Twig Adventures

#5 of 20: Mt. Antero 14,269′

Friday 6-26-20 to Saturday 6-27-20 CO 14ers: 10 of 53 Distance RT: 20.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,200′ Starting Elevation: 8,900′ Summit: 14,269′ Rank: 10 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, north of Salida Route: Brown’s Creek Trail to FR #277 up to peak, back down Little Browns Creek Trail Companions: none I’ll start by explaining that this was my first trip combining an overnight backpacking loop with a summit hike the following morning. I didn’t follow the standard route to the top, which is a boring 16 mile RT jeep road walk. I did some research to find that I could hike up one valley, summit, then come back down another valley, making for a much more interesting and[…]

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#3 & #4 of 20: Mt. Shavano 14,229′ & Tabeguache Peak 14,155′

06:00-13:00, Sunday, 6-14-20 CO 14ers: 8 & 9 of 53 Distance RT: 11 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,600′ Starting Elevation: 9,750′ Summits: 14,229′ & 14,155′ Rank: 17 & 25 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, north of Salida Route: Shavano East Slopes then 1 mile ridge hike to Tabeguache, Class 2 Companions: Wind Photos from 14ers.com Suddenly peak-bagging had become a thing I was doing this summer (for various complicated and sad reasons I explained in an earlier blog). Achieving these feats was just the positive measure I needed in my life in this moment. A short-term goal and focus. A big reward. 14ers.com had become my new shopping list. It’s a webpage outlining all the routes and details of[…]

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#2 of 20: Humboldt Peak 14,064′

07:00-17:30, Sunday, 5-31-20 My CO 14er count: 7 of 53 Distance RT: 17.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,350′ Starting Elevation: 8,800′ Summit: 14,064′ Rank: 37 of 53 Location: Sangre de Cristos, Southern Colorado Route: South Colony Lakes 2WD Lower Parking Lot to Humboldt West Ridge, Class 2 Companions: Jolly Rancher (Kevin Parsons) Photo from 14ers.com After I’d recovered from my climb up Pikes Peak, I felt really inspired to do more. What next? I’d been in touch with my friend Jolly Rancher (JR), who lives less than 1 hr from my base camp in Canon City. I met JR while hiking the Colorado Trail in 2017. His amazing Earthship home is nestled in the Wet Mountains, facing the awe-inspiring Sangre de[…]

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#1 of 20: Pikes Peak 14,110′

05:45-18:30, Thursday, 5-21-20 CO 14ers: 6th (& 1st) of 53 Distance RT: 27 miles Elevation gain/loss: 7600′ Start Elevation: 6,650′ Summit: 14,110′ Rank: 30 of 53 Location: Front Range, Central Colorado Route: Barr Trail, Class 1 Companions: none Pikes Peak was the first peak above 14,000 feet (here on referred to as 14er’s) I ever hiked…but only halfway. Back in 2003, I went up with a friend and we got a ride down with my parents. Pikes Peak is one of two 14er’s in CO with a road all the way to the top (the other being Mt Evans and a 3rd, Mt Antero, has a road within a few miles of the top). At the time, it was the[…]

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A 2020 update

Nov 27th, 2020 Dear blog readers, First, thanks for following!  My goal in writing this blog has been and always will be to provide positive and uplifting content about my hikes and other adventures. I strive to focus on the beauty of nature and inspiring elements of human-powered travel. But I feel a bit of a departure is in order before I launch into my summer hiking blog series “20 in 20,” briefly explaining how this came about. I’ll be posting short stories about the 20 14er’s I climbed in 2020 while “stuck” in Colorado.  It’s the “stuck” part I struggle with, because it involves disclosing a painful personal experience with a wide and largely unknown audience. It’s my hope[…]

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SOBO Day 78: San Luis Peak

September 10th, 2019 Monchego Creek mm 1994.5 to Creede Junction mm 2021.3 Distance in miles: 26.8 plus 3 RT to San Luis Peak 0620-1800 Coyotes again make a racket through the night, probably fighting over dibs on the dead cow. Their yips and yaps become a part of my dreams…white noise of the high hills. I should make one of those relaxation tapes out of it. In the early morning, I hear the soothing hoots of a great horned owl. I was just saying to Relentless the morning before that the woods are lacking any owls. Here’s the reply to my concern. They must like lower elevations. The morning is fresh and beautiful, the low light enhancing the yellow flowers[…]

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SOBO Day 69: Mt Massive & Twin Lakes

September 1st, 2019 Willow Creek mm 1841.8 to Hope Pass Lake mm 1865.3 Distance in miles: about 16 plus 8 RT on Mt. Massive…24 0550-1915 I’m awakened at 3 am in the morning by people walking by, on their way up the peak. It’s Sunday on a holiday weekend, so I expected this. The same thing happened when I camped at the base of Mt. Elbert on the Colorado Trail. We opted to climb that mountain because it’s the tallest peak in Colorado and the timing worked out better. I decided awhile ago that I would climb Mt. Massive this time around. Some tough CT/ CDT hikers, like Stellar, do both. I’m happy just doing one at a time. Around[…]

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SOBO Day 63: A Special Day on Two 14ers, Grays & Torreys

August 26th, 2019 Quayle Creek near I-70 mm 1730 to Warden Gulch stream mm 1746 Distance in miles: 16! 0610-1630 Some days are more special than all the other days in the calendar year and you may think you get to do whatever you want on those particular days. In my case, I still have to hike this trail, or at least, I’m choosing to hike. And why not add 2 more 14ers to my list? Grays Peak is 14,278′ and officially part of the CDT, the highpoint of the entire trail. Torreys Peak is just across a saddle, about 700′ back up in elevation…a quick scramble. Most people tackle both after going to all the trouble of climbing to[…]

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Day 87: Mt Whitney

September 30th, 2018 Crabtree Meadow to mm 759.5 Distance: 7 PCT miles plus 16 miles on Whitney Spur Trail 0300 – 1630 Today was the big day: climb the highest mountain in the the contiguous US at nearly 14,500′. Last summer, I summited the second tallest mountain, Mt Elbert, off the Colorado Trail. It is only about 50 feet shy of Mt. Whitney, but who’s counting? I was awake and making coffee by 2:30 am. We were on the trail by 3:25 but got a little delayed in trying to find a bear box in the dark. We left some of our stuff in there. The trail was easy to follow; in fact, we barely used our headlamps the whole[…]

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Colorado Trail, Week 2, Part 1, Breckenridge To Twin Lakes, Segments 8-11

Day 8: July 20th, Copper Mountain village to campsite south of Camp Hale, 20.1 miles, Segment 8. Sofie’s friend picked us (Yoyo, PBR, Sofie and me) up at the hostel for a very early start. One of her car windows was blown out so the 30 minute ride was freezing! We arrived at the trailhead very anxious to start hiking, just to warm up. Our wish was granted, as it was a steady climb up a valley to Searle Pass. We walked right through the ski resort and I fantasized about the hot coffee that must exist down in the village. A man-made snow course was still present. This is one of 2 ski resorts that the CT goes through…the[…]

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