Descending Leviathan Peak, 13,528 ft. towards Jagged Peak.
We made another trip into our favorite Colorado wilderness area- the Weminuche.
This section of the San Juans has always been special to us, and one that we try to visit regularly. Unfortunately, what makes the rugged, remote area so fun to visit, also makes it a challenge to get to, and we don’t find ourselves there as often as we’d like. But about every other year– particularly if it’s a special occasion and we want to do something memorable– we clear four or five days of our schedule and make it happen. read more>>>
The crew– Christy, Neal Beidleman and Chris Davenport. They deserve a lot of the credit for getting me here while it was still breakfast hour on Saturday in Silverton. Thanks guys, you’re awesome.
In the days that follow this enormous undertaking, I’m usually so drained– mentally, physically, and emotionally– that I struggle to assimilate all that took place. I recall it in bits and pieces– mental images of the course, fragments of conversations with crew and pacers, or memories of thoughts as to how I was feeling or what was happening. To look back on it can almost take on a Hollywood-esque “life flashing before you eyes” retrospective, like a montage of moments pasted together in a crude slideshow. read more>>>
Hopefully I’ll keep myself together better than the old Hardrock, which broke to pieces and had to be replaced with this one for 2012.
Hardrock’s here, and I couldn’t be more excited.
This is my 5th time running the course, but only my 2nd time around in the clockwise direction around the loop. Just as a reminder, because I doubt anyone is really keeping track, the last time I ran the course this way was in 2010, and I finished in my fastest time yet, 30:21.
The course layout in this direction suits me well, with shorter, more direct uphills, and longer, mellower descents. Add to that the experience I’ve accumulated here through the years and the added miles I’ve logged this summer thanks to our dry spring, and I feel that if things go well, I could have a pretty fast time.
As is always the case, anything can happen out there so I’m just going to see how the day unfolds and try to put together my usual come-from-behind back half. Unfortunately, the Tom Chapman vs. Telluride (read here) land dispute that resulted in a re-route last year is still unresolved, so the course to Telluride is, once again, a couple miles longer. That doesn’t bode well for PR’s necessarily, but I’m still going to try.
Christy will be on the scene as crew boss, read more>>>
On the airy spine of Coxcomb.
I guess the 3rd time is the charm.
Back in 2006, despite a weather forecast for steady rain, Christy and I made the drive to Middle Cimarron Creek in the North San Juans, and backpacked high in the valley below Coxcomb Peak. We had long known of this uniquely shaped mountain near the Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn peaks, and had it on our list to climb. But the wet weather rendered some semi-technical stretches of climbing impractical and we never got to climb the peak. It turned into a fun, mellow, mushroom hunting, San Juan camping trip and we’d be back. read more>>>
Is the "tough" part of the slogan meant to describe the lottery?
The lottery for the 2012 Hardrock 100 was on Sunday, and I’m thrilled to report that I got in again.
Some say the lottery process is the hardest part of the race. While that’s definitely an exaggeration, if you’re not given a chance to run because you can’t get a number, well then it’s sort of true. This year, there were 658 people vying for 140 slots, so some 79% of applicants didn’t get in. That’s pretty tough odds.
I can’t help but feel kind of lucky, not just for Sunday’s good draw, but for my luck and timing over the past few years.
When the race was first held in 1992, and for the first ten years that followed, it never even filled up. When I arrived to the scene in 2007, there was a waitlist, but if you qualified and applied for entry, your chances of running were pretty reasonable. In the years since then, its popularity surged, but with a bit of lottery luck, I managed to get in and finish every year, with the exception of 2008 when I was waitlisted. (My 2008 number was actually called on race day, and had I been there and ready, I could have run, so I’ve actually made it in every year.) read more>>>
Approaching the cairn atop Organ. It's not always about the challenge of the peak.
We climbed Organ Mountain this past weekend, which at 13,801 feet, is the 106th tallest peak in Colorado. We chose Organ not because Christy and I are now setting out to climb all the top 200 Colorado summits (or Bicentennials), we were just looking for a new place to go, and to come up with ideas we often take a look at the list of Colorado peaks and pick one we haven’t yet climbed. So to Organ we went.
Some discredit the notion of ticking summits off the peak list as lacking creativity. Sure, there are some less-than-interesting peaks that get done mostly because they are on the list. But through the years, we’ve found ourselves in countless cool places we may have otherwise never known about, often arriving there because there was a nearby summit we wanted to climb that we learned of from the list. In fact, in just the past few months, Tijeras, Rito Alto, Buckskin Benchmark and Lightning Peak all come to mind as climbs that were pretty memorable outings, and all four peaks happen to reside on the list of Bicentennials. read more>>>