Thursday, February 2, 2012

Colorado Runski

What started out as a ski trip turned into a pilgrimage of sorts last weekend.  After flying into the great state of Colorado, Matt, Chad and I knew we had time for run before we headed up to Beaver Creek for a couple of days of skiing and hard core apres.  We quickly settled on "mags".  The classic run down Magnolia Road made famous by Running with the Buffaloes.  Here is a picture of Matt doing mags....

....just kidding....Running with the Buffaloes is a classic running book chronicling the 1998 University of Colorado National Championship Cross Country team and a new breed of great American runners.   Learn more about Magnolia Road, just east of Boulder here.

The dirt road starts at about 8,000 ft altitude and, on our day, was consumed with snowy, windy conditions.  Since I had departed from the comfort of 1,400 ft altitude merely 5 hours prior, I immediately went into a desperate lack of oxygen.  A chest thumbing, leg numbing, tunnel vision state that was foreign to this southern boy.  Needless to say, it was a classic.

We then ripped the Beav for a day with our local ski buddies (almost getting our ski passes revoked for two weeks by the ski patrol for skiing out of bounds) and then Breckenridge for a day with decent conditions despite the La Nina winter. 

It was time to start heading back toward the airport.  But! We had a few hours to spare for another run.  I needed something strenuous to clear the head after a couple days of the fog that inevitably comes with apres in Eagle.   Just enough time to check off another bucket list run.  We headed back through Boulder on our way to the airport to hit up a Green Mountain summit.  A run made now famous by Anton Krupicka.  A great motivator, writer, and one of the best trail runners of our day.  After following his blog for a couple of years, I'll finally know what he is going through as he makes this run almost twice daily.   Our six mile, 2-hour, scramble was icy, treacherous, and beautiful.

Our Green Mtn Route - Baseline > Amphitheatre > Saddle > Greenman > Ranger > Gregory > Baseline

So that's it.  Some skiing with good friends sandwiched by two classic runs that I've always wanted to do.  I'm one lucky guy.

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