Note: this list isn’t be any means complete, but I thought it would be useful to list past trips, in order to find more resources about the route. If you would like your trip add/removed, please contact me.

First Known Attempt: Bill Arnold, Lester Michel, Jim Michel

According to member gore galore, the first attempt of the Sangre de Cristo Range was done in 1961 from Poncha Pass on August 19, 1961, with the goal of La Veta Pass by Bill Arnold, Lester Michel, and Jim Michel. They made it to Music Pass. This was before the range was even mapped/surveyed out!

Brendan Leonard and Jim Harris

Brendan Leonard and Jim Harris, Cottonwood Peak

The first time I ever heard of anyone trying to link the Full Sangre de Cristo Range was when reading about Brendan Leonard‘s and Jim Harris‘s trip going North to South, starting in Salida in 2013. Read their story in Backpacker (mirror in semi-rad) Brendan writes about trying to be the first to attempt doing the full range. After ten days, they bailed off of California Peak due to torrential downpours – the same weather system that caused massive flooding here in Boulder, CO.

Cam Honan

Cam walking across the Great Sand Dunes National Park

In 2016, Cam Honan did a variation of this route (his trip report is here) – I don’t know his exact route, but I believe he dropped off the ridgeline near Milwaukee Peak, then traveled to the base of the range on the west side and into/across the Grand Sand Dunes National Park, before re-ascending to the ridge. I’d love to see a GPX. ~8 days. Not quite sure of the style, but he notes that Paul Mags joined him for the last push to Ellingwood/Blanca Peak. I don’t believe the Blanca/Little Bear Traverse was done.

Nick Clark and Cam Cross

Cam Cross, photo by Nick Clark

In 2018 Nick Clark and Cam Cross completed the first (known/documented) traverse from Lake Como, to the TH for Methodist Mountain (starting with Little Bear Peak, and doing the Little Bear/Blanca traverse) staying pretty much on the ridgeline the entire time (except to source water), in about four days, 11 hours. Their trip report is worth a read.

They noted having a few food/water caches along the way. Researching their track, it does seem they missed a few minor peaks, but stayed generally on the very crest of the spine of the mountains, including the two 14er traverses. Nick describes their line as such:

hike, climb and maybe jog a little from Lake Como to Methodist Mountain in as expeditious a manner as possible, while staying on the range’s central ridge for as much of the route as feasible and/or practical.

Among other things, Nick writes about terrible blowdown in some areas below treeline, highlighting that the cruxes aren’t just what’s found on the high peaks and knife edge ridgelines.

John Paul Ogden, Bill Hilty, June 2020

John’s and Bill’s trip took ~11 days. John has his trip saved in Strava.

Josh Jespersen, Rick Schuler, Spring 2019 (?)

Josh and Rick managed to tour the ridge on splitboards. I don’t know the exact line they took, as I assume the ridge was toured in some parts, couloirs were ridden down, then faces were climbed back up (would be very interesting to see the actual route!).

Hannah Green, 2022

Hannah recounts her adventure completing the line in her iRunFar article.

Photo by Hannah Green
Photo by Hannah Green