Black Diamond Presents: Peaks Project: Episode 1 - Green Mountain with Kyle Richardson

Green Mountain, aka the Backyard hill, is the place where I fell in love with running in the mountains. The hill where I would practice and test myself, intimately learn about my home, and tinker with my craft of moving efficiently through the landscape. There is something so simple and rewarding about waking up, enjoying a cup of coffee, and heading out the door with one objective.

There is a local obsession with going up Green Mountain. Its proximity and nearly 3,000ft prominence from downtown Boulder are part of its appeal. From when I leave my front door on Mapleton Hill, I cruise the back streets up to Chautauqua Park, and then I'm treated to a world-class hill climb, which deposits me to a proper summit with a brilliant view of the Indian Peaks and Rocky Mountain National Park. It feels like you're getting out somewhere wild and doing something, but it's close to home. It is extraordinary to run the same peak every day, watching it change through the seasons—it's like visiting a close friend. It feels so familiar yet new at the same time. Each summit bringing out new conversations.

I think it is the ultimate training ground for building your skills as a mountain runner. That being said, no matter what kind of running you like to do, there is something on Green Mountain for you. Steep and technical, more runnable and buffed out, technical scrambling in the Flatirons on the easterly flanks of Green, social trails rooted with lore; searching out ancient relics hidden around the mountain; Drinking from the spring found by Ernest Greenman himself. I've summited Green Mountain over 700 times, and there is still plenty I want to learn about the hill and myself up there.

--Kyle Richardson