Tour of the Highest Hundred Week #5 Notes

The famous peanut butter, cake frosting, coconut oil and jelly burrito

Centennials Summited (6):

  • Dallas Peak
  • Teakettle Peak
  • Mt. Sneffels
  • Wetterhorn Peak
  • Uncompahgre Peak
  • Mt. Ouray

Total Mileage:

  • By foot: 41.1 miles, 17,815′ elevation gain
  • By bike: 249.1 miles, 27,561′ elevation gain
Continue reading…

Tour of the Highest Hundred Week #4 Notes

A Firey Jagged Mountain

Centennials Summited (13):

  • Pigeon Peak
  • Turret Peak
  • Jupiter Mountain
  • Windom Peak
  • Sunlight Peak
  • North Eolus
  • Eolus Peak
  • Jagged Mountain
  • Vestal Peak
  • Wilson Peak
  • Gladstone Peak
  • Mt. Wilson
  • El Diente

Total Mileage:

  • On foot: 98.1 miles, 42,073′ elevation gain
  • On bike: 42.7 miles, 5,342′ elevation gain
Continue reading…

Tour of the Highest Hundred Week #3 Notes

Sunset of Jones Peak

Centennials Summited (8):

  • Jones Peak
  • Half Peak
  • Handies Peak
  • Redcloud Peak
  • Sunshine Peak
  • UN 13832
  • UN 13811
  • Vermilion Peak

Total Mileage:

  • By foot: 63.2 miles, 21,631′ elevation gained
  • By bike: 72.2 miles, 7,636′ elevation gain
Continue reading…

Tour of the Highest Hundred Week #2 Notes

Crestones

Centennials Summited (11):

  • Mt. Adams
  • Kit Carson Peak
  • Challenger Peak
  • Columbia Point
  • Humboldt Peak
  • Crestone Needle
  • Crestone Peak
  • Phoenix Peak
  • San Luis Peak
  • Stewart Peak
  • Rio Grande Pyramid

Total Mileage:

  • By foot: 85.4 miles, 29,916′ elevation gained
  • By bike: 276.3 miles, 12,298′ elevation gained
Continue reading…

Chaffee County 390 Ramble: The Three Apostles, Huron, Missouri, Iowa, Emerald,

My time in Salida on tour soon came to an end, after a little time at the hostel with an honest to goodness shower. Time for me to travel north! Out of Salida, there’s some pretty awful highway riding to get directly to the next town, Buena Vista, and the day I set off saw me face a stiff headwind, that only got worse as I got closer and as a storm cell was moving from west to east. Frustrating!

I made it to Buena Vista, which I was going to only use as a top-off spot for food, etc – but my Brother was in town for Paddlefest, so I decided to linger a bit. After another partial day of rest, the weather turned much nicer, and I continued my ride to Chaffee County 390. The road out of BV North is dirt, and  follows an old railroad line complete with tunneled out sections of the hillside, making things quite fun. TONS of people were out for Paddlefest – or just the good weather – I’ve honestly never seen it so packed.

Continue reading…


Longs Peak November Duathlon: Trough Direct to SW Ridge

Slowly, I roll to the gate. The Park ranger sees me from afar and returns to me only a tired stare. He himself walks slowly to the entrance booth, not resting his gaze. I now roll towards the booth even slower. Nervous.  I feel as if I’m performing a border crossing, rather than just entering a National Park. The guard just continues his stare – his eyes looking right at mine; the rest of his visage saying absolutely nothing. I offer a hello, but get no reply. Meeting him at the booth, he continues his vacant look. Is he looking at me, or past me? I don’t know, but  I hand him the entrance fee I just made change for at the coffee shop in town that I stopped at to regain feeling in my hands and feet after making that chilly descent into Estes Park. Having climbed out of town, I’m much warmer now. Unseasonably warm. Finally,

“Oh. Day Pass. Map?”

I accept, and that’s my entire interaction with this guy. It’s also the first time I’ve ever paid for entrance into the Park in my 5+ years of visiting it. It feel almost wrong. Some things, I ponder, shouldn’t be bought.

Continue reading…


Sailing Against Prevailing Winds: Longs Peak in Winter Solo, by Bike and by Foot

I’m only in Allenspark, and the sun has already risen. I feel as if I’m very late to my own party. Allenspark is only seven miles away from the Longs Peak Trailhead – my riding destination, but as I summit the last punchy climb and await the downhill just beyond, I conclude that the downhill won’t give me the rest I’m hoping for. The winds are strong today – strong enough that I’m fighting to stay upright as I crest the hill, and belaboring with my never-ending pedaling to simply continue going forward while I start descending. These are the exact type of conditions that even the hard men that have established such challenges have tried to avoid, because it’s madness.

Continue reading…


Routes: The Stevens Gulch Traverse

stevens_gulch_pano
From right to left: Kelso Mt., Torreys Peak, Grays Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Edwards, and a few other bumps along the way.

stevens_gulch_traverse_map

Overview

The Front Range 14ers Grays and Torreys make an excellent beginner 14er hike – it was one of the first 14ers I ever did. Being so close to the Front Range Urban Corridor – less than an hour from Denver, it still affords some dramatic changes in environment, not the least because of the sweeping ridgeline going West to East to Northeast from Grays Peak, and ending essentially at I-70. When hiking up (or driving, I guess) up the beginning of Stevens Gulch, you can’t but feel that the world is closing in on you, and you’re now entering a different place altogether.

You may also, like me, have the urge to be on top of this ridge line. Not many obvious entrance points present themselves from the start of the Summer trail head to Grays Peak, to the summit of Grays Peak itself. The ridge is rocky and broken, with much rockfall danger. You could, and people have, find a weakness in the ridge to climb up, but I don’t suggest it. In this route, I outline what is sure to be a classic traverse over the entire Steven’s Gulch; bagging you two 14ers, a Class 3 ridge scramble, and at least 2 13ers – one of which (Mt. Edwards) is a Centennial. If that’s not enough, you’ll also go over a mountain that used to be labeled a 14er, McClellan Mountain – actually height: 13,587′ which faked out turn-of-the-century tourists!; as well as many smaller 12ers, in your hike to close out the loop.

Some stats of the route as I describe it:

  • 14.5 miles
  • 7,000 feet elevation gain/loss
  • mostly off-trail, w/Class 3 scrambling
  • no easy bailout point after Grays Peak
  • crampons/ice axe recommended until late in the summer season

This route is not to be underestimated,  it’s a requirement to get an alpine start, and to not be afraid to bail, if weather comes in (bailout points are noted, below). Be strong in your logistics game.

Continue reading…


2014 Bikepacking Year in Review @ Bikepackers Magazine


bikepacking_year_in_review.jpg
 

Thanks to Bikepackers Magazine for mentioning my Tour 14er super ride in their 2014 Year in Review! My thoughts usually span quite the spectrum. I remembering it wasn’t really all that long ago that I bought my first thrift store beater bike for < $15, and it didn’t take too long after that for me to wonder if I could ride it from Denver, to Boulder (A whole 30 miles).

Continue Reading...