My Five Favorite Trips of 2021

Slaughterhouse Gulch

2021 was a tough year to get through – but I tried to make the best of it! Long, self-contained adventures are already my main jam, so it was easy to adapt to the topology of 2021. Here’s some of the favorite trips I took out in Colorado. I took a TON of footage this year, and am still editing down a lot of my adventures – if you haven’t already, subscribe to my Youtube channel to get notice of when those videos premiere!

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Longs Peak Duathlon: Northwest Gully

Aspens Leaves and the La Sportiva Blizzard GTX

A good trip to Longs Neníisótoyóú’u on Columbus Indigenous Peoples Day. Left around 3:30am feeling fairly languid, but psyched enough to push up James Canyon/Overland Rd. (St. Vrain is essentially closed to bikes for construction). It’s a steeper route with more elevation gain, but it’s also actually shorter by a few miles. It’s also quieter – and there’s a few miles of well-sealed gravel at the top, what’s not to like?

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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.

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