Sawatch Ascent

This Sunday, I ran a new race. The race starts above Mt Princeton resort and follows the Colorado Trail for 9 miles. The course turns West and circles Mt White and returns to the start. Click here for pictures of the course

After 18 miles, I reached the high point where I jumped in the air for a picture. Unfortunately, my hamstring cramped and I spent the next 5 minutes walking it off.

Run options

Here are a few options for a long run, starting from easiest to hardest. This is a casual event so we will stick together and enjoy the scenery.

Monarch Loop – unless we would want to hike 3 miles on Hwy 50, we’d need to stage a car. Follows the HL route from Lost Wonder hut to Fooses but stays on the CT the whole way. Estimate 7 hours. Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/HSE94

Browns Pass loop – Not a lot of runable areas for normal people on this route. Park at Denny creek, climb Yale, drop down the East ridge, hike to Brown’s pass, back to Denny. Estimate 8.5 hours. I’ve done this route many times (https://www.strava.com/activities/5858478624) Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/QRSJ

Hancock loop – giant loop on a portion of the CDT that is not in the race. There is 9 miles of forest roads that will have some traffic. Little cross country and since the Hancock road sucks, I’d recommend we start by the Pomeroy turn-off. Estimate 10 hours. I did this in July (https://www.strava.com/activities/5613543128). Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/PA52

Raspberry to Ptarmigan – Follows the HL route from Raspberry. At Cottonwood, we climb Grassy Gulch and drop down to Hwy 306 at Ptarmigan. Easiest to have a crew for this one, but staging would work. Lots of climbing. Estimate 10.5 hours. Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/FE6Q4

Back in Austin

Typical pose for the long car rides to and from Colorado.

Tracy is taking advantage of her new boat on the lake.

We’ve been making a lot of feasts.

The snow was crazy. We ended up losing power and water for about two days each. We had a minor pipe issue but nothing compared to a lot of the people in Texas. I went for a run the day the snow started to melt. It was wild to see ice floating in the creek.

We also volunteered at a vaccination center.

Off to Mexico

We had planned a 50th birthday trip for Tracy’s triplet brothers and me. Unfortunately, everyone bailed except us. We were a little concerned, but we usually just stay at the resort and have limited interaction with people. The resort employees took great precautions, but a lot of the guests seems to be unconcerned. Our routine was a run on the beach every morning, breakfast and swimming at the quiet pool, and dinner at 6pm so no one was in the restaurant. Flying wasn’t bad, but we took full precautions.

Here’s a few pictures from our 10 days there.

Couple Preston updates…. He’s back at school and rescued a dog named Jasper. We had some friends that visited the beach near Preston and ended up meeting him at the dog park. She referred to this picture of Preston and her daughter as “masked awkwardness”

Summer is ending

Over the last 7 weeks we’ve been really busy. We’ve had several visitors and done many adventures. We’ve explored new trails and set personal records on others. The weather is getting chilly and we are starting the process of packing for Austin.

Monte, a new friend stayed nextdoor at the Surf Hotel for a week. He needed a break from Louisiana and seemed to enjoy his time in BV. He managed to make it to the saddle on Yale his first day here.

Preston surprised us on Labor Day. We had no idea he was coming, but he managed to show up on the worst 2 days of the summer. The day he arrived was thick with smoke and the following day, we got a foot of snow.

We’ve also had some lazy days around the house. The dogs have had the best summer- they walk 30+ miles a week but also relax in front of the TV with us.

I did a little more trim painting but left the project of painting the doors until the spring. We also had a mystery vegetable start growing next to the door. It turned out to be a squash and we assumed that it came from seeds in the compost.

Our neighbors came over on Thursday night and we sat of the deck and listened to the concert happening in the park. The sunset was gorgeous only to be followed with a full moon.

The summer continues to be nice

Our exploring continues as the weeks go on. We’ve climbed Yale, Midland Hill, and done many hikes on the CT. I’ve also done several long runs on Brown’s Pass Loop and the CDT. Plus on the date of my cancelled 100 miler, my friend Matt and I did 50 miles on the course. Last week, our friends Berton and Lori rented an AirBnb in town and we did several hikes with them including climbing Mt. Antero.

Tracy’s rowing friend, Felipe and his girlfriend, visited. We made them get COVID tests before coming since we are both still very concerned with getting sick. We played poker one night and climbed Yale a couple days later.

There have been lots of animal sightings. Something as basic as a cat in the backyard to moose on the trail or a goat on the summit.

6 weeks of summer

The weather has been awesome and Tracy and I have been out exploring the trails and peaks. We took so many pictures, I created a gallery of them. We’ve climbed the Belford group, Yale, Princeton, and up to the CDT. I also did a new loop with our neighbor’s son-in-law.

The dogs get a couple long walks everyday. We are usually outside at sunrise and late afternoon. Here’s a few pictures of our view of Mt. Princeton at first light and then a gallery of the dogs.

Snow is melting

It’s a great time of year in BV. The weather is getting really warm and the snow is receding. Last week, I climbed the Buffalo peaks (13.2k) via a cross country route from the Tumble trail. There were a few snow fields to navigate and a vicious wind, but otherwise it was a straight forward climb.

I’ve also been busy around the house. I made another giant pot of corn chowder and filled the planters.

The dogs have been putting in a lot of miles on the trail and seem to be enjoying it here.

The snow finally melted enough that I could make it to the saddle on Mt. Yale. In a couple weeks, I’ll try for the summit on the East ridge. The last picture is Yale in the distance taken from further down the Colorado Trail.

On Saturday I did the Spirit Vertical Run DUO 14er Challenge – a virtual race put on by Spectrum in Austin. The goal was to climb 12,571 feet, which is the elevation gain from Buena Vista, CO to two Collegiate Peak summits (Mt Harvard and Mt Columbia), combined. It took me over 10 hours to do 11 repeats of a segment of Colorado Trail on Mt. Yale. I ended up climbing just over 12.6k in 30 miles (up and down). I got 2nd place.