Saxon Mountain Double
Apparently winter has decided to stick around one more week. With 4" of fresh this morning, and the trails on the Front Range buried under this weeks earlier snow, I was looking for some way to get in a semi-long run. Over the years I've learned that the Georgetown/Idaho Springs area is geographically located in some kind of rain/snow shadow, and so with a hunch I looked at the webcams (thanks CDOT) for Idaho Springs and Georgetown. Sure enough, the area was dry and it looked like they got minimal snow, so we decided to try and do two laps on Saxon Mountain as a pseudo long run. The bottom of the run was still totally dry, but the last mile and 500' feet or so involved some trail breaking and post-holing. Still the outing was successful and I was able to get in 18 miles with 5,000' of gain in 3:12. The snow slowed me down a bit, and it was hard to start the second lap (couldn't I just call it and get in the car?), but I was happy that my quads held up for the second descent and really didn't give out. Good news for this summers races and planned mountain runs.
As I was running, I was wondering how the mountain got its name. Apparently, Saxon Mountain (also known historically as Summit Mountain) is named after the Anglo-Saxon mine located near the top on the western slopes. The Anglo-Saxon mine was a major gold and silver mine in the 1870s. Other interestingly named mines on the mountain include: Magnet, Sequel, Pickwick Lode, Charter Oak, Federal Lode, Wyandotte, Extension, and Harrington mines. Of these, the Anglo-Saxon was one of the largest and most productive, delivering 1,000-9,000 ounces per ton of silver! You wouldn't really know it now based on the ruins and old mining shafts, but this mountain produced some serious money for those who decided to mine it back in the day.