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Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 4:05 PM
Subject: Incline Club V5 LR #19
sun (sûn) noun. 1. A star that is the basis of the solar system and that sustains life on Earth. See synonyms: See NOTHING thats the point I want to see the sun!!!
Remember to set your clocks forward Saturday night so that you dont get left behind Sunday! Also remember that IC Thursdays start next week:-)
Sunday, April 1, 8 a.m. meet at Soda Springs Park.
Head up Ruxton to the Incline. Run up the Incline and back down the Barr Trail, or if you prefer come back down the Incline. Repeat 5 times for a new club record!
Richard B writes:
I was one of those who persevered and broke through the pea soup fog to see the sun today. I lingered for a while basking in the sun. Considering the sticky mud on the road that kept trying to suck my shoes off my feet I felt justified in a little rest stop above the fog.
Until next week!
Brian D writes:
Im envious of the Incline Club in the springs; is there a similar group in Boulder? Ive been mostly a solo runner for the past 25 years, but now Im looking for some social interaction to go with my running. Any ideas?
(Matt C adds: I am not sure if any of you on the list are from Boulder but if so let Brian know: (e-mail address removed for www posting))
Connilee W writes:
On April 16, I am running the Boston Marathon for the first time! Those of you who have run Boston before have told me that Boston is no ordinary venture (its Boston, the marathon of marathons, right?). For me, this is even more so because I (with the faithful help of my support crew, my hubby Pat) am working to raise money to send kids in Pueblo to a Young Life camp this summer. Why Young Life and why in Pueblo, you might ask? Young Life is an International organization that impacts thousands of kids every day and has a vibrant history in the Pikes Peak Region. In Pueblo, Young Life is just getting off the ground and are in their second year of existence. There is no greater impact on a young person than a caring and accepting adult who is willing to walk alongside a young person through the teen years. Providing positive adult friends for young people as they go through their adolescent years can help a young person gain the skills, assets and attitudes they will need to reach their God given potential. Young Life Pueblo exists to give this to kids. In their first eighteen months, they have taken kids skiing, rafting, to camps and to Mexico! Their leadership team has built friendships with nearly 200 kids ... and theyre just getting started!
If you are interested in learning more or would be interested in supporting my run for a cause please email me at (e-mail address removed for www posting). You can also catch up with me (or slow down, as the case may be) at one or our Sunday or Thursday runs. Personally I gain nothing from this (I am paying my own travel, living, and entry expenses) so that 100% of funds you donate will go towards giving kids in Pueblo what just may be the best week of their lives!
And now, Incline Club boys and girls and every thing, its once again time for Ask Doctor Rocket, where each week we feature a perplexing running related question that requires rocket science to answer. Ask Doctor Rocket (hes got a PhD... in Rocket Science). But first I must apologize up front for the abbreviated response to this weeks question as I still havent figured out how to get these &$^#* AstroCasts off of my fatigued typing fingers. Yes, it is true that rocket science sometimes involves too much rocket science for its own good. So, I am tediously pecking out these words letter by letter with the only other available rigid body part with enough structural integrity to rise to the occasion. My nose. Yes, I know what some of you were probably thinking. Doctor Rocket is talented, but he is not THAT talented.
Dear Dr Rocket-
Over the past year, I have noted a curious phenomenon..... Having a firm
lock on a spot very, very near the bottom of the IC food chain, I have
noted that I am constantly passed by ICers, especially on the down hills!
I also note that the majority of passers appear to be younger than
me!!!!! I suspect this is due to some peculiar time/space, gravimetric
disturbance which affects organic cellular material which has not
processed as many beer and potato chip molecules, for as many years, as
I...... (only a theory). Hans Z & Larry M seem to be the only
not-so-young exceptions to this rule, as 1) Im betting they too have
processed a beer molecule or two, and 2) they too smoke me on the
down hills. Based upon these observations, I have many questions in
search of many answers, from the renowned Dr R:
Why do so many of the GDYPs (gosh darn young punks) thrash me on down hills and why does gravity appear to, unfairly, benefit only their younger cells?
Is it merely a coincidence that the GDYPs go uphill faster too???? (I am convinced there is, in fact, a pattern here, but due to my lack of knowledge about physiology, particle physics, and gravimetric waves, I am just unable to discern it.)
Addressing the Hans/Larry Exception, is it clean living that leads gravity to support them as if they were part of the GDYP pool? Will exploratory surgery be necessary to provide the brain & muscle tissue to answer these questions? To collect the fresh cells, will the surgery need to be performed mid-run, and, will you need to set up your OR somewhere on the UPT?
I fear I may have stumbled upon an unanswerable challenge to you, one of the few, remaining, proud men of science.....
Im at the bottom of the food chain, but its a hell of a chain,
You overestimate the abilities of one of the few, remaining, proud men of rocket science, particularly when it comes to understanding the effects of beer and potato chips. As with your place in the IC food chain, you will be interested to know that rocket scientists are also at the bottom of the technical food chain, so I can sympathize. Yes, being a bottom dweller can be the pits. The only real distinction between your situation and mine is that you could end up feeding a mountain lion, while I could end up feeding a mountainous line of people at a Burger Thing fast-food restraint. But let me see how I might help. Here are some facts that might be beneficial in understanding your place in the IC fast-food chain.
Gravity does not favor one mass over the other as Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) proved in his famous drop test off of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In this experiment, he demonstrated that by dropping two objects of significantly different masses and observing that they strike the ground at approximately the same time, that gravitational acceleration is (locally) constant for any given mass. In other words, any two different masses fall at the same rate. For the test masses, Galileo had wanted to use his cat, Bill, and his wife, Hillary, but the cat wouldnt fit through the tower window (Galileo hated to see his cat go hungry). So, he went to the Pisa hut behind the tower and ordered up two cannon balls (they had a two for one special going) and dropped these from the tower instead. You can try this experiment yourself by trekking up to the Cirque on the Peak, and dropping two inert objects with significantly different masses over the edge, say Larry M and Hans Z (Hint: they will, for all practical purposes, become inert after 6 or 7 beers). You will observe that they hit the bottom at about the same time, though there could be a notable difference in the number of bounces due to the relative differences in their coefficients of restitution. So, mass doesnt matter when it comes to gravity.
As youve cited in your exceptions, by example, age is not necessarily a factor either. However, if it would make you feel better, one conceptual solution to the age dilemma would be to exercise the general theory of relativity via a thought experiment (this is a class of experiment one thinks up, but doesnt actually do, when one has too much time on ones hands). An example of this theory at work is traditionally illustrated by the twin paradox where one half of the twins, call him Larry, remains on Earth, while the other half of the twins, call him Hans, is rocketed off into the universe at close to the speed of light. When Hans returns a short time later according to his clock, thanks to relativity all that would be left is Larrys remains, and maybe a few descendents, as he and the Earths inhabitants would have aged immensely according to the Earth based clock, while Hanss rocket clock would have hardly changed at all. But in reality, when Hans de-rockets after his short cruise across the universe, he will of course not be surprised when, after clearing customs, he is met by his twin Larry, as usual looking pretty fast for an old guy. Larry IS unique, and has somehow been preserved in time, probably due to copious amounts of beer consumption, endorphins, Maalox, who knows what. Go ask Larry. But you get the idea. You fly away at near the speed of light, and when you return, all those GDYPs are now GDUPPUDs (Gosh Darn Young Punks Pushing Up Daisies). You will then beat them for sure running downhill, though in a sense they will have still beat you into the ground. And then there would be the GDYP descendents to contend with. Another minor side effect of the special theory of relativity is that as you approach the speed of light, your mass becomes infinite, which wouldnt be a huge problem as long as you are not adverse to taking up sumo wrestling.
I dont believe that an operation is really necessary, but if youre seriously interested, I know of some Illegal Aliens down in Trinidad that would be willing to do it for real cheap. How about MCs heart, lungs, and legs for starters? If that works, we can complete the transaction by transplanting Neal Ts ears, Teresa Ts hair, Rick Hs nose, Doctor Rockets eyes, Yvonne Fs mouth, Laura Ls arms, and Rogers utility belt, then youll garner all of the respect any trail runner would want as you flail down the trail in your rubber utility boots at near the speed of light.
Ultimately, the ability to kick butt running downhill is a matter of efficiency, minimizing the amount of resistance breaking, and practice, practice, practice. The reason GDYPs are going downhill faster than you is us directly proportional to their forward momentum and coordination, and inversely proportional to their common sense and fear of falling. The primary motivation they have for going up hill faster is so they can get to the down hills faster, then get finished faster, shower, and make it to IL Vicino to down a few beers before the evening crowds arrive. There ARE some benefits to going downhill slower. If you dont beat yourself up running downhill, it can really pay off for you in the long run. Like 50-100 miles, distances where beer and potato chip molecules are typically in short supply. Finally, if all else fails for you, try becoming less monochronic, and more polychronic. If you start showing up 1 hour earlier for a scheduled run to compensate for your slowness, you stand a better chance of finishing ahead of the kids, and will get a head start on the beer and chips. But keep in mind, if you forget to set your clock ahead this Sunday, you will end up starting 1 hour later than everyone else who remember the annual instantaneous time transfer: SPRING FORWARD.
So, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachooooooooooo!!!! Excuse me a moment while I clean off my keyboard. There, now where was I? So, Keith, dont let gravity bring you down, let it really bring you down. Make it work for you! And while youre at it, why dont you try and find out what brand of beer Larry and Hans are drinking? It couldnt hurt.
If you were paying attention to the last IC e-mail, you remember Hans Z (one of the infamous members of the maniac down-hill running Pair-o-toxin Twins) asking
Now the question to DR. Sprocket Rocket, how do you get over a lingering, annoying groin injury? (Other than more training and speed work) Im looking for the easy fix.
First of all Hans, rockets stopped using sprockets when Schwinns big project to build a moon bike failed miserably to attract much of a market here on earth (it slid backwards when you peddled forwards). Anyway, since my nose is becoming weary, I thought this might be an appropriate time for a
Yes, its your turn IC members! Time for all of you aspiring Rocket Scientists to submit your best remedies for Hans Zs groin problem. Here are the ground rules.
1. It must, of course, address his present injury to the groin in a unique,
and imaginative way
2. The solution must involve Rocket Science
3. It must be printable in the IC e-mail
4. Entries must be submitted by the deadline for the next e-mail distribution
5. Entries must be 100 words or less
6. You know use mostly understandable, English so?
7. No kicking, biting, scratching, spitting, belching, farting, hitting below the belt, Sumo wrestling holds, you know...
All entries will be published in the next IC e-mail, and the winner will be picked by none other than Hans Z himself (after he tries the remedy, of course, to see if it works), and shall receive either: (a) an all expenses paid round trip vacation to the International Space Station, or (b) some cheesy token; whichever I can find rummaging around in my rocket laboratory. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go soothe my worried nostrils and go snort of a nice hot cup of Nisqullybucks Mukluk Mocha.
el cohete del doctor
Go out hard, when it hurts Cast off d*$&% it!
Steve B and Jonathan C write:
Capitol Punishment, Part III
March 18th, 2001
Bill Lhotta, Jonathan Cavner, Steve Bremner, Laila Hughes, & Sam the Wolfdog
Sheer drop offs; to the west a mere 1,000 feet, to the east several thousand; wind whipping up the driving snow; temperature a chill 8 degrees Fahrenheit. Are we having fun yet? A typical winters day on the infamous knife-edge ridge of Capitol Peak.
Jonathan and Bill passed the greatest difficulties of a winter ascent of Capitol Peak (the knife-edge ridge) only to be forced into retreat by the clock. Laila and I had opted out shortly beforehand when Lailas hands and feet went numb while waiting in the belay pipeline in the extreme conditions.
The idea to climb Capitol Peak in a one-day assault from the road first germinated in my mind when I read in Lou Dawsons Guide to Colorados 14,000-foot peaks that no one had ever done it. Immediately I thought, I could do that! After all it was only 16 miles round trip, 5,800 feet elevation gain.
Having now tried Capitol three times in three successive winters, I have gained a respectful appreciation for just how formidable a task a one-day ascent really is. Two years ago I tried it from the Snowmass Creek side on New Years Day, alone with my wolfdog, Sam. When he disappeared shortly after dawn I had little choice but to wait for his return. Four and a half hours later he slunk back guiltily and exhausted. I was forced to abandon the climb due to lack of daylight hours. Even so, I had never located the trail, or even found a way up from Snowmass Creek. A little over a year ago, I again tried it on December 22, 1999, from the Capitol Creek side along with Kelly Bates. We left at midnight under the largest full moon in 100 years. In the soft corn snow typical of early season we floundered and struggled through deadfall only to give up after seven hours of drudgery, shortly after dawn. We were cold, the temperature hung steady at 5F, and our spirits sank as we saw snow plumes spirally off the mountain-indicating high winds. So we turned around.
For this years attempt I enlisted a tough, highly fit crew. Jonathan Cavner and Bill Lhotta had also read Dawsons observation of no one completing a one-day ascent of the peak in winter as a challenge. When I suggested the idea of their trying it with me they were enthusiastic. To round out the team I invited my girlfriend, Laila, the passionate Spanish lady-a strong climber with ultra marathon endurance.
On my previous winter attempts I had started early in winter, reasoning that there would be less snow pack. This time I decided that late in the winter might be better; the snow would have had time to consolidate, and also there would be at least three more hours of daylight.
All week we tracked the changing weather reports for Aspen, nearest large town to Capitol, and monitored avalanche conditions for the area as well. Early in the week it didnt look promising-they were calling for snow Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Our plan called for packing the trail and route finding to Moon Lake, elevation 11,750 on Saturday, then completing the climb on Sunday. As the week wore on the weather report changed daily, until ultimately it looked like snow on Saturday and partly cloudy skies for Sunday. Not ideal, but prospects seemed to be improving.
Friday night Bills fiancées sisters graciously put us up for the night at her place in Glenwood Springs. At 0930 Saturday morning following a hearty breakfast at the Red Rock Diner in Carbondale we were marching up the 8/10 of a mile road segment closed to motor vehicles in winter. At road end well-groomed trails beckoned us onto Snowmass Ranch. This is private property and one should request permission before using this approach. It does save a horrific crossing over Snowmass Creek later on, however. A mile or so later we were surprised to see a dog team approaching from behind us, then another, then another-- until eight or ten teams were circling around the maze of groomed trails. The small huskies took an interest in Sam the wolfdog, and once almost pulled the sled off track.
We had decided on making our attempt from the Snowmass Creek side at Bills prompting. Snowmass Creek offered less elevation gain, and 3/4 mile less distance each way. On the other hand, the trail was spotty according to Jonathan, who had climbed Capitol in summer using this route a couple years ago. In winter the condition of the trail is less important, and Bill guaranteed to keep us on course using his GPS.
The first test for the GPS led us slightly astray, however, when Bill directed us too far southwest in the open field directly west of Snowmass Creek. This was the same place I had not been able to find the trail two years ago. When his GPS told us to turn directly west we looked up into deadfall and no apparent trail. Prudently we backtracked to where the trail was evident. Indeed someone had packed the trail--a welcome development. Switch backing up through mixed pine and aspen, the trail went up the left side of the drainage. After 3/4 mile we had a choice of switch backing to the right and staying in the left side of the drainage or staying left and passing into the next ravine. Here the GPS really shined as it told us unequivocally to move left. With the softening snow clinging annoyingly to our snowshoes we found ourselves stopping at every tree to knock it off. Bill, especially had problems with his new Sherpa snowshoes.
Soon, we passed into an open field where we noticed the packed trail diverted into an apparent campsite. Not long afterward the packed trail had disappeared altogether. I guess that is where our trailblazing benefactors had given up their expedition. We had many more miles to go both this day and the next.
With no packed trail to guide us Jonathan in the lead began angling up the right side of the ravine. Soon we were on steep slopes-difficult to continue on. Looking down into the ravine we espied what we thought looked like the trail. Backtracking we adjusted our course to up the middle of the ravine.
Plodding steadily upwards we next came on an apparent impasse of deadfall and dense trees in the ravine center. Moving left we found ourselves ascending an avalanche chute. Too high it seemed, so we began moving right to stay in the ravine, only to realize we would have to give up all of our hard earned elevation to avoid impending cliffs. Up and down, it was a good thing we were doing our route finding on this day rather than on the climb day.
The way up grew ever steeper until ultimately, as I led the group, in order to ascend to the next level I found myself floundering waste deep in snow and forced to wade on elbows and knees to maintain upward momentum. Snow spit from the sky intermittently; increasing in intensity the higher we climbed.
We pushed on with one eye on the clock as the hour approached 4 P.M. Six hours and fifteen minutes after leaving our vehicles that morning we reached Moon Lake, elevation 11,750. We stashed crampons, ice tools and other gear (I left my entire pack) in a cavity below a large rock. Jonathan, Laila, Sam and I set forth ahead of Bill while he put on his skis. Not long afterward he swooshed past us. By following his fall line down mountain we avoided our up hill errors and packed a true and easy course for the next days endeavors.
With no rest breaks, Jonathan, Laila and I made it back to the vehicles in two hours and 45 minutes-shortly after sundown. Bill was already comfortable in his sleeping bag and cooking dinner in the back of his Outback, having completed the return in an hour and 45 minutes. Still, he ultimately decided it wasnt worth hauling the nine extra pounds of skis and boots up again the next day and had determined that it was not feasible to skin up to Moon Lake on his skis. Having left his snowshoes up at Moon Lake he decided to go up without snowshoes or skis the next day. Luckily, Jonathan had an extra pair of snowshoes, because despite Bills thoughts that it was doable without, the rest of us had our doubts.
When Bill asked what time we wanted to start in the morning I volunteered, 4 A.M. Bill suggested 3 A.M., which we settled on. The next morning up and moving shortly after 2 A.M., we ultimately got the train rolling down the tracks at 3:30. The sky overhead was clear and starry, the temperature a mild 28 degrees.
Within an hour the stars disappeared and it began to snow. Not to worry, after all the weather forecast was for partly cloudy skies-no call for snow. Surely this would not last. Sadly it did. There were only brief respites from the white stuff for the remainder of the climb. The snow was with us for the duration.
Keeping to our well-laid track from the previous day we reached Moon Lake in four hours, forty-five minutes-a full hour and a half faster than the day before. The best thing about our strategy of packing the trail the day before lay in being able to hike quickly and with no route finding time wasting in the pre-dawn hours.
It was close to 9 A.M. when we had assembled our gear for the push beyond Moon Lake. The snow continued with only brief letups. Moving first around the right side of the lake we went left around a prominent buttress then up a steep snow slope to the basin below Daly Pass-the route from the other side via Capitol Creek. Now we were all on familiar ground. Winding first left up the valley the route then bends right and climbs steadily up the slopes of K2. Stopping for a short pause to replenish with energy bars, finishing before Jonathan and Bill I started up with Laila directly behind. Occasionally, glimpses of K2s summit tantalized through the misty veil.
Nearing K2s summit the ridgeline narrowed until the exposure on either side dropped off hundreds of feet. Sam whined, then retreated a hundred feet to await the outcome of these foolish human endeavors. On a narrow snow ledge we began the arduous task of donning crampons. I struggled with Lailas strap-on crampons in high-altitude befuddlement and stinging cold. We broke out the rope for protection. By the time we had prepared to continue it was well past 1 P.M. Jonathan belayed Bill up one short pitch where he established an ice ax belay point and brought up Laila. I followed closely behind tied into the same rope. When Bill greeted me with Laila says shes cold and its only going to get worse up here. I immediately made the decision for Laila and I to turn around. With the daylight hours shrinking rapidly I knew that with all four of us on one rope the likelihood of all of us reaching the summit was dim. Down climbing to Jonathan I wished him and Bill luck and asked, Whats your turn around time? The last thing they wanted was to still be on the knife-ridge after nightfall.
After another 20 minutes of exchanging crampons for snowshoes Laila and I started for Moon Lake and the long trek back. I glanced back for a last image of Jonathan dancing in place to keep warm as he belayed Bill from below. I thought they are going too slow. They wont make it at that rate.
Jonathan reported the rest of their ascent as follows:
On the first lead I had some route-finding problems and ended up climbing to the top of K2 thinking it was the ridge. I was forced to back track and drop down on steep snow to circumvent K2 and gain the ridge proper.
The weather was becoming increasingly worse. Blizzard conditions at times prevented us from seeing more than 20 feet in either direction.
The knife-edge ridge was much more technical than I expected. Sheer drop offs on either side described it. The east side featured a several thousand-foot drop; the west side a mere thousand feet. The snow was unstable. Kicking steps triggered small spindrift avalanches off the face. Cornices were a big threat. Had to be careful to look on both sides of the ridge to make sure you werent going to step through a cornice into oblivion. The climbing alternated from kicking steps on either side of the ridge, straddling the ridge, and dry tooling rock. I definitely wish that I had brought some rock gear. The pickets were sketchy at best. Additionally, we had so few of them (three) that we were forced to belay with only our ice axes as protection.
On the next lead Bill kicked steps on the east side and on the top of the ridge. The weather would clear for a moment exposing tantalizing glimpses of the summit in the distance. This is intense crap was said more than a few times by both of us. The following lead was mixed rock and snow climbing over a small pinnacle and some more airy ridge climbing. On the next pitch Bill continued ridge climbing with a scary section of mixed rock and snow. At that point I looked at my watch and it read 3:30. We both decided it would take at least another 1:30 to summit and another couple hours to climb back across the ridge. This would leave us on the ridge after dark. This we were not willing to risk.
On the way back across the ridge, we retraced our steps continuing to protect ourselves as best as possible under the conditions and with our minimal gear.
At the end of the ridge proper as I belayed Bill towards me I reached back to steady myself against the snow behind me. BOOM! A large piece of cornice broke and fell from beneath my hand! As it tumbled down the East face for thousands of feet I lunged forward to avoid going down with it. Wow! That was close.
We soon reached the spot where we had left our packs, which ended the technical section of the climb. The weather had become worse and I had a tough time keeping my hands warm. My goggles had fogged up and I had to choose between keeping the snow out of my eyes and being able to see to get off the mountain. With another foot of snow since we had begun climbing the ridge our tracks had disappeared from existence. We continued down to find our tracks shortly before reaching Moon Lake. Arriving at our stash and feeling extremely dehydrated I guzzled as much slush as I could.
Stay tuned for next years attempt! We will keep trying until we get the deed completed!
New lessons learned: (1) bring two ropes (2) more rock gear for protection (3) start at midnight (4) build in at least one more weather day
3/25/2001 45 took off for Rampart Range Road in another foggy soup. Those that kept at it long enough were rewarded by a breakthrough above the clouds and one of the most spectacular views of Pikes Peak I have ever seen. It was right in our face across a blanket of white and it looked much larger than it usually does. So thick was the cloud layer that at one switch-back it looked as if you could just run straight out onto them! Things also warmed up nicely and gloves, jackets (and in some cases shirts) were no longer needed. Of course on the way back down we went back into the foggy soup and things once again got cold. However those that made it got a little piece of running heaven today.
Go out hard, when it hurts speed up...
Barr Trail Mountain Race
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