It's cliché, but the beginning of the new year is a great time to reflect back on the previous year (which I did in my first post) and to look ahead into the future. It is a time to brainstorm objectives, get excited about days to come, and maybe even rest the body a bit. In the past, I've set certain goals for myself but have never made them public for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a certain level of commitment is applied to yourself if you make goals public. A lot can happen in 365 days and its hard to predict the future. While at the same time, having goals written down and out in the public allows for a degree of accountability. Secondly, I like the style of letting your actions speak for you. In certain contexts, hyping something up before you actually do it is frowned upon in my opinion. It is sorta like when climbers talk about what it means to spray and using certain accomplishments to fuel ones ego.
There is a lot of things I want to do in 2018 and it would be an unnecessarily long post to go through every single one of them. So in order to keep it short, I'm going to share 5 objectives that I want to accomplish this summer. The idea being that each of these objectives are unique in their discipline and nature.
1): LA Freeway: The Longs-to-Arapapho Peaks traverse is a ridgeline that links the tallest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park (Longs Peak 14,259') and the tallest peak in the Indian Peaks (North Arapaho Peak 13,501'). The route is around 34 miles long and almost all above 12,000 ft. The route is pretty complex and complicated, with numerous sections of 4th and 5th class scrambling that require focus and attention. Whether its driving down highway 36 into Boulder or standing on top of Green Mountain, the LA Freeway dominates the skyline and is an obvious calling due to its very aesthetic nature. Carl Pfiffner was the first to envision this route back in the 50s and it wasn't until 2002 that the route was actually completed in a single push by Buzz Burrell. Recently, this past summer Matthias Messner set the new standard by completing the route in 16 hours and 59 minutes. This objective has been on my mind a lot and I'm excited to try and tackle it this summer.
2): Triple Crown Series: I have been saying this for a while, but it's time to start racing. The Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent are classic Colorado Races. There is a lot of history surrounding these races and has been something I've wanted to do since moving to Colorado. My plan (registration is March 10th) is to race the ascent on August 18th, as I feel like this will play to my strengths the most. The ascent climbs 7,815' to the summit of Pikes Peak at 14,115' and is 13.32 miles long. I don't have any qualifying races, so I'll also be running the Garden of the Gods 10 mile and Summer Round up Half-Marathon as part of qualifying to run the ascent. I may jump into a couple other races throughout the year, but this is the only thing semi-concrete. I feel like gaining race experience will help me grow as a runner and the race environment seems to always bring out ones best self in terms of performance.
3): Longs Peak via the Diamond: This objective was something I really wanted to complete last summer but things just never seemed to work out due to numerous reasons. The most obvious route to ascend the peak at my climbing skill level is the Casual Route, but there are definitely a lot of routes on the Diamond that have my interest. I mean, who doesn't want to climb the Diamond?
4): The Grand Loop: The Grand Loop is a mega-classic 200 mile bike loop with over 16,000' of climbing that seems to be like a Colorado cycling right of passage. The loop passes over the continental divide twice; once at Milner Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park at 10,758' and Berthoud Pass at 11,307'. The idea of starting from my doorstep and covering both sides of the divide is extremely appealing. It will be a very long day, but will help me prepare for my 5th objective.
5): 14 x 14 Bike Tour: The 14 x 14 is a bike tour that summits 14 - 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado all self-supported and self-propelled. The idea of this adventure was inspired by Justin Simoni and Joe Grant , as they both have competed self-powered bike adventures in the past couple of years. This past summer, Justin completed the Highest Hundred project which entails tagging the highest hundred peaks in Colorado all under his own power; from his front door. The idea behind this project was to go on a similar type of adventure under my own power, but in a smaller time frame. I won't have the ability to take 30+ days off from work, so my plan is to squeeze this into a shorter time frame. The rough outline of the route will include tagging the 4 great Colorado traverses; the Crestones, Little Bear-Blanca, the Wilson Group, and the Maroon Bells. A lot of planning still needs to happen, but all the details will be discussed in a later post. This is just a little teaser.