Another early morning 14er mission with my buddy Luke. We met at his place around 3:45am and were on the Trail by 5am. Holy Cross is a 14er at 14,005 ft, the trail head is out a dirt Road just past the town of Minturn. We had headlamps in the Dark for less than an hour and things started heating up. The trail goes up and over a hill into a Vally before getting up and on the main ridge to the Summit. I have hiked this with my Dad before, and it took 8-10 hours. Last summer Luke and i tried to run it but turned around due to storms. We made it to the summit in about 2:30-3hours, hung out up top for a bit then headed down. There were quiet a few hikers coming up as we were coming down. Everyone was friendly and it was a beautiful day. After climbing back out of the Valley to the final downhill I pushed it to the trail head and finished right before 10am, about 10 minutes in front of my friend. I had my Strava going and it said I was 2nd overall course record which was cool as I recognized some names on the list. It was a fun day on the hill, great getting out early, and I felt pretty strong the last couple miles. I wore my Nike Terra Kiegers, Nathan Pack, Nathan Handheld with 3 bottles of water, Lara bar, Peanut Butter GU.
I love getting up and out early in the AM to run on Vail Mountain. I was going through Lionshead and up Forest Road to Mill Creek by 6am. Its just beautiful when the sun is coming over the mountain and through the trees as the birds chirp. There is barely anyone around and my dog Rooster is always stoked to get out running in the morning(its about 40 degrees cooler than the afternoon too). I am thinking about running in the Vail Half Marathon next weekend so I wanted to check out some trails above Mid-Vail. I took South 6 to Village Trail to get up there, then found my way to Wildwood and Grand Traverse. The Wildflowers in the back bowls were just incredible. After 13 miles I took the Gondola down with Rooster and ran back over to Sandstone.
Last weekend I had some solid back to back long runs. Saturday I did 22 miles on Vail Mountain with my dog. We went up Mill Creek Road to Benchmark and found Two Elk Connector for the first time which was amazing, we took that to Sleepy Time road and hiked out of the back bowls to Grand Traverse to the top of the Gondola as my dog was getting tired. On Sunday, my friend Luke and I looped Whiskey Creek to Meadow Mountain for a solid 12 miles. This is another amazing loop with some great single track going up through Meadows and Aspens to a cool cabin called the “line shack”. I haven’t been keeping track of miles as much as before but feel these past couple weeks have been well into the 50s. I am feeling good and having fun, the trails are just amazing this time of year.
The other weekend my buddy Luke and I set out to run Mt Massive. Somewhere we took a wrong turn and ended up on the summit of North Massive which is also a 14er. The run/hike in was absolutely stunning. We also ended up scaling a snowy/icy/rocky 500ft face, passing some guys with crampons and ice axes. It was windy up top but we hung out for a bit and had some Upslope IPAs. The way up took about 5 hours and the way down about an hour and a half, i was feeling good and crushed the last couple miles. Icy dip in creek after was necessary.
I have been totally slacking on the blog post but, I have been getting after some runs. A couple weeks ago I did Grouse Creek and West Grouse Creek a couple days a part. These are some great trails over by Minturn. Lots of stream crossings on the way to backcountry lakes. I think they each took 2-3 hours. There were no people but lots of snow and downed trees.