Archive for August, 2014

Mountaineering – Huron Peak (14,003 ft)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Huron Peak Victory Shot

On Saturday, Crystal, Jen, Duke the dog, and I piled into the Subaru. Our destination was Huron Peak. Our plan was to car camp at the trail head on Saturday night. Starting at oh-dark-thirty would give us the best chance to make the summit.

Huron Peak Summit Panorama South
According to Mr. Dziezynski, “Huron is a classic climb on a picture-perfect mountain! This 14er may be the most beautiful hike in the Sawatch Range, with excellent views from the summit pyramid.”

Crystal at 13,000 ft on Huron Peak

It is for this exact reason, I selected Huron Peak as our destination. If successful, it would be Crystal’s first 14er, so I wanted her to be rewarded with excellent views. Also, Jen and her doggy Duke were there with us, so I wanted to pick a mountain with a clean, easy to navigate trail.

Starting in the dark, I wondered if the weather would comply…I dearly hoped so!


Trail Running – My Sawatch Sufferfest – 4 Mountains in a Day

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Smiles on Mount Belford
Climbergirl in the middle of her Sufferfest

Doug Ends His Sawatch Sufferfest
Doug at the end of his Sufferfest

On Saturday, Doug and I decided to tackle a conglomerate of mountains in the Sawatch range. There happen to be 5 co-located mountains, which are all centennials (among the top 100 highest peaks in Colorado). Many people hike 2 of them in a day, fewer will do 3 in a day, and even fewer will do 4 or more. Since Doug and I are both training for ultras, we set out to do all 5 in a day.

My Sawatch Sufferfest Topo Map
My game plan was to do the loop and return to the Missouri Trailhead. At the end of the loop, Doug would drop off the side of Oxford and connect with the Colorado Trail, run for an additional 8 miles, and head back to the road. I would drive the truck from Missouri TH to the CO TH and pick him up, saving him a 5 mile gravel road run at the end of the day.

If everything worked out right, I wouldn’t have to wait for him and we’d both have a great day of training.


Mountaineering – Wilson Peak (14,017 ft)

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Success on Wilson Peak
Clare, Mark, and Seth on the summit of Wilson Peak

Clare Scrambling on Wilson to Gladstone Ridge
Scrambling on the North Ridge of Wilson Peak. Gladstone and Mt. Wilson are behind me.

After climbing Dallas Peak, Seth, Mark, and I were hungry for more rock scrambling. There are so many mountains in the San Juan Range, one could spend hours deliberating…

However, having done Gladstone less than a week prior, and spending a couple days staring at Wilson Peak from the south side, I proposed we do Wilson Peak. Lucky for me, the guys were on board!

Strategically, by bagging Wilson Peak now, the next time I was in the area I could focus on El Diente and Mt. Wilson without having to cram all three peaks into one long weekend.


Mountaineering – Dallas Peak (13,809 ft)

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Blue Lake and Mt. Sneffels Panorama from Dallas Peak
Blue Lake and Mt. Sneffels Panorama From North Side of Dallas Peak

Fortunately, it did not rain over the course of the night. Maybe we would have dry 5th class climbing!

Dallas Peak Topo Map With Waypoints
Our Route with Waypoints

At 4am, Uwe made the rounds, making sure everybody was awake. In complete darkness, I emerged from the tent. Everybody was ready and excited. Would this be our lucky day?


Mountaineering – Backpack To Base of Dallas Peak

Friday, August 1st, 2014

High Camp Below Dallas Peak at 11,340 ft
My Cozy Campsite, at 11,340 ft

Dallas Peak Shrouded in Clouds
View of Dallas Peak from Camp

I am a planner. I spend countless hours pouring over details; analyzing and collecting data about mountains. Executing a carefully planned trip to the point of success is a thrill like none other!

However, this summer, I missed an opportunity, big-time!

I was in Ouray and Telluride 7/23-7/27. Then, I drove home to Denver. Five days later, I returned to the San Juans! Why didn’t I just *stay down there*? To suffer an extra 16 hours driving in the car; when I could have been climbing mountains instead…HOW could I miss something so obvious???