SUMMER TRAINING PART 2

July 2013 was arguably the most scenic and diverse month of running in my life. I started the month out with “Mummy Kill” on the fourth, with Craig and Cyrus. This hike was composed of six separate summits starting at the Chapin Pass Trailhead and ending at the Lawn Lake Trailhead. We hit the first 4 summits in about 2:30 and slowed down a bit to take in the Mummy Range views. Chapin, Chiquita and Yipsilon were all straight forward hiking but Fairchild required a bit of scrambling. After taking a short break in the valley we ascended Haugues Peak, this one was the most challenging of the route, with only a .75 mile hike to the top it was the steepest and most technical. After spending some time at the top with picked our way across the ridgeline and finished out the day with an easy hike up Mummy Mountain. We descended the south side and did a good bit of bushwhacking until we stumbled upon the Black Canyon trail and did some backtracking to the Lawn Lake Trail. After some additional hiking it turned out to be a solid 18 mile day.

On the 6th, Apryle and I traveled down to Alma to hike the Lincoln group of the Tenmile Range. This offered some great alpine hiking with very little elevation change, probably the easiest way to knock out four fourteeners very quickly. We started on the Mount Lincoln scree and then ran over the small hill that was Cameron and made a small ascent to Mount Democrat. We elected to just veer off to the side of the peak of Bross (No trespassing signs). Then we jogged down the scree strewn hillside back toward the car; all in all about a 4 hour trip. On the way home Apryle dropped me off at the Ute Trail on Trail Ridge Road and I ran the last 10 miles back to my apartment from there. This trail exhibited every zone of the park, making the flora diversity unmatched in my opinion.

The next day Apryle and I met up with Andrea, a coworker at the park, and we knocked out Bierstadt and Evens. Bierstadt was another incredibly easy jog to the top, but we elected to take the Sawtooth Ridge over to Mount Evans. I am not by any stretch a strong mountaineer and I am deathly afraid of heights so this route made me a little nervous. However, it was much more interesting route than the road up to the top. I refuse to ever drive to the top of a fourteener; the idea seems ridiculous to me. Almost as ridiculous as the idea of owning a fourteener (Bross) and not allowing people to hike to the top. After hitting the summit we took Gomers Gulley back through an upland bog to the car. Trudging through the mud and willow made for an interesting finish to the hike.

The next weekend was a bit of an off weekend for me I ran up Estes Cone from my apartment for a 20 mile roundtrip. Then on the 14th Apryle and I climbed Batman Pinnacle, which was my first multi pitch climb. On the 18th my parents arrived in Colorado and we explored the park. This was a chance for me to be tour guide, which I loved. It was great to catch up and great to see my dad bushwhacking up the side of Eagle Cliff.

July ended as epically as it started with a Longs Peak / Continental Divide traverse double. On the 26th, I was supposed to meet up with Andrea to hike Longs but we were off on the starting time, so we took off separately. I happened to catch up with her in the Boulder field and we finished up the hike. The homestretch was a little icy but we managed to get the summit in fairly good time. After very little sleep I was up early again to traverse Boulder Grand Pass from the east to the west side of the divide with Apryle and Andrea.

We started the hike from Wild Basin specifically, the Thunder Lake Trailhead. We really took our time and enjoyed the sights along the way so the pace was pedestrian. We stopped at Ouzel Falls, Thunder Lake and I took a dip in Lake of Many Winds before ascending Boulder Grand Pass. The views from the top of the pass along with the prolifically growing alpine wildflowers were some of the most impressive I had seen in RMNP yet. We bushwhacked down to Lake 4 and hopped on the East Inlet trail. The west side much more lush in comparison to the east and the trail was dotted with waterfalls and lakes along the way. This was by far the most memorable hike of the summer, which ended with the three of us hitching a ride back to our car on the east side.

The pictures will explain the trip more effectively than I can…