Monday, November 4, 2013

Fortnight Ending November 3

Week Ending October 27 

Mon - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit.

Tues - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit.

Weds - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit.

Thurs - 6 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth north summit with the Thursday AM crowd: Lee, Marie, Celeste, Ziggy and Mike. Changed up my routine dramatically by coming down Wathen with Lee and Marie. Meanwhile, Mike was off sneaking a second workout on Centennial.

Fri - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit (117).

Sat - 3 miles (1,000') peakbaggery. Short window this morning, so got out and cleaned up a couple of pesky local peaks. First one was 'Weaver Peak' (6,250'), which sits off 287 to the east at the northeast end of what would be 'Glade Reservoir,' should that ever come to pass.

Anyway, for my purposes, I parked off Owl Canyon Road (County Road 72) by a gate that blocked passage to a road owned by the Colorado Gun Club. This is not the first time I've had to circumvent a shooting range to get on a peak in this quest for Larimer County peakbagging glory - oh no - but this was definitely a dodgy peak that, ranked-peak madness aside, I would otherwise have zero interest in bagging. It is in clear view of 287, with a half mile of meadow to run through before any reasonable cover is available. Nonetheless, I made it up with little issue, tagged a couple of high point candidates on the flat, cliffy summit, then made tracks through the brush to get back to the car. I took a rock squarely to the knee coming down before noting a pick-up truck lingering at the gun club gate, right by my car. Prancing back across the field, I was sure the driver had seen me, so I continued past my car all the way to 287 and waited for the truck to leave. It eventually did, entering gun club property, and I immediately darted back to the car and sped off. Up and down in 30 mins.

Dam Hippies. Photo: Pilfered.
Proposed location of Glade Reservoir, with Weaver Peak the hogback in far right of pic (highest point on that line of hogbacks).  6,622' is due west of Weaver in the hills to the left of the hogbacks bordering 287. Photo pilfered from the interwebs.
The second peak, 6,622' in the Bonner Springs Ranch neighborhood, was one that I tried to get last weekend with Alistair and Stella, but failed to due to an Alistair refusal to hop a fence (wise kid). Parked in the same spot as last time, off North Grey Rock Rd and then hot-footed it to the base of the peak and hoofed quickly up through some rocky and prickly terrain. Big views to the north and west from the rocky summit. Again, up and down in not much more than 30 mins. Home in time for breakfast.

Sunday - 17 miles (4,800') slogging/peakbaggery. I had ambitious plans for this morning and a big window to get it done. Unfortunately, we were stymied by adverse snow conditions. Starting from the Old Flowers trailhead on the edge of the Comanche Wilderness, we (me, Abby, Kircher & Hinterberg) made our way directly southwest and cross country for the top of 9,740, aka Wandering Abby Peak. With very little downfall and reasonably young growth, the going was nice and open most of the way up. Nonetheless, we managed to lose Abby three-quarters of the way to the top only to find her a quarter of an hour later wandering around on a sub peak to the west. With summit tagged and group reconvened, we headed due north - thinking we were heading northwest - off the summit in search of the Old Flowers trail which we intersected in a somewhat confusing spot. We knew we needed to hang a left, but it should have been a downhill left as opposed to the uphill section of trail we were looking at. Some hemming and hawing, a bit of back and forth and we realized that we'd veered too far right coming off the summit hitting the trail to the east of, and under, the saddle. Once figured out, we cruised the short stretch of trail down to 'Beaver Park' where we got a nice view of Crown Benchmark before beginning upwards for Crown Point by way of Daad Gulch trail through increasingly trudgy terrain and growing snowdrifts. Fortunately there was signage on trees indicating the course of the trail, so we were able to stay on route for the most part, with Kircher finding a random $20 along the way for his troubles. However, the going was slow. Above timberline, the wind was blowing hard and the postholing was knee to thigh deep in places. 

Crown Point (11,463') is a distinct and unique summit with unparalleled views of the Never Summers and Medicine Bow ranges to the north/northwest, in addition to stellar close-ups of the north side of the Mummies. Due to the heavy winds, wet feet and general discomfort, we didn't linger to enjoy the views and headed across tundra into a pretty fierce crosswind for nearby Crown Benchmark, which boasts equally huge views. Again, we didn't linger. The plan from here was to grab 11,002' before heading back down to the TH, but time had gotten the better of us and I was in danger of missing a pain-of-death deadline to be home, so we picked up the alpine Old Flowers trail and headed downhill back to Beaver Park on fun snowed-in trails. The other four planned peaks off Pingree Park Rd will have to wait for another time. Back home right on time.
Top 'Wandering Abby Peak'. All pics: Hinterberg.
Ken Nolan and other LoJ celebs working the low-lying Mummies.  Crown Benchmark.
About my speed these days.
Abby, Kircher, Nick above Beaver Park on Old Flowers. Crown Benchmark in the distance.
Total: 46 miles (13,500')

Week Ending Nov 3

Mon - Off.

Tues - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth North Summit. 

Weds - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth North Summit.

Thurs - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth North Summit with the AM gang: Celeste, Mary, Mike, Lee, Justin & Ziggy.
Just about got the pre-dawn. Back to sunrises this week. Pic: Shinterberg
Fri - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth North Summit. Felt a rare spring in my stride, so upped the tempo just a notch from my current Horsetooth amble pace. 

Sat - Off. Two birthday parties and two soccer games = no running. Super fun beer tasting 40th birthday party in the evening at a neighbor's house. There are some really odd beers out there, and people apparently are prepared to pay big bucks for 'em. $7.99 a six pack of good ale is more my speed, but it was fun to try some sours and other weird stuff. 

Sun - 7 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth North summit on just a gorgeous fall day. Park was absolutely packed. 

Total: 27 miles (7,700') 

This post Grand Slam vacation from training is getting close to turning into a full-on habit. I'm really not sure I want to start adding any structure back to my running just yet, but I've committed mentally to at least giving it a go starting this week. As has often been the case with my running over the last four years, the incomparable Jane Welzel is providing the spark with the resumption of the Tuesday Morning Cemetery workouts. These will run all the way through to the far side of spring 2014. In combination with Thursday morning hill tempo work, these sessions have yet to fail me in getting ready for spring training and summer racing. The force is perhaps not quite as strong as it once was, but I'm prepared to give it a go - at least for one more year. See you at the City Park Fire Station at 7:15.

Been getting a few notes and inquiries about Chubby Cheeks 2013 - the fourth running. Date has been set for Dec 7, which also happens to be lottery day for Western States and, I think, Hardrock. So come on out and celebrate the 2013 season - while looking forward to 2014 - with miles, beers, friends, and (hopefully) some luck. Same deal as always for the run: 3 start times, 3 distances, lots of miles, lots of hills & probably more than one person getting a little lost. Bring food, beer and a good attitude. More here


  1. Both lotteries and TNF50 all on Dec. 7th?? You guys are going to have a lot of internet to catch up on post-chubbo.

  2. Good to see you keeping fit. Gannett Peak will be here before you know it.

    On another note, I have some questions about required gear for a certain race across the pond.

  3. Dylan - with these new-fangled devices people carry with them everywhere they go these days, I'm guessing we'll be keeping on top of things as the run progresses. DBo for the win. Go hard!

    Jer - fire away. I'm guessing you're referring to UTMB, although I'd suggest the Paddy Buckley, Bob Graham or Ramsey Rounds as more your speed. Gannett Peak: Yes, yes, yes. Workout one in the books, and the train has left the station.

    1. Nick, as alluring as those other outings sound (are they pub crawls?), I am in this game purely for the fame and money;)

    2. Ah, yes, the fame and money.

      I also have solid beta on UK pub crawl routes if needed.