Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick Update

The weather in Boulder has definitely been warming up as we've had several days of near 90 degree temps over the past couple weeks. As the temps go up, my motivation for climbing typically goes down. On the other hand, I'm pretty psyched on hiking and trail running right now.

My route (traced in black)
So far this year I've only been out hiking a few times, but I got out for a nice long hike/run last Sunday. Parked at NCAR and headed up the trail at 12:03 with the intention of hitting Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak. The shortest route to Bear Peak is about 2.8 miles and ~2800 vertical feet via Fern Canyon. I opted for the Bear Canyon trail which loops around the peak to the west ridge and adds quite a bit of distance. The trail up the canyon was pleasant and surprisingly vacant. The stream which often runs along the path adds a nice soundtrack to the hike and the trail would be almost completely runnable for someone in better shape (maybe later in the season for me). Near the top of Bear Canyon, the Green-Bear trail branches off toward Green Mtn and I thought about hitting up Green Mtn too, but passed on that. This would turn out to be a good choice. Eventually I hit the crowded summit of Bear Peak and then headed the .7 miles over to the less crowded S Boulder Pk. You have three different descent options from S Boulder peak to get back to NCAR: down Fern Canyon (3.5 miles), down Bear Canyon (5.4 miles) or down Shadow Canyon and north on the Mesa trail (5.0 miles). I opted for Shadow Canyon to make a nice loop.

The downhill went quickly and I ran most of the flat sections of the Mesa trail to be back at the car at 3:35. I was pretty exhausted by that point and the last 1/2 mile or so was painful and slow, but all in all this is one of my favorite routes to hike in the Flatirons area. I'll definitely do this again once I'm in better shape. Stats: 10.5 miles, ~3500' (?) of climbing, 3 hours 32 minutes.

Alpine trails should be coming into season soon and I can wait to get up high and do some runs up in The Park. I particularly want to do Flattop, Hallett and Owens Peak plus a run/fast hike to the boulder field of Longs Peak. I also want to do a fast ascent of Longs Peak a bit later in the season (August maybe). Can't wait.

Nothing really new on the climbing front. I've pretty much decided to get some new shoes since I haven't bought new climbing shoes in 7 (!) years. It's just hard to cough up the $100-$150 for it. I'm planning on going with the La Sportiva Solutions since the fit is excellent. I'm a little concerned about the durability of the velcro and straps so if anyone has comments on that I'd love to hear them.

Finally, there's a bouldering World Cup event this weekend in Vail. Unfortunately I'll be at my brother's wedding so I won't be able to attend. I'm sure it will be a great event though. Good luck to all the USA climbers!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nina: I've removed your comment and contacted you via email.