Sunday, July 21


i got excited about getting high this spring. i started off with mt sherman with sam, bob, and simple. it's hard to think about driving so long for a short romp. i'm hoping once erica's done with the bar, we can get cracking - and alf will tolerate camping.

some people were hiking up this with skis. not quite sure what they were planning to come down on, but the extra weight sure made them look miserable.

simple thought it was pretty awesome though.

next came decalibron, which links several 14ers that are in extreme proximity to each other. this is democrat:

felt like a nerd, but i was encouraged to use the summit sign by a guy i bumped into...

over to lincoln via cameron.

from which i spied my later objective - quandary.

from the road.

tons of people - click to enlarge those little ants!

mountain goats were pretty relaxed, but i saw no babies.

funny summit selfie. tons of people around, so no need for a photobombed summit shot i thought. probably better off skipping! the run down was a pain - difficult to run around people without spooking them.

oh, just remembered i did the kelso ridge on torreys a couple weeks ago - that run was great! i took off from the highway for some extra miles and though i was a bit late, i only encountered people ascending as i ran back, which made more much happier passing. sigh. likewise with longs, which i did last weekend before helping a coworker move. that mandated a rather early start to be back in town by 10.

sunrise in the loft couloir.

i got a little lost on the loft but eventually found my way to the appropriate descent gully to get on the backside of the mountain. i also noticed a decent crack a bit below the homestretch, which saved some time and annoyance, but it was super wet and the hail that started while i was halfway up didn't inspire much confidence. i was happy to top out and see the ridges of my usual turf in the distance.

yesterday, i ran pikes via the barr trail. this is the usual course for the pikes peak marathon and is a pretty great trail! i had it all to myself on the way up, maybe saw a half dozen parties if that.

first view of the top - and the summit house.

sunrise over the inversion.

nice spot for the a-frame shelter.

some rather mangy goats greeted me at the top.

i was pretty excited about the massive plaque advising of the benefits of a summit photo.

after securing a lasting memento, i checked out the summit house, hoping for a water refill and some of the "world famous" doughnuts. it was pretty early - the summit house employees were just arriving, along with a few runners who came from crags and some motorcyclists. i piddled around for a while in the gift shop (45/60 minutes) waiting for the fryers to heat up. this was a mistake! the doughnuts were severely disappointing: oddly spiced and super greasy, so much so that i thought i'd lose 'em on the descent!

so, the summit house was a bummer. i was surprised at just how clearly you can see the summit house from a distance - even from the highway.

anyway, if i had lost those doughnuts, it might have added to my repertoire of means to signal my passage to the many other trail users. seems a lot of folks got started while i was piddling around and there were people headed both ways in substantial numbers when i finally started my run down, but the worst was the last few miles: tons of disgruntled tourists waiting for a chance to take the railway. best to do this run on a weekday methinks. or just skip the doughnuts!

spring to summer...

been some time since i posted, so i thought i'd do a quick spring recap. we enjoyed a lot of snow this spring. it would dump and then melt out very quickly.

erica had a bday!

and graduated!

we went to the east coast. last hurrah for pagoda. there was some surprisingly awesome food back home.

the mays took us out to a baseball game. it was really hot. i think that marked the end of spring.

Monday, March 4

skiing sourdough

nikki, erik, erica, and i trudged out around brainard lake a couple weekends ago. it was soooo cold and windy (gusts to 55mph), but sourdough trail was thankfully sheltered pretty well. it made for a swell outing.

we stopped at the high point and checked out the backside of the flatirons. rising to the left of the left pine tree is sugarloaf, to the right is green, the sacred cliffs descending into bear canyon, with nebel horn popping up on the rise to bear. south boulder is obscured and still closed to traffic.

erik has a flashy new jacket (go nean!). i have a flashy big beard.

erica and i came back this past weekend and skied the south side of the trail. this was a bit less tame but, given the awesome weather, much busier.

stopped at the same spot for some good cookies. erica's getup was awesome.

what wasn't awesome was my poles' baskets both disintegrating right at the trailhead. quite a shock! i hadn't used these in a few years, but never imagined they'd just become daggers. this was fine for the shallow snow at the start, but was pretty terrible in the four foot drifts. there were some strange folks hiking out in those drifts despite the fact that they all had snowshoes. the trashed trail didn't help matters. grr. i got grumpy.

saving the best for last... it was hard to stay a grump with this kind of entertainment.

jenny comes to boulder

jenny came to visit cu last month. yay! we got out a bit and saw some folks around boulder: a film star, documentary film subject, and an ultra/mountain runner.

on touch down, we sampled some grilled meats, primal baked goods (ick), and beer in denver. the next day, we did a little climbing on the second. i'd wanted to try this with a 60m rope the weekend before jenny's arrival, but didn't get a chance. we ended up doing a tiny amount of simuling. i hear jenny and amanda got a stern warning on this from their gym rat, but i was glad jenny threw caution to the wind. and didn't fall.

jenny approaching the top of the first pitch:

hanging at the top of the first pitch. nice big ledge here - i'm sure it was worth the simuling to get there...

because jenny was not at all happy at the top of the next pitch! i had to wrestle that hand off the rock so she could tend to the rope.

she said no, no, no!

ay. on the third pitch, just before the jump.

doesn't she look ready to tackle anything? well, somehow, jenny didn't know about the jump. i don't know how this happened... but for more details, take a gander. anyway, we made it to the top, took a peak at the mountains from the back of the first, and called it a day. on to larkburger! good prep for a full day of interviews.

after jenny's intense day of interviews, we scrambled up fumbledeedum.

erica got a little mad at the first rock stretch - getting me good here.

jenny appears to be in good spirits here, which was good for leading the cave. later, she was not so happy with the exposure and declined to swing a leg over a boulder to join me on a cliff. i think there was some hyperventilating going on, but she got it under control for erica's sake.

and both put on a smile for my sake. yay.

the snow started coming down shortly after this - mud city! on returning to town, it was time for stout, stocking up on chocolove and peace love. yum. sadly, that was about it for our visit before jenny flew on to other schools. good luck deciding!