Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Bear Creek-Mt Morrison Run

I must have spent my quota for mental focus on the run Saturday, because on Sunday I was a bit of a scatterbrained lollygagger. Stop, start, stop, start. Squirrel!

Heading out of Morrison on the west side. That place is busy 365 days a year:

Mount Morrison is a steep trail, so not much photography on the way up.

It was like the Barr Trail up there, with runners flying down like Kilian, testing the limits of the uphill right-of-way rule a bit. Or at least testing the spirit of it.

The steep, rugged ridge near the top of the mountain:

I like this photo because it shows the grade on the upper section. This is not running:

There was a young kid from Aurora on top who asked what "those mountains" in the distance were (Rosalie, Evans, Bierstadt) and mentioned he wanted to climb a 14er. So I gave him some beta. Probably too much detail, but he knew of Bierstadt and that's a good first choice.

Coming back down the ridge, sometimes on my rear:

After descending without slipping on rocks or hospitalizing anyone, I ran back through town and fooled around in Bear Creek Lake Park. This is where the tempo really fell apart, as I just couldn't get motivated to keep going. I would find any excuse to stop or walk a bit.

Finally the sun came back out and I guess my desire to be outside increased and I picked it up a little bit. And I didn't realize I'd become a little chilly until that brilliant low sunlight hit me.

Distance was 12.76 miles, time 3:42 (moving 2:51), elevation gain/loss 2,605 feet, avg. pace 17:28 (moving 13:29), and best pace 7:15.

Yeah, I probably could have cut 30 minutes off that time just by paying attention.


  1. I like some of the stray light in these shots. The purple in the first, the spots in the sixth. Not sure if that was intentional or not.

    And those damn KJ downhillers ... get off of my lawn, err trail. :P

  2. GZ - I like the lens effects too, I just know I can get that by monkeying around with the exposure and pointing it towards a light source. I did drop that top camera (purple) in the mud though.

    Definite GOM moments. I probably need to lighten up and stop talking about it. One fast guy had some serious downhill skills, and actually stepped slightly off trail to avoid us.

  3. I've been in Morrison a lot running, but never Mt. Morrison. Added to list to do!

    I lately have the stop and go attitude...not sure why. Maybe it's that time of year to just reflect rather that push? That's what I'm going with anyway. :)

    Pictures are so pretty in Bear...Maybe I'll head over there today. Thanks!

  4. [I edited the downhill runner part to be less of a rant]

  5. Bummer I thought your "rant" was well-reasoned and am sad to see it go...There have been enough actual "rants" lately about race lotteries, local and national politics, and what-not, where people's opinion is essentially an extrapolation/projection of what benefits them personally the most.
    Your observation was a logical, higher-minded, general observation: if runners (or mt. bikers or whoever) are being reckless, it affects all of us. As a mt. biker, too (both of us), it's clear to see the difference between thoughtful and reckless cyclists. It's reasonable to surmise that these runners are racing. The downhill. On a Sunday. They should know better! So let's bust their chops a bit (in good fun) before it gets out of hand.

    I'll be the first to admit to having a disdain for too many rules (um, property access) if we all can play nicely and nobody gets hurt. I look forward to re-visiting it soon, but my recollection is that it's narrow and doesn't have long sightlines at the top, and it's easy to roll rocks. My understanding by "gentlemanly agreement" is that only trails with decent sight-lines and room for 2-way traffic are truly KOD-worthy. I've been fortunate to run with (behind!) some very good runners, and I've seen them to be courteous and deliberate on the trail (pushing the hard efforts only in wide-open spots), so I'm confident that people can be top-class runners while still remaining respectful.


  6. Mike - I'm sure I have plenty of rants left in me -- such as for the downhill biker one time who would have planted his front tire on my chest if I hadn't jumped off the trail.

    But yes, I agree concerning courtesy. FYI the trail section in question is the first hillside ascent, plenty of slippery dirt and pebbles.

    By the way I Googled this subject yesterday and you'd be surprised at how many people accept some equivalent of "faster users have the right of way", especially downhill. Some of it was meant in the sense that slow users should be aware and move aside if they are blocking the trail, which makes sense if you're traveling in the same direction. It was also related to not wanting to lose/cost someone momentum (which begs the question of why one would have a lot of momentum while passing on natural trails in close quarters).

    But that misses the point of what it means to say you have the right of way. It doesn't mean you always do the same thing, it means you have the first choice. You may choose to press upward, or you may choose to let someone else go down first.

    And it is in respecting that choice where the trail etiquette and rules come into play.