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”
September 25, 2021
First Attempt: June 2021
Our “day” began around 1:30 am. Yes, you read that right. The forecast called for unstable weather in the Elk Mountains that afternoon. And so my guide advised we meet in the parking lot at Aspen Highlands before the bars in town had even closed.
Continue reading “The Maroon Bells Traverse”
September 4, 2021
By early September my 2021 Colorado fourteener season was drawing to a close. That said, I needed a low-drama, high-vertical summit to keep me in shape for an upcoming technical ascent. Luckily the Sawatch Range contains peaks like this in abundance. After scouting some maps and websites I settled in on Mount Antero.
Continue reading “Mount Antero (via West Slopes)”
August 24, 2021
Journey to the Center of the San Juans
My Sneffels adventure came towards the end of my first year bagging fourteener peaks in Colorado. That was no accident! Sneffels sits, tucked away in the San Juan mountains of Southwestern Colorado. This large, rugged range lies many hours from major metros like Denver. Some of the trickiest fourteeners reside in the San Juans.
Continue reading “Mount Sneffels via the South Slopes”
August 14, 2021
Come on down to South Park
I arrived the night before in the small town of Alma, Colorado. Alma claims to be the highest incorporated town in the United States. Indisputably, at roughly 10,500′ Alma has the highest altitude post office in the US. I slept that night at the Treeline Hostel, which bills itself as “the highest elevation accommodation in North America” … see a pattern here?
Continue reading “The DeCaLiBron”
August 7, 2021
Ascent along Denny Creek
Mount Yale lies in the heart of Colorado’s Sawatch Range. The Sawatch is the apex of the Rocky Mountains, home to the lion’s share of fourteeners in Colorado, the Rockies, and the Lower 48 in general.
Continue reading “Mount Yale via Denny Creek”
July 10, 2021
Loss of Traction
They say getting there is half the fun. Well, for many high trailheads in Colorado, getting there is half the struggle. Approaching the “summer trailhead” for Grays and Torreys proved no exception.
Continue reading “Grays and Torreys: the Great Divide”
July 18, 2021
Arrival at Summit Lake
I pulled into the half-full lot at Summit Lake just before sunrise. The forecast called for a warm, cloudless, summer day. After a string of ambitious (and at times failed) fourteener attempts, I was excited for an easy win.
Continue reading “Mount Evans via Summit Lake”
June 20, 2021
I left Aspen at 4 am for a winding, 1-hour drive over Independence Pass to La Plata. Deer swarmed the dark, winding roadway on either side of the pass, along with a few goats. I took care to avoid these furry car magnets. Eventually, I arrived at the paved trailhead for La Plata Peak.
Continue reading “La Plata Peak”
May 28, 2021
I arrived via Four Mile Creek Road, shortly after dawn. I parked just after “horseshoe bend” and the last improved structure, in a large parking lot around 11,400′. Among Colorado’s Fourteeners, Mount Sherman is known for having perhaps the shortest vertical ascent. In summer, the “trailhead” begins at a locked gate in the road at 12,000′. But in late May, you need to park roughly 600 vertical feet further downhill.
Continue reading “Mount Sherman via the Southwest Ridge Trail”