Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Week In Review: 6/11-6/17 + La Plata

    Another week in the books, I suppose.  I did a pretty laughable amount of running for what I ought to be doing, taking a luxurious four days off this week.  Fortunately, it doesn't phase me too much because my climax week, if you will, is already underway with a lot of great runs in store.

     The week in review:

06/11- Monday

06/12- Tuesday
      Anniversary fishing!  I love my wife.

06/13- Wednesday
       PM- 11 miles on Boulders trail, 1:42, 1,800 ft
06/14- Thursday
       AM- 3 miles on Mineral Belt, followed by 2 miles barefoot on field. :50, 200 ft
       PM-  12 miles from Turquoise Lake dam to Mayqueen campground and back,        1:42, 400ft

06/15- Friday
      AM- 6 miles out and back on the Missouri Lakes trail, 1:00, 1,000 ft.  
               I was pretty pumped about this run as it took me to one of the more beautiful     places I've had the pleasure of seeing so far in Colorado.  What a tease- sorry for the lack of pictures...

06/16- Saturday
      Got caught fishing, again!

06/17- Sunday
      I'd hoped to do a 20 miler on this day, but my stomach was amok after work and I found myself sleeping instead...

Totals: 32 miles, 5 hours 15 minutes, 3,400 ft

    A couple of pictures from last week follow, then a briefing of my run up La Plata this morning with more pictures!

Nice cascade on the Missouri Lakes trail.

Bridge running on M.L.T

      Enough about my fishin' blues...  La Plata (14,336 ft) is the 5th highest peak in Colorado and yet another peak that I can see out the dining room window- so I figured it was about time I paid her a visit.
       I dilly-dallied a bit this morning, finally leaving the trailhead a little before 8 o'clock.  The trail was super runnable for the first 30 minutes or so before the switchbacks grew steeper and steeper.  I passed three groups of hikers within the first forty minutes, all carrying far more than the measly 16 oz waterbottle I had in tow, which bore my camera and a gel.
      Following the creek in the early going was a blast, it was perfect habitat to a number of wildflowers who were starting to show their colors.

Some sort of primrose?  Any guesses?

     As I broke treeline, the array of flowers began to shift.

White Columbine was all over the place!

      I truly had perfect weather for the outing, with wind very tolerable even at the summit.

Looking NW towards Independence Pass
      I was hardpressed to find runnable terrain for much of the outing, but I was hiking like a champ, keeping my heart rate up and pace steady.

      I gained the first ridge after an hour on my feet.

Looking up towards the mountain from the first ridgecrest.
      The trail mandated a lot of scrambling up loose talus and boulderfields, but very little snow to speak for.  

A break from scrambling- the trail with the summit to the right, still well over head.

      My pace never really wavered, which delighted me.  Taking it easy last week seems to have restored me to good form.  From the summit the views were just spectacular.  I arrived at the summit after 1 hour 41 minutes of moving. 

Looking SE towards the mighty Collegiates.

Mystery Hill?  Anyone..(?)
      Taking the standard route from the trailhead was a blast, no complaints at all.  But looking over at the knife-like ridge of Ellingwood made it a no-contest decision for my next ascent of La Plata, the class-3 route and it's 6,000 ft of vertical gain look just spectacular.

A glance to the north at Ellingwood Ridge.

A hyper-inflated Gu, at 14,336 ft.
     I took my time coming down, I guess, stopped to chat with the three aforementioned groups of hikers, and never found myself moving at a super-quick pace on the technical, switchback riddled descents. 

     I arrived back at the car after 2 hours and 47 minutes- I missed my expressed goal by 2 minutes, which was a bummer, but it was my choice to loligag.  

    I got to get in an extra mile, too, because in my pursuit of my timegoal I whizzed past where I had stashed my car key.  Oops

    Anyways, a great day on La Plata, about 9 miles roundtrip with 4,500 ft of gain.  I am quite excited for the other great runs I have lined up this week!
   Thanks for reading!

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