I unearthed a cache of 2011 Tour Divide photos I had taken with a Micro 4/3rds camera I had brought along. 2011 was a strange year, as the snowpack was so great, the route was detoured around most all the mountain passes from near the beginning in Banff, Alberta, CA to after Steamboat Springs.
Me being me, I just brought along snowshoes and thought it obvious to just trudge across them, pushing the bike in lieu of riding. And that’s kinda what I did. No one cared to join me – I assume everyone else valued their life and their sanity more than myself. But taking the actual route when others wouldn’t dare during the Grand Depart was somewhat of a sea-change moment for me and my philosophy of self-powered traveling: it’s OK if things seem hard, it’s a challenge – it’s supposed to! Rise up to the challenge.
Here’s a collection of photos I’ve found, that I’ve lightly edited and re-saved in a higher resolution – I’ve put them up all in a gallery to check out which I’ll archive here. I’ve picked a few of my favorites to comment about in this post. I promised to post these photos about eight years ago, so it’s nice to make good on that!
So things you’ll see: lots of photos of me alone, on snowy passes. This is somewhat atypical – even though there’s an underlying self-supportive lean to the Tour Divide, camaraderie while on the route is bound to happen – everyone is going the same place, the same way! Unfortunately, not for me: lonely days out there. Not by design; just by circumstance.
For months only a whimsical idea, the Loveland Pass to Guanella Pass Over Mountain Route has been fully realized. Starting in Georgetown, one pedals to Loveland Pass, breaks down their bike and portages over a string of high mountains on the Continental Divide, dropping down to Guanella Pass where the bike is reassembled to ride back down to Georgetown. A most absurd, postmodern “cycling” challenge, it felt also perfectly fitting in the social distancing Covid-19 zeitgeist to visit the mountains with all you need on your back; forgoing the usual car shuttle needed for two disparate starting points.
This Winter, I had MANY audacious mountain projects brewing in my head, but never had the chance to even write them down to share before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. I’ll get to sharing them soon, but it may take on a more hypothetical feeling than a schedule – even if it’s a best-case scenario, like my 2019 Project Dreamin’ list.
Extremely excited to announce that I’ve joined the La Sportiva Mountain Running Passion Team for 2020! My first LaSpor kicks were a pair of rock boots I bought in high school (closing in on “before you were born” territory for some of you…) at Prime Climb in Connecticut – “Tom” (and others) who worked at my town’s Youth Services department introduced us to Connecticut’s trap rock outdoors, and one of the first climbing gyms in the country indoors – their selfless volunteer work changed my life.
A few weeks ago, I returned to my bike from a grocery store to see that someone had stolen my beloved Magicshine Monteer 1400. A great light – and a great run for the light. Usually such accessories don’t last so long with me due to harsh use, rather than theft.
Segment #3 takes you from Guanella Pass, up and over Argentine Pass, and deposits you in Horseshoe Basin, to tackle Grays and Torreys from Grays’ South Ridge Route. Georgetown is used as a resupply point. Enjoy!