So even with the reconstructed bridge on the north side of Hope Pass now up, I opted for a south side run. I had intel that said that the north side has enough snow to make it hard to traverse. You can see some of it from my house. Not excited about snow when I am supposed to be heat training. Maybe I would descend a bit and see how far down I could get.
I didn't get down there until about 11 AM after a long night with my dog. Then it wasn't a fun drive up that Winfield road in my wife's car. Where's my truck when I need it? Oh well. So I got out at Sheep Gulch and started up. I hiked from the start. Not planning on running this on race day so might as well practice the hike.
That trail just kicks you in the face a couple hundred yards in. Geezus. My lungs were burning but settled down near the end of the first mile. I was hyperventilating last year in the race on the climb but felt pretty controlled today. Thinking some of that hiking over the winter paid off a bit. I was watching the mileage to get some markers on that trail. Hit the "JP Boulderfield" at 1 mile in. Passed that log I puked on in 2010 soon after. Good times. As I got above the trees, I started feeling the wind which was sort of brutal today. I had 2 shirts on and gloves. Still felt under-dressed. So I just set my sights on hitting the top then getting back down.
It was 2.6 miles up and just about 2,600 vertical feet. 1,000 feet a mile. That's a pretty solid gain. Hit the top in about an hour. Eh. Grabbed some photos and then made my way back down. Felt pretty good on the down. I vividly recall every descent here being very stiff as I usually have 47 miles under my belt. Better today. Made it down in no time. The good news (I guess) was that my quads felt it when I was done. That was the goal.
Headed back home after a shorter outing than planned. But I felt OK with it given the time of day. Back at home, I spent the afternoon giving ATV rides to the kids. We even rode out to Turquoise and caught up with Brooks and crew at their camp site. Haven't seen him in like 9 months so it was good to say hi in the flesh. Might even get some miles in together in the morning.
About a 1/2 mile to go. Alpine singletrack...
Just over the summit. Snow starts.
Leadville 40 miles in the distance.
Collegiate Peaks back to the south still have some snow.
Me. Freezing. Should be back here a few more times before August.
I went 5.28 miles with an elevation gain of 2,639 feet in 01:35:36, which is an average pace of 18:05. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.