|On top of Green Mountain. What a view!|
Once I made the plan, I recruited Homie. A month ago he did the double Skyline and he's running a 108-mile race in Georgia in eleven days. While this would be a huge outing for Derek and I, it was, literally (and I know that word is overused), barely a warm-up for Homie. We picked him up early and the three of us set out from the South Mesa Trail at 6:10 a.m.
Homie said we had to summit the 4th-class Red Rocks summit above the Hogsback, so that made a total of six peaks, along with the usual South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain, and Mt. Sanitas. Our goal was to average an hour per peak and we traded off leading the way on each one. I got the first one, SBP, and it was a long, hard slog. Above the saddle I couldn't even find where the trail went, at least in sections, and I've been up that trail nearly two hundred times! We all wore Gortex shells and I wore my down mitts and was happy to have them on SBP. My companions were tougher and didn't need as much protection, though Homie, in shorts and running shoes without gaiters, did admit to having cold feet.
|On the summit of Red Rocks, above the Hogsback|
|Homie downclimbing the scramble up to the Red Rocks' summit.|
I led us down the slippery descent and up to the summit of Flagstaff (3h55m). We saw some friends on their way up as we descended. Homie then led up down the 2000-foot descent to Eben G. Fine park and up to the summit of Red Rocks (fun scrambling!) - 4h48m.
Derek and I were hurting pretty good at this point and we decided there would be no more running. This wasn't much of a sacrifice, as we only had Sanitas left. We started up at 4h54m and Derek took over the pacing. We hit the summit at 5h26m. I really want to sit down and rest, but I feared my legs would lock up. We started down right away, slow and easy...
But then Derek asked if we'd break six hours. I assured him it was in the bag. Then he wanted to get back down before noon, meaning we'd have to break 5h50m. Crazy kid. Where he gets such crazy ideas, I don't know. This obsession with breaking this time and that time. I just shake my head and grudgingly put up with it, not wanting to alienate my son.
On the descent, I was leading with Derek behind me and Homie in the back. Halfway down or so, Homie says, "Bill, we're in trouble." I knew exactly what he meant, even with zero context, except for the fact that we were running down. I was stumbling down like a knee-capped rhino with a torn Achilles. Derek, even with his shin-splint pain, was dancing into and out of rocky gaps, leaping over roots and down drop-offs. Even Homie marveled at his agility. Eighteen-year-old legs attached to great overall athlete is a powerful combination.
|So glad to be heading to pancakes and a chair!|