Kind of a crappy weather day, but I was hoping to at least get a gym session in. Turns out the gym was closed for the day! Sad trombone.
Bouldering @ Movement, 2 hours
OK, OK: got my gym fix. Mostly just bouldered around – skills day, we’ll say. Not feeling very inspired to try hard on any of the boulders; the setting is starting to feel a little stale.
Later: Green Mountain 15 kilo weighted carry
The weather looked like it was about to turn for the worst at any minute, and I got to the trailhead just as it started sprinkling. I had an idea I may be able to fit in some scrambling, but that was out. Loaded the pack with 15 kilos of water and took a hike to summit Green Mountain (then back down).
Scrambling + Green Summit
Started on Gregory Ridge, to the Spy, then the NE Arete of the First. If you start a little lower than the usual start, it’s quite good. A quick lap on Free For All, then Chase the Sun. Had enough time to summit Green, so that’s what I did. Felt yesterday’s effort for sure, and I was in bed early after today.
Bouldering @ Movement, 2 hours
Worked on a V5 that I wrote off as, “far too hard for me”. Surprised myself that I was able to actually do all the moves in two chunks. The last move is nails hard for me, as well as for real climbers, so I was pretty happy with that. Now, to see if I can’t put it all together next week.
Idaho Springs -> Grays Peak Summer Trailhead
Loaded up the Journeyman onto the Bustang and away we went to Idaho Springs from Denver for the grand total of $5. From there, it was an easy climb to the summer trailhead for Grays Peak, with a side trip up the Argentine Central Grade – a small patch of the Front Range 14er bikepacking route I haven’t actually ridden, but it’s in my guide, so it makes sense that you know: I do. Turned out to be excellent.
Stevens Gulch wasn’t too bad as well, as I caught the alpineglow of Torreys just perfectly as I ground up the hill. Made camp above the parking lot and other than about a thousand slammed doors between 9:00pm and 10:00pm, slept well.
Stevens Gulch Traverse from Summer Trailhead
(didn’t Strava this – didn’t bring the right charging cord!)
A classic. Left the summer trailhead around 3:00am to summit Kelso with enough time to setup to take do some photography. After that was done, I made my way to Torreys via Kelso Ridge, then to Grays, Edwards, McClellan, and Ganley.
From there, I doubled back and went down a scree gulley between Ganley and McClellan that takes you right below the summer trailhead (and unbeknowest to me, in someone’s back yard, so if you take this scree gulley, follow the treeline for a good while to stay above the houses). Classic line, but the scree gully is not classic, and plenty dangerous.
Later: to Georgetown
I had originally planned to hang out at the summer trailhead for the night, but it wasn’t even 3pm when I finished, I had literally no idea what I was going to do until it was time to go to sleep. I had plans the next day, but none of them really sounded good, so I road to Georgetown in search of pizza at my favorite place: Mountainbuzz, but it seems to be indefinitely closed – perhaps a COVID causality. I went to another join and you know: it was OK, but it was no Mountainbuzz.
Later: Guanella Pass
Feeling unsatisfied, I chose to ride up the 11 miles up to Guanella Pass to camp. The other options – back to the Summer TH for Grays Peak, or up to Echo Lake/Mt Evans, didn’t seem as appealing. Dispersed camping around Guanella Pass is a little touchy – all the roadside campsites are closed (not that I would camp right by the road like some barbarian), but I actually decided to do some research on how exactly you can camp. According to:
(and I’m just going to post a screenshot so you all believe me)
Seems there’s some wiggle room. That’s the exact trail I intended to hike, and I sure was a person traveling through the area (isn’t anyone that? My main source of confusion…). I went full boy scout and camped ~1/4 mile from the road. Found a lovely patch of trees, and a beautiful view of Mt. Bierstadt. Major windstorm was in the making, so I put up the tarp for the first time in a very long while, but it only rained for a few seconds.
Bierstadt + Square Top
I originally wanted to get up 1:00am to do laps like a crazy person, but the wind storm seemed too violent to make this reasonable. So I slept in until 5:00am, and was on the trail by 6:00am, mixing in with all those commoners (j/k).
I had no real ambition except to get up and get some more acclimatization up high. A really beautiful day, and just a slight breeze at the top. It was only 9:00am when I got back to the trailhead, so I thought a little Square Top action was in the cards – I was meeting friends back in Idaho Springs to catch a ride, but they wouldn’t be done with their day until much later. Up and down that in ~ 3 hours, too. Weather was getting sour, so it was time to go.
Later: to Idaho Springs
An easy pedal to Idaho Springs. My friends were far from done with their hike/soak/dinner, so I napped on the creek, bought a few milkshakes, found some BBQ – the usual.