Monday, August 21, 2017

Bolivia in June

So back in the beginning of the year Bob invited me along on a trip to Bolivia to attempt Huayna Potosí which is a 6000 meter peak just outside the capital city of La Paz which I accepted. 

I am going to break this trip into two different post.  This one being mostly a photo dump from the trip with the exception of summit day and then I will do another post shortly about summit day. 

I was extremely nervous about this trip due to the fact that it would be my first trip outside of the US, yes sad I know.  I mean I have been to Mexico before you needed a passport to go there but I don't count that since this is the first time I have had a passport.  Going with Bob, his brother Tom, and Carlo who have been all around the world put me at ease quite a bit.

Anyways we were there for only 7 days but packed in a lot.  Below is a photo dump of most every but summit day.  Enjoy!

Farmers Market- blocks and blocks of this.

Blew on the clutch on all the hills on day 1, Tom waiting for the car rental company to bring a new car.

Recon trip of Huayna Potosí on day 1

Approaching Huayna Potosí

Old cemetery with Huayna Potosí in the background

Government check point- yes we had to pay a fee

Start of the trail up Huayna Potosí

Bob at 17,000ft on Huayna Potosí turn around point on the recon trip

Carlo and Bob feeling good at 17,000ft, me not so much.  Going from 5000ft to 17000ft on 3 hours of sleep within 24hours was not a good call on my part.  Of course I was the only one hit hard by it.

Tom and I at a fair at the college

Suburbs of La Paz

View from the condo we rented in La Paz

Think they are fans of Trump?

We don't need no traffic lights here!
City views.

Church in the city square

The capital of Bolivia

The prettiest street in La Paz, or so they say.

Church built in the mid 1500s.

Bob taking in the views on the gondola.  They have a gondola system instead of a subway system there due to the mountain terrain.

Looking back at La Paz as we head to the suburbs on the gondola

Tom on the gondola

City views of La Paz at over 14,000ft

Night time city views at 14,000ft

La Paz at night

May be the poorest country in South America but they do have a sweet gondola system.  These are all over the city.

Goodby Huayna Potosí!  It was a blast!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Xterra Eldora Trail 10k

Been a while since I have raced so I thought it was time to see where I stood fitness wise.  I was signed up for my first Xterra Triathlon for Saturday but considering that I have not been in the pool since Febuary or on a bike in 8 weeks thought it might just be better to run the 10k Trail Run instead which the race director was more than happy to switch me too. 

Not knowing what to expect went out hard with the leaders only to start falling back about a mile into the race, just couldn't hang.  At that point I was running in 3rd as a young dude rolled up next to me asking me if I was ok which confused the hell out of me.  Guess I was limping a little in my gait due to my bum left achilles that I have been battling for a while.  Anyways we stuck together until about mile 5 where he put a 100ft gap on me during a techinal downhill.  At that point I was running 4th as we headed into a heavy forrested area following a game trail.  Losing sight of him in the trees I some how followed the wrong game trail which ended up coming to a dead end at a lake.  After bush wacking up the hill to get back on the correct course I jogged it in for a finish in 48 something taking 6th overall and second old guy.  Bummer to give that up right at the end like that but it happens.  Still a solid hard effort at 10,000ft for just under an hour and walked away with winning a LaSportiva running shirt.  Really enjoyed this one, it was close to the house and a true trail run.

Great reminder how much I really do like racing hard which was much needed.  I have kind of fallen into a funk lately and think this might have been what I needed, we will see.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hours on Mount Elbert

With the upcoming trip to Bolivia and shooting for 20,000ft I figured it was a good idea to go spend a bunch of time up high the weekend before leaving.  Now physically it most likely did not make a difference but I think mentally it will.  Called up Bob and he let me have access to the compound.  Decided to hit up Mount Elbert and just chill on the summit as long as I could, hell I even downloaded a Netflix movie on my phone to watch up there.  After about an hour nap on the summit Kari came cruising up.  She is training for Hardrock and was doing mile repeats on the top mile of the mountain, what a great idea instead of napping.  Joining her we would head down a mile then turn around and go back up repeating this for a total of 4 summit touches.  Of course people out hike thought we were nuts.  Ended up spending over 7 hours playing around on Elbert.  What a great day in the mountains!

Look at this jack hole!!!!

Lost Rat Couloir

So with the upcoming trip that we have planned and the fact that we both got a bunch of new gear for the trip that we have not used yet, Bob and I decided to hit up Lost Rat Couloir on Gray's Peak.  This was Bob's first "real" snow climb of this nature and it has been years since I have done this.  Damn this was fun!  Funny how I forgot over the years how much I enjoy this type of mountaineering.  After topping out on the couloir at 13,600ft we of course headed to the summit of Gray's Peak and over to tag Torry's as well.  Great day in the mountains!  Looking forward to some more couloir climbs in the near future.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bolder Boulder and Murph.. That was Dumb....

So in the past years I usually run the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day, sometimes I race it and other years I run with friends.  In 2015 when I was training for Leadman I thought it would be a good idea to run it hard in the A wave then jump straight into my car, drive over to the gym and do the workout Murph with the guys.  It destroyed me that year but had a solid time doing both in under 40 minutes. 

If you don't know what the Murph workout is, it is:
1 mile run
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 air squats
1 mile run

Yep it is a killer especially after doing a 10k hard.  Well this year I decided to up the challenge for myself a little bit more and wear a 20lb weight vest for both the Bolder Boulder and Murph.  Man that was a killer, my quads and arms were sore for a week.  I was able to finish both the 10k and Murph around 45mins each which is not bad considering the weight vest.  Of course the people at my gym think I'm nuts for running the 10k before hand, yes I have a small ego and wanted to know if I could do this.