1. The Nolan's 14 training run on July 2 over
Belford, Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia will start 2
miles from the North Cottonwood trailhead, at the
national forest boundary, 1 mile after the road gets
really bad. This will save about 30 minutes of
driving. There is a parking area at the boundary. It
might be a good idea to camp there overnight before
the 5AM meeting. The July 1 run is unchanged. Go to
2. I cannot believe how difficult this course is. It
makes Hardrock look like Vermont. On Saturday I hiked
from the Avalanche trailhead to Mt. Princeton, about 3
miles on the Colorado trail (easy), then south on an
old jeep road at 9600 ft (still easy) until the trail
ends at a clearing. Then 1500 ft. climb straight up a
hill at a 50% grade that reminded me of Barkley's Big
Hell, except for the thin air. At the top I found a
primitive trail that traverses the hillside at 11,600
ft for 1/4 mile then disappears, so I bushwacked
slightly downhill into the Maxwell creek drainage. 4
hours so far. I saw no way up to Princeton other than
a class 4 scramble up a 100% grade scree and talus
field up to about 13000 ft.
On the ridge it started snowing. Strangely, I was not
cold even though I wore shorts and a t-shirt. There
was no trail, just huge boulders. I felt something
tickle my forearm arm, then again, and realize to my
horror that my hair was standing on end from static
charge and the rocks were buzzing and crackling.
There was no place to hide from the immenent lightning
strike, so I dropped about 20 feet below the ridge and
traversed huge snow covered boulders. The storm
stopped just below the summit and I reached it in 6
1/2 hours. I took the normal trail down to the east.
The first 1000 feet descends at a 60-80% grade, like
Leonard's Butt Slide without the trees to hold onto.
Then the next mile is through talus, like Short
Mountain except the rocks are loose. Finally at
treeline you reach good trail, but I had about 15
miles to go back to my car. Total time 12 hours. As
horrible as my climb was, it was probably an hour
faster than going up the normal route.
Sunday Carl, Barbara and I climbed Yale. Start at
7:00 AM, up good trail, summit at 9:29 passing several
other hikers, down the east ridge to the CO trail and
back on 3 miles of road, finish at 1:20. I recommend
during Nolans to come down the south trail and road,
as our rate of descent down the east ridge was slower
than our climb. You are picking your way down steep
rocks down to treeline. You definitely will not run
Today I climbed Antero, 20 miles on jeep road in fog,
rain, snow, sleet, hail, and lightning, and an hour of
sunshine just in time for the summit. I saw several
other hikers but I don't think anyone else made it.
Total time 7 hours.
Fred Vance is right. Nobody is going to finish all 14
-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
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