Twig Adventures

#19 of 20: Quandary Peak 14,265′

06:30-11:30, Tuesday, 8-18-20 CO 14ers: 24 of 53 Distance RT: 6.75 miles Elevation gain/loss: 3,450′ Starting Elevation: 10,850′ Summit: 14,265′ Rank: 13 of 53 Location: Tenmile Range, south of Breckenridge Route: East Ridge, Class 1 Companions: Stellar & Sandy This will be a short post since so too was the hike. As had been our style all summer, we came up with plans the day before. After regrouping briefly in Buena Vista, we decided to go for an easy hike the next morning. Yes, easy as 14ers can get, that is. We also had to be cognizant of the wildfires that were starting to blaze throughout the state.  Several 14ers were inaccessible due to road closures on I-70 and 82.[…]

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#17 & #18 of 20: Mt Columbia 14,073′ & Mt Harvard 14,420′

06:30-15:30, Monday, 8-17-20 CO 14ers: 22 & 23 of 53 Distance RT: 15 miles Elevation gain/loss: 6,100′ Starting Elevation: 9,900′ Summits: 14,073′ & 14,420′ Rank: 35 & 3 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, west of Buena Vista Route: N. Cottonwood Creek Trail to west slopes of Columbia, north and east on ridge to Harvard, back down the south slopes, counterclockwise, Class 2 Companions: Stellar After a week away from 14ers, we were ready for some more. I joined Sandy and Stellar the day before in Buena Vista, where we did some tubing on the Arkansas River park rapids. We’d found the tube on a hike down Grape Creek, outside of Canon City, a few days prior. We’d taken[…]

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#15 & #16 of 20: Challenger Point 14,081′ & Kit Carson Peak 14,165′

06:00-15:00, Monday, 8-10-20 CO 14ers: 20 & 21 of 53 Distance RT: 15.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 6,250′ Starting Elevation: 8,850′ Summits: 14,081′ & 14,165′ Rank: 34 & 23 of 53 Location: Central Sangre De Cristos Range, east of Crestone Route: Willow Lake Trail to the North Slope of Challenger Point, along the Kit Carson Avenue to Kit Carson Peak, Easy Class 3 Companions: Stellar & Sandy Leaving Blanca behind, one thing was sure: I didn’t have the energy to do another 14er the very next day. Like the week before, 2 days in a row was cool, but not 3. I could sense that my friends wanted a break as well. We headed to the tiny hamlet of Crestone to[…]

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#13 & #14 of 20: Blanca Peak 14,345′ & Ellingwood Point 14,042′

06:00-15:00, Saturday, 8-08-20 CO 14ers: 18 & 19 of 53 Distance RT: 18 miles Elevation gain/loss: 6,800′ Starting Elevation: 8,000′ Summits: 14,345′ & 14,042′ Rank: 4 & 43 of 53 Location: Southern Sangre De Cristos Range, east of Alamosa Route: Lake Como 4WD road to the Northwest Ridge of Blanca, then South Face of Ellingwood, difficult Class 2 Companions: Stellar & Sandy After driving a few hours to basically get from the eastern side of the Blanca/Lindsey massif to the western side, with a stop for an early dinner in between, we were staged for a repeat performance. We would hike 5.5 miles up a 4WD road, then conquer the peaks the next morning. The standard routes for the 3[…]

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#12 of 20: Mt. Lindsey 14,042′

06:30-13:00, Friday, 8-07-20 CO 14ers: 17 of 53 Distance RT: 13 miles Elevation gain/loss: 3,500′ Starting Elevation: 10,700′ Summit: 14,042′ Rank: 42 of 53 Location: Southern Sangre De Cristos Range, southwest of Gardner Route: CR 580 to Upper Huerfano/Lily Lake Trailhead to the Northwest Gully, easy Class 3 Companions: Stellar & Sandy We’d all gone back to Canon City for a few days of R&R. Sandy and Stellar had decided to extend their vacation in CO, reluctant to head back to Ohio. There was still plenty to explore and we were getting along great with our spur-of-the-moment planning. We shifted our focus to the Sangre De Cristo range, coming up with a rough plan to visit JR in Rosita and[…]

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#11 of 20: Mt. Yale 14,196′ & Trail Angels on the CT/CDT

06:30-13:00, Sunday, 8-02-20 CO 14ers: 16 of 53 Distance RT: 10 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,000′ Starting Elevation: 9,400′ Summit: 14,196′ Rank: 21 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, west of Buena Vista Route: Avalanche Trailhead, north on CT, up East Ridge, down Southwest Slopes to Denny Creek Trailhead/HWY 306, Class 2. Companions: Stellar & Sandy I was feeling pretty good after our marathon of 5 14ers in 2 days, that is until the 3rd day. Then I felt like this: After Bierstadt and Evans, the 3 of us had decided to head for Buena Vista for the night. The plan was to hike one of the Collegiate Peaks the next day. After dinner and a night tenting at a[…]

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#9 & #10 of 20: Mt. Bierstadt 14,060′ & Mt. Evans 14,264′

06:00-14:00, Friday, 7-31-20 CO 14ers: 14 & 15 of 53 Distance RT: 10.25 miles Elevation gain/loss: 3,900′ Starting Elevation: 11,699′ Summits: 14,060′ & 14,264′ Rank: 38 & 14 of 53 Location: Front Range, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway between Bailey and Georgetown Route: Mt Bierstadt West slope to Sawtooth ridge to Mt Evans, back down through Scott Gomer creek gully, mostly class 2, Sawtooth section is briefly Class 3. Companions: Stellar After a sweet ‘3for’, it was time for another ‘2for’. To put things into perspective, it took me years to work up to my first five 14ers, then months to do the next five. With this series (the DeCaLiBron the day before), we knocked out 5 in 2 days! This[…]

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#6, #7 & #8 of 20: The DeCaLiBron of 14ers

06:00-12:00, Thursday, 7-30-20 CO 14ers: 11, 12 & 13 of 53 Distance RT: 7.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 3,700′ Starting Elevation: 12,000′ Summits: Democrat 14,148′, Lincoln 14,286′ & Bross 14,172′ Rank: 28, 8 & 22 of 53 Location: Mosquito Range, West of Alma, CO Route: Democrat >Cameron>Lincoln>Bross…the DeCaLiBron combo clockwise, Class 2 Companions: Stellar & Sandy Hang on because things are about to get wild! Or maybe just confusing. We did 3 or 4 14ers in one day, depending on which definition you go by. I’m going with 3 since Mt. Cameron was barely a bump on my radar and counting it would mess up my numbers. 21 in 2020 just doesn’t sound as good, so I’m willing to discount this[…]

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Completing the CO CDT Red Line through RMNP

Wednesday, 7-22-20 Distance RT: 26 miles Location: Grand Lake, CO Route: Rocky Mountain National Park loop, counterclockwise from Grand Lake Companions: Stellar and adopted CDT Nobo A little bit of background: Most thru-hikers use an app called Guthooks for navigation and trail intel. For National Scenic Trails, the official trail is notated by a red line. Alternates are depicted with different colors (orange, blue, etc). If you’re a purist, you’re always “on the red line.” I took plenty of alternates while hiking the CDT, especially through New Mexico and Montana. But I tried to be a purist through my home state, dedicated to the red line with the one exception of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) loop. Many CDT hikers[…]

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2020 Colorado Trail Segments 4-7 & Tramily Reunions

Before I get back to the 14er’s, I wanted to provide some highlights from a section hike of the Colorado Trail and reunions with Tramily members. Here’s a quick summary of the hike: July 18-21, 2020 CT Sections 4-7 (Bailey to Copper Mountain) Miles: 66 To start this hike, I got a ride from my cousin’s house in Denver to the beginning of CT segment 4 at Rolling Creek Trailhead, outside of Bailey, CO. I was meeting up with my friend YoYo on the Trail, who had come to Colorado to finish the CT. I’d first met him back in 2017, the very first day on the CT. We’d hiked together off and on all the way to Twin Lakes.[…]

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