I ran from the Berthoud Pass parking lot up to ridgelines on both sides of the highway. I ran the road up to Colorado Mines Peak, over on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) to Mount Flora, then back down and across the highway to the CDT on the high ridge line and ran south for a while. My intent was to make as far along the ridgelines as possible for the rest of the day.
I divided the post into two parts due to the number of photos.
The trail is fairly gradual except for a few spots, and I was able to keep running in spite of the altimeter creeping up towards 13k. It's not very often I get to jog at this altitude and actually keep going; usually the terrain is so rugged that I just can't manage.
Below is my turnaround point on Mount Flora, with Mount Eva and Parry Peak in the distance. At this point the CDT veers east and takes a huge detour into the valleys before coming back up at James Peak. There was no discernible trail along the ridge, and this time out I just wanted to run, rather than stumble slowly over rocky tundra, so I turned around to find something else to make up the remaining hours.
Somewhere on the return trip I took a spill into some rocky trail (could have been worse), a fact I was reminded of when I showered at home. Nothing serious it turns out, but surprising how many parts can get messed up in different areas and sides of your body. I did a Superman, tried the cartoon leg-spinning thing, and ended up eating dust on my left shoulder and head (most of the impact had been dissipated, thankfully). Damage inventory:
- A nice rose-colored bruise and scrapes on my left shoulder
- Left knee scraped somewhat, nothing deep
- Right middle finger, scrape and bruise from rock
- Back right of neck, muscle strain (I think that's all)
- Under right shoulder blade, muscles sore
- Right thumbnail crushed a little
- Left index finger banged up
Again, nothing serious so no worries, but there's always that initial period right after when you're assessing the injuries and you don't know. I did stop for a few minutes and stretch my neck until it wasn't tight.
I had been wearing the new Altra Lone Peak 1.5, but then again I trip in my old ones too. The new model is a bit of a garish red color, like some other trail shoes lately, but the fit is better than the first version -- except for the heel, which rubbed a little and also induced me to turn around early so I could change shoes. When I compared them, I noticed they added a hard heel cup this year. Dammit, I'm going to have to mod these shoes to get rid of that. The 1.0 has just fabric and overlays in the heel, and never gave me any trouble. But I also realized how worn out the sole foam had become on my old shoes. Time for change.
Next: Part 2, the west side of Berthoud Pass.