Artley Goodhart loves spending time in the mountains – whether it’s climbing, hiking, running, or mixing it up and cross training. A SCARPA employee in the distribution department for the past four years, Goodhart spends his free time wisely and trains in ways that keep him excited about the sports he enjoys. Here’s a few of his favorite picks for keeping things interesting.
We’ve all been there, when training becomes so mundane and you lose some of your drive to hit the same places you have been climbing, running, and biking all summer long. All of us have different strategies for spicing things up; some are easy, others require a little more planning and can be all the more rewarding. For me it has turned out that personalized triathlons and link-ups work great. Some of these are well known and could be called local challenges and others, as far as I know, I made up. I have a few specific favorites, but there are seemingly infinite variations.
Unconventional triathlons are great for mixing it up. What’s better than throwing three of your favorite sports together for a great day of pushing yourself? Here are a few of my local favorites:
Longs Peak Triathlon (LPT): The LPT covers about 90 miles — 76 by bike and about 14 on foot — and gains a total of about 11,500 feet to the summit of Longs Peak (14,259 ft) via some 5th class routes. We started this at 10:00pm in an attempt to beat the 50% chance of thunderstorms forecasted. We strapped our packs loaded with climbing rope and full racks to our bikes. I used my SCARPA Sparks for biking and running to save weight. We carried these packs and gear all the way to the summit unsupported in a sixteen hour push from car to car. As far as I can find we were only the second team to do the LPT unsupported (with rope and rack) but I’m not sure about free solos. We did it in sixteen hours, beating the other team by four hours. However, rain forced us to climb a much easier rock route, the Cables Route, which more than explains our faster time.
Eldo-Walker Triathlon: This one is a blast. It involves mountain biking the Walker Loop until you reach the Eldorado Canyon Trail, then running into Eldo and climbing a route of your choice. For my triathlon, I chose an easy 5.7 to free solo on the Veil. After this I ran back to my stashed bike and finished out the loop. I did this in three hours with a reasonable amount of getting lost.
Link-ups are great for climbing all day and combining your favorite routes on your favorite faces.
Rocky Mountain National Park Link-Up: The Diamond via Pervertical Sanctuary, the Spearhead via the Barb, and Chiefshead via Birds of Fire. Climbing up and over the Diamond to the peaks behind it is an awesome day whether you get one, two or even all three routes. That’s part of the beauty of link-ups. This one is still a work in progress after two unsuccessful attempts. On both attempts, I made it up the Diamond and then descended the trough on the backside to reach Spearhead. The first time weather caused my partner and me to bail. On the second effort, I decided to have one partner for the Diamond and another partner for Spearhead/ Chiefshead. Unfortunately, when I reached Spearhead, my partner was a first responder to a rescue. Naturally at this point the link-up was over as we both assisted with the rescue. Everyone survived, though one person was flown out via helicopter, suffering from a possible broken leg and several lacerations.
These micro-adventures breathe new life into my training regime. I look forward to finishing ones that stump me and to creating new challenges to try. I’m inspired by the creativeness of my friends and the courses they think up, as well as people I meet from all over the world. This coming winter holds another universe of possibilities, as these triathlons and link-ups can easily transition to snow and ice. I hope reading this gets you as psyched to get out there as it has for me.