Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trip Report: Cristo Couloir-Quandary Peak 14,265'

Date Climbed: 06/09/11
Peak: Quandary Peak-14265'
Route: Cristo Couloir- Moderate snow 2500' 2.5 miles RT
Start: 6:55 am    Summit: 8:07 am    End: 9:50 am
Gear: crampons, alpine tools

Caitlyn and I left Boulder at 4:30 am. We were set to get to the trail head by 6:30 am, but Colorado Highway patrol decided to pull me over. Luckily he was feeling generous and let me off with a warning. I was only going 10 over in a 50 zone. We got to the trailhead at 6:45 am and set off at 6:55 am.

 From the parking lot the route is very straight forward it rises right off the road.
Bottom of route

Surrounding basin

I left Caitlyn at this point as I was going for a speed ascent. Within 30 min. I was already about halfway up the 2500' couloir.

The snow was in pretty good condition but not perfect like my last trip to the Skywalker Couloir. I summited at 8:07, so I ascended in 1hr 12min.

Summit view to the west

Summit ridge and view to the east
A new personal best at that altitude. I was gonna wait for Caitlyn on the summit so I decided to take a nap in a wind shelter ( a pile of rocks). I couldn't nap however, because every time I came close to passing out I would stop breathing and gasp for breathe. Not really sure why this happened, but it was pretty scary. I started to get cold on the summit after about an hour, so I decided to make my way down. I passed Caitlyn soon after that, and glissaded down to a rock outcrop. I took some pictures of Caitlyn as she snowboarded down. We were back at the car before 10.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strength Training/Power Endurance

I train strength on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal is to gain strength above all else, some weight in the form of muscle since I will most likely lose weight in the high altitude of South America, and become lean so I won't be carrying any extra weight. In the second phase my workouts consist of:

500 ft of climbing in 30-45 min. (grades: 5.10- 5.12)
1 hr of hard bouldering            
Circuit Training
3 sets, max reps
Pull ups x10 (+20lbs)
Ring Push ups x max
Shoulder Flys x max (15lbs)
Lower Back extensions x max
Dips x max
Seated Rows x max (cable machine setting 9)

500 ft of climbing in 30-45 min. (grades: 5.10- 5.12)
1 hr of hard bouldering    
45 min (strength setting)    


500 ft of climbing in 30-45 min. (grades: 5.10- 5.12)
1 hr of hard bouldering

In phase three I will add circuit training to Friday as well. In phase 5 I will add a set to the circuit training. Lastly I will add squats once my legs get used to all the activity.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trip Report: Skywalker Couloir-South Arapaho Peak (13329 ft.)

Date Climbed: 06/05/11
Peak: South Arapaho Peak (13329')
Route: Skywalker Couloir- Steep Snow, AI 2 1500'
           5 miles, 3300' gain
Start: 5:40 am   Summit: 8:02 am   End: 11:00 am
Gear: crampons, helmet, 2 alpine tools (I like to move fast)

Todd and I left Boulder at 4:30 am and drove up through Boulder Canyon to Nederland where we met Brian. From Ned, we hopped in Brian's car and drove to the trailhead. We started up the trail/footprints. The snow was soft, but manageable. It took about an hour to make it to the base of the couloir where we took a short break to put on our crampons and don our ice axes.

Mt. Neva
We started up the couloir which was only about 35-40 degrees steep in the beginning. 

This soon changed. About half way up the couloir steepened to around 45 deg. then 50 deg. The last 200 ft were in the 60-70 deg range. The steepest route I've ever done. Great exposure. 

Todd waving

Todd about to top out

Had to downclimb to pose for a shot on the route.

The snow in the couloir was perfect alpine ice/styrofoam. So far the best climbing surface I've ever encountered. I topped out first and shot some photos of Todd and Brian as they came up. It was Todd's first really winter mountaineering experience, and Brian's first time in a while. We all convened at the top of the route and then made our way to the summit where we debated a traverse to North Arapahoe Peak, but we were to hungry and decided to leave it to another time.

View from the summit of North Arapaho Peak and the Arapaho glacier
Toward Boulder, somewhere out there in the haze

We descended back to the car by way of the normal trail. It was an amazing morning of mountaineering and I will be coming back to this one many times.

View of South(left) and North(right) Arapaho Peaks from the saddle

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Trip Report: Mt. Shavano, CO (14229 ft.)

Roland and I awoke at 3 am and were on the road from Boulder at 3:30 am. We took the CO 285 which was a beautiful drive, but was a long 3.5 hrs. We arrived at the trailhead at 7 am and were on the trail at 7:30. The weather was beautiful but the wind was going to be an issue. This was the first trip that we brought snowboards for the descent, and frustratingly my board sliced right through the straps holding it on my backpack. I was just going to ditch it but Roland offered to carry it at long as he could. We aren't quite sure on time, but we exited the trees at around 9 am.

 The wind in the gully was really strong, and Roland was struggling pretty bad with the boards, as they were acting like sails in the wind. I took over carrying the boards. We made our way up the steepest section of the route. With the boards this was tough. I was almost ripped off my feet a few times. Once I got to the top I decided to ditch the boards since the wind only seemed to get stronger. Wish I hadn't though cause the wind only got better toward the top. We made our way up the gentler slopes below the summit and soon were on top.

We summited at 10:40 am. Three miles and 4600 ft of elevation gain in 3 hr 10 min. We stayed on top for about 20 min. and contemplated climbing to Tabeguache Peak (14155 ft.), but we opted not too.

We got back to our boards, put them on and road down the short but steep chute back to the trees. We were back to the car by 1 pm and home by 4 pm. All in all a good day.