Future Projects: The Loveland Pass/Hooiser Pass Traverse

Mt Edwards, Grays, and Torreys from Kelso

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It’s high time to start dreamin’ of high adventures!

Winter is coming to a close and before it does, I plan to eek out a grand adventure out there: a ridge traverse! Loveland Pass and Hooiser Pass are ~42 miles away from each other if you follow the Continental Divide ridgeline that separates them. In fact, this segment is the highest part of the entire Continental Divide itself topping out at 14,278′ high Grays Peak. Torreys Peak @ 14,267′, Mount Edwards @ 13,850′, Argentine Peak @ 13,743′, Mount Guyot @ 13,376′, Bald Mountain @ 13,690′ and Hooiser Ridge @ 13,352 feet are other prominent highpoints found on this route.

Total elevation gain/loss is around 20,000′ (STEEP!)

Mt Edwards, Grays, and Torreys from Kelso
Mt Edwards, Grays, and Torreys

The route tops out at Class 3, but with the Winter conditions, I anticipate very cold weather, slow and awkward snow travel, and some serious avalanche concerns. Camping right on the Continental Divide ridgeline will also be very challenging with a high probability I’ll be blown half way to Kansas.

I plan to take about three full days to traverse across, and may opt to walk back to Breckenridge from Hooiser Pass, if I don’t hitch a ride back to town.

Loveland Pass to Hoosier Pass, N -> S

This ridge traverse is in the same vein of many of my other ridge traverse, like the Milner to Berthoud Pass Traverse, the Sawatch Traverse, and the Mosquito/Tenmile Range Traverse – all of which use parts of the Continental Divide for the entire route or just part of the way. My traverse from Loveland Pass to Guanella Pass with a bike in-tow also traveled on the same terrain at the beginning, before veering off the CD to Square Top Mountain.

Both Loveland Pass and Hoosier Pass – as well as Georgia Pass and Boreas Pass found in-between are the sights of many of my past adventures, and hold a special place in my heart.

Loveland Pass
Loveland Pass, during a training ride for the Tour Divide
Hoosier Pass by Bike
Hoosier Pass by Bike

I’ve ridden to Georgia Pass found on the Colorado Trail on my Colorado Trail Race (and training rides) – and I can say similar things about Boreas Pass/Tour Divide.

Georgia Pass
Georgia Pass
 Boreas Pass
Boreas Pass – yes: those are snowshoes

I’ve also summited many of these high peaks in other adventures, including my Tour 14er and Tour of the Highest Hundred.

It’s always a thrill to rediscover these places in new and inventive ways.

Wish me luck!

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1 year ago

[…] delayed my traverse trip, as weather looked a little iffy, so instead I decided to stay a little closer to home, and test […]