Quick trips up Grays in the winter are nothing new for me, and that’s what I intended for Friday. I’d never gone up Torreys in the winter, not because it’s difficult but because I’ve just never cared to head over after topping out on Grays. John and I had discussed the option, figuring we’d see how we felt when we topped out and make a decision at the time. Weather was forecast to be as perfect as it gets for mid-winter, so I was optimistic for a good day out and a good workout, whatever the decision was.Continue reading
The first race of this year’s Leadman series is now behind me. It was a fun one, with mostly good weather and better course conditions than could’ve been expected. I kept going back and forth on staying in town the night before or driving up the morning of, and ended up with a 3:30am alarm on Saturday, in large part due to Owen’s most recent sleep regression. Since I was treating this race as a training run, being a little tired was no big deal. As long as I could finish feeling good and drive myself home at the end of the day, I’d be happy.
First off, the lack of posts lately is due to some technical difficulties that have finally been resolved. I’ll be catching up over the next week or two, but for now, a few shots from today. Lauren, Kendall, Sophie, and I headed up early to get some exercise in, and got a few nice turns to boot. Two laps up the East side, two laps up the West side, then out of the lot at noon to still get stuck in I-70 traffic.
Lauren was getting started slowly so Kendall, Sophie, and I headed up to treeline on the East side of the pass for a quick warmup.
Black Diamond is always one of my favorite stops at SIA. I had some concerns a couple years ago when they went public and started buying up other companies, starting with Gregory. More recently, they picked up Pieps, another company that fits in with their overall image and one that, with the arrival of their apparel line, could allow them to become a one-stop brand for everything you need to go in to the backcountry. Fortunately, they’ve retained the dedication to high-quality products and their new releases show that.
The Pieps DSP lives on for another year in its curent form factor, and is also refreshed with a new, more rounded case (with the same internals). The Vector was also on display; it’s on the market at long last, and is a rather complex piece of kit so I’ll save further comments until I actually have some time with it.
A week ago at this time I was exhausted, after waking up at 2am to run Sophie up Grays Peak from I-70 (about 13.6 miles, and 4,600′ of climbing). The forecast was calling for an undercast at about 10,000′, which unfortunately didn’t materialize, and which would have made for some great photos. Regardless, it was a fun time. I put together a quick video from the run, which you can view here or click through to the Vimeo page to view it in HD.
Though I typically don’t put up posts from unsuccessful attempts, this season has been a little different. This one, in addition to the attempt on Pyramid a few weeks ago, were both so enjoyable and educational that I felt it worthwhile. Though making the summits would have been preferable, I at least learned most of the route and have logistics figured out for each, which should make any future attempts much easier. One of the biggest things I’ve learned? Stop trying to pack excessive amounts of stuff in/on my small avalung daypack.
August was a long month, without a single post here. Part of that had to do with the fact that I was working nights, and put in about 90 hours of overtime in the middle 3 weeks of the month. I didn’t really get out and do much, just a few bike rides (only one mountain, and a few good road rides up Lookout Mountain from home), a little running, and a few trips to the gym. Things are calming down a little at work, and I’ve already got plans to get out to the mountains again. In other news, I signed up for next year’s Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Most of my friends and family were told a while ago, and I’m working to get my running legs back under me using a 10K training plan for my Forerunner from Runner’s World UK. I used their half marathon plan last year, and loved it. This one will get a little more speedwork done in a little less time.
Meanwhile, I got out of town with Lauren for a little R&R this past weekend. We went to visit my parents in southern Colorado, and went for a couple short hikes, and a scenic drive. On our drive we found a cool tunnel through this radial dike.
A couple weeks ago, my laptop was stricken down in the prime of its life by an errant glass of water. Everything is back up and running better than ever now, and I’m currently sorting through photos from last weekend’s camping trip. I’m going to need to get some file backups loaded but hopefully I haven’t lost everything. Unfortunately, the full-res photos from the 4th of July trip are probably gone, as are the shots from skiing Pikes in June.
Look for a post tomorrow or Tuesday with shots from last weekend.
Last night, I went to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s world tour showing at the Paramount Theater in downtown Denver. Unfortunately I had to leave before the final film to get Amy to the airport, but what I saw was pretty enjoyable. The films for tonight’s showing are different, but I doubt I’ll make it, especially since I’m dropping off my bike for some work tonight and parking downtown is a bit of a disaster.
It started off with The Red Helmet, which was a short (6 minute) film of various action sports, with a loose story of a young kid overcoming his fears by finding a red helmet in the film, and putting the helmet on results in an awesome blast of climbing, kayaking, jumping, and mountain biking. Great start to get amped up for the rest of the set of films.
Immediately following was “Silent Snow,” a snooze-fest about how all the pesticides in the world flow to Greenland, melt the ice, and poison people. The only information was provided by two teenage girls who I had a hard time finding credible. Yawn.
There was also a film about a cool caving and kayaking expedition to find the underground source of a huge river in Papua New Guinea. Very interesting.
Another film was about traveling to The Heavenly Pit, a HUDGE cave/pit in central China, and BASE jumping from a cable that stretches across the center of it. Very cool story of the travel, and an incredibly intense jump.
The last film I saw was a short about the patrol director and the park coordinator for Aspen (different people). Interesting and enjoyable. Sadly I had to leave afterwards, but the next film about climbing sounded awesome.
A great show, I’ll definitely be seeing it next year.