Peak 10 MarathonI had picked out this route earlier in the week, and I had been looking forward to running it for several days. The route went from Breckenridge, south to Crystal Creek road, climb to the Wheeler trail, an out-and-back to the summit of Peak 10 (13,600'), back to the Wheeler trail to the Colorado Trail, to Peaks trail back to town.
I had done the first half of the loop (coming down through the ski slopes after the ascent of Peak 10). Above the tree line, every view is amazing. It was a challenge to pick just a few spots for pictures. I could have stopped at any random spot, closed my eyes and clicked the shutter, and had something worth showing.
The crux of the run was the ascent to the summit of Peak 10. Most of the way is on a steep, switchbacking, four-wheel drive road. But the last few hundred yards are up a knife's edge, talus covered ridge, with about 100 yards of hard, slipery snow. At the top, I celebrated with a PB&J sandwich. Little did I know that getting down would be the real challenge.
The route then followed the Wheeler trail toward Copper Mountain. There were great views of Copper's Resolution bowl. I could even see where I had skied last winter!
The most amusing part of the run was an encounter with several folks I had met at the hostel where I am staying, The Fireside Inn. They were through-hiking the Colorado Trail. We started around the same time in the morning, but I would be heading north on the trail, and they would be heading south. Somewhere around 12,000' I came running down the trail as they were hiking up. I think they were as amused as I was about running in to an aquaintence in such a remote location.
Eventually, I dropped below tree line again. I got to a trail junction 20 miles into my run, I could head four miles north to Frisco, and take the bus home, or I could head six miles straight back to Breckenridge. I was at the edge of the distance that I had intended to run, but I was having such a good time, and the difference was so small, that I took the Breckenridge option.
When I first came out here, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get any reasonable training it due to the altitude. But in my first week here, I ran 102 (tough, mountainous) miles. Now, with Leadville only two weeks away, I really really need to start tapering.
(Click on any image to see a larger version.)