Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grandeur Peak 3/18/11

Matt Van Horn and I decided we would do a pre-work climb/run of Grandeur Peak via the West Ridge. This would be 8 days before the Buffalo run, so it would give my legs plenty of time to recover for the race. Here is the report I put on my training blog: I woke up at 4:00 am to go climb/run Grandeur Peak with Matt Van Horn this morning. We definitely had our challenges today. First of all it was wicked cold at the start, and the wind that beat down on us for the first 30 minutes was horrible. That West ridge is sure windy and exposed. At least the lower trail was dry. The last mile to the top took us forever because there was about a half inch of light powder on top of a icy hard crust, and no tracks or trail, so we slipped and slid the rest of the way up. It was tough and slow. We finally hit the summit in 1:40, which is 20 minutes slower than the last two times we did it. It was still dark when we reached the summit and I took a gel and checked out the incredible view of the valley lights below. Heading down the back side was also quite challenging because the snow had a hard crust that you would punch through to deep powder. It was slow going down to the saddle where we finally hit a packed snow trail. I guess we were the only ones dumb enough to go to the top. After descending off the steep east face I took a look down into the valley and back up at Grandeur. Wow! What a view. You really have to work for a view like this and it gave me chills. Very awe inspiring. We ran down to Church Fork, and then on the Pipeline to Rattlesnake Gulch. From there we ran down to the canyon road and then back to the car. It took us almost an hour longer than the last time we did this route two weeks ago. It was a lot of fun anyway. We saw some deer, elk and had some impressive views along the way. This route is definitely one of my favorites.

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