So was the case on Tuesday's jaunt up Green Mountain as I was struck by the sounds of the mountain.
The run began around 3:30 p.m. from Chautauqua, climbing the old paved road to the Mesa Trail. The trail was, as expected, a mix of snow, ice, dirt and mud. No traction required (on the ascent).
I made my way over to the junction with the Bear Canyon Trail and started climbing. The further up I went, the more aware I become of the few sounds around me.
First, it was the pleasant gurgling of Bear Canyon Creek running beneath a layer of ice and snow, reminding me that even on the coldest days, our mountains remain invaluable water factories for the plants, animals and human communities that surround them.
On the climb up Green-Bear, I paused to listen to the distant caw of a crow, it's call forlorn and almost out of place on such a beautiful, sunny day.
Soon I was standing on Green Mountain's summit rock, marveling at the fact that there was no wind. None. It was perfectly still. I noticed then the constant, low rumble generated by the 97,000 or so souls moving around and going about their days down below in Boulder. Their collective sounds rolled up, combined and enveloped the mountain in a strangely comforting auditory embrace.
|Green Mountain's summit marker. Photo: Brandon Fuller|
On the run down Green's frontside, the dominant sounds became of my own making -- the scrape of Microspikes on ice and rock, or the satisfying "squench" when spikes found a solid purchase in firmly packed snow, propelling me around a sharp switchback.
Once back at the now dark Gregory Canyon parking lot, the sounds became those of others. A car driving down Flagstaff Road, a dog barking in the backyard of a house in the neighborhood adjacent to the open space.
The low rumble of humanity I heard atop Green's summit now was just the usual collection of individual sounds. The crows were quiet, and the train's whistle now was drowned out by the immediate din of the neighborhood.
Running is, indeed, a treat for the senses.
Distance: 8.23 miles
Time: 1:46 (Green descent - 20:57)
Elevation gain: 2,887