Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Barr Camp

Still here.  Training is going well and I'm starting to feel the fitness come along.

On Saturday I had planned a run up to the Bottomless Pit to scout for an upcoming route on Pikes.  But we've been getting a ton of rain, so I stuck to the roads.  14 miles over in the Garden with a run up Ruxton for good measure.  Just over two hours.

$100 wanted to get in some fishing so after the run we loaded up the van and headed down to Salida.  Mostly dog duty for me though I did get in a good hour run on Sunday morning.  

Monday I got up to Barr Camp.  Just under 1:45 up from the Pikes starting line, a little faster than I was expecting.  Ran hard down and I'm paying for that today with crushed legs.  According to the strava I was only seven minutes off my fastest time up, which came in 2017 at the Barr Trail Mountain Race.  Much needed workout though and I hope to continue that as my Monday jog until after The Rut.

I'll have some competition at Chicago as Rupp just said he'll be there.

Friday, June 18, 2021


Took a few days off after Longs to recover.  The heavy pack and missed night of sleep had me pretty dazed the first part of the week.

Was off work on Friday though, and I used that time to make my first trip up Pikes in a while.  Went up via the Crags trailhead, 14 miles round trip with 4100+ feet of climbing.  Just over five hours.  Two 14ers in a week.

They are building a new mall at the top, and it should be open soon.  They also have the train running after a few year hiatus.

Thursday, June 17, 2021


Finally, after living in Colorado for over 13 years, was able to bag Longs Peak on Sunday.  The hike/climb was the final project for the alpine climbing school and I'm glad I signed up for that.

Went up to Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday afternoon for the 2.5 mile hike to the Battle Mountain campsite.  Ate supper and set up my bivy to turn in early.

Woke up at 12:45AM on Sunday, we were hiking soon after.  Easy miles over to Chasm Lake.  All these pics were taken by various others in the class.

Then, as the sun was starting to come up, we began the long climb up Lamb's Slide couloir.  For whatever reason I never got sketched out on the snow as I sometimes do on rock, and I enjoyed the climb.

Nice shot of the diamond from below.  Tommy Caldwell climbs here.


Once on top of the Notch we would do what I considered the crux of the entire course, and one of the scariest things I've ever done.  A 60 meter rappel off a rock into nothing but air.  I tried to fake it and look relaxed but I was about ready to shit my pants until I got to the ground.

After the rappel it was more snow and before I knew it we had reached the summit.

After a well deserved rest on the peak we began our descent down the Cables route.  Down climbing some snow, another (much more pleasant) rappel, a glissade, and we were down at the boulderfield, connecting up with the standard route most folks take to hike this mountain.

Uneventful down climb, but like most 14ers I think everyone just wanted to get finished.  We did see some elk on the way out to get the full Rocky Mountain National Park experience.

Just over 18 hours from the campsite to the car.  With the drive back home, I was up for over 24 hours.  Believe it was the first time doing that since my hundo days.

Such a fantastic day in the mountains.  Loved the course, it's given me some confidence to tackle some more mountaineering type routes, and I have some of those planned for this summer.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Longs attempt

Sun - a bit hungover but I still got a good pedal in.  Up to the Air Force Academy and back to Fossil.  30 miles.

Mon - 18 mile ride on the COVID loop and the Garden before working from home.  7.5 mile run after work, tagging Rocky Mountain via the Incline before running up Red Mountain.  Strava had me at 31 minutes up the Incline.  Manitou Brewing after the run.

Tues - bike commute 42.  Ten there, eleven home.  CityRock 62 at lunch.

Wed - run commute 37.  Five miles to work in 41 minutes.  I work very near Mash Mechanix.  And as I was getting ready to run home a friend texted me for beers there.  I met her there, then mooched a ride to Smiling Toad.  Walked home from the Toad at least.

Thurs - 10 mile ride on the Red Rock Canyon trails before work, seven mile run in the Garden after work.  I never lose sight of the fact that I live in such an incredible place.

Fri - bike commute 43.  Ten miles in 54 minutes to the office.

I will be missing the Garden ten miler for the first time in a long time on Sunday.  On Saturday afternoon I'll be hiking into Rocky Mountain National Park and getting to bed early.  On Sunday at 1AM I will start an ascent of Longs Peak.  Graduation climb for my alpine climbing school.  Not sure if we'll make the summit - the temps have exploded here and who knows what condition the snow will be in, but it should be a fun day nonetheless.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Red Rocks is back, baby!

First Red Rocks show in way too long.  Headed up with Rocky Mountain Ride for some quality pre-show tailgating.  Got to watch a nice lightening storm while drinking some cold beers.  Show was awesome, though I wish he would have played more of his older stuff.  Capacity was 66%, by far the least crowded show I've been to there.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Canon six peaks loop

Tues - run commute 35.  5.1 there in 48 minutes, 5.4 back in 61 minutes.  Lunch climb.

Wed - bike commute 40.  Eleven there in 49 minutes.  CityRock lunch.  Finally got my ass over for a Cheyenne Mountain climb on the way home.  17 miles in two hours, speed ranging from 2mph to 29mph.

Thurs - run commute 36.  6.5 miles there in 57 minutes.  CityRock 60 at lunch.  Didn't feel like running after work so I took the bus home.  Lots of guitar today.

Fri - bike commute 41.  Eleven to work.  CityRock for lunch.

Sat - big run over in the Canon.  Six peaks in all - Cutler, Muscoco, Daniels, Kineo, Buckhorn, and Mays.  18 miles with just over 5000 feet of climbing.  Took five and a half hours.  Such a great loop.  King's Chef afterwards, the Bijou location is open again!

Friday, June 04, 2021


We left Fruita pretty early on Monday and purposely skipped breakfast as there was a stop we wanted to make.  I put politics on the same level as professional wrestling nowadays and this place might be ground zero.

Yes, our waitress had a pistol holstered, and her shirt said "God, Guns, & Trump," but she was very friendly and did her job well 

Oddly, while not nearly as loud as their second amendment support, they give a thumbs up to bikes.

I'd never let politics get in the way of good grub, and the food here was solid.  I'd love to go back and try a burger.  We don't get to Rifle very much as we do our best to avoid I-70.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

western slope

$100 and I had a long weekend and we decided to head west.

We took off Thursday after work and headed to Salida.  We had to hurry as the dog's favorite store, Gone To The Dogs, closes at 6PM.  But we made it, and she was able to pick out some treats for the trip.

We successfully pulled off our first stealth camp in downtown Salida.  Maybe three blocks from Benson's.  

Hit Moonlight first.  I overheard a gal who has been working there for years talking about her housing situation.  She rents a room in Pueblo, two hours away, and stays there a few nights a week.  The other nights she sleeps in her car in Salida.  I'm waiting for the mountain town way of life to come crashing down any day now.  If the nearest affordable housing is two hours away, you aren't going to be able to have restaurants and bars for very long.

After that it was more of our favorites - Tres Litros and Benson's.

Up early the next morning to hit the road.  Highway 50 is currently closed a little bit before Montrose, so we took the back way around Black Canyon into Hotchkiss and over to Delta.  Beautiful drive.  Even found a brewery in Delta, Stoik Brewing.

We hit Fruita for a late lunch at Hot Tomato and then headed out to Rabbit Valley.  It was a scorcher all weekend - temps in the mid 90s.  It's always hot out there, but as it's been a chilly and rainy spring in COS we were not ready.  Especially the dog.  So one of us stayed with her all weekend at the van, with the other out riding or running.  

I had a nice run down to the river and back through a canyon on Saturday morning, then $100 took the bike out.  Hung out for a bit, then headed out to 18 Road for a while.  Got in some good riding there on Saturday evening and found a nice place to camp.  On Sunday morning the dog and I got in a good hour hike before $100 and I started to tag team.  I ran for an hour, then she biked for an hour, then I biked for an hour, and she rode again.  Then we headed in to Copper Club Brewing for some tasty 18 Road IPA.  

After some beers, we drove over to the James M. Robb state park so $100 could get some fishing in.  She caught two fish!  Which brought her total number of fish ever caught to three.

At this point it had been a while since either of us had seen a shower.  Luckily we had a reservation at the Monument RV resort.  RV parks aren't my thing but the shower was worth it.  Had a few brews while chatting with our neighbors and then we turned in.