I was very keen to run to the summit of Green Mountain, a peak just outside Boulder. Anton Krupicka uses the mountain as a key part of his training, reaching the summit more than 200 times per year. I decided that I would be happy with summiting just once.
There are many options for a starting point since the mountain can even be reached when starting downtown, and also provides many trail options. I selected a loop that would start and end at the Chautauqua Park Trailhead, as taken from a hiking website. I set off in the mid-afternoon and immediately commenced the ascent that would take me up 2500 ft (750 m) to the summit.
I knew that Anton would run the entire ascent so I decided that I would only walk if it became extremely steep. I started out on the Mesa Trail, eventually reaching the Bear Canyon area and continuing onto the Bear Canyon Trail. That trail took me up the mountains through switchbacks that I recognised from the great short video titled “The Runner in Winter” (you can check it out on YouTube here). I was running up a section that Anton descends in the video so I started wondering whether I might be running his loop in reverse direction. That appeared quite possible since I had taken my route from a hiking website, and it is often the case that hikers prefer to tackle a loop in the opposite direction to trail runners since they generally prefer to ascend a gentle slope and descend a steeper grade, while trail runners prefer the opposite.
I turned off the Bear Canyon Trail onto the Green Bear Trail, and as I neared the top I spotted some movement to my right. I found myself exchanging looks with a feline, luckily a bobcat rather than its bigger cousin the mountain lion. I stopped and took a couple of quick photos, which I certainly wouldn’t have done if it was a mountain lion, and then continued on my way.
I reached the saddle and then headed for the short out-and-back route to the summit. I had run the entire trail to that point, and then only walked on some of the steep stairs near the peak. I stopped briefly at the top for a couple of photos and then returned back to the saddle for my return journey along the Ranger Trail. An easy downhill run took me back to the trailhead and my car.
You can check out the details of the run at MovesCount.com here.