Gotchas When Estimating Trip Elevation Gain/Loss in Caltopo

The Crux of the Sawatch Continental Divide ridge traverse (in red)

I’ve been planning my future Sawatch adventure and the more I looked at it, the more I realize that the reputation of the Sawatch being full of gentle heaps of talus hills and nothing else is only true if you decide to ignore some nightmare ridges just off to the side from the more popular 14ers. Those ridges of course are one in the same with the where I want to travel on.

Continue reading…

Training Journal – 4/26/21 – 5/2/21

I’m starting to try to gain a bit of fitness for my future Sawatch trip. To me that means a ton of elevation gain above all. This week’s goal was 15,000′ of elevation to ascent/descend, with the long-term goal of doing a week of 35,000′ of elevation gain, as that’s how much I roughly anticipate the trip to be.

Continue reading…

TX Guide Leather vs. TX 3 Sizing

TX3 and TX Guide Leather side by side

I was picking something up at the La Sportiva Factory Retail Store (the new Karakal!) after climbing, and finally had the opportunity to try on the new TX Guide Leather. I’ve been really interested in the new TX Guide since seeing them at OR, but even just holding the display shoe in my hand, I knew right away it was going to be too narrow for my foot. So enter the TX Guide Leather, which has a redesigned upper.

Continue reading…

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

La Sportiva recently released a new take on their reputable Ultra Raptor trail runner: the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. Building upon the battle-tested base of the current Ultra Raptor model, it adds a few new features and flourishes: mid top ankle cuff, Gore-Tex upper, a new black and grey colorway, and it comes in regular as well as wide sizes.

Purchase: La Sportiva NA | REI


Rather than being a conventional low-top trail runner, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a mid-height trail runner/hiker – the line on which I’d categorize it myself is pretty blurred. It features a Gore-Tex upper and – sit down since this is almost a first for Sportiva: it comes in both regular and WIDE sizes! Rejoice!

Continue reading…

Future Adventures: Traversing the Continental Divide Ridge Across the Sawatch

Mt. Huron

I love drawing lines on maps and dreaming of sufferfests to do. I seem to squeeze out the most enjoyment from long ridge runs. I love being up high, teetering on top of a knife edge between two drainages, without the need of a trail to follow, yet having an obvious route in front of me. I revel in the exposure the position gives me to wind, weather, and of course: gravity.

The Continental Divide makes an obvious target for my doodles, and many of my past fastpacks have used segments of it already – either in whole or in part. Last year, I traversed the CD between Milner Pass and Berthoud Pass – located just outside my back door and earlier in that same year I traveled from Loveland Pass to Guanella Pass with a bike lashed to my back. Previously, I took on the Mosquito/Tenmile Range in total, where the CD makes an appearance for a few peaks (McNamee, Clinton, Wheeler), before bowing out. And of course, I’ve even ridden the Tour Divide Race on a mountain bike, which crosses the Continental Divide some three dozen times or so. All these trips had their unique aspects, and each one I believe is an ultra classic. What to do, next?

Continue reading…