Monday, July 25, 2011

Six Summit Day

With dates and a partner nailed down for trying the Wonderland again, I needed some conditioning to get my body prepared for what's ahead. I chose a cluster of peaks in the Tenmile/Mosquito Range, about two hours from Denver.

After 4am I couldn't sleep, so I finished packing some food and hit the road. My first target for the day was Mt. Sherman, one of Colorado's easier 14ers. It was my second after climbing Torrey's the week before. At

The hike in was on a dirt road, which, after passing the 4WD parking lot, turns into a meandering trail. There was only a little scrambling required to reach the South Ridge and eventually Sherman's broad, flat summit.

After summiting Sherman, I went 0.7 miles further and scrambled up Gemini, a 13er and one of Colorado's 100 highest peaks.

To descend back to the car I had to reclimb Sherman. When I summited it the first time I was alone, but now it was swarming with people. I made it back to the car in just under three hours. Here is what my gps provided me with:

After descending to the car, I drove to Kite Lake, at 12,000 feet, just a few miles north. From there I did a four mountain loop. Bross, Lincoln, Cameron and Democrat all rise to more than 14,000 feet. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture their splendor on my camera because I had forgotten it in the car. Here is a map and elevation profile though:

Total: 5,000+ feet of net elevation gain and 16 miles. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Avenging Wonderland Woes

I recently nailed down plans to attempt for a third time to complete the Wonderland Trail in under 48 hours. In case you aren't familiar with this behemoth, the Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile (150 km) trail which circumnavigates Mt. Rainier (14,410). In the process, it gains 22,000 feet, which is roughly the same as climbing the mountain twice, starting from the lowest point.

Here are some pictures from my previous two attempts with Brittany and Von, respectively:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Front Range Foothills Hikes

One of our favorite things about living in Denver is how quickly we can escape the city for foothills. These photos are from South Valley Park. Just over 20 minutes from out dank little apartment. 

Stormy Sunday!

Colorado has had one of its rainiest summers in years. In 45 minutes one afternoon the Denver Metro area received 2 inches.

Torrey's Peak - - Dead Dog Couilor

A number of partners fell through on climbing Saturday morning. I was not to be dissuaded, however. So partner-less, I headed to an area where I knew I would have plenty of company.

Torrey's peak, with Gray's Peak, its neighbor, is the most popular 14er near Denver. When I got to the trail head at 6am there were already dozens of people ahead of me on the trail. 

Gray's Peak

Torrey's Peak

After 2.4 miles I left the trail and headed toward 'Dead Dog Couilor' (center of the above photo). This route is called the "premier mountaineering route on Torrey's when its in condition." It climbs at about 45 degrees straight up the face to just below the summit. At 7 am, I donned crampons and started up the ~1200 foot high gully.

I topped out the couilor at 830. Took off my crampons, took some photos and walked over the summit and down the easy side.

Looking down Kelso Ridge

I like sharp things.

On the way down I passed hoards of people climbing the standard routes. I also ran into a kind guy who was carrying an injured dog who had been stranded overnight after a terrifying fall the day before.  We took turns carrying the dog, Loki, two miles to the trail head. From the amount of blood coming on my arm, but lack of an external wound we figured she was bleeding internally. Whenever she tried to walk she would yelp with pain. Poor thing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Colorado Livin'

In case we have done a poor job at staying in touch, we are living in Colorado this Summer during Emilie's awesome internship at the Office on Women's Health. Michael got a job doing urban farming and agricultural construction. Not a bad deal ;)

Lunch, on a hike up Boulder Canyon.
The summit of Green Mountain, in Lakewood.
Earned this shirt at National Get Outdoors Day, where Emilie's office had a station.
Chalk Art Festival, downtown Denver.

Back at the Continental Divide after a BBQ festival in Frisco and a climb up Mt. Sniktau (13,234 ft.).

On the hike.
Georgia Pride.