Today was a long run day! Matt and I have been wanting to run together because our schedules have been so off lately. So we were trying to decide where to run and he wanted to run somewhere on Ute Pass and I said no because it was too much vert (about 2500ft) So I suggested running up Tenderfoot Mountain from Keystone because I have always wanted to go up there. He agreed.
We started from Keystone on a trail called the Incline trail. It is super mellow, awesome switchbacks that aren’t very steep at all. The views of Keystone just keep getting better as you go up. A little over a mile in, you hit a dirt road called Frey Gulch rd. It is a popular dirt biking area but we only saw a few. We got a little lost trying to find the Tenderfoot Mountain Trail, which I just want to point out that it is not the Tenderfoot Trail which is off of Oro Grande and goes up a couple hundred feet above the lake and stops.
So we stopped to check out the map on our phone and realized that it was the steep trail we passed a quarter mile back. We turned around and headed up this stupidly steep trail that was relentless for 2 miles until we hit the Tenderfoot Mountain Road which is a jeep trail that literally goes to the top of the mountain. We continued up the road for another mile to the summit, which was not above treeline, but we could see the Gores and it was a cool road, with the last couple hundred feet being an even more stupidly steep climb to the top. It definitely looked like a jeep would struggle up it.
We didn’t hang out long at the summit because the sun was going down, and decided to run down the road instead of the trail. It was also steep and loose but we made good time and the Incline trail at the bottom we took off running on because the grade was excellent! It was a great run and adventure and now I can cross another mountain off my list.
We ended up running 2500ft of vert anyways, and I got my ass kicked, but that’s what long run training days are for, right?