This hike is gonna hurt …
What are the steepest Colorado 14ers? If we’re talking about their standard summit routes, it’s a simple question with (maybe) a simple answer. So I’ll go ahead and answer it: North Maroon and Little Bear! But if you’re a bit of a data nerd like me, with an eye for detail, read on.
Continue reading “What are the steepest Colorado 14ers?”
September 2, 2023
The sun crept above the surrounding hills a I sped along an empty highway over La Veta Pass. This weekend’s adventure would be an overnight target: Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point via Lake Como. On day one, the goal was just to reach the lake and set up camp.
Continue reading “Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point”
August 20, 2023
Back to Missouri Basin
Six weeks after summiting Missouri Mountain, I was back at its eponymous trailhead for two more fourteener targets. Today’s objectives were Oxford and Belford, a classic Sawatch twofer. The forecast called for flawless weather, but the stats were still daunting: nearly 6000 vertical feet over 11+ miles.
Continue reading “Oxford and Belford”
August 12, 2023
I pulled into the mostly empty trailhead lot for Square Top Mountain around 5 am. The forecast called for rain and clouds that day but I wanted a hike to a relatively high altitude. Square Top fit the bill. Despite the iffy weather, I saw dozens of cars piling into the parking lot for Square Top’s far more glamorous neighbor: Bierstadt. But more on that later.
Continue reading “Square Top Mountain: the road less traveled”
August 5, 2023
I drove up from Mammoth Lakes. I passed the massive Mono Lake in total darkness, turning off the main road and climbing towards Tioga Pass. Around 5 am I entered the park, passing through Tuolumne Meadows and towards the upper rim of Yosemite Valley. Finally, I arrived at a small dirt parking area, where my hike began.
Continue reading “Mount Watkins—stunning views above Yosemite Valley”
July 30, 2023
Back to the Owens Valley
My quest to hike all 50 US state high points involves making a lot of excuses. Basically, you need an excuse to visit odd corners of all 50 states. And perhaps the best attitude to facilitate these excuses are truisms like “there’s no time like the present” and, even simpler, “why not?”
Continue reading “Boundary Peak (Nevada High Point)”
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”
July 1, 2023
Telluride to Ouray via the Sneffels Traverse
Our shuttle van left Ouray around 7 am for Last Dollar Pass, and the start of the Sneffels Traverse. We trundled up the rough dirt road, through rolling hills of green grass. The morning sun shone through sparse stands of aspens. Patches of hillside were covered in thick blooms of purple lupine. A herd of elk moved about the hills below us.
Continue reading “The Sneffels Traverse: Hut to Hut through the San Juans”
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”