Monday, June 8, 2009

Start of the Taper and Kelso Ridge

Finally!!! I am not sure if I am happy that it is time to start tapering or dreading it. I have put in some good mileage and vertical gain the past 3 weeks so I think I am ready to go. I have covered about 225 miles and 55,000 feet of vertical in the past 3 weeks on foot (running/hiking). Hopefully that will get me to my first 100 mile finish at Bighorn in 12 days from now. This week I will cover another 50 miles or so and then it is race week. I have been having these dreams where I cross the finish line of a 100 miler and just breakdown. I have never had these dreams before so I am hoping that it is a good sign, a little positive visualization. I did not have these dreams or thoughts before Leadville last year.

Yesterday Kirk and I decided to hike up Gray and Torrys for a quick peek to see what kind of shape the trails are in. There is a lot of snow on the standard Grays trail above 12,500ft and on the saddle between the peaks. On the way up we decide to take the more technical route up Torrys just to make the day a true climb and not just a hike so we chose Kelso Ridge. I have done this route before in the summer time but never with snow/ice on it. Kelso Ridge is in pretty good shape considering how much snow is still up there. Basically the bottom half of the ridge is a rock scramble just like in the summer and the top half has some snow/ice on it so one must be careful. I was happy that I brought my ice axe with me, I did need to plant it a couple of times into a rock crack and dry tool up a section or two. If you are beginner I would not do this route quite yet. Let it melt completely off then it is the perfect route for a 1st class 3 climb. Also if you do this route and are not sure where to go, just stay to the right. 98% of the time on this route if you stay right or on top of the ridge you will be fine.

Here are the photos of Kelso Ridge: