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”
June 18, 2023
Hiking ‘On Resort’ at Beaver Creek
Around 7 am, I wound my way up Village Road toward Beaver Creek’s upscale village complex en route to hike the Overlook Trail. The morning sun flickered through stands of quaking aspens and cast long shadows across the lush golf course. In winter I’d of parked a few miles downhill, in one of Beaver Creek’s $10 day-skier lots. But in summer, the far more convenient Ford Hall Lot is free and open to all.
Continue reading “Hiking Beaver Creek’s Overlook Trail”
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”
May 23, 2023
A stormy spring
I met my friend at the trailhead for a springtime outing skinning/skiing Quandary Peak. From the looks of the parking lot area, a few fresh inches of snow had fallen the night prior. Even at Quandary’s lofty trailhead—roughly 11,000 feet above sea level—the snow looked wet. But with any luck, things would be a different matter near the 14,271′ summit.
Continue reading “Skiing Quandary Bowl”
April 2, 2023
Almost summer on the high plains
April arguably ranks as Colorado’s most versatile month. Folks in Denver or Grand Junction could be enjoying 70F+ temperatures and endless sunshine while other snowsport-diehards are simultaneously skiing powdery slopes in the high Rockies. Of course, sometimes you’ll find spring corn in the Rockies and stormy weather on the plains. But regardless, the span of climates within just 100 or so miles is truly astonishing.
Continue reading “North Table Mountain and Lichen Peak”
December 18, 2022
A cold start
We gathered just beyond the parking lot below Fremont Pass for day two of our AIARE 1 Avalanche Awareness course. I felt nervous and excited. But mostly I felt cold. The sun had yet to climb above the nearby ridgelines and the thermometer read ~0F. In light of this, our instructor had us start up the old logging road immediately. We’d stop a few minutes later, after warming up a bit, to begin the day’s informational components.
Continue reading “Taking an AIARE 1 Avalanche Awareness Class in Colorado”
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”