Matt Mahoney's 2007 Colorado Vacation

Sorry I did not take any pictures this year. But the Hardrock photos linked below are better than any I could take.

June 26 2007. I flew from Florida to Colorado Springs and drove straight to the Leadville Hostel at 10,200 ft. I thought about climbing Pikes Peak along the way, but the weather looked bad.

June 27. Climbed Mt. Sherman (11-900-14,036 ft, 4.5 miles, 4.5 hours) from the Leadville side with 3 other guys from the hostel. The hardest part was traversing some snow patches sloped at about 20 deg. near the start when it was still icy. I drank lots of water to avoid an altitude headache.

June 28. Climbed Mt. Elbert (10,050-14,440 ft, 9 mi, 5 hrs) solo by the NW ridge, which climbs 3000 feet in the last mile. That section had a lot of loose rock and took me 2 hours. I ran the last 2 miles from treeline to the trailhead on Halfmoon road.

June 29. Climbed Cross Mt., Middle Mt., point 13461, Brown's Peak and Mt Huron (10,000-14,003 ft, 9 mi, 5:30) with Betsy Kalmeyer, Susan and Don. All were experience ultrarunners. Betsy was 3rd overall and 1st female at the Hardrock 100 last year in 31:53. Don and I had trouble keeping up with the women. We climbed from the ghost town of Winfield up the jeep road to Lulu Gulch and the north ridge. Don and I were tired so we came down the standard trail but the women went back the same way to do the subpeaks again. We still ran a lot of the descent.

June 30. Climbed Mt. Massive (10,050-14,421 ft, 12 mi, 6:15) from the trailhead on Halfmoon road up the east side and down the new trail on the west side. I should have gone the other direction because the west side was too steep to run down.

July 1. This was the second day of the Leadville 100 training camp, the day when the runners practice the 21 mile section from Twin Lakes (9200 ft) over Hope Pass (12,600 ft) to Winfield (10,000) and back. I didn't sign up for the camp, but one of the guys staying at the hostel need a ride to Winfield to pace his friend over the second half. I dropped him off at the trailhead 2 miles from Winfield at about 11 AM, and figured I could at least get a workout. I climbed to Hope Pass, took a right, and continued up to Quail Mt (13,461 ft). Returning to the pass, some other runners were coming up and I asked if I was lost :-) I ran back to the trailhead on the south side. This is the steepest part of the Leadville 100 course, but probably still the easiest running I have done since I got to Colorado.

July 2. Climbed Belford, Oxford and Missouri solo. I started from the Missouri Gulch trailhead at 9660 ft (4 miles from Winfield) at 10:00 AM, summited Belford (14,197 ft) at 12:17, across a 1 mile long saddle dipping 600 ft and up to Oxford (14,153) at 1:04 PM, back to Belford at 1:43, then descended to the trail junction at 12,600 ft at 2:27, summitted Missouri (14,067) at 3:31 PM and returned at 5:35 PM. I recommend doing it in this direction because you get your feet wet at the end of the hike instead of at the beginning. On the way up I met a backpacker who was taking 5 days to climb this group.

July 3. Climbed Elbert again with Dave, this time up and down the easy, standard route from Halfmoon Road. We started at 8:23 AM, were on the summit from 11:37-12:01 and returned at 1:50.

July 4. No mountains today. I ran the Leadville Firecracker 5K at 10,152 ft in 22:28. This was about 2:30 slower than I run at sea level and 8 seconds slower than last year. I was 14th out of 90 and 2nd in the 50+ age group.

July 5. Climbed Elbert with Tim from Ireland. He was in good shape (15 minute 5K runner before switching to soccer). We started at 9:00 AM, summitted at 11:14, started down at 11:22 and returned at 12:24. He finished about 4 minutes earlier and would have been faster if he hadn't waited for me at treeline.

July 6. Time to start tapering for the marathon, so all I did was walk about 4 miles in town.

July 7. Leadville Marathon in 5:45:50, 111th place out of 315 finishers. The race starts in town at 10,152 ft, climbs to Mosquito Pass at 13,185 ft on jeep roads and trails, and returns. There are many smaller climbs, 6600 ft of climb total. My splits were 3:15 up, 2:30 down. The winning time was 3:51.

July 8. The soreness in my legs was gone so I decided to do an easy climb of Elbert with Daren and his dog. This would be his first fourteener. I figured about 4 hours round trip. But he was not in very good shape. We started at 9:10 AM and only made it to 13,900 ft by 12:30 when there was a lightning storm on the summit. We returned at 3:05 PM. He did make it to the summit a few days later in better weather.

July 9. Climbed Massive by the southeast ridge with Todd, a through hiker on the Colorado Trail. He was young and in good shape, averaging 25 miles per day with a full pack. He took only a day pack, so I had trouble keeping up. It would be about 13 miles with 4700 ft of climb. I planned about 6 hours round trip but it was much faster. We started at 7:53 AM from the trailhead on Halfmoon road, left the Colorado trail through open woods and tundra to traverse point 12381, point 13630, South Massive (14,132) and summit Massive (14,421) at 10:57 AM. We ran down the standard trail on the east side to return at 12:32 PM.

July 10-12. Time to start tapering for Hardrock. No more mountains. I drove to Silverton on the 11th and camped.

July 13-15. Hardrock 100. I missed the 48 hour cutoff by 28 seconds. Report.
Story in the Durango Herald
Photos by Luis Escobar
Photos by Blake Wood who is much faster than me.
Report and photos by Marcus Mueller, and Vail Daily article
Photos by Steve Pero
Report by John Prohira

July 16. I drove back to Leadville. I had not had much sleep so I had to stop along the road for a 1 hour nap.

July 17. Got up at 2:30 AM to drive to Colorado Springs for my flight home.