Summits: 1340

July 11 – 25 » Colorado Peakfest

I’ve been to Colorado a few times before, but it’s always been in the winter. Ice climbing a few times in Ouray and a winter ascent of Mt. Elbert. I’ve had a dedicated summer trip to Colorado on my mind for a while, to finally take advantage of the excellent 14ers guidebook I bought some time ago. I had already been thinking I’d get to it in 2019, and as I started making plans to leave the country in August, I realized it was now or not this year. I decided on the trip on Wednesday night and left Thursday morning. Not including the drive there and back, I would have 11 days withing the state.

I planned my schedule as I went and generally followed a pattern of: easy day, hard day, rest/driving day, repeat. One thing that dictated my hourly hiking schedule was afternoon thunderstorms. More than any other place I’ve hiked, the threat of lightning in Colorado meant I was usually hiking before sunrise and off summits by noon. Here’s how things went down:

July 11 – Drive to Vegas in the afternoon, visit long-time friend Chris Garret (+wife Karen) and stay the night
July 12 – Visit with Chris, drive to some reservoir off the 50 to sleep in the car
July 13 – Drive to Grizzly Gulch Trailhead in the San Juans
July 14 – Handies (14048’), White Cross (13542’)
July 15 – Redcloud (14034’), Sunshine (14001’), drive to somewhere off the 160
July 16 – Great Sand Dunes National Park (rest day)
July 17 – Backpack to Lake Como in the Monte Cristo Mountains
July 18 – Blanca (14345’)
July 19 – Pikes Peak (14110’) drive up (rest day)
July 20 – Democrat (14148’), Cameron (14238’), Lincoln (14286’), Bross (14172’) w/Megan Harper
July 21 – Shavano (14229’), Tabeguache (14155’)
July 22 – Rocky Mountain National Park (rest day)
July 23 – I almost went for Longs peak here, but I was sleep deprived at this point in the trip so when my alarm went off at 2:45am, I decided to sleep in. I had lunch with friend April Goebl in Boulder, afterwards I drove up Evans Peak (14264’) and hiked Mt Spalding (13842’) from there.
July 24 – Mount of the Holy Cross (14060’) via Halo Ridge. Drive to see the Maroon Bells, drive to Green River Utah
July 25 – Drive to Fullerton via Capitol Reef National Park and a short visit with Chris Garrett in Vegas
July 26 – Work in San Diego (so sleepy…)