Monday, June 28, 2010

Climbing Boulder's Mt. Sanitas


I FLUNG MYSELF INTO THE DEEP END OF THE HIKING POOL TODAY climbing Sanitas. By any standard it's a tough, steep hike with an elevation gain of close to 2,000'. I'm in decent shape in the lowlands of Middle Tennessee. But being in good shape there and here from a mile-high base are two very different things. Two years ago I climbed Sanitas with a good friend who lives here in Boulder and turned my ankle so severely that I had surgery two months later to correct that three-decades old injury. Now I'm back doing it for the second time since that surgery. It went well today, but starting in the cool air of early morning is a must. Also hiking on an empty stomach with only a couple cups of black coffee and lots of water in my system helps. Other than that, it was a terrific climb with an amazing surprise at the top. But I'm too tired to write more until morning. Definitely feel a great night's sleep on the way! This is one of the finest training hikes of all time and I'd do it several times a week if I lived here.


Paul_In_Houston said...

I've a feeling that I should already know, but...

WHAT is that pillar in the middle of the bottom photo?

Webutante said...

It's the official elevation marker and highpoint of the mountain put there by the USGS, I believe, Paul.

Paul_In_Houston said...


On a related note (REALLY :-), if you've never seen it, find the DVD of a 1995 movie "The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain", about a World War I English surveyor who manages to offend an entire Welsh town by declaring their landmark mountain as a "hill", and what they all do to fix that.

Supposedly based on a true story, but who knows?

As screenwriter John Milius once declared in the opening scroll of one of his movies, "If this ain't the way it was, it's the way it should have been."


Pam said...

Wow the view takes my breath away! I haven't been out west since about the age of 15. This certainly gives me a desire to head out that way for a visit. How could one live out there and not be an outdoorsman?

Tregonsee said...

If your travels take you near Fruita, CO watch out for strange hitchhikers:,0,4980779.story


Enjoying your trip, and great climate, vicariously.


Webutante said...

Thanks for the tip Paul and I hope you're home safely.

Hi Pammy! Come on out. Wherever I am, there's always a place for you and Rita...always!

Webutante said...

Treg, You sure know how to scare a girl! I saw your comment while I was driving on my Blackberry but didn't click the link.....but it did scare me a bit...When I arrived in the outskirts of Fruita last night, I asked my host---My Bad Influence---if he knew anything about a vampire lurking around and he assured me he would protect his saintly wife Peggy, my dear friend, and me from any and all would-be intruders, including but not limited to vampires....still, I have to admit to being a little freaked with my windows open as I fell far, so good though....

Paul_In_Houston said...

Thanks for the tip Paul and I hope you're home safely.

Yeah, I'm home safely. Did I neglect to mention that I made that trip in June of 1995? :-)

It was part of a driving vacation where I went from Houston to Michigan, by way of Los Angeles (because I'd never been out that way before), and then more directly back to Houston; about 7000 miles in all.

Crossed the Great Divide by going over the Rockies (because I was in the wrong lane for the Eisenhower tunnel and decided, "Okey...") giving me the rare chance to experience snow in June (it was all over the place near the top).

I mentioned earlier how spectacular I found Utah. Colorado was beautiful, but almost a letdown after Utah. From Denver to Michigan, whatever the names the intervening states called themselves, it was really Nebraska all the way.

Regarding your "Hard stretch to drive" post above, my contender would be New Mexico Highways 162 and 90, through parts of the Gila National Forest. This was an unintended side trip.

I had planned on taking I-10 from Houston to Los Angeles, BUT, after a meal in El Paso, I got into my car, looked at the AAA Triptik, noticed that it showed a U. S. Customs Inspection Station a bit west of Las Cruces, and suddenly became very aware of the small automatic I had always carried on long trips.

So, I jogged north at Las Cruces to Caballo where I found the aforementioned Highway 162 and took it until it hit 90, which I then followed into Lordsburg where I rejoined I-10.

I think there was some pretty beautiful country along those roads, but I can't swear to that; they were winding, two-lane roads through mountainous country, with many switchbacks and curves that had warning signs saying "15 MPH", and they weren't kidding. Paying too much (or ANY attention to scenery there was apt to result in becoming part of it.

Like a couple of adventures I've posted about, something that will linger in memory for a long time.