Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday Boulder Mountain Meander

This run was Gregory > Ranger > Green summit > Green Bear, Bear summit, Fern, Shanahan, Mesa.

I carried spikes, and only used them a few times, but was glad I had them, especially on Fern. It always surprises me how many people attempt these trails with no traction or with flat-soled hipster sneaks, and that accounts for the butt prints on the snow as people slid downhill. Heck, I found it freaky with spikes on. I think this is Ranger:

Bear and South Boulder from Green Bear trail (first time on the new route):

I had not been through the burn area, and although the destruction is not good, it was also fascinating and beautiful in its own stark way.

My photos don't do justice to the eerie feeling of the West Ridge of Bear, with its charred, sculptural tree trunks and the oddness of being able to see the thin ribbon of trail on rolling light brown hills. It's almost like you're in a diorama or on an elaborate set.

Rocks on the summit of Bear:

Green from Fern:

I hit Mesa and stretched it out a little by doing an out-and-back to the south, since after the summits I was "only" at about 9 miles. But before I got to Shadow Canyon I realized I was starting to get really hungry, and turned back.

The uphills on this run were laborious, but overall I felt good. Pace was super-easy and I made lots of stops -- big surprise there.

Distance was 15.60 miles, time 4:49 (moving 3:38), elevation gain/loss 4,646 feet, avg. pace 18:34 (moving 14:02), and best pace 6:33.


  1. That's some serious (for me) vertical, great job!! I was up on Mt. Falcon on Friday and the trails were still sloppy slushy and slick. Fun coming down but going up was slow moving. I need a lot more vertical, maybe one day I can make it up north. The burn area is pretty cool, in it's own way, as you say.

  2. Jill - Thanks. I think the Boulder trails have more sandy soil, so even when they're wet they don't turn into muck as often, except in the lower parts in the meadows.

  3. Sweet run. But yah, that ice right now on some of those trails is treacherous.

  4. GZ - The only trail that was really bad was Fern (surprise). On parts where there was soft snow, I was able to dig my heels in on descent, otherwise, even Microspikes were not very secure.