Sometimes I sit down at my computer, load up WordPress + settle in to write about something very specific. Maybe it’s a trail story or a race recap [ha, that’s been a while] or a “hey, this is what’s up” update. Usually, I make a point to leave home then get focused + motivated with a fancy pants latte from my favorite coffee shop [or whatever coffee shop will let me buy caffeine in exchange for internet access]. Lately, I’ve been writing with a purpose…motivated by experiences or some sort of income. (more…)
The city of Monterrey is surrounded by mountains, lots of them. They aren’t exceptionally high mountains so you won’t need to worry about elevation but they are steep. Really steep + the trails don’t exactly “switch back” so you’re often hiking straight up the mountainside.
The biggest obstacle I’ve had while attempting to explore the mountains down here is the complete lack of trail markings or obvious trailheads. But, through trail + error I’ve found a few routes up Cerro de la Silla, the iconic ridge of summits you see in a lot of Monterrey photos.
When I came down to Mexico I have very few plans…but after my visit in February I knew there were mountains so they were definitely on my agenda. After two weeks of playing in the mountains surrounding the city of Monterrey I started chatting with Daniel, one of the Lycans Endurance Team founders. It was decided…we would spend our Saturday in the mountains west of Monterrey. More specifically, La Marta [also, La Martha].
Oooh…it only took three days, four attempts and a whole freaking case of blue Powerade but I finally snagged a mountain summit in Mexico! It wasn’t the one I had planned. Heck, it wasn’t even on our agenda until we started eyeballing the mountains that were kinda sorta “on the way” back to Mexico City. I did a little weather forecasting [ahem, Googling] while Jeremy napped for a hot minute after his Pico de Orizaba summit. A few Google’s later it was decided, La Malinche it was! Or Volcan Malintzin or Matlalueye…which ever name you prefer.
Some mountain adventures lend themselves to long, elaborate stories. Others…well, others are such an in-the-moment experience that I cannot wrangle the right words to truly explain what happened. My week in the mountains of Central Mexico is the latter. Just during the two days we frolicked along the trails leading up to Iztaccihuatl we survived three thundery snowstorms, wandered way off trail twice + literally danced down the mountainside courtesy of some “energy pills”. There aren’t words to describe that…so, instead I’ll share photos + two video mashups of our time on Iztaccihuatl. You can decide if we had any fun!
I’ve been in Mexico for…two weeks? In that nugget of time it feels like I’ve seen a tiny bit of everything Mexico has to offer, so far. I say “so far” because I still have a full month of wandering left to do. My Spanish isn’t getting much better but I am getting more confident in using it. There’s no way around it — I stick out like a sore thumb here so the locals are quick to humor my attempts at communicating with them!
One of the first things many people suggest when I ask for their “must see” parts of Switzerland is “Grindelwald”! With so many people – both city lovers and mountain explorers – telling me I had to visit this area I decided to make it a stopover on my way to my WorkAway in Gryon. On my way I stopped in Interlaken, another “ooh, you should go to…” suggestion, for an afternoon + night. Honestly, if I did it again, I’d just skip Interlaken all together. Maybe I didn’t do the right kind of exploring in the area, but it felt like just another tourist city and full of distracted tourists. [granted, I did not visit Harder Kulm or spend much time near the lake, so I may be biased]
After a long week with many, many moments of “gah, I wish I could just turn the internet off” I spent my weekend doing exactly that. Sure, I had my phone on me and yea, I double tapped posts on Instagram but in the grand scheme of things…the internet did not matter!
It started with a friendly meet up with Chris and Marissa in Boulder. It was a freaking gorgeous day with bluebird skies and temperatures that should have left us in September. We spent some quality time frolicking around trails and making fools of ourselves before we decided we’d earned our weight in fries + beer. I guess the internet isn’t all bad if it gets you friends like these crazies…
This past weekend I wandered west on a bit of an adventure…to Aspen and the Maroon Bells with plans to run the 4 Pass Loop with Ann, Holly, Paula and Logan. I’ve spent the last few days recuperating and I think I’m finally ready to actually tell the story. The story of a beautifully ass kicking trail run with some bad ass ladies!
The little adventure was born on Twitter when Logan got us all excited about her run-all-the-trails Colorado adventure and it became real on Friday night when Logan and I spent about 6 hours making the trek from Fort Collins to Glenwood Springs! SIX HOURS! Our late arrival at Ann’s was made even more exciting when the alarms starting going off at 3:37am. We drug our butts out of bed, slathered on the sunscreen and chugged double shots of espresso.
After a little “uh, do I have enough stuff packed?!” panicking we made our way to the Maroon Lake trailhead and were running toward stunning alpenglow mountains before 6am rolled around. We hit the 4 Pass Loop counter clockwise and spent the first few miles scooting along the trail making our way toward Buckskin Pass.
Just a heads up – this post is going to be whiny. I had a rough run this weekend and I want to talk about it. However, there is a pretty good chance you don’t actually care about the running part…so I’ll give you a little mountain eye candy.
On Saturday morning we headed west to Buena Vista to run a chunk of the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run 25M course that Chris will be running on next month. He wanted to get a feel for what he would be racing on and I needed hilly miles on single track…done and done! Turns out I was also about to get a miserable dose of reality…and, now that it’s all over, I’m incredibly glad that Saturday’s run sucked. Because I needed a bad run to make me appreciate the good ones…and I needed this craptastic run to go down before race day on a different course.