Mount Massive (14,421′) peaks! Shot-gun peak bagging.

Mount Massive is officially a single 14er, but it is truly a massive mountain, made up of multiple peaks all above fourteen thousand feet. It is the 2nd highest peak in Colorado (behind Mount Elbert (14,433′) – summited yesterday) and 3rd highest peak in the contiguous 48 states (behind Mount Whitney (14,505′), summit during PCT 2015 – day 37). This is truly a beast.

Mount Massive (14,421′)
Massive Green (14,300′)
North Massive (14,340′)
South Massive (14,132′)

  • Sawatch Range
  • 11.5 miles
  • 5,500 feet elevation gain
  • North Halfmoon Creek TH – Southwest Slopes Route and traverse across
  • Class 2, Exposure 2 (and higher on traverse sections)


Yesterday I realized I was doubly fortunate to have my friend Blake join me for some hiking. Not to mention a side note about how badass he is. I found out Mount Elbert was his first major hike since a bad car wreck when he was hit by a drunk driver. In all his generosity he drove me out to the North Halfmoon Trailhead last night to camp so I could hike up a shorter route for an out-and-back traverse of the summits. And wow was that a good thing after finishing today!

I hit the trailhead at 4am and quickly made it to the trail junction where Mount Massive lies straight up in steep, boulder field switch-backs, and the N. Halfmoon Lakes continue on a gradual trail up the booming river. Almost right after heading up, I was startled by a jack rabbit who kept running up the trail in front of me, then I would catch up, then it would run up, and then I would catch it. It does’t sound as funny now, but I really felt like that rabbit probably thought I was chasing it down or something, like I could predict its getaway path.

As I noted earlier in the week, I am not really in peak physical condition, and I really felt that by the end of today. It felt like I took forever to make the saddle. And when I reached the top, somehow already filled with a group of young children wearing climbing helmets and having a reflection talk with their group leaders, I realized that was actually just a false summit. I quickly made it to the true summit but could still hear them chatting away, so I continued forward along the ridge line. My goal today was to traverse across all the peaks. There was a nice and easy down trail and climb back up Massive Green (14,300′). I was feeling good and made it across so quickly that I decided to continue all the way and then work my way back more slowly, enjoying the peaks as I returned. Leaving Massive Green, however, I realized I was going across a tricky, maybe class 3, ridge scramble. I think the traverse would have been super easy on the north side, it appeared to be nice easy scree, except it was still snow covered with a super slick hard shell of alpine ice. Instead I worked my way along the south face, which wasn’t super difficult, but was definitely dicey in a few places. Plus, here is where I felt my energy flagging from the week of hiking, of course. It was slow progress, but I eventually made it to North Massive (14,340′). I didn’t realize this until later, but I had meant to continue all the way to the “Far Northwest Massive,” but some confusion on my end with counting peaks leaves me one peak shy. I guess I will just have to summit Massive again someday to claim that final knob!

Anyway, that wasn’t the end of my efforts, you see. I then had to traverse back. The ridge the second time was a bit faster, but then all those easy downslope sections were steep straight up jaunts on the return. I should have eaten more snacks or something, but altitude really suppresses my hunger, so I ate some fruit snacks, sucked down water, and continued ahead. I did catch some great views back at Mount Massive along the ridge line from North Massive.

When I made it back to Mount Massive (14,421′), I was privy to the company of a marmot, posing for me on the highest rock at the peak. It so nicely stood its ground, preventing me from investigating the highest rocks as I began to search for the USGS marker. After literally 15-20 minutes of searching, I couldn’t find it. As a geologist, I feel like finding the markers is really important, but I searched everywhere. I crawled around the edges, tried flipping over a couple rocks. Nowhere! Giving up, I headed back to the false summit to prep for my last trek to South Massive. While eating a snack, two guys came up at the same time, both Coloradans. One had apparently been on Mount Elbert yesterday also. The other, a guy in his mid-to-late fifties, was summiting Massive for the ninth time, and was on his way over to Elbert for a second hike up. He has summited over 30 fourteeners for over 350 total 14er summits! Woah! I thought this guy was amazing! He claimed 14ers were nothing compared to me hiking the CT and PCT. We agreed to disagree. Since he had been up before, I instantly questioned his knowledge of the USGS marker. He claimed to know where it is, so I followed him back up to the peak. After an additional 10 minutes of chatting and searching, we both gave up, defeated. I guess it’s ok since I will have to come back some day for the missed peak to the farthest northwest.

Officially heading down to the south saddle to go up South Massive, I met a bunch of people finally on their ways up. At the lower saddle, I met these three Minnesotan guys out climbing 14ers for vacation. I chatted awhile and then set off. They continued up toward the main peak. I quickly reached what I decided was the highest spot on South Massive (14,132′). It felt like the easiest part of the whole hike so far. And then I headed back down the to lower saddle where I had met the Minnesotans. On my way up I eye-balled that saddle as a possible side trail to reconnect to the Southwest Slopes route to avoid climbing back up the ridge below the main peak. Unfortunately, in an effort to be a good trail visitor, I saw a sign that said that route was closed for restoration. Now I had been blazing my own trail the whole day pretty much, sticking to the main ridge line as much as possible, but I am also astutely conscious of the fact that this is a fragile alpine tundra. I always try to stay on the rocks as much as possible to prevent crushing of the thin vegetation that can take decades to recover. But when an active sign says not to go, I feel an overwhelming urge to obey the rules. So I climbed back up the ridge to the upper saddle. And to my surprise, I ran into the three Minnesotans. They were as surprised to see me as I was to see them. They had watched me head up the other peak, and I felt like I was moving so painfully slow, but I guess I was still moving pretty well. I passed them and made it to my trail connection, promised not to pass them again (they were feeling pretty sad about their pace to be beaten to the top twice, haha), and finally was on the route back down.

The route down was better than moving up, but it was still a tough trail. This mountain doesn’t have the jagged ridges of some of Colorado’s other peaks, but this beast still demands respect. I count myself as a fortunate person to have seen the views from the top. And I am pretty sure these views were actually better than the views from Elbert. Not to mention that the valley down to Halfmoon Creek might be one of the most beautiful approach trails I have ever had for a 14er. Granted these mountains aren’t necessarily known for beauty as they are for challenge. I think many would argue that there are a lot nicer hikes on 13ers than many of the 14ers. But I was awed by the views from Mount Massive.

This was my final day for adventures. I really wanted to pack my time in CO with non-stop excitement, and it has been one challenging week. My legs still feel good, and I am exhausted, filthy, and smelly. I feel so rejuvenated! I needed a little time in the mountains to recoup and refresh my brain. And now I am ready to spend the rest of the weekend celebrating the Ellerbluth wedding in Grand Lake! #LuthOrDare

Mount Elbert (14,433′) and South Elbert (14,134′) and Mount Cosgriff (13,588′). Colorado’s highest peak.

Today feels like a bigger success because I not only added two more 14er summits to my list, I also get Colorado’s highest peak. As you may remember, I am not only striding for all of Colorado’s 14ers (link here), including the unofficial peaks, but also the 50 US high Points (link here). And wow, was this worth the trek up! The views are incredible!


Summary of Mount Elbert, South Elbert, and Mt. Cosgriff:

  • 14,433 feet Mount Elbert – 14,134 feet South Elbert – 13,588 feet Mount Cosgriff
  • 10.5 miles
  • 4,300 ft elevation gain
  • Sawatch Range
  • Loop from Mt Elbert TH – up old mine road and down East Ridge route
  • Class 2, Exposure 1


This was my target hike during my trip to Colorado. I really want to finish the CO 14ers so I can start on the CO 13ers. But as I am in California the next three years, I also want to start looking in my own neighborhood for great places to trek about. So I need to be deliberate about the hikes I make time for.

But first, a recap of yesterday. I woke up at 3am to thunder and rain. I checked the weather forecast and it said rain until 5am. So I went back to sleep. At 5am I checked the forecast again, it said no more rain or lightening until 10am. I thought maybe I should go for it. I contemplated hiking La Plata, the shortest of the remaining three on my agenda. But then it started raining lightly again, so I stalled. I spent a solid hour looking up all the forecast websites I could think of. They all said the same thing. I felt really ready to get up and go, but I also felt really ready to fall back to sleep. So I did what any self-respecting 28 year old would do when faced with risking life or sleeping in, I called my mom. I think subconsciously I knew she would agree I shouldn’t try a summit, but I needed to know that I wasn’t only being a lazy ass. She suggested I could start up one knowing I would turn back after an hour or two. That sounded like a tease of a summit, so instead I headed into Leadville for the day.

I went to City on a Hill Coffee and Espresso. This place was bomb! I ate a Southwest Burrito with spicy salsa and a hot drink. Amazing! Especially since my tent, the least water resistant tent still in use in the modern era, soaked through to almost everything roughing the floor. This is to say my jackets nicely stowed in a duffle by my bed to prevent dew collection, resulted in lighted wetted fabrics, and the foot of my bed had completed soaked through the blanket, first 3″ thick sleeping bag, and the outer fabric on the second 3″ sleeping bag. Considering this tent probably hasn’t been used since I last went to Girl Scout camp in middle school, I can’t really complain. I also don’t know if I can justify buying my parents a new tent when it would likely be an object sitting around for the next time I am too cheap to buy a checked bag.

Anyhow, I spent a good chunk of the morning working and finishing up a few things that had immediate deadlines, and just enjoyed the relaxation. When I felt like it was time to stop fiddling around on my computer, about 3pm, I walked over to High Mountain Pies and ate a good portion of a 12″ San Juan pizza. I drank a First Cast IPA, brewed by Elevation Beer Co. out of Poncha Springs, CO. Oh how I miss the abundance of IPA beer from Colorado microbreweries!! And then my friend, Blake, drove out with his dog, Jolene, to join me for the next day. This brings me back to today.

We woke up early but got a bit of a late start, 5am, because Blake has a fancy 4runner which we drove up the trailhead road to cut off 4 miles. This was a great choice, and really fun to take on a rough road knowing we could pretty much cross anything. This included a fast-moving river that crossed the road, which would have been much trickier to cross on foot. Once we reached the trailhead, we walked down the Continental Divide Trail to connect with an old mining road that switch-backed up the front of Mount Cosgriff. We weren’t quite up the first peak when the sun first peak above the horizon, but we definitely had a phenomenal view. Once at the mine, we picked our own trail up the rest of the slope to the top of Cosgriff. I recently decided to add Colorado’s 13ers to my ambitions, so I am going to start documenting those lesser known summits.

We topped Cosgriff, then pushed on for South Elbert peak. This is one of those unofficial 14ers, but it was really important to me to reach its summit. It was great to have Blake and Jolene join this hike. Jolene, a large Bloodhound mix, kept things interesting. I absolutely love dogs, and hope my sister or brother have a pet dog some day so I can be the best aunt to it. Anyway, on the far side of South Elbert we crossed paths with a group of camp counselors on their way up. We had finally made it to the main trail, and the final slog to the top. We hadn’t really seen people or heard them until reaching that saddle. But at the top of Mount Elbert, there were huge crowds of people. I am discovering more and more that I really don’t appreciate crowds that much, I also don’t enjoy the summits as much as I enjoy the challenges of getting there. So in many ways this was a moment of deep patience for me, as I tried my hardest to ignore everyone and pretend that I might have been up there alone. It didn’t really work, but I enjoyed the views anyway. Being Colorado’s highest peak, Elbert has some stunning views. I particularly enjoyed staring across the valley at Mount Massive, my mission for tomorrow!

After a while we headed down the East Ridge back to the Mt Elbert Trailhead. The trail was so nice I was able to temporarily feel like I had my hiker legs and charged down without much effort. I realize that I really need to put regular hiking and running back into my daily life. It is hard to be a desk jockey in grad school…

Final recap: great company with Blake and Jolene, stunning scenery, perfect weather, and beautiful sunrise shots. Today was a fantastic day!

Pikes Peak! The iconic 14er experience.

Pikes Peak receives a lot of mixed feelings I would say. At least from my experience. You see, Colorado is famous for its multitude of mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. I too am a follower of the idea that Colorado, and all the Rockies states, are superior to the other states because they have such magnificent mountains. So naturally they are a checklist item for tourists to partake in the Colorado experience. The problem is that climbing a 14er is a pretty big deal. And if you have no experience with altitude, it could literally be life-threatening. To circumvent that, two of the 53 official fourteeners can be driven to the top. Mount Evans and Pikes Peak. I climbed Evans back in 2013 as training for the Colorado Trail. I remember not realizing there would be a road to the top. I was the first person in the Bierstadt parking lot one cold 4AM morning. I remember crossing the Sawtooth Ridge and suddenly feeling no longer alone but unable to see any other people around. And then I approached Mount Evans, and was suddenly slapped in the face with all this noise and movement and commotion. People were driving to the top and not even hiking that last little mound to the true summit. It was surreal. I was overwhelmed and felt cheated of my solitude. And since then, when I mention that I have been to the top of Mount Evans, there is always an unknown asterisk involved where I feel obligated to say that yes, I actually hiked it. So I thought about all of this as I decided I needed to take advantage of my visit with Elise and Phil to finally bag this peak. And since Pike’s Peak is smack at the edge of the Front Range, the tourist factor is doubled. But I have a goal to climb them all, so why not now? The difference is that the road up Pikes Peak parallels the trail in the last couple miles. Psychologically that fact can really drain your energy in those final stret

Summary of Pikes Peak:

  • Summit: 14,110 feet
  • Front Range
  • 14.4 miles
  • 4,436 feet of elevation gain
  • Crags Campground TH – Northwest Slopes route
  • Class 2, exposure 1

I decided that since I was in the Springs anyways, I should take advantage of finally checking Pikes Peak off my list. I think a lot of people hit the Front Range peaks early as they are so close, but I definitely preferred to drive into the mountains more while I lived in Colorado. I like the solidarity.

Last night I experienced true insomnia for the first time. I was not restless (no more than usual at least), I was tired, I was cozy in the back seat, but I could not fall asleep. The moon was super bright and I laid awake most of the night. I finally fell asleep in the wee hours, so I gave myself an extra 15 minutes of snooze time before getting up.

I was on trail by 4am. I moved pretty slow at first because I brilliantly forgot to change my light batteries, so occasionally had to shine my phone battery to decide a route and blinded myself each time in the process. When I finally hit the tree-line, there was enough light from the sunrise that I missed while dilly-dallying on the west side of the saddle, to easily move ahead. However, that is also when the trail is basically straight up. I felt like I was moving incredibly slow. But I reached the summit of Pikes Peak at 7:30am. I saw a guy returning to the parking lot right as I started, but I never saw him again, so I can only imagine he was camped out and leaving before sunrise for some reason. Besides him, I never saw another human on my way up. I was the first human at the summit, but I was beat there by a herd of 12 bighorn sheep. I wandered around the top for about 25 minutes because there is a lot to see up there. I didn’t know what to expect the cog railroad to look like, but there is a viewing platform, a large summit sign, and enormous building that I checked out. I also snapped a few shots of the sheep, who scared the breath out of me as I rounded the main building and sent a few bolting. They were all up there nosing around in the back of the garbage truck. As I was preparing to leave, a ranger drove up. She was very nice and saved my summit photo by showing me where the USGS marker was hidden. I had walked right by because it wasn’t really the highest area to my mind’s eye, plus those bighorn sheep distracted me.

Anyway, I headed back down just before 8am and reached my vehicle just after 10am. At just over 6 hours, and 5.5 hours of “moving” time, I feel pretty good about my effort.

I crammed my face full of snacks and hit the road for Twin Lakes. That last drop down from the front range looking across at the Sawatch is such a beautiful view! As I drove in I saw a CT hiker walking the road, I picked her up and took her to Twin Lakes. There I found a whole slew of CT’ers. I barely saw any CT hikers when I hiked it back in 2013, so I didn’t think they could all be in one place like that! Anyway, I had been hoping to find CT and CDT hikers. I had cold soda and a variety of candy to deal out. I gave another hiker a ride and then sat at a spot where the CT crosses a dirt road at the far end of the lake. None of those hikers had stopped in town and were so delighted for a cold drink. It feels really good to mingle with hikers, even if I am not actually on trail with them. And it feels great to provide some magic!

I set up camp at Lakeview Campground and have a stunning view down on the lakes shadowed by the Collegiate Peaks. Plus the CT runs about ten feet below, so I am hoping to provide more treats the next couple days. Also, I am in a ridiculous camp setup. Since I flew in, I borrowed a vehicle and all their 1980 gear. So I have a 7-foot tall tent that isn’t waterproof, two big beefy sleeping bags that roll up to the size of pony kegs, and so much space I set up a chair next to my bed inside the tent. I literally had to hang a towel across the ceiling because the afternoon rains were dripping through while I was lounging and working on my computer. My final glamorous asset is a cooler. Boom! I will likely drive into Leadville each evening to work on my computer, but I am going super cheap for breaky, lunch, and snacks. And I will have the luxury of instant ‘cold’ food! It doesn’t get any more luxurious than the plush life of car camping!

Upcoming Colorado adventures in July!

I will be heading to Kansas in early July to celebrate my father’s retirement. One week later I will be in Colorado to celebrate the wedding of my two friends, Becca and Evan. I am so excited to be present for both of these events. And the timing was perfect to afford me some extra time in Colorado to play in the mountains!

I have an ambitious plan for about five days that need to be split between adventures and research. Yes, that pesky PhD degree does still need my devotion. So my tentative agenda, weather permitting, is as follows:

  1. Visit my good friends Elise and Phil in Colorado Springs. Then climb the Incline the next day with Elise as an easy acclimation hike. Let my body adjust to the time change and early wake up.
  2. Camp at the base of Pikes Peak for an early summit of that fourteener the next morning. Hoping that despite the summer season, my week day hikes will remain relatively quiet!
  3. Post up camping in the greater Leadville area. Summit Mount Elbert and South Elbert. Then take on Mount Massive, South Massive, Massive Green, and North Massive. And hit La Plata Peak on the last day.
  4. Drive over to Grand Lake for the wedding celebration of the amazing Becca and Evan. Gather with good people, eat food, relax in the beautiful mountain town, and celebrate.
  5. A final night in Boulder with Andrew and Emma, before flying back to California.

It will be an action-packed, whirlwind of a trip. But I am so excited for celebrations, catching up with friends, and getting outside!


If you are around and want to meet up, let me know! I won’t have a lot of free time, but am always down to have adventure partners to meet up with!

Mount Shavano (14,229′) – Tabeguache Peak (14,155′)

Mount Shavano (14,229′) – Tabeguache Peak (14,155′)

  • Class 2
  • Exposure 2
  • 5,600 ft elevation gain
  • 11.25 miles
  • Sawatch Range
  • Closest town: Poncha Springs
  • Shavano/Tabeguache TH – Blank Gulch Route
  • Shavano East Slope, saddle to Tabeguache, return via Shavano East Slope

I squeezed this hike in during a 24 hour free period from work. That required me to make the drive both to and from Salida all in one day. I left the trailhead at 7 AM, snaked through the forest, and reached the Mount Shavano summit around 9:45 AM. Despite wanting a quick rest there were far too many children around, a result of such a late start time, so I headed for Tabeguache Peak (pronounced tab-a-watch by locals and taybwatch in the Ute language) and reached that summit around 10:45 AM. The crowd was far smaller over there. I snapped the compulsory photos of the surrounding landscape and finally rested before heading back. I should mention that the return trip involves reascending Mount Shavano before an all downhill marathon back through the forest. Luckily there is only a mile or so between the peaks.

I had the perfect weather. With my start a full hour after sunrise, I hardly needed any warm layers. The sky was perfectly clear and the winds never made it up to the forecast of 25 mph. In fact, the light cloud cover never rolled in until I was practically back to my car this afternoon. Something about rain on the high plains really tugs at my heartstrings. Big, full raindrops plopping onto the desiccated earth; dark, ominous clouds looming above; and the sun still in full view, warming the day.

Anyways, I am delighted to say that my ability to spot the accurate trail among the various offshoots has become markedly better. I am picking up on the subtle differences of an actual path, a favored photo op and resting spot, and short cuts to no where that intrepid hikers love to leave in their wakes. I also wore running shoes instead of my hiking boots. What a complete difference that made. My knees and hips required almost no recovery time. Though my ankles definitely felt the increased use.

I met two CT thru hikers on my way out. It is hard not to get overexcited when I have no base experience to compare the upcoming adventure to. I realize that the CT is a mere 500 miles compared to the more extensive thru hikes. Most section hikers take on distances greater than the CT, but my capriciousness makes it difficult to downplay these sudden spurts of enthusiasm. I also randomly ran into a college roommate while leaving the TH for my vehicle. She was on her way in for some exploring. Oh the coincidences of life 🙂

Grays Peak (14,270′) – Torreys Peak (14,267′)

Grays Peak (14,270′) – Torreys Peak (14,267′)

  • Class 2
  • Exposure 1
  • 3,600 ft elevation gain
  • 8.4 miles
  • Front Range
  • Closest town: Silver Plume/Georgetown/Idaho Springs
  • Grays Peak TH – Stevens Gulch Route
  • Grays East Slope, saddle, Torreys South slope
After Bierstadt and Evans the day before, I spent the afternoon/evening recovering with lots of cold water and a beer or two in Georgetown. In hopes that a big, hearty meal would store energy for the next day, I ate a proper supper in Georgetown before heading to the Grays Peak trailhead to camp for the night. The next morning I allowed myself some extra sleep after being woken by a sunrise seeking group heading up at 3:30 AM. I hit the trail at 5:50 AM, quickly passed a couple small groups of people along the way. The start out felt quite brutal. My body wanted to lie down and sleep longer. I could tell I was dehydrated with fingers slightly swollen and cheeks still feeling the burn of wind from the previous day. I snarfed down some snacks with extra amounts of water and continued forward for a 7:50 AM summit of Grays Peak. Despite the “early” hours, the warm sun was already shining brightly with just the right amount of wind to dry the sweat beading on my forehead. I had the peak all to myself and was highly encouraged that I made it up faster than the other groups despite my unsteady strength. With renewed vigor I quickly headed down the saddle over to Torreys Peak and reached the top at 8:40 AM. At the top I met three other hikers and their two dogs. I sat and chatted with them a bit to discover one guy and his dog will be on the Colorado Trail a week or two before me. I am to look out for Sticks and Paws in the registries. I am completely enthralled when someone readily offers advice and encouragement for my upcoming jaunt along the CT. Conversation was great, but I was ready to head down and be on my way. I bid farewell to the group and set out for a strong finish back to the trailhead at 9:30 AM. On my way back I was surprised by how many people were on their way up. I am pleased with my decisions to make earlier than later ascents. I left the trailhead with maybe four vehicles in the parking lot yet returned to one so full the cars had spilled out along the access road. I enjoyed meeting the small groups in the morning, but sharing the summit with a dozen people is not nearly as appealing. I will make not to continue early mornings with a goal to hit a few peaks for sunrise shots.
Eight 14ers completed. I feel pretty accomplished in my physical training. The back to back hiking days were a brilliant idea to fast track my preparation for conceptualizing what twenty-odd days of hiking in a row will feel like. I want a concise and ultralight pack, lots of thoughtfully prepared food, a brisk pace, and lots of beautiful scenery. I feel very confidant that over the next weeks I will easily be able to guarantee all of those desires.

Mount Bierstadt (14,060′) – Mount Evans (14,264′)

Mount Bierstadt (14,060′) – Mount Evans (14,264′)
  • Class 3
  • Exposure 3
  • 4,300 ft elevation gain
  • 11.3 miles
  • Front Range
  • Closest town: Georgetown/Idaho Springs
  • Guanella Pass TH – Guanella Pass to Sawtooth Ridge
  • Bierstadt west slope, Sawtooth Ridge traverse, Evans west ridge, return via gully to Guanella Pass

Drove from Denver this morning, on the trail at 5:30 AM, Mount Bierstadt summit at 7:30 AM, far side of Sawtooth Ridge at 9 AM, Mount Evans summit at 10:30 AM, and back to my vehicle at 12:30 PM. A 7 hour loop, which my mapping app claims only 5 hours are actual moving time. So I need to work on speed and endurance haha.

Today was an adventure. I turned a 10.25 mile trail with 3,800 feet elevation gain into an 11.3 mile route with 4,300 feet elevation gain. How or why you may ask… Because the only consistent part of today is that I was never on-trail. With my impeccable attention span and focus, I managed to get off track along every segment of the route. And I lost my favorite hat in the gulley on the way down. The exciting part about today are that my camera battery was fully charged and my phone didn’t die before mapping the route. Not to mention that I now have two more 14ers under my belt with two more planned for tomorrow. I am definitely a bit sore in the feet and knees, so tomorrow will be the real test of endurance. My hiking/camping knowledge is coming back quickly and I am quite enjoying the use of 14ers for Colorado Trail training and reconnaissance. Lessons learned today: I possibly need to reevaluate my hiking shoes, I should give thoughtful consideration to hiking poles for the Rocky Mountains, always properly secure gear to pack, and I need to work on more clothing/layering combinations as I overheat quickly allowing cold wind on damp clothes. In all, my gear selections need serious evaluation and refining.

Mount Democrat (14,148′) – Mount Cameron (14,238′) – Mount Lincoln (14,286′) – Mount Bross (14,172′)

Mount Democrat (14,148′) – Mount Cameron (14,238′) – Mount Lincoln (14,286′) – Mount Bross (14,172′)

  • Class 2
  • Exposure 2
  • 3,700 ft elevation gain
  • 7.25 miles
  • Mosquito Range
  • Closest town: Alma
  • Kite Lake TH – Kite Lake Route
My first go at the Colorado 14ers, bagged four in one day. Despite this loop being considered extremely easy, I still feel quite accomplished. It was also the perfect way to ignite my motivation to start training for the Colorado Trail. Photographs to accompany soon.
I drove from Denver that morning, was on the trailhead by 6 AM, knocked out the peaks in the order above, and made it back to my car by 11 AM. After perusing other hiking accounts for summiting, it is apparently customary to have summit times and distances. I attempted to map the hike with my running app, but it gave out or lost signal 2/3 of the way through. Next time I will try to have better documentation. I also caused a blunder of my own by not charging my camera battery. It of course died at the top of Mount Cameron. I used my phone at Mount Lincoln, but it stopped working on the saddle to Mount Bross. I did have a backup pocket camera but left it on the front passenger seat in the vehicle. C’est la vie. I am sure to have more experiences in kind the first couple times out until I remember my hiking legs. 🙂
I planned out a few grouped 14ers I would like to accomplish this summer. They can be found on my Colorado 14ers page.