Friday, December 23, 2011
After a few hours of skiing at Eldora, I stopped in Boulder for a jaunt up Green Mountain.
Although Boulder received a fair amount of snow, I knew that Boulder superfreaks would have packed down the trail by the afternoon, and I wasn't disappointed! This was my first time to try out the trail with some soft snow, as a few days after any snow and it seems to be solid ice -- I was up there a few weeks ago and had to slide on my butt a few times.
This time I had my Microspikes. I've used them mostly for hiking in the winter last year, but honestly, I'm not as much of a mountain trail snow runner. I love running the roads in the snow, but if there's enough on the trails, I generally prefer taking the x-country skis out for a spin.
Alas, WS100 doesn't allow skis. And while I'll spare you the inner details of training plans for now (maybe a future post, but I'm bored even thinking about it) -- but my cardio isn't currently my weakest link. My running -- especially downhill -- is. So let's work on that for now.
So, on to Green. I'm sure I need better running technique, but it was pretty much a solid 50+ minute hike for me, digging down into the snow. It was pleasantly soft, in a knee-deep trench. Not too much running. I found some sunglasses, and later the owner, who was quite grateful for them (they fell off her head and she didn't know they were missing) and said "that woulda been $100."
The summit was gorgeous, sunny, and windless -- this was only my 4th time up there. I think there was a temperature inversion today, as Ned was warmer than the lower parts of the canyon. Only saw a few other people, though I hoped to randomly run into some of the regulars.
I decided to descend the front side since I knew it was packed. Usually, on snow this good, I'd rather be on skis. But, the descent was an absolute blast, with occasional slipping on heels, knees, and grabbing trees on switchbacks. None of those skills are incredibly useful, either, but it was fun! I whooped out loud at one point, and a few minutes later came upon a couple that got out of my way, smiling and saying they heard me up there.
So while I won't be giving up the skis anytime soon, I guess I won't automatically grab them every time there's a decent amount of snow on the ground, when the running shoes can still be fun, too.