With limited time on many days, but a desire to still get in plenty of vertical and run in the mountains, I've been doing a bunch of doubles. Pick a mountain, and tag it twice, while adding in some miles in between to get some solid distance and vert.
I ran Evergreen Mountain twice, with a larger loop then around the north side of the Alderfer/Three Sisters Park up in Evergreen. Running up Evergreen Mountain is pretty fun, as it only gains about 1,200' and the trail is really smooth, allowing you to really push at a nice tempo pace. I was eyeing the granite slabs on the north side on the way up, and after figuring out the landscape, came down and ran up the mountain again, but this time cutting straight up from the junction of the East/West Evergreen Mountain trail and the Summit trail. If you cut straight up and right from the junction, after a couple hundred feet you arrive at the base of a fun series of granite slabs that go for about 200' or so, with many variations. It tops out right at the scenic overlook near the summit. Added a nice alpine flavor to the run, as the slabs were all wet from the rain and they are covered in moss and lichen just like up high. I then tagged the Three Sisters and The Brother for a bit more scrambling.
Looking south from the summit, which also has some fun scrambling on it.
Looking down at the slabs from the top.
Looking up one section - you can make it class 2/3 or class 3/4 depending on your line.
Lookout Mountain has come to be my Monday morning run. From my place, I can run up and over it twice on a combo of singletrack and quiet roads for a total of 18 miles and 5,000'. I really like this run because the road sections force me to open up my stride and hold a faster pace then if it was just all trails.
In an effort to escape the heat today, I ventured up to Saxon Mountain to see if it was runnable. This run is great, gaining 2,900' in one solid 6.5 mile climb on a super rocky, but very runable old jeep mining road. Going from 8,500' up to 11,400' it allows one to get in some good climbing and running at a zone that I find difficult. Below 8,500' I don't have any trouble, and anything above 12,000' you generally power hike unless it is flat or downhill. But that zone between 9,000' and 12,000' where one can - and should - still run but where the altitude begins to impact your pace and effort I find the most difficult. So Saxon Mountain is perfect training for this zone and for the higher peaks and bigger summer projects at a relatively early date. A couple of rock slides have happened, so there is no way for any jeeps to get up past about mile 2, making this run even better.
This slide has completely blocked the road.
Looking down 2,000' at the endless switchbacks.
View of Mount Evans from the summit.
Good, rocky terrain - perfect training ground.