Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Horsetooth Mountain, Fort Collins, CO

I was in Fort Collins visiting the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science this past weekend. The weather on Sunday was amazing, with temperatures in the mid-sixties from strong downslope winds, so I took the opportunity to go for a second run after my morning run along the Poudre River.

I drove up to the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, just west of the Horsetooth Reservoir overlooking the town (which, as you will see in the photos, was still frozen over). Keep in mind that in all of these photos, it's about 55-70 degrees depending upon whether it was shady or near a lot of snow. I was running through the snow without a shirt, definitely a first.

Click the pictures to enbiggenate. 

About one-quarter of the way up, the wide service trail was covered in packed snow. This was really slippery on the way down and I almost careened into a snowpack multiple times.

I don't know, I just thought this little scene looked cool.

Looking at the reservoir and at the city beyond from halfway up. The temperature started to increase over the course of the ascent, and I was periodically belted with hot chinook winds.

Looking west about two-thirds of the way to the top. There were strong sustained winds from here on up to the top of Horsetooth that made keeping my balance on the snow difficult.

You have to scramble a bit on the rocks to get to the absolute top, which was a little tricky. I was more or less trying to hold on to the rock to prevent myself from getting blown off by the wind; it was about 30+ mph up there!

Colorado running is absolutely spectacular, there is nothing else to say.

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