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A summer of Colorado Traverses

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Jul 302010
A summer of Colorado Traverses

Colorado has 4 so-called Great Traverses: the Maroon Bells, check Little Bear to Blanca, Crestone Needle to Peak and the ridge connecting El Diente to Mt. Wilson. With the Bells completed a few years ago, this summer, I added two more to my list. Traverses are special climbs in that you usually climb to the summit of one peak and take a more or less direct route across a connecting ridge to another high peak. In these cases all the peaks are above 14,000′ or a 14er in Colorado parlance. They usually involved more difficult climbing moving into the high continue reading

A Windy Meeker

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Jul 132010
A Windy Meeker

Mt. Meeker is the poor cousin of mighty Longs Peak. Just missing out being a 14ers by a mere 9 feet, Meeker is the mountain you see from Denver, not Longs At 13,911′ is is one of the highest 13ers but is often passed by with climbers going for Longs, the highest in Rocky Mountain National Park, at 14,256′. I know this since I have passed it by while on my way to Longs on multiple occasions. So on this mid July day in 2010, I set out to pay homage to this peak, little did I know she would not make this a trivial “tag”.

Jul 032010
Finding Clark's Arrow on Longs Peak

Sometimes it is the little thing. I have climbed on Longs Peak perhaps 70 times in all kinds of weather by multiple routes. But one small goal has eluded me for years. You see, way back in the early days of Rocky Mountain National Park, an enterprising ranger named John Clark decided to help out his fellow climbers by painting an arrow directing climbers to the saddle between Longs Peak and Mt Meeker. The area is a rock filled gully and can be very confusing so some type of semi-permanent sign would have been useful. Of course today that would be illegal and considered graffiti!

Paying To Climb Colorado 14ers

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Jun 112010
Paying To Climb Colorado 14ers

There are 54 ‘official’ Colorado 14ers mountains rising above 14,000 feet and at least 300′ from an adjacent saddle. An estimated 500,000 people climb on 53 of the 14ers each year without fees or permits, today. Now, the U.S. Forest Service (NFS) is investigating charging for other 14ers starting with four highly popular 14ers in Southern Colorado. The primary issue land managers are struggling with is that many of the 14ers are being climbed so much that the trails are getting overused, scattered with trash, toilet paper and poop and all the other problems that comes with a lot of use.

Getting the Little Bear – Colorado 14er

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May 312010
Getting the Little Bear - Colorado 14er

Little Bear is known throughout Colorado as one tough class 4 climb. In the summer, people have been injured and even killed from rock fall. In the winter it is a tough and steep snow climb. I know, I have done both but only succeeded once. This late May, I made it to the summit on a perfect day. The snow conditions were right between too much and too little. With mild temps, blue skies and perfect snow, I left my camp at 4:00Am and 3 hours later stood on top.

Mar 292010
summer Climbing Plans

It is spring time in Colorado as evidence by deep snowfall that melts away the next day. So it is time to finalize my plans for summer climbs. My priority is to compete the Colorado 14ers. But also, I want to grab a few California 14ers and perhaps something big in the Fall. I have climbed 48 of the 54 Colorado 14ers. But of course the list is actually 58 so I need to climb 58! Confused? Well here is the explanation from my 14ers page

Mar 142010
Breaking Trail at 14K on Longs Peak

Climbing Colorado 14ers in the winter is always a crap shoot. If the winds don’t get you, then the deep snow will. Recently I met up with a group assembled from the web community to climb the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak at 14, 256′. The plan was to meet up with another climber visiting from out of state. He was motivated to claim a winter summit of Longs. However, when we met up with him, he was suffering from mild AMS and smartly declined to go up. So our team of six made the continue reading

My Favorite Colorado 14er

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Mar 122010
My Favorite Colorado 14er

There are 58 Colorado peaks over 14, and 000′, order so to pick one as your favorite is tough. I have climbed 51 of them so this may be a tad premature but here I go anyway. For years, I told anyone who asked that Longs Peak was my favorite. It had everything a mountain could offer: a variety of routes from easy to impossible, unpredictable weather, and amazing views. Longs will always be close to the top of my list. But in the late summer of 2009, another climb took the top spot – Capital Peak in the Elk continue reading

Feb 162010
A Colorado Weekend: Ice and 14ers

Over President’s day weekend in mid February 2010, capsule I joined some friends for some ice climbing in world famous Ouray Ice Park. It was a great time with perfect weather and nice ice. Ouray is famous for man-made ice and the annual Ice Festival held every January. Ouray is a small mountain town in Southwest Colorado. A longtime favorite summer destination, it is nestled in the high Rocky Mountains. Ouray, once a mining town, might have disappeared or slowly dwindled away if an accident had not occurred. A leak in the fresh water pipe running along the top of continue reading