It had to be done… never before has anyone jumped a weighted Jump Rope at the top of each of the four passes in the Maroon Bells 4-Pass loop. This I am not-fully certain, but just like how you can’t imagine why I would do such a thing… I can’t imagine why anyone else would do such a thing. So there.
Here’s the deal: I find myself taking myself way to seriously lately. I’ve been stressed about work, home buying, and my financial future. And I’ve been carrying extra loads of burden towards my leadership role of Denver’s November Project tribe. For this, I am doing my best to cope and bear, sort out and renew. But until I reach a balance point, I’m exercising ways to elevate my presence of mind through my satisfaction in thinking differently.
As a result of recent shin splint pain, my self diagnosis has been to jump rope for at least 5-minutes every day. My hope is that jumping rope will strengthen my feet and calves such that I am a more capable runner. Too often, I feel my calves failing me late in races, as my feet slap the ground heavily leading to excessive body wear and exhaustion.
Timing worked out for Julia and I to escape the heat of Denver for the weekend and pursue the 27-mile/9,000-foot Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells Wilderness of Aspen, Colorado.
Julia did some recon on the course via the awesome ProTrails route review. I’m not going to get into a step-by-step recount of the route, because I mainly wanted to post the pictures of our epic journey and get credit for my World Record setting Jump Roping effort!
To summarize, the trail was much more challenging and spectacular than we anticipated.
Taking the clockwise loop, we climbed to West Maroon Pass and soon after hit Frigid Air Pass.
We thought we had it in the books, but the long, scenic journey to Trail Rider Pass was tough on our minds and patience.
An endless steep climb to the pass left us thankful for a lunch break and hopeful for a second wind.
We caught our second wind and cruised through flowing, lush forest towards the fourth and final Buckskin Pass.
At this point we were both rationing water, and nervous that dehydration would lead to a lapse in focus during the rocky & technical descent.
We were encouraged through the final few miles by day hikers who knew of the 4-Pass feat that we were about to accomplish. Much like nearing the end of a race, we were cheered and applauded all the way to the parking lot!
While this run took a toll on us physically and emotionally, it left us in awe of the spectacular sights and scenes that we had experienced. I wonder how many other such loops are out there, begging to be discovered! And of course, how many passes have yet to be Jump Roped on!!
If you ever see anyone jumping rope during your next adventure… tell them to log it in the record book!
FLICKR PICS from JULIA: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8551229@N04/sets/72157655639746383/