Sunday, January 1, 2012

Counterculture Antiresolutions

Another calendar year is here.  I've learned enough about the ultra community to get that is the ultimate counter-culture.  Meaning the standard ultra guy should say something like, "New Years is just some arbitrary date.  Resolutions are bull$hit, just fodder for the fat and weak to spend a week at Bally's before bowing out to eat a tub of Ben & Jerry's on the couch while watching The Biggest Loser."

Yeah, I guess I'm one of the masses still.  A new year always gives me pause to look back, look around, and look ahead.  And make the anti-resolution to keep doing stuff that I deem blog-worthy.

Looking back.  2011 treated me well - personally, professionally, athletically, and as a parent.  (I am not a fan of the wording - "treated me well" makes it sound like it was out of my control.  Hell no.  We are each the master of our own destiny.)  I set forth a racing goal a year ago to finish top 10 in every trail/mountain/ultra race I entered in 2011, and I came pretty damn close to making it happen - only my annual Ascent meltdown kept me from fulfilling it.  The number of high peaks I have "bagged" running reached double digits.  For the most part, I averted serious injury, and I made some great new friends and training partners.  Indeed, 2011 was worth every day it offered me.

I did something to my back in mid-November on a run to Barr Camp, and it has been giving me fits ever since.  I seem to be able to manage it, but it took me the better part of a month just sitting around before I could get back at it.  I've been busy the past few weeks, though.  Winter break has afforded me the opportunity to get reacquainted with some of the coolness that is Colorado.
Sunrise over the Mosquito Range
I had the opportunity to go on not one but two hut trips.  The first one was with a group of "16" to Fritz and Fabi Benedict Huts near Aspen.  I used to avoid these things like the plague, figuring I'd be giving up on training days.  How naive.  Any time you snowshoe 4 hours with a heavy pack, you get stronger.

An opportunity opened up the day after Christmas, and I did a solo jaunt to Sangree Frolicher hut near Leadville.  The snow cover was scant enough to allow me a chance to dash up to the summit of 12,867' Buckeye Peak before heading home.  Showing up to the hut as a random "that guy" was fun - I met a bunch of very cool, like-minded folks at the hut.

This view never gets old
Later in the week, I traveled down to South Colony Lake Road in hopes of climbing Humboldt Peak via its east ridge.  The wind was absolutely ferocious and I really didn't have the patience to deal with it, so when I hit the turnoff from South Colony Lakes Road, I just kept going straight until I hit the old trailhead.  I got to cut fresh tracks for a few hours and ended up getting a hefty workout - 5 hours, 11 miles, and a breathtaking view of a sleeping Crestone Needle.  I would still like to get back and hit the ridge, but the mountain isn't going anywhere.

I'm not at liberty to share our route, but.....
On New Years Eve, Brandon Stepanowich, Amanda Ewing, Adam Wade and I went for a little jog up Pikes via a most secretive route.  Wind advisories covered the state - the forecast for Pikes called for gusts in excess of 100 mph.  That didn't stop us from at least giving it a shot, and we did make it to treeline before retreating gracefully to Barr Camp.  Back-to-back five-hour days made for a great weekend of "time on feet".

No comments:

Post a Comment