September 18, 2022
Around 5 am I drove up past the Elbert Creek campground towards the trailhead. Across the street, I saw a veritable rave of flashing headlamps and brake lights at one of several Mt Elbert trailheads. But I pulled into the massive lot to find only a couple of other cars and no bustle.
Continue reading “Mount Massive via the East Slopes”
September 10, 2022
Around 3:15 am I drove through Minturn, past empty streets and darkened windows. Then, I began the long winding dirt road up towards the Halfmoon Campground. The sun wouldn’t make an appearance for another three hours at least. But even still, I arrived at a bustling trailhead filled with headlamp beams and dimly lit truckbeds.
Continue reading “Mount of the Holy Cross via Halo Ridge”
September 4, 2022
I left Lake City around 4 am, keen to get an early start on the day’s fourteener double-header. Lake City provides a comfortable base camp for no less than five fourteeners. And in fact, I had just hiked another, Wetterhorn Peak, the day before.
Continue reading “Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks”
September 3, 2022
Lake City and the San Jauns
The late afternoon sun poked in and out of view as I sped along Colorado 149 into the heart of the San Juan Mountains. It occasionally ducked behind increasingly rugged mountain peaks and silhouetted stands of aspens. Suddenly, the road dipped into a canyon directly beside the Lake Fork of the Gunnison. It was the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, and I saw maybe two other cars.
Continue reading “Wetterhorn Peak (Colorado)”
August 28, 2022
South Colony Lakes
Our truck ambled slowly up the rough road to the South Colony Lakes Trailhead. It was mid-morning on a gorgeous, sunny Saturday in late August. Puffy white clouds had begun to coagulate as we donned our packs and divvied up the climbing gear.
Continue reading “Crestone Needle via the Ellingwood Arete”
August 21, 2022
Standing in a gas station parking lot near Buena Vista, we had a decision to make. The original plan involved driving down to the Sangre de Cristo to bag Kit Carson Peak. But moody clouds and bouts of rain had given us doubts.
Continue reading “Huron Peak”
Into the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
I arrived in the small town of Westcliffe on a sunny Saturday morning. I sped along some dirt country roads towards the ‘lower trailhead‘ for the Crestones. This trailhead sat below treeline, in the open fields at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo range.
Continue reading “Humboldt Peak”
June 25, 2022
We arrived at the Castle Creek trailhead around dawn. We drove the rough, 2-wheel drive road up towards 10,000 feet, parking just below the creek crossing. And after fiddling with some gear we were off, up the long dirt road towards Castle and Conundrum peaks.
Continue reading “Castle & Conundrum Peaks”
June 19, 2022
Back to the Collegiates
Mount Princeton rises dramatically above Buena Vista, Colorado. While the Sawatch Range includes perhaps a half dozen taller summits, Princeton likely ranks among the most commanding and charismatic.
Continue reading “Mount Princeton”
June 12, 2022
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Summer 2022 would mark my second year of Colorado 14er peak bagging. But staring at a spreadsheet of these hikes mid-winter, I discovered something concerning. Of the 17 peaks I had climbed in 2021, the vast majority sat within a couple hours drive of Denver. Thus I reached one obvious conclusion: it was time to venture further afield.
Continue reading “Culebra Peak and Red Mountain”