INTRODUCTIONThis is just a simple log to keep track of our 2017 trips.
See the 2016 Trip Log for 2016.
See the 2015 Trip Log for 2015.
See the 2014 Trip Log for 2014.
See the 2013 Trip Log for 2013.
See the 2012 Trip Log for 2012.
See the 2011 Trip Log for 2011.
See the 2010 Trip Log for 2010.
See the 2009 Trip Log for 2009.
See also the 2008 Trip Log for 2008.
December 14: Rabbit Mountain (Colorado)
Today I climbed Rabbit Mountain, completing the loop and the side trip to the summit. There was a little fresh snow around, but most of the trail was dry. It was a nice hike, but the drive was a little longer than I expected it to be.
December 13: Devils Backbone/Wild Loop/Hunter Loop/Laughing Horse Loop (Colorado)
Today, between work shifts (I am working nights, I hiked the Wild Loop on Devils Backbone, the Hunter Loop, and the Laughing Horse Loop. I also climbed Peak 5623 (unranked) for the views. It was overcast, but warm for December. I could have used some more sleep, but it was a nice hike.
December 10: Mount McConnel (Colorado)
Today I hiked up Mount McConnel on my way home from Loveland. I did the loop hike, including the spur trail to the true summit. The trails were very dry except for a skiff of snow in a few places. It was a warm day for December.
I hike the loop counter clockwise. The route down was steeper.
December 9: Devils Backbone (Colorado)
In the evening I hiked the Wild Loop at Devils Backbone along with the short side trip to the Keyhole. It was a nice hike.
December 8: Horsetooth Mountain (Colorado)
In the afternoon, I climbed Horsetooth Rock/Mountain. To date it was my favorite hike in the Loveland area.
I did a loop hike of the Horsetooth Mountain and South Ridge Trails and did the scramble to the summit. The views were great, but it was very windy on top.
On the way down I had a nice sunset that included some lenticular clouds.
December 7: Bobcat Ridge (Colorado)
In the afternoon I hiked the Valley Loop in the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area to the cabin and back. It was windy, cold, and overcast, but still a good hike. There was no one else out on the trails.
December 6: Devils Backbone (Colorado)
In the afternoon, I took a hike along the Wild Loop at the Devils Background. I also took the short side trip to the Keyhole. It was a nice hike, and it was sunny, but cold and windy.
December 3: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
It was very windy, but Kim and I climbed Cedar Mountain, completing the short loop. Surprisingly we saw six other people on the mountain, which is the most we have ever seen.
December 2: The Bluffs and Candyland Slot (Wyoming)
Today Justin Kuhn, Shaylee, Kessler, and I and I went to the slot canyon near Baggs Wyoming. Along the way, we hiked to the top of The Bluffs for the views. It is a very weird slot canyon that goes under ground for several sections.
This time we had a camera and also completed one of the underground sections that we skipped last time. It was a good day.
Last time we referred to the canyon as Maggie's Ghost after Maggie Baggs, but the kids want to change the name of the canyon to Candyland, which may be a better name.
December 1: Dadd Gulch (Colorado)
On my home way from work, I stopped in the Cache la Poudre area and hiked up Dadd Gulch for a few miles. It was windy, but it was a nice day. There was only a little snow up high.
NOVEMBERNovember 25: Chicken Slot (Utah)
We explored the "Chicken Slot", a nameless fork of Chicken Coop Draw near Vernal Utah today. Members were Alvaro, Jeremy , Sabrina (Jeremy's daughter), Erika (Jeremy's daughter), Jason (Jeremy's son), Kessler (my son), Kimberly (my wife), and me.
We followed the rim of the escarpment while avoiding a strip of private lands before dropping into the head of the canyon. Once in the canyon, there were two rappels, several downclimbs, and some short slot sections.
The slot didn't turn out to be a destination canyon, but it was a nice day out.
November 23: Cerro de la Silla (Mexico)
Today Shaylee and I climbed Cerro de la Silla from Macharos. It was a shorter climb than I had yesterday. We went with a local so he could point out the Aztec pyramid in the forest near the summit. It hadn't been excavated, but had been grave robbed.
After visiting the pyramid, we headed for the summit. There was a nice viewpoint just before the summit and we could see all the way to snow covered Nevado Toluca.
We saw several birds including hawks and eagles.
After enjoying the views we headed over the summit and came down a different route. It was a nice hike.
After the hike we head to take a taxi to Zitácuaro and then a bus to Mexico City since we had to fly out the next morning.
November 22: Cacique (Mexico)
Shaylee wasn't feeling well today, so without her and with a local, I climbed Cacique, an impressive mountain south of Macharos.
We walked down to the village of Rincón, though avocado fields, and over a few barbed wire fences to the trail. We followed several trails and an old road to a spring high on the mountain.
From the spring, we followed a steep trail up to a cave and after checking it out, to a faded trail and a minor bushwhack to the summit plateau. There were cows near the summit. We say many colorful birds and some butterflies.
We walked across the summit plateau to a huge cross at a viewpoint of Zitácuaro. We took a nice rest there and headed over to the true summit with some bushwhacking along the way.
We tried to follow a more direct route down to the cave, but there were too many cliffs and too much bushwhacking. We returned to the trail we took up and followed it to the cave and spring.
From the spring we took a different way down. We took a trail which was faded in places that traversed the west side of the mountain and stayed above town. We eventually met the trail from Cerro Pelón and followed it down to Macharos. It was a nice hike, but pretty long. The route down was longer than the route up.
November 21: Cerro Pelón (Mexico)
Today Shaylee and I rode horses up to a meadow on Cerro Pelón to see the butterflies. Hundreds of millions (maybe even billions) of monarch butterflies gather here for the November through March season. There are so many butterflies on the tree branches that they sag from the weight and when the butterflies take to flight it is actually noisy.
We walked up the steep path up the mountain to the butterfly colony. At first all of the were rather docile since it was cloudy. we waited around for the sun to come out and once it did, the butterflies took to flight and there were thousands of them. It was an impressive sight.
We also saw several humming birds and other birds.
After seeing the butterflies, we hiked back down the mountain and rode the horses back to the village of Mucharos, where we were staying.
Today's ride was much less punishing than the one on Parícutin since the saddles were nicer!
November 20: Barranca del Cupatitizio (Mexico)
In the morning we visited and walked through the Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitizio near Uruapan. There were some nice waterfalls and birds. After walking through the national park, we returned to town where there was a parade going on since it is Revolution Day in Mexico.
November 19: Parícutin (Mexico)
Today we got up early and took a taxi to Angahuan so we could climb Parícutin, the world's youngest mountain. We found some horsed and a guide (Shaylee wanted to go horseback riding) and rode the horses to the base of the volcano. It as a punishing ride of several hours in a hard wooden saddle!
We climbed the volcano from the south side. It wasn't that long of a climb, but since the route was steep and over loose cinders, it was quite strenuous.
Once on top, the view of the crater was impressive and the rocks were still steaming. Some girl sat too close to one of the vents and burned her butt.
The views were nice and after having a snack on the summit, we headed back down a steep cinder chute. It was a very fast run down!
Parícutin was formed between 1943 and 1952. It erupted in February 1943 and grew into a volcano after only a few months.
After descending the volcano, we got back on the horses and rode to the trailhead for the old San Juan Cathedral ruins. The rest of two towns here was buried under lava and only the church sticking out of the lava remains.
After visiting the old church we got back on the horses and headed back for town. We caught a ride to the main highway and waited for a minibus to Uruapan. While waiting for the minibus, someone was selling local produce, including some giant peaches. Shaylee at one.
After reaching Uruapan we went for ice cream and walked around town.
November 17: Nevado de Colima (Mexico)
Today Shaylee and I got up early and headed for Nevado de Colima with a driver/guide (unless you have your own car, it is hard to get to the mountain without a driver/guide. From the north, the peak resembles the Matterhorn and is one of the more interesting mountains in Mexico.
We made the long drive to the peak and then to near the radio towers. We traversed the south side of the mountain to a steep scrambling route up the south face. We made it to the summit without any trouble.
It was sunny, but there was some pollution in the lower valleys.
November 16: La Chupina (Mexico)
Today we hiked up the Sierra El Tucuan and La Chupina above Ajijic and Lago Chapala. We took the "red" Chapilla Trail up the steep ridge. The views of the lake were nice and we saw several vultures, but the hike was very hot.
We made it to the ridge top where there were views of Gualajara and then headed west along the ridge to the crosses at a viewpoint. We then climbed over a high peak before reaching a religious shrine at a saddle. After heading to the highpoint, we returned up and over the mountain and and came down the Chapilla Trail. Since it was hot we were running a little low on water.
We took a side trail that dropped into the canyon with the waterfalls, but they were dry. We passed several cows and made out way to an alternate trailhead and then to the hotel.
We then took a bus to Guadalajara and then Cuidad Guzman to get ready for our next climb.
November 15: Sederno Chapala (Mexico)
After walking around town and the art galleries at Ajijic, Shaylee and I walked the trail along Lago Chapala. There were many birds in the shallow lake including herons, ducks, and pelicans. There were many colorful birds in the trees as well. We saw the sunset from the end of the trail at which point we walked back to the
November 12: The Bluffs (Wyoming)
Kimberly and I headed to the Baggs area to climb The Bluffs. The south side is more difficult, but more interesting, so we chose to climb from there. We made our way west up the drainage and then crossed over a ridge to a secluded valley, seeing one rattlesnake along the way. From there we headed up the valley to until climbing up to the ridge top. We then made our way to the highest point of The Bluffs and enjoyed the views.
We descended the steep slopes to the south and then followed a deer trail west and to a drainage. Thinking the drainage was a shorter way down, we descended it.
The canyon got deeper as we descended until it slotted up and then dropped into an underground tunnel. Past this there were some tight slot sections, several natural bridges and one long underground tunnel. It was barley doable without a headlamp and quite spooky. I could see light way up ahead and would have to feel the floor of the tunnel with my walking stick, afraid that there might be a hole or drop off.
The walls of the canyon were very colorful and the rock was somewhat similar to the rock in Bryce Canyon. There were a few tricky down climbs and at the end the canyon had a drop that we could not down climb. We found a sketchy bypass some rock that wasn't exactly confidence building. After the bypass we were mostly home free. The canyon did drop into another underground section, but we skipped that part.
Sadly, our camera died before we got to the slot. If the weather holds, I might go up there again Thanksgiving weekend and with fully charged camera. It should make for some interesting pictures. I have never seen a slot canyon like this one.
It was an interesting day indeed.
November 10: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
After sunset I took a hike around Sapphire Point and including taking the old trail to the summit. I only saw the tail end of the sunset, but it was nice.
November 9: Lake Hill (Colorado)
After work and just after dark, I hiked to Old Dillon Reservoir and Lake Hill from Dillon Lake. It was a calm night and a nice hike.
November 8: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
Between shifts at work, I hiked the Sapphire Point Trail. It was cold and windy and with some snow on the trail.
November 6: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
It was a cold, snowy, and windy day, but I hiked around Sapphire Point after work.
November 4: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
Before heading for home, I did a quick hike around Sapphire Point in the snow.
November 3: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
I did another quick evening hike around Sapphire Point at sunset. The sunset was beautiful, but not quite as spectacular as yesterday's. I also hiked the old trail to the top from the northwest.
November 1: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
At sunset, I took a hike around Sapphire Point. It was cold and windy, but the sunset was spectacular.
OCTOBEROctober 31: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
It was a cold and windy day, with snow in the morning, but at sunset, I took a hike around Sapphire Point.
October 29: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Alone, I hiked the loop on Cedar Mountain in the evening. There were dozens of blue jays; more than I have ever seen.
October 28: Rifle Arch/Arm and Hammer (Colorado)
Justin, Kimberly, Shaylee, and I head for the Rifle Arch area to do some climbing and then head to the arch. We had to wait a while for two parties that were both on Illusions and Arm and Hammer.
After the waiting, I lead Arm and Hammer P1. I climbed it four times, Shaylee climbed it three times, and Justin and Kimberly climbed it twice. We then headed for Rifle Arch. Kim and Shaylee stayed at the base of the steep scramble, while Justin and I climbed up to the alcove under the arch.
It was a great day.
October 26: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
After work I took a hike around Sapphire Point.
October 24: Mount Royal (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Mount Royal. It was dark right when I reached the top. There was only a little snow and ice on the trail.
One the descent I encountered a bear at about the same place as I did on July 26. This time however, I was much closer to the bear as he or she was only about six feet apart. The bear backed up a little in the bushes, but then didn't scurry off like last time, but instead just looked at me (or at least the headlamp). I slowly backed away from the bear and headed back down the mountain.
October 23: Rockys Ridge (Colorado)
After work, I made a loop hike of Rockys Ridge near Crown Point and Lake Dillon. I got to watch a nice sunset before heading back in the dark.
October 22: Blue River Trail (Colorado)
Kimberly and I hiked much of the Blue River Trail around Breckenridge.
October 21: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
Kimberly and I took a hike around Sapphire Point in the afternoon. It was a cold, windy, and snowy day, but by afternoon the weather was good, though still chilly.
October 20: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
After work, Kimberly and I took the hike around Sapphire Point. It was windy, but the forecast storm had not arrived yet.
October 19: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
Starting at around sunset, I climbed Shrine Mountain. It was dark by the time I reached the top. My headlamp went out, so the descent was very challenging! It was slippery at times as well since there was some fresh snow and ice.
October 18: Lily Pad Lake (Colorado)
After work, and when it got dark, I hiked to Lily Pad Lake above Frisco. The trail seemed much longer in the dark, but it was still a nice hike.
October 17: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
At dark, I took a hike around Sapphire Point.
October 16: Rainbow Lake (Colorado)
Right when it was getting dark, I took a hike to Rainbow Lake.
October 15: Muddy Mountain (Wyoming)
Kimberly and I climbed Muddy Mountain near Baggs Wyoming. It was chosen since although we have passed through the area many times, we haven't climb any peaks there. We climbed the peak from the west side on a nice fall day that was sometimes breezy.
The mountain itself isn't as impressive and some other mountains, but the views were really nice. We saw many antelope on the drive in and out.
October 14: Lake Hill (Colorado)
After work, I hiked to Old Dillon Reservoir and then Lake Hill. It was sunny, but cold and windy.
October 10: Mount Sniktau (Colorado)
I tried to climb Mount Sniktau after work, but ran out of light before reaching the summit. After the sun went down, it got cold quickly, but I guess that's expected at 13,000 feet. Since it was getting dark and since conditions quickly got icy and I didn't bring traction, I turned back at the false summit.
October 9: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
After work, I hiked around Sapphire Point twice and just after sunset. It gets dark to earlier now for a longer hike. It was cold and windy, but still a nice walk.
October 8: Yampa River Trails (Colorado)
Kim, Shaylee, and I hiked and biked some of the Yampa River Trails around Steamboat. It was a nice fall day.
October 7: Gold Hill/Ophir Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Gold Hill and Ophir Mountain. The trails on the map don't bear resemblance to reality. I ended up close to Gold Hill, so I climbed it first before heading to Ophir Mountain. I crossed one trail along the way, but never did find the trail that was supposed to reach the summit of Ophir Mountain. I came down the Northeast Face of Ophir Mountain, which was a steep route, and was slippery with snow covered pine needles.
October 6: Rainbow Lake (Colorado)
After work, I hiked to Rainbow Lake.
October 5: Peak 10,260 (Colorado)
After work and around sunset, I headed for Peak 10,260 in Tenmile Canyon. I am running out of new peaks to climb after work, but I hadn't done this one. I climbed a sucky route on the south face. After enjoying the views from the summit, I descended the west ridge. It was a much more pleasant route.
October 4: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
I didn't get off work until after dark, so I needed something quick and easy. I did the Sapphire Point Loop in the dark. It was a nice walk, but I prefer it in the daylight.
October 3: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
I wanted to do a longer hike after work, but everything was very wet and snowy and I didn't have my snow gear with me. I did a quick hike around Sapphire Point. The weather was beautiful.
SEPTEMBERSeptember 30: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
I did a quick hike around Sapphire Point after work and before heading home.
September 29: Mount Argentine (Colorado)
After work, I set off to climb Mount Argentine. I wanted to reach the summit by sunset, but I was too late. I still had some views in the fading daylight though. After reaching the summit, I headed down the east ridge as described on Summitpost for the loop hike. I thought that I must have missed a turn in the fading daylight, since the trail started heading north, so I went cross country to the south through the trees until I hit the jeep road. It was dark by then so hiked the jeep road back in the dark. It was a nice hike.
September 26: Peak 12,585 (Colorado)
After work I climbed Peak 12,585 from Loveland Pass. I was hoping it would clear up some, but I did the entire route in the ice fog. I reached the summit after sunset, but didn't get a view. Someone else was climbing the mountain as well, so I guess I'm not the only one who climbs peaks at night during an ice fog!
I walked down in the dark. The conditions were pretty snowy and icy.
September 25: Lily Lake (Colorado)
After work I hiked the Lily Lake Trail from Frisco. The autumn leaves were at peak, but the sun was already long gone behind the mountain. I did get a good view of the sunset painting the peaks on the opposite side of the valley and across Lake Dillon.
September 24: Steamboat Rock Gym (Colorado)
The weather wasn't great, so Kimberly, Kessler, and I went to the rock gym for some climbing.
September 23: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
During a break in the weather, I did the long loop on Cedar Mountain. It sprinkled a little, but it wasn't bad. The higher mountains all were visibly white with fresh snow.
September 22: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
During lunch, I took a quick run around Sapphire Point.
September 21: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
Just as it was getting dark, I did the loop hike around Sapphire Point. From the west I also found a low impact route to the top, since I wasn't sure how kosher leaving the trail is.
September 20: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
I met an old SP friend, Mike at Shrine Pass in the evening and we climbed Shrine Mountain, summitting just before sunset. The weather was beautiful and the skies were clear. We made it down just as it was getting dark.
September 19: Rainbow Lake (Colorado)
Just after dark, I hiked to Rainbow Lake and back using a headlamp. The wind had calmed down a bit so it was a peaceful hike.
September 17: Haus Rock (Colorado)
I met Chad is Frisco and we headed to Montezuma to do some climbs. Haus Rock was the goal, but it took a long time to find. We looked all over and ended up at Alpenglow Rock. From there we descended and eventually found Haus Rock. It took us much longer than expected to find the rock.
Chad lead They Call Me Shorty and Not So Hostile Krainzover and I led Little Squirt, doing it again after leading as well. They Call Me Shorty was about what was expected, but the other two were a little bit stiff for the rating. I didn't do the final move for Not So Hostile since I was getting a little tired and sore. I also scrambled to the summit for good measure.
Unfortunately, I left the camera in the car.
September 14: Peak 12,585 (Colorado)
Starting a sunset, I hiked up Peak 12,585 from Loveland Pass. I saw lots of Pikas and reached the summit in the dark. It started snowing hard and I descended through the snowstorm. The snow didn't stick though.
September 13: Lakeshore Trail/Rocky Ridge (Colorado)
In the evening and from the Dickey Trailhead, I hiked the Lakeshore Trail along Lake Dillon to Crown Point. I then took the Rockys Ridge Trail over Rockys Ridge and back to the trailhead, arriving just after dark. It was a nice hike and very quiet.
September 10: Butcher Knife/Grey Face (Colorado)
Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I met Justin in Steamboat Springs in order to do some climbing. Unfortunately, everyone was exhausted from sporting events or work, so the climbs were as successful as hoped.
Kessler and I climbed on Butcher Knife and Grey Face, with various degrees of success. Butcher Knife Crack was harder than expected and the holds are very polished. We didn't make it far up that one, but had better success on Grey Face.
September 8: Mount Royal (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Mount Royal. It was a nice hike and there were more people than there usually were on the trail in the evening. I went out to Point 10,385 as well. It rained a little on the way back, but the weather was mostly good.
September 7: Dickey Day Trail (Colorado)
Tonight after work, I hiked the Dickey Day Trail along Lake Dillon. I made it out to the peninsula and hiked back in the dark.
September 5: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
I didn't work as late as usual, but because of all the smoke, I did a short hike instead of a longer one. I did the loop trail around Sapphire Point. There wasn't much in the way of views because of all the smoke!
September 4: Rainbow Lake/Masontown (Colorado)
Kimberly and I took a leisurely loop hike from the condo in Frisco to Rainbow Lake. We then hiked the Masontown Trail to Mason Town and then back down to the bike trail, which we followed back to the condo. It was a nice loop hike and very relaxed and enjoyable.
September 3: Torreys Peak (Colorado)
Kimberly and I hiked Torreys Peak, a Colorado 14er. As expected, it was very crowded, but still a nice hike anyway. We saw four marmots and many pikas. This was Kimberly's first 14er since her heart surgery, so we didn't do Grays.
September 2: Golden Bear Peak (Colorado)
After getting a late start, Kimberly and I hiked Golden Bear Peak from the west side of Eisenhower Tunnel. It was a nice hike and we probably saw more marmots than on any other hike. We counted 20. We saw several pikas as well. The weather was great, but the skies were hazy.
AUGUSTAugust 30: Peak 12,585 (Colorado)
I climbed Peak 12,585 after work. It rained a little, and it was breezy and cool, but it wasn't too bad. I saw several marmot and pikas along the way. I reached the summit just after sunset.
August 29: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
Tonight, I climbed Shrine Mountain after work. I got a late start and it was dark before I reached the summit. It was breezy, but pleasant and quiet. There were some clouds at first, but the weather cleared by dark and the half moon was nice. I came down by headlamp.
August 27: Mount Guyot (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Mount Guyot. The weather was good and I didn't see anyone. I did see some pikas though. The drive to Georgia Pass from Breckenridge was was harder than the climb.
August 23: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
Just after sunset, I did a hike around Sapphire Point.
August 22: Wheeler Trail (Colorado)
I hiked a few miles of the Wheeler Trail after work and got back right at dark.
August 21: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
In the dark, I hiked the Sapphire Point Trail.
August 17: Wheeler Trail (Colorado)
After work, I hiked the Wheeler Trail near Copper Mountain. The weather was great.
August 15: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Shrine Mountain. I was completely alone and saw no one. The sunset was nice. It sprinkled a little at first, but after that the weather was good.
August 13: Hallelujah Loop Trail (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I took the lift up Copper Mountain and hiked the Hallelujah Loop Trail. We stopped at the boulderfield to watch the marmots for quite a while before heading back down.
August 12: Drift Peak (Colorado)
Kim, Shaylee, and I climbed Drift Peak from Mayflower Gulch. The weather was good until the end, and the views were good, but the route was only so so. I'm not sure why Roach gives this one a classic rating since it was tedious and not that aesthetic.
August 11: Peak 12,585 (Colorado)
After work, Kim, Shaylee, and I took a hike up Peak 12,585 from Independence Pass. The weather was good and we saw many marmots and pikas.
It was also the 24th anniversary for Kim and I!
August 9: Copper Mountain (Colorado)
In the late evening, I did a hike along some of the trails near Copper Mountain.
August 6: Sneak Canyon (Utah)
Kimberly and I met Allison in Green River Utah early in the morning. We had originally planned Zero Gravity Slot Canyon, but I didn't like the afternoon weather forecast and was worried that the roads would be washed out.
We headed for Sneak Canyon, a side canyon of Three Canyon. There was a fair amount of water in the canyon, which in August is a good thing. We completed Sneak Canyon and then Allison and I headed up to the Baby Slot.
That was all we had time for, so after exploring around, we went up to the climbing exit in Sneak Canyon and back to the vehicles. It was a great route.
August 5: Reid Nelson Draw/Crawford Draw (Utah)
Kimberly and I headed for Reid Nelson Draw in the San Rafael Swell. The canyons had a huge flash flood the day before, so everything was full of water and mud, which made for a pleasant trip in August.
We did lots of swimming and wading before reaching Crawford Draw. Once we reached Crawford Draw we ascended it to the head and then headed cross country back to the vehicle.
It was a great summer route.
Once we were out of the canyon we headed for Dutchman Flat to visit the arch and then visited some of the pictograph panels around the Head of Sinbad. Some of the roads were really washed out from the flash floods and we had to make some detours.
August 2: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Shrine Mountain from Shrine Pass. The wildflowers were still out. Since it was late, I didn't spend much time on top, but it was still a pleasant hike.
August 1: Copper Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I hiked some of the trails around Copper Mountain. I didn't have time to go that far since it was already very late.
JULYJuly 31: Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
After work I climbed Shrine Mountain. I have done it many times in the snow season, but never in summer.
There were a lot of wildflowers. There were a few sprinkles of rain, but no thunderstorms.
July 27: Peak 12,585 (Colorado)
After working a shorter than yesterday 12 hour work day, I drove to the top of Loveland Pass (from Frisco) and climbed Peak 12,585. There were more marmots than I have ever seen anywhere. I counted 12 marmots, six of which were juvenile fur balls. There were many Pikas left.
I reached the summit right around sunset and it was still light when I got back to the vehicle.
July 26: Mount Royal (Colorado)
After a 13 hour workday, I decided to climb Mount Royal. About half way up I saw a bear. I held still and it looked at me for a few seconds, but as soon as I reached for the camera, it took off into the bushes, so I never got a picture. It was pretty neat.
After that, I headed up the mountain and reached the summit after sunset. I came down in the dark, which wasn't the best idea since I left the headlamp at home, but I need the exercise! It was a challenging descent in the dark since it was cloudy and there weren't even any stars.
July 24: Sapphire Point (Colorado)
After work, I took a quick hike on the Sapphire Point Loop Trail near Breckenridge.
July 22-23: Rock Creek Knoll/Browns Peak (Wyoming)
Shaylee and I started at the Brooklyn Lake Trailhead and hiked the Sheep Lake Trail to near Rock Creek where we left the trail and headed north to the creek. We dropped our packs and cross the creek and headed for Rock Creek Knoll. It was a fairly easy ascent, especially by Wyoming 11er standards.
After climbing Rock Creek Knoll, we headed back down and to the packs and along the trail. There were lots of mosquitoes near the creek!
We then hiked the Sheep Lake Trail and then the Gap Lakes Trail to Cutthroat Lake to where we set up camp. There were mosquitoes around, but it was a nice camp.
In the morning, Shaylee and I headed for the Gap Lakes. Between the two beautiful lakes, we stopped at the pass to climb Browns Peak. The peak was more tedious than expected. The top was a mostly flat expanse of boulders and rocks and there were good views along the way. On the way down, I twisted my ankle a bit, which made for a painful hike out.
We hiked down past Gap Lake and took the Lost Lake Trail back to Brooklyn Lake and the trailhead. It was a beautiful loop hike.
July 21: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Alone and in the morning, I climbed Cedar Mountain, completing the long loop. Everything was pretty dry since it hasn't rained much in the last month. I could see lightning and the storm line to the south though. It looked like it was storming pretty good in the Flat Tops.
July 16: Rose Domes (Colorado)
Justin, Kessler, Shaylee, and I headed to the Rose Domes (south of Rabbit Ears Pass) to do some rock climbing. We were hoping to do Spotted Rose as well, but it was occupied so we climbed Raspberry Topping. Kessler and I climbed it three times and Shaylee and Justin climbed it twice.
At first it was shaded, but then it was in the sun. We were thinking of heading for Spotted Rose, but in the full sunlight we decided to head for Steamboat for some ice cream. Even at 9000 feet, it was hot.
On the way there, we saw the biggest fox that we have ever seen.
July 15: Sand Creek (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I started at Sheriff Reservoir in the Flat Tops. I was planning on climbing Pyramid Peak, but the girls wanted to hike to some lakes instead.
We hiked up the Sand Creek Trail past Spring, Camel, Crater, and Sand Lake. There were quite a bit of mosquitoes. We continued up the trail to find that the mosquitoes thinned out. We hiked up Sand Creek to about 10,800 feet before turning back.
July 5: Jahuacocha to Llamac (Peru)
Today was our last day of the Huayhuash Trek. We got an early start and headed down the valley. We then took the upper trail towards the pass of Macrash Punta. There were some very nice views of the mountains along way way, but the last views we had of the really big peaks were from the pass. Yerupaja really stood above the other peaks in the area and was obviously the king of the mountains.
After the pass, it was a long descent down to Llamac. It wasn't difficult, but it was extremely dusty! It was probably my least favorite part of the trek.
Llamac is a charming little town at the base of the mountains. The streets are narrow and clean. Most are too narrow for motor vehicles. After reaching town and loading up, we rode the mini-bus back to Huaraz.
July 4: Huatiaq to Jahuacocha/Cerro Llaucha/Cerro Huacrish (Peru)
We were nearing the end of our big trek, but today was spectacular. It was the longest day we had and one of the most beautiful as well.
We got an early start and headed for our first pass, Tapush Punta. As we descended the valley after the pass, we could view much of the route for the last day of the trek (tomorrow). We turned east towards our next pass, the Llaucha Punta. Along the way we passed through a forest of Queñua trees which were in bloom. At 4720 meters/15,500 feet, these were the highest elevation trees that I have ever seen (there is at least one place in Bolivia where they grow higher). The trees were interesting.
We then headed for the pass where we took a rest. Kimberly decided to take the easier route to Juhuacocha, while Kessler and I (with Diogenes) decided to take the more difficult, but more scenic route over the ridge to the north while climbing some of the peaks along the way.
We headed north on a trekker made trail to where there was an awesome viewpoint of the most impressive peaks in the Huayhuash. Rondoy, Jirishanca, and Yerupaja were all in full view. While most people stop at the viewpoint, we climbed to the summit of Cerro Llaucha for even better views. It wasn’t that far out of the way. I actually beat the kids to the top since they had continued farther down the trail before climbing to the summit. There was one short vertical pitch along the way (it could be bypassed, but we climbed it directly). The views were fantastic! The weather was great as well.
After climbing Cerro Llaucha, we headed north along the ridge (with great views all along the way) to Cerro Huacrish, another fantastic viewpoint. It was really something. After resting there and taking many photos, we headed down the extremely steep slope to the east and down to Juhuacocha. This part was steep and unpleasant, and we slipped several times, but it was definitely worth doing since we enjoyed all those wonderful views. Along the way we also saw a huge icefall off the glacier descending from Jirishanca.
The lake was a very scenic campsite and the weather was good.
July 3: Cutatambo to Huatiaq (Peru)
Today was very different from the previous days of our trek. We headed down the valley of the Rio Calinca and dropped below 4000 meters for the first time in several days. At first, we could look behind us and see the big mountains, but these slowly got swallowed by the arid valley walls. Along the way there was a beautiful waterfall spilling out of the mountains to the north. There were lots of grazing animals and we started to see farms, children, and other villagers as we approached the village of Huallapa.
We passed above the village on the steep trail and headed north up the relentless grade to Huatiaq where we camped. It was a longer day than the other days we had. The views of the big mountains slowly were revealed as we approached Huatiaq.
We had originally thought of climbing Diablo Mudo while in this area, but in the end we decided not to bring all the gear we needed just for an ascent of a few hours.
July 2: Siula Grand Base Camp (Peru)
Today Kimberly and Shaylee took a rest day, while Diogenes, Kessler, and I headed for the area around the Siula Grand Basecamp. Unfortunately, it was cloudy for much of the time (and raining at camp), so some of the mountains were obscured by clouds.
Siula Grande is the mountain where the Joe Simpson and Simon Yates had the Touching the Void epic and the basecamp was the one that they used on their climb.
The hike to base camp was scenic and we could hear many avalanches and icefalls. Along the way, the steep ice flutings of Nevado Sarapo were in full view, but Siula Grand was obscured by clouds. We climbed the moraine and hill west of the basecamp for better views. Yerupaja was often visible, but we never did get a good view of Siula Grande. We could look down on the basecamp (the rocks placed by Simpson and Yates were still there) and see the glacier spilling into Sarapococha (lake). We viewed the icefall and glacier that Joe Simpson had to crawl through after breaking his leg and escaping the crevasse.
After enjoying the views and waiting for Siula Grande to emerge from the clouds (it never did), we headed back to camp. It was still raining off and on at camp. From camp we viewed some cliff hanging cows high on the cliffs above and we wondered how they got there and why.
July 1: Quebrada Cuyoc to Cutatambo/Cerro Santa Rosa (Peru)
Kimberly wasn’t feeling well today, so she took the long way around the mountains to Cutatambo by way of horseback. Kessler, Shaylee, Diogenes, and I headed for Punta Santa Rosa (also known as Juraupunta). The route was fairly steep and we decided to climb Cerro Santa Rosa (5192 meters) along the way. We left the trail and climbed the south ridge of Santa Rosa.
After quite a bit of scrambling, we reached the summit area. There were two summits that appeared to be about the same height. We climbed the west summit first, or at least got very close. The difficult part was short, but the rock was loose and the last part very exposed. We could climb up and lean over, and get within two horizontal feet of the summit (less than one horizontal meter), but since the rock was so loose it didn’t seem safe to stand on the summit.
After a quick snack we headed for the east summit. There was some scrambling and exposure, but it was an easier ascent than the west summit. It began to snow at times as well, but it didn’t accumulate.
After climbing the two summits, we headed east and down to the pass. It was steep and exposed in places and Shaylee and I took a different route than Diogenes and Kessler. Once Diogenes pulled out the rope, Shaylee and I decided to look for a different route.
We reached the pass and started the long and steel descent down to Cutatambo. It was raining for much of the time. We could see that it was clear to the west, but to the east and in the big glaciers hanging from the Nevados Jurau it appeared to be snowing heavily. We saw one viscacha (an animal that looks like a rabbit with a bushy tail) along the way.
Our route took us directly above the pretty lake of Juracocha before descending to the moraine and then camp. The rain lasted into the evening.
JUNEJune 30: Laguna Viconga to Quebrada Cuyoc (Peru)
It rained pretty good last night. Today we hiked from the hot springs at Viconga to the campsite at Quebrada Cuyoc. Kimberly was not feeling well today and neither of us slept well. We hiked up to Punta Cuyoc seeing three condors, several geese, and a vicuña. One of the condors was very close. We saw several foxes around camp.
Cuyoc Punta was the highest point yet on the trek (Kessler and I had reached 5073 meters on Pucaccacca) and we reached 5050 meters. We were very close to Nevado Cuyoc and the glaciers.
The camp was a scenic one, with towering cliffs all around. It reminded me of the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Mountains, but these mountains around our camp were much bigger!
June 29: Cerro Pucaccacca (Peru)
We climbed Pucaccacca today; it was one of my best climbs ever. It is possible that our ascent of the peak was only the second one; the first being in 2013. By Peru standards, the mountain isn't that high (16,644 feet/5073 meters), but it is the hardest peak yet that we have done in the Andes, even though we have climbed a lot of higher peaks.
Kimberly and Shaylee took a rest day at the hot springs, while Kessler, Marcelino, Diogenes, and I climbed the peak. From far below, I spied the cairn on top and wanted to give the peak a try since the girls wanted a rest day at the hot springs on day 6 of our trek. We didn't bring rock climbing gear, but used a 30 foot section of climbing rope that had been brought to tie the camping gear down to the donkeys on the trek.
We checked out the 2013 (first ascent?) route, but I didn't like the looks of it and suggested that we check out an exposed ledge crossing out onto the vast north face. We followed the exposed ledge and found a series of gullies and faces that allowed us to reach the summit.
From a technical standpoint, the pitches weren't that difficult (5.5), but some parts of the route were really exposed, with 2000+ foot (600 meter) voids yawning below. The crux up top involved a short, but scary knife edge, where you had to grab the top of the knife edge and scoot along, but with 2600 foot/800 meter drops on either side. I was ready to turn around here, but since the other three completed the knife edge, I did as well. The summit was surprisingly roomy.
The climb was a bit scary at times, but a good one and one that we won't be forgetting.
June 28: Huayhuash to Laguna Viconga (Peru)
There was some rain the night before, but the morning was fairly sunny. After packing up, we hit the trail and headed for Portachuelo de Huayhuash. The mountains looked different from the ones in previous days, but they were still scenic and the views were good. We saw two condors near the pass.
The views of the seldom visited Cordillera Raura were visible as well. Kessler and I made a quick climb of an un-named peak above Laguna Viconga as well. Laguna Viconga was big and scenic as was the waterfall below it. As we descended and made our way to camp, I had my eyes on the peak scanning them for reasonable ascents. They all looked really rugged. Some of the peaks of around and including Cerro Negro looked like they might be reasonable climbing targets, but I also noticed a cairn on the summit of Cerro Pucaccacca, which looked like a difficult summit.
We reached the hot springs in the early afternoon. The hot springs were great. There were even some locals selling some sodas. Kimberly and Shaylee wanted to take a rest day here and Kessler and I wanted to climb a peak.
A visible summit cairn indicated a route somewhere on the spectacular rock castle of Cerro Pucaccacca, but it didn’t look like an easy peak. Perhaps there was a “sneak route” somewhere through the cliffs. It was decided that it would be our target for a rest day tomorrow.
June 27: Carhuacocha to Huayhuash/Cerro Azulcocha (Peru)
Today was one of the most scenic days any of has ever had. We hiked from Carhuacocha to Huayhuash. The views were incredible, even though the weather was cloudy for much of the day. There were many lakes to see along the way. The first lake, Gangrajanca was the most spectacular lake and avalanches spilled off the cliffs into the lake. We had to climb up a moraine to see the lake up close, but it was worth it. We saw several icefalls and avalanches.
The next two lakes were spectacular as well, and after the lakes, the route climbs steep up to Siula Punta. The views on the way to the pass were just gorgeous.
Once we reached the pass, we ate lunch. It was cloudy a bit cool, but the views were great and we saw several caracaras. Kimberly saw several vicachas, but I missed them.
Kessler, Diogenes, and I headed up the ridge to climb Cerro Azulcocha, while the others headed down the south side of the pass. The scramble to the summit of Cerro Azulcocha was interesting and the views from the summit were among the best I have ever seen with Nevado Carnecerio towering above and a string of glistening glacial lakes to the north, along with some of the most spectacular mountains in the world towering above the lakes. We also saw a heart shaped lake which I thought that Kim would have enjoyed seeing.
We returned to the pas and headed down the hills to Huayhuash. It was a nice campsite, but crowded. There were some boulders to go bouldering on. Kessler and Diogenes did some of the harder routes while Shaylee, Kimberly, and I climbed some of the easier routes.
June 26: Mitucocha to Carhuacocha (Peru)
Today we hiked from Mitucocha to Carhuacocha. The climb up to the pass (Carhuac) was rather gradual, but the mountains were hidden for much of the route to Carhuac. After the pass though, the views really opened up and we could see Siula Grande, Yerupaja, and Jirishanca.
We camped near the lake. Shaylee, Kessler, and I took a quick bath in the lake, but it was cold! We saw many birds, including some flamingos.
June 25: Quartelhuain to Mitacocha/Cerro Gasha Norte (Peru)
In the morning, Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I met our two donkey drivers (Yosmer and Other) and our cook (Marcelino). Because of Kim’s recent heart surgery, the length of the trek, and because we were pressed for time, we decided to go with a local guiding service (though we would were free to choose our own schedule and side trips along the way). Diogenes (Peruvian Mountains) would be the guide for the trip.
We all headed up the well beaten, but relentlessly uphill trail to the top of the pass known as Cacananpunta, where we took a rest. We saw three condors along the way!
At the pass, the kids and I headed south along the ridge to the next peak, which is just north of Cerro Gasha. We dubbed our peak Gasha Norte and it had good views. We then headed back to the pass and down the valley and around the hill to the Rio Janca. There were some great views along the way and we could see all the way to the Cordillera Central, which is in central Peru. Our camp was near the river.
After a late lunch, Kessler, Shaylee, Diogenes, and I headed up the scenic valley to the beautiful lake of Mitucocha. We saw a lot of bird life along the way and the views were spectacular. The lake above this one is often listed as the source of the Amazon River, but there are other sources as well.
After enjoying the wonderful scenery, we headed back down to camp.
June 24: Quebrada Cuncush (Peru)
Today, by minibus, with Diogenes, Kessler, Kimberly, Shaylee, and I headed for Quartelhuain, which is at the beginning of the Huayhuash Trek. Along the way, the minibus stopped at a beautiful lake for some photographs and at a village where we set off to see if we could buy some ponchos. We found a few and watched a parade going on in the village. The parade consisted of children, ages 3-5 dressed up in costumes. After watching much of the parade, it was time to get back on the bus and head for Quartelhuain. Along the way we did stop for lunch in a beautiful grassy area.
Once we reached Quartelhuain, Kimberly and I set off up the valley to see if we could get some better views. We walked up the valley, road, and hillside up to where we got some nice views of Niñashanca. It was cloudy much of the time, but we did get a good view of the peak before we headed back to camp.
June 23: Lago Churup (Peru)
Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I landed in Huaraz the afternoon before and were eager to start a hike. With Diogenes (Peruvian Mountains) we rode up to the trailhead at Pitec.
The trail to the lake was very beautiful and a bit steep, though it wasn’t difficult. There were several sections where cables aided in the ascent over some cliffs though.
We arrived at Lago Churup just in time for lunch. The lake is beautiful, deep, and clear, with the impressive Nevado Churup rising above. There were some nice rocks to laze on and we spent much time at the lake just looking at the view and the mountains. After enjoying the lake, we headed down the trail and then to Huaraz.
June 18: Black Mountain (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly, and I climbed Black Mountain from the Southeast Ridge. We were on the snow for maybe 25% of the time, but it wasn't a serious problem.
We ate lunch on top while enjoying the views before descending.
June 17: Bear Creek Trail (Colorado)
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I hiked the Bear Creek trail to near Summit Park. We stopped in a sea of snow and fallen logs that was tedious to cross.
June 11: Entrajo Canyon (Utah)
Shaylee, Justin, and I headed for Entrajo Canyon. I wanted to do this one since I hadn't been through it before. It was already hot in the morning, but we made it quickly to the entrance of the canyon and dropped in. We explored up canyon (quite wet) through the slot before heading down canyon.
There was quite a bit of water which cooled things off. We had to wait for one guided group in the canyon, but we waited patiently before completing the rest of the canyon. Entrajo Canyon is a good one in hot weather because it tends to stay wet.
June 10: Professor Creek (Utah)
Shayee, Justin, and I headed for Professor Creek near Moab to go canyoneering. It was a really hot day, but Professor Creek is a perfect route on hot days. We made it to the waterfall before backtracking to the exit. The exit is loose and dangerous, so we were careful not to knock rocks down.
We then crossed the desert to the entrance of the canyon. It was just starting to get hot. We descended the canyon in the hot weather, which was very pleasant. There are several waterfalls, pools, and water slides along the way to cool off in.
The final rappel was a little tricky. After completing it, we headed down canyon and back to the vehicle.
June 8: Butcher Knife Creek (Colorado)
I had some dental work done in Steamboat, so after that, Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I took a hike on the trails around Butcher Knife Creek just to check the area out more.
June 4: East Butcher Knife (Colorado)
I had to work the weekend, but I did get the afternoon off, so Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I; as well as our friends Justin and Wanda headed to the Butcher Knife area to do some rock climbing.
We wanted to climb the Butcher Knife Crack, but that crag was already taken, as was Grey Face. East Butcher Knife was free so we climbed that one even though we had done it just five days prior. It was still a good climb and we each climbed the route several times.
June 1: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
Alone, I took an evening hike over the Sand Rocks. It was raining lightly for most of the hike.
MAYMay 31: East Butcher Knife (Colorado)
Kim and I both had the day off today, so we all (Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I) went rock climbing. We went to the East Butcher Knife at Steamboat Springs. The routes were pretty short but the climbing was good. This was my last day off until June 10, so we decided to do something fun!
May 30: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the evening, Shaylee and I climbed Cedar Mountain, completing the long loop.
May 29: Devils Kitchen/No Thoroughfare Canyon (Colorado)
Kessler, Shaylee, and I first went for a hike to the Devils Kitchen. After poking around the Kitchen, we went up to the Lemon Squeezer Slots and then descended back into No Thoroughfare Canyon before hiking up No Thoroughfare Canyon to the waterfall. We were lucky since the waterfall was flowing, even though the flow wasn't much.
May 28: Big Dominguez Creek (Colorado)
In the morning and from our campsite at the mouth of Big Dominguez Creek, I hiked up Big Dominguez Creek to the confluence with Little Dominguez Creek and a little beyond. After that we canoed down to Whitewater.
May 27: Dominguez Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kessler, and I canoed down Dominguez Canyon from Escalante Bridge to Big Dominguez Creek. The river was really flowing and the canoeing was challenging. We ended up spilling and Kessler got a touch of hypothermia.
Upon landing, we set up camp and went for a hike down canyon.
May 14: Blob Rock (Colorado)
Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I all climbed Blob Rock near Fish Creek Falls and Steamboat Springs. We did two routes, the standard and Great Blob. Although it little harder, Great Blob was the better climb since there wasn't as much rope drag and swing.
The climbs were really fun, but the downside was that we got covered in ticks on the approach!
May 12: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kessler and I climbed Cedar Mountain in the evening. We completed the long loop.
May 8: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
Alone, I took a night hike over the Sand Rocks.
May 7: Peerless Mountain/Horseshoe Mountain (Colorado)
Some 14ers.com members and I decided to climb Horseshoe Mountain. I didn't sleep at all the prior night and was not feeling well, so early in the morning I decided to take an alternate route. I walked up the mining track to near Mount Sheridan before cutting across to the Sheridan/Peerless Saddle. I then went over the summit of Peerless Mountain and to the summit of Horseshoe Mountain.
When I reached the summit of Horseshoe Mountain, there was one other person waiting on top. The others were still climbing the Boudoir Couloir. After meeting the rest of the climbers, I spent a while on time before gissading down the couloir. It was a fast ride down.
The rest of the descent went well, but I didn't bring snowshoes so there was quite a bit of post-holing.
May 3: Castor Gulch Crags (Colorado)
After some a scouting trip on April 23, we thought we found a good line to try on the cliffs above Castor Gulch near Hamilton Colorado. We have been looking for some rock climbs closer to home.
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I headed to the crag in the afternoon in order to give it a try. We made the climb, but it wasn't a very good one. There was a lot of loose dirt on some of the rocks and some of the handholds would blow out.
We named the climb Squishy Ball Mayonnaise, which is intentionally a dumb name, but we know what it means.
May 1: Indian Cave (Colorado)
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I walked to the Indian Cave in the evening.
APRILApril 29: White Roost Canyon (Utah)
Kessler and I did White Roost Canyon, a technical canyon in the Robbers Roost area of Utah. We did the longer east fork. It was a really nice technical canyon with a dark slot.
The hike out was beautiful as well.
April 29: East Fork Pasture Canyon (Utah)
Kessler and I headed to East Fork Pasture Canyon in the Robbers Roost area of Utah. It was a nice canyon, but it was more hiking than technical as the technical section was quite short. The entire loop was scenic though.
We opted for the east exit this time since I hadn't done it. It was a really interesting route with steps carved into the cliff.
April 26: Indian Cave (Colorado)
Kimberly I took took another hike to the Indian Cave, this time with more daylight.
April 26: Indian Cave (Colorado)
Kimberly and I took a night hike to Indian Cave to check out the potential for rock climbing.
April 23: Castor Gulch (Colorado)
Kessler, Shaylee, and I took a hike into Castor Gulch to check out the area for potential rock climbing routes. We found some good potential lines to come back to.
April 22: West Fork Pasture Canyon (Utah)
Last minute, Kimberly and I decided to do Pasture Canyon, a technical canyon in the Robbers Roost. Since it was a last minute decision, we didn't bring any good maps. We wanted to do the East Fork, but ended up in the West Fork. We did the west fork anyway. It was nice, but was mostly a pretty hike, with a few technical sections.
April 19: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
Alone, I took a night hike over the Sand Rocks.
April 18: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Alone, I hiked the short loop on Cedar Mountain late in the evening. Once again, it was too cloudy to get good sunset photos.
April 17: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kimberly and I took an evening hike on Cedar Mountain. We completed the short loop, getting back just before dark. I had hoped for some good sunset photos, but it was too cloudy.
April 16: Potato Wall/Rifle Falls (Colorado)
Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I set off for Rifle Mountain Park to do some climbing there. The weather was beautiful, but we luckily we found the moderate climbs to be empty.
Kessler led the climb "Do the Mash Potato". It was a great climb and a lot of fun. Shaylee and Kimberly climbed the route once and Kessler and I climbed it twice.
After rock climbing, we headed for Rifle Falls and did the loop hike there, including exploring the caves.
It was a great day!
April 15: Mitten Slab/Rifle Arch (Colorado)
Kessler, Kimberly, Shaylee, and I hiked to the Rifle Arch area to do some rock climbs. We all did P1 of Arm and Hammer twice (Kessler lead). After completing the climbs, we also hiked up to Rifle Arch and took a big break under the arch.
April 13: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
I did a night hike over the Sand Rocks, completely in the dark.
April 7-8: Taylor Hill/Chicago Ridge (Colorado)
Starting at a late 9 PM, Kessler and I started up the trail to Vances Cabin (mountain hut) on snowshoes. It was partly cloudy, but it was a nearly full moon. Kessler had a headlamp and I followed. Since it was night, we moved quickly in good snow conditions. The moon was bright enough that I could recognize all the surrounding mountains. We arrived at the mountain hut at 10:15 PM.
In the morning, Kessler I snowshoed up Taylor Hill at 11,725 feet. We then headed for the Chicago Ridge. It took a lot longer to break trail through the trees than expected. Once we reached timberline, things went faster, but it was very windy.
We climbed up to the ridge and then followed it to the summit. There was a blizzard for much of the climb. Since there were two points that appeared the same elevation, we climbed both of them. We ate lunch at the summit before heading back down.
The climb took longer than expected, but everything went well. We descended down the mountain and snowshoed back to the trailhead.
April 3: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kessler and I made a late evening climb of Cedar Mountain. Since we were short on time, we just went to the highest summit and back, rather than completing the loop. We got back just after sunset.
April 2: McLoyd Canyon (Utah)
Kimberly and I got a permit to visit McLoyd Canyon and the Moon House, one of the best Anasazi ruins in the vicinity. The trail down has some scrambling, but was not difficult.
We visited the most well known ruin and then set put to explore more ruins. We found some interesting things such as an intact log ladder hundreds of years old, more ruins and even a nice panel of pictographs. It was a good trip.
April 1: Road Canyon (Utah)
Kimberly and I started at the head of Road Canyon and hiked down in. We visited the famous Fallen Roof Ruins and also explored around for many other ruins, some of them even better. We walked all the way down to the Seven Kivas Ruins and visited those before exiting up a rugged side canyon. With all the exploring we did it was a long day and the road walk back felt long.
MARCHMarch 22-23: Blue Mountain Peak (Jamaica)
Another couple whom was attempting the trail from Mavis Banks to Penlyne Castle returned this morning because they said that the river crossing was impossible at this time because of the heavy rains over the past few days. Because of this news, we decided to take the main route from Hagley Gap to Whitfield Hall. We could have taken a vehicle on the rough 4wd road, but we opted to walk.
The sun was pretty hot and the 4wd road was very steep, but it wasn't a bad walk. It gave us a good look at rural life in the mountains of Jamaica. We met two people walking down the road who had just climbed Blue Mountain Peak. They said that they had good weather and we hoped for the same.
We made it to the Whitfield Hall Hostel just as it began to rain very hard. We took a nap and then I went on foot to go find the trail and trailhead. I found it and then returned to the old hostel. It was a pretty dark place and didn't have electricity, but it had lots of history since it was built in 1776. There were a lot of books from the mid-1800's as well and some old furniture and a very old piano.
We didn't get much sleep during the night and we awoke at 2:45 AM in order to get ready for the climb. We walked out the door at 3:25 AM and used headlamps to hike the trail. The stars were out, but no moon. It was clear at first, but started to rain 30 minutes up the trail. The rain never did stop, though we wished it would. There was one slightly confusing junction, but we found the correct trail and made it to the summit without any problems other than the heavy rain.
It got light not long before we reached the summit, but the rain never did stop other than one break lasting a minute or two. For that minute of two the clouds parted briefly and we did see a rainbow.
We didn't' get any views from the summit and it was foggy. After spending only a few minutes on the summit, we headed back down the mountain, again in the rain.
After reaching Whitfield Hall, we hung up our clothes (inside) to dry before having a breakfast and packing up. We opted for a ride to Mavis Banks since we had to be in Kingston that night.
March 21: Mavis Bank Trails (Jamaica)
Kimberly, Shaylee, Kessler, and I walked around Mavis Bank in order to find the trail from Mavis Bank to Penlyne Castle. We wanted to use this trail the next day in order to get to Whitfield Hall, but since we weren't taking a guide, we thought we'd scout the route out before hand.
We walked around town and eventually located the correct trail, which we followed for a ways before returning to the hotel.
March 20: Dunns River Falls (Jamaica)
Today, Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I went to Dunns River Falls, the most famous waterfall in Jamaica.
The falls were pretty, but too crowded. We climbed the falls in its entirety, glad that we didn't join a group since they all had to hold hands and went extremely slowly!
We also visited the beach before climbing the falls again. The falls is a very scenic area, but since there was a cruise ship in town, it was quite crowded. We were still glad that we went though.
March 19: Mystic Mountain Trails (Jamaica)
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I walked the nature trail at Mystic Mountain. We saw many birds. The hike was interesting, but pretty short.
Of course we did all the pocket-emptying activities as Mystic Mountain as well.
March 18: Grotto Caves/Turtle River Falls (Jamaica)
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I spent the previous night in Runaway Bay, which is not far from Green Grotto Caverns. We took a taxi to the caves in the morning and took the tour through. It was really good and we had the cave all to ourselves. We got to explore some of the passages on our own. There was a big hermit crab in the cave and many bats.
After exploring the caves, we traveled to Ocho Rios and walked to the park containing Turtle River Falls. We hiked up the series of scenic waterfalls and saw the other sites as well. Three were a lot of big banana spiders in the lush vegetation!
March 15: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kimberly and I climbed Cedar Mountain in the evening. It was dark when we reached the summit and we came down in the dark.
March 14: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kessler and I climbed Cedar Mountain around sunset. We made it to the summit, but did not do the loop. I regret not bringing the camera because the sunset was spectacular!
March 13: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
Alone, I took a night hike over the Sand Rocks.
March 12: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
Kimberly and I took a hike over the Sand Rocks. There wasn't much mud, but it was very windy.
March 10-11: Wingle Ridge/Shrine Mountain (Colorado)
Beginning at 7:45 PM, the kids, Kim, and I showshoed under a full moon for three miles to the Jay's Hut above Vail Pass. The conditions were gorgeous and the moon was so bright that headlamps weren't needed.
Three of us slept in the hut, but Kessler slept outside. It began to snow in the morning, so I went outside of the hut to wake Kessler up to come inside! In the morning, I was the only one who wanted to climb something, so I headed up the Wingle Ridge and Shrine Mountain. It was a beautiful day and views were great!
March 5: Sand Rocks (Colorado)
I made an afternoon hike up the Sand Rocks. There was a lot of mud from the melting snow. I saw several deer as well.
March 4: Emerald Mountain (Colorado)
Kimberly and I snowshoed up Emerald Mountain. It was a warm and partly cloudy day. I was sick so I was slow up the mountain. Kimberly waited at the Quarry, while I went for the summit.
FEBRUARYFebruary 25-26: Boreas Pass/Point 12,029 (Colorado)
Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I snowshoes to the Section House (mountain hut) on Boreas Pass. We took the Baker Lake Trail variation. There was blizzard conditions for much of the way and it was very cold and windy. We went at a fairly slow but steady pace because this was Kimberly's first snowshoe trip since her heart surgery. We were all glad when we made it to the hut.
It was very cold and windy all night and we didn't get much sleep. In the morning, Shaylee and I headed towards Madonna Dome in the high winds. It was very cold and windy, but the patches of trees lower down provided some shelter. We made it to Point 12,029, but with the harsh conditions, we decided to stop there.
We retreated back to the hut where we met Kimberly and Kessler before packing up and heading back to the trailhead.
We did 15 miles total on snowshoes on this trip (13 for Kimberly and Kessler). It was a good trip.
February 22: Green Mountain (Colorado)
Originally, I was supposed to make this hike in the evening with a friend, but last minute plans changed and I had a business dinner to go to that night, so we changed it to afternoon. At the trailhead, he called to say that he couldn't make it, so I hurried and did it myself.
From the Rooney Road Trailhead, I hiked up the Green Mountain Trail, to the summit of Green Mountain and made the loop with the Rooney Valley Trail. I didn't bring a map, so the descent took a little longer than I thought. I didn't have time to linger because I had to get back to work.
February 21: Indian Mountain (Colorado)
I had to be in Denver for business, so I left early and on the way down I stopped at Apex Park, west of Denver in order to climb Indian Mountain. I went up the Apex Trail, then up the Sluice Box Trail to the Pick-N-Sledge and Grubstake Trail, which I followed to near the summit of Indian Mountain.
Indian Mountain was just as short distance off the trail and was a quiet place to eat lunch. Temperatures were more like early summer than February and there was only a gentle breeze.
I returned to the trail and hiked the Grubstake Loop before hiking down the Grubstake Trail to the Pick-N-Sledge Trail and then the Argos Trail back to the trailhead. My route was about 5.6 miles round trip.
February 19: Sand Rocks/Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Early in the morning I hiked up and across the Sand Rocks. It was good that I started early because all the snow and mud was frozen.
In the afternoon, Kessler and I climbed Cedar Mountain, returning the same way because of snow conditions.
February 18: Spring Creek (Colorado)
Kimberly and I hiked the snow-covered Spring Creek Trail above Steamboat Springs. The snow was packed enough that we didn't need snowshoes. We made it to the trail closure (the upper trail is closed for elk at this time of year) before heading back. It was cloudy, but a pretty warm day for February.
February 14: Dinosaur Ridge/Dakota Ridge (Colorado)
I had to be in Denver on business, so on the way I stopped at the Stegosaurus lot and hiked up to the top of Dinosaur Ridge. I hiked south along the ridge, hiking the full length of Dinosaur and Dakota Ridges before returning the same way. It was just after sunset when I finished.
February 12: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
I attempted Cedar Mountain, but left the snowshoes at home! I made it about 1/3 of the way before giving up. This was my first unsuccessful attempt of Cedar Mountain.
February 11: Glenwood Caverns (Colorado)
Since the weather was very wet, Kessler and I went to Glenwood Caverns in order to complete the wild part of the cave. You must have a guide for this part, but it was a good trip. It rained snowed all day, so it was good to be underground.
February 10: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the afternoon climbed Cedar Mountain, finishing the longer loop on snowshoes. Conditions were harder than usual due to the warm weather and soft snow!
February 5: The Windows/Balanced Rock/313 Slabs (Utah)
In the morning, Justin, Kessler, Kimberly and I headed for Arches National Park. We did the Turret Arch and Windows Loop and then hiked to Double Arch. The weather was warm and conditions were beautiful.
After doing the hikes at The Windows, we drove to the Balanced Rock Trailhead and did the short loop hike there before heading to the 313 Slabs.
Justin, Kessler, and I climbed some of the routes while Kimberly watched. She read her book as well.
We climbed some variations of the Kor Route before heading for home. The climbing was pretty good, but very sandy!
February 4: Wall Street/Delicate Arch/Un-Named Tower/Molar Tower (Utah)
I had a rough couple of days.
When I was a kid (maybe 7 or 8 years old), I suffered trauma to my jaw and the bone was shattered. Unfortunately, I wasn't taken to the doctor and the bone did not heal back properly and left a bunch of cracks that grow bacteria and infection. Some of the teeth died and I got root canals on them as an adult and I had part of my jaw removed a few years ago. It has been bothering me again lately and I had an appointment to get it worked on February 28.
I was just flossing and a tooth came out, along with part of the jaw. I got it fixed on Thursday, but was still groggy by Friday, so I invited a friend to come along and drive our car! Kim just had an open heart surgery on January 11, so she couldn't drive either! It would be Justin's first time rock climbing as well.
Justin, Kessler, Kimberly and I headed for Wall Street. Kim could only watch, but Kessler, Justin, and I climbed three routes, including Practical Religion, Yogini, and Slab Route. Kessler led the pitches. The climbs were fun, but Kimberly said that she wished she could do a few climbs.
After the climbs, we all drove to the Delicate Arch Trailhead in Arches National Park and hiked up to the iconic arch which is one of the most famous arches in the world. Kim did great considering she just had a heart surgery a few weeks prior!
We rested at the arch and Kessler and I climbed the small un-named tower next to the arch before heading down.
After enjoying the area around the arch, we headed back down to the trailhead and drove to the Molar Tower, for another climb. The climb was a little harder than expected since although the rock itself seemed dry, the rock was covered in a layer of damp sand. That made the climbing above the last bolt a little intimidating.
Kessler tried the lead first, but was intimidated by the slippery sand up top. I tried the lead next and also found the sand intimidating up top. Kessler tried the lead again, but less than two feet from the last bolt, he had a fall on the slippery sand. The sun was already down and it was getting pretty dark anyway, so we decided to call it a day and come back when the weather is a little warmer.
JANUARYJanuary 30: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I did the loop on Cedar Mountain, completing it just before sundown. The weather was great.
January 29: Wall Street Rock Climbing/Park Avenue Trail (Utah)
In the morning, Kimberly and Shaylee relaxed in the hotel while Kessler and I headed for Wall Street to do some climbing. We climbed Grama and the Green Suede Shoes (me once and Kessler twice) and Holey Moley (me twice and Kessler once). After doing those climbs we headed back to pick up the girls.
I dropped everyone off at the head of Park Avenue Trail and Arches and drove to the lower trailhead. I hiked up the trail and met the others coming down the trail and we all finished the hike together.
It was a great weekend!
January 28: Sand Dune Arch/Broken Arch/Skyline Arch Loop Trail (Utah)
Superhero Kimberly did her first hike since open heart surgery 17 days ago. She can't use her arms much, but she can walk! She was ready to get out of the house! Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I did the 2.5 mile Broken Arch Loop in Arches National Park. We had to go at a fairly slow pace, but Kim did fine and we all had a lot of fun.
January 22: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Kessler and I climbed Cedar Mountain using the same trail I broke the previous day. It was windy and cold, but the weather was good.
January 21: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Alone and on snowshoes, I did the short loop on Cedar Mountain, breaking trail for the entire way. It was windy and overcast, but the weather was pretty good.
January 7: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
Only a few days before beautiful Kimberly's heart surgery, we went to the climbing gym in Grand Junction since weather and conditions weren't very good outdoors. This was only the second time I have ever been in a climbing gym.
2017 NOTE2017 Note:
On January 11 2017, my beautiful wife Kimberly had an open heart surgery. This has temporarily changed our lifestyle, so trips will be few and close to home for the near future.
Accumulated Totals and GoalsAccumulated Totals for 2017:
Days that I went hiking or climbing: 176
Summits Climbed: 93
Summits Attempted: 97
Rock Towers/Technical Buttes Climbed: 2
Rock Towers/Technical Buttes Attempted: 3
Technical Rock or Ice Routes Climbed: 19
Technical Rock or Ice Routes Attempted: 23
Technical Canyons Completed: 9
Technical Canyons Attempted: 9
Overseas Climbs: 13
Goals for 2017:
Days spent hiking or climbing: 130
Summits with the kids: As many as possible!
Rock Towers: 5
Technical Rock or Ice Routes: 25
Technical Canyons: 20
ElevationsHighest Elevation Reached
17,034 feet (5192 meters) on Cerro Santa Rosa (Peru); July 1.
Highest Elevation Reached in USA
14,276 feet (4351 meters) on Torreys Peak (Colorado); September 3.
Highest Sleeping Altitude
14,797 feet (4510 meters) at Quebrada Cuyoc (Peru); June 30-July 1.
Highest Sleeping Altitude in USA
11,490 feet (3502 meters) at Boreas Pass; February 25-26.
Personal Records SetNovember 17
Highest November ascent in Mexico; 14,009 feet (4270 meters) on Nevado de Colima.
It wasn't much of a record, but the climb up The Bluffs 6930 feet (2112 meters) in Wyoming might have been the highest I have climbed to in November in Wyoming.
Highest sleeping altitude in July for Wyoming; 10,680 feet (3255 meters). The previous July record for Wyoming was 10,260 feet (3127 meters) near Jackass Pass on July 1-3 1989.
Highest July ascent; 17,034 (5192 meters) on Cerro Santa Rosa (Peru). The previous July record was 14,508 feet (4422 meters) on July 3 2015 on Mount Whitney.
June 30-July 1
Highest sleeping altitude in June and July; 14797 feet (4510 meters) at Quebrada Cuyoc (Peru). The previous June record was 11,060 feet 3371 meters) at South Colony Lakes (Colorado) on June 16-17 2007. The previous July record was 12,093 feet (3686 meters) at Trail Camp (California) on July 2-3 2015.
Highest June ascent; 16,644 feet (5073 meters) on Cerro Pucaccacca (Peru). The previous June record was 14,428 (4398 meters) on Mount Massive on June 22 2013.
Highest ascent in Jamaica; 7402 feet (2256 meters) on Blue Mountain Peak.