Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mosquito Pass - Leadville Marathon Course Conditions

A surprise storm rolled in when Asia and I were hiking up towards Mosquito Pass.  Not quite summer yet.
As planned we made a quick trip over to Leadville this afternoon to see what things looked like on the course for the Marathon next weekend.  The good news is there is not as much snow as I was suspecting and definitely a lot less snow than was up in that drainage this same weekend back in 2011 which was another huge snow year. 

I didn't get to check around Ball Mountain but I did get a picture.  I was hoping to get a better look but a storm blew in and reduced visibility to nill. There is snow on the eastern side as you can see in the photo.  On a good note though, the snowline is so high that the majority of the first ten miles I bet will be snow free.

Ball Mountain.  You can see the snowfield on the eastern facing shoulder.  Much of that will probably be there next weekend as it is a northern facing slope.
Mosquito Pass... well, there is snow and there is a lot of it from what I can tell.  I could not get a good look at what was above 12K really.  The road going up the pass is clear until I bet about a mile and half from the summit.  Being optimistic, this is a southern facing slope which will catch a lot of warm sunlight this next coming week and the majority of it could melt out.

The long view looking up the pass.  About mile 10.5 on the Marathon course.
A great deal of runoff coming down the road.  Asia isn't helping any.
Probably around mile 11.5 - 12 on the Marathon course.  This is the first major snow blockage on the road.  If we are lucky, even with partial melt off there should be snow-free paths on the sides of the road.

If I had to put money on it, knowing that they ran the course in 2011 when I think there was more snow I would wager that we will be running the regular course this coming weekend.  The forecast for Leadville between now and Saturday calls for 60+ degree days and plenty of sunshine during the week.  Race day, 68 and sunny which is going to feel warm. 

So there ya have it.  If I had more time and weather permitting I would have hung out more and gone up further but it wasn't in the cards for today.  After scouting around, Melissa and I went to the Grill and had dinner.  Damn it was good to be in Leadville again!

Okay week of training.  I have been feeling better as the week has progressed.  9:26 total training time for the week.  5:10 (32.3 miles) running and 4:16 on the bike.  I actually rode 1.5 of those biking hours indoors today as it was raining.  It was a nice break and fun to do something different.  Plus riding indoors goes a long ways towards keeping me out of trouble just six days from a race. 

Now to kick back and rest for the week.  I can NOT believe we are here already!  Woohoo!


  1. Funny, The Grill is the only place I've eaten in Leadville, based on the number of vehicles parked in front. Heh. Good stuff. Have a great race.

  2. Thanks for the post! Very helpful. Good luck with Leadman this year.