July 17, 2023
I sped through the hot and dusty high desert of the San Luis Valley. Ahead of me, hot air off the pavement warped the jagged, hazy peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Summer had come out in full force in the Colorado Rockies.
Continue reading “Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point”
July 7, 2023
Up and At’em
I hit the trail shortly before 5 a.m. Even on this, one of summer’s longest days, this meant trudging up the lower switchbacks via headlamp. The forecast called for a perfect bluebird day, but even still I always like to start early. If nothing else, you sweat less.
Continue reading “Missouri Mountain, the Spiciest Sawatch 14er”
June 24, 2023
A Bluebird Weekend
I left Denver at the crack of dawn, to beat the weekend I-70 traffic. I sped through the Eisenhower tunnel as the Sun rose above the rugged peaks of the Continental Divide. Ahead I saw only clear blue skies. We had been blessed with a perfect weather window.
Continue reading “Climbing Snowmass Mountain via the ‘direct’ route”
June 10, 2023
The Crags Campground
I arrived at the Crags Campground trailhead around 3:45 am. It was June—when hikers are blessed with the longest days of the year. But even still it was pitch black.
Continue reading “Pikes Peak from the Crags Campground”
September 18, 2022
Around 5 am I drove up past the Elbert Creek campground towards the trailhead for Mount Massive. 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”