spent two days this time exploring the Needles district of the park and still have not hit all the trails there.

Day one:





















Day two: