run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Leadville Trip Report Part 1: Hope Pass

The Coors Brewery.
Not in Leadville. In Golden.

Thanks to a direct flight from Nashville to Denver we got into Denver at 7:45am local time. We picked up our rental car (without a hiccup for the first time in Denver in 3 years. Yay for Alamo!) and headed out of town. We purposely didn't really plan much for this trip in general. It's a vacation, I like to have ample time to do whatever the fuck we want. 
So, we decided... what the hell, let's check out the Coors Brewery and I am really glad we did. It was a nice little tour and being a Regular Coors drinker, I was quite happy to enjoy the 3 free drinks you get to enjoy on the free tour.

After the Coors tour, we started to make our way into Leadville and stopped at a beautiful lake outside of town, that I had always eyed on our trips in and out of town.

Too bad it wasn't fucking scenic or anything.

 Colorado: Where every picture looks like a postcard.

We hung out at the lake for a little bit, enjoying the early moments of slowing down for a week and enjoying our vacation.
And like the basic bitch I am, I took a selfie.

We got into Leadville, changed clothes and headed to the Mineral Belt Trail for some walking/panting/jogging/running/walking/panting. Fun times.

There were two things that we had kind of planned on doing during this trip. One was hike up to Hope Pass from Twin Lakes (a route that is apart of the Leadville 100 trail race) and the other was to hike 4 14ers. Doesn't that sound impressive as hell? And it would have been, if we had done it. Even though, all 4 would have been done in one day. Oh well, best laid plans, right?

We DID hike up to Hope Pass though.

Folks, all these photos of hiking up to Hope Pass are part of the

Leadville 100 course.

 Seriously, WTF?

We started at the Willis Gulch Trailhead and after about a mile of hiking straight up, we got to the part of the route where the race course meets up and then we went up 3.5 more miles. Straight up.
And keep going up...

The roundtrip trail is 9 miles. And it tops out at over 12,000 feet. I loved it. It was a hard hike, for sure, but, I felt like at 12,000 feet, I was able to keep moving ahead (albeit slowly) without having to stop and catch my breath like I did when hiking to 14,000 feet. It was so enjoyably hard. But, I was out there on fresh legs and I cannot imagine hiking up that beast after running 40 miles and then going all the way down the other side and then back up and over the whole damn thing again. Seriously, WTF Ultra Runners? You guys be cray.

It took me 2 hours to hike up to the top. 
A time that I was VERY proud of.
That lake behind John is one of the Twin Lakes, and essentially,
where we started the hike (and exactly where the race starts up Hope Pass). 

 Obligatory photo from Hope Pass.

Since it took 2 hours to go up 4.5 miles, I figured, ohhhh, we'll be down in 1:15. 

 Nope. It took me 1:40 minutes to get down.

But it was an amazing hike and I really enjoyed it. Next year, I want to hike up it from the opposite side!
After that hike, we went back to Leadville and got wasted at Periodic Brewing. Helluva time. But, probably not the best idea at elevation.

Oh wells...


Gracie said...

That scenery is like the epitome of Colorado.

Carina said...

Looks amazing. Particularly love the shots where you can see how far away your start point/the lake is. Awesome trip, and happy to see you looking happy!