|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||Jan 5, 2019|
This is just a simple log to keep track of our 2019 trips.
See the 2018 Trip Log for 2018
See the 2017 Trip Log for 2017.
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 31: Ait Ben Haddou (Morocco)
Ait Ben Haddou is an ancient city east of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Some of the 1000 year old building are still inhabited. The city was built on the side of a hill and water had to be carried to the dwellings.
Shaylee and I climbed the two highest hills around the city and then walked through the stairs and narrow passageways of the city. We saw some big vultures as well.
December 30: Ouzoud Falls (Morocco)
Shaylee and I did all of the hikes around the spectacular Ouzoud Falls. The falls were beautiful and we saw many Barbary apes and a Chinese duck as well.
December 29: Tamalaroute (Morocco)
Today I climbed Tamalaroute above Imil. It was a nice day and the views were nice. There were squirells and lizards along the way.
December 26-28: Jbel Toubkal (Morocco)
Shaylee and I hiked up to the Toubkal hut high on Toubkal. The last 1/3 of the route was covered in snow, with some icy places. The views were nice along the way and the weather was clear.
It was cool in the morning, bu Shaylee and I climbed Toubkal. Conditions were good and we wore the crampons the entire distance. Some of the trail was steep, but there was nothing technical. We saw a fox early on and then several birds and squirrels near and at the summit.
The views were really nice from the summit. We took a long break before heading back down the mountain.
Today we descended from the Toubkal Hut on another really nice day.
December 25: Tizi h'Mzik (Morocco)
Today Shaylee and I hiked up to the pass known as Tizi h'Mzik. The trail was icy in places, but it wasn't bad. We had a nice lunch on the pass before heading back down.
December 21: Serpents Canyon (Colorado)
Kim and Shaylee dropped off Kessler and I near the head of Serpents Canyon (Colorado National Monument) and we descended it. The canyon was just OK, but there were some nice scenes below each rappel. There was a fair amount of ice in the canyon, but it was only challenging in one section. One rappel anchor was buried under 3" of ice. It only took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to teach the car at Devils Canyon, which is much faster than expected.
December 16: Lunch Loops/Bullet Hole Cliff Band (Colorado)
In the morning and after I worked a few hours, Kessler, Kimberly, and I did a nice loop hike connecting the Clunker, Coyote Ridge, and Holey Bucket Trails. It was chilly, but sunny. After that, Kim had to go to work.
After lunch Kessler and I headed for the Bullet Hole Cliff Band for some rock climbing. We climbed on the Dihedral and Frosted Flakes Route as well as Bullet Hole Boulder.
In the afternoon, Shaylee, Kessler, and I hiked the Curts Way, Yes N Dee Dee, Big Sister, and Hop Skip and Jump Trails, while making a side trip to the top of Point 4930.
December 14-15: Uncle Buds Hut (Colorado)
I started up the track to Uncle Buds Hut (on the side of Galena Mountain) at 1 PM. The drive was pretty hairy and took longer than normal; thus the late start. It was snowing hard the entire time. I ended up doing the last part of the snowshoe trip in the dark, but I made it to the hut. It took four hours and there were others in the hut, some of which I had met before.
I had pondered climbing Galena Mountain, but with all of the fresh snow, there was no way I could have made it to the summit and back within a day. I packed up and headed back down the mountain. It only took 2.5 hours to descend. Luckily the skies had cleared a bit and there were some views.
December 13: Horse Mountain (Colorado)
After work I headed for Horse Mountain near Palisade. It took several attempts on the drive to find a public access route. Once I found the route, it was a drive on a 4wd track to the southeast ridge of Horse Mountain.
I found a deer trail up the ridge towards Horse Mountain. At one point I took a right and it ended up to be very steep. Once I hit the main ridge though, the route was a bit more gentle. I headed cross country towards the summit. There was some snow, but it wasn't that bad. The skies were rather gloomy, but the storm hadn't arrived yet.
Once at the summit, I headed west to a different deer trail and followed that back to the trailhead.
December 12: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
After work I climbed Peak 5750 and Eagles Nest Rock. I started after sunset and returned in the dark. I climb both little knobs on top to see if I could determine which one was higher, but it was too dark.
December 9: Devils Canyon (Colorado)
Kessler and I hiked a loop at Devils Canyon near Fruita. It was quite scenic and pleasant.
December 7: Lost Angel/Angel Cove Slot (Utah)
Early in the morning I met Mark in Fruita and we drove to Hanksville meeting Corbin, Chris, and Tyler there to head for the Lost Angel Slot.
Lost Angel was a nice little slot canyon for December and we avoided getting wet. There were several interesting rappels and downclimbs.
After completing Lost Angel, which ended in a spectacular rappel, we headed along the rock shelfs to Angel Cove Slot so we could attept to ascend it. Right away we had to wade a pool and then there were several interesting and challenging upclimbs up to 5.8 in difficulty. The last overhanging one finally stopped us and we were forced to retreat to the mouth of the slot and to climb an alternate route out.
We got to the vehicles just before dark.
December 4: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
After work I climbed Peak 5750 and Eagles Nest Rock.
December 3: Lunch Loops (Colorado)
After work, I hiked at the Lunch Loops, but since I left my jacket at home, I didn't go very far!
December 1-2: Jones Canyon (Colorado/Utah)
Kessler and I drove to the Jones Canyon Trailhead and walked through the snow to the head of the canyon. The snow was only a few inches deep and the skies were sunny. Once we reached the head of the canyon, we looked for a route in. We found a steep route in and were surprised to find an old rope fixed at one ledge. Even though most of the route was snow-covered, it wasn't that bad and we reached the bottom of the canyon after not that much time.
Heading down canyon, there were several rock jams and falls to pass. They would have been fairly easy in warm and dry weather, but this time they were covered in ice. The icicles and frozen falls made for some interesting scenes though.
We found a small campsite about half way down canyon and set up camo there. We completed six miles today.
Today we explored down canyon all the way into Utah. Most of the canyon was fairly typical of the region, but there was one place with some really nice rock towers and another place that had a really nice natural arch.
There are other forks of Jones Canyon, but since we didn't want to chance getting cliffed out (the days are short in December!), we headed back the same way back to camp. We then packed up camp and hiked back to the trailhead. We hiked 13 miles today.
November 30: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
Today I hiked Peak 5750 and Eagle Nest Rock in the afternoon. It was a nice hike.
November 28: McDonald Canyon (Colorado)
Kessler and I hiked McDonald Canyon. It was nice hike and we found four panels of pictographs.
November 26: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
At night, I hiked up Peak 5750 and Eagle Nest Rock. Eagle Nest Rock was a little dicey due to ice, but the rest of the hike was easy.
November 24: MMI Canyon (Utah)
Kessler and I canyoneered MMI Canyon in the Lost Springs area of Arches National Park. It was a pretty nice canyon (some in the area are nicer) and pretty easy. The exit was not easy though since the rock was wet and sandy. We had to belay it.
After exiting the canyon, we headed for Covert Arch and checked it out before hiking back to the trailhead.
November 23: Palisade Rim (Colorado)
Shaylee and I hiked the Palisade Rim. It was a good hike with some nice petroglyphs. The weather was great as well.
November 19: Little Juniper Mountain (Colorado)
After work, Justin and I headed for Little Juniper Mountain. The hikes was short but nice and we arrived at the summit not long before sunset. Because of cloud cover to the west there wasn't much of a sunset, but the views were good.
November 18: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
After work I climbed Cedar Mountain just after sunset and came down in the dark.
November 17: Red Mountain No. 3 (Colorado)
Kessler and I headed for REd Mountain Pass to do a climb. Since time was short, we decided on Red Mountain No. 3. We climbed Red Mountain No. 3 via the old mining road, but it was still a very scenic climb and the mountains are very colorful. There wasn't as much snow around as there normally is.
November 16: Lower Ute Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I met Edmund at the Ute Canyon Trailhead for some canyoneering. Lower Ute had been on my list for a long time. The hike up the Corkscrew Trail to the head of the canyon was very beautiful.
Once we dropped into the canyon, we found a really interesting canyon made of polished granite. Unfortunately, I dropped a camera into a pool of water! I waded in and tried to find it, but the water was unbearably cold and I couldn't find the camera. Luckily I brought a backup.
The canyon was a really interesting one and a lot of fun.
November 14: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I hiked a variation of the long loop on Cedar Mountain, using the new trails that I hadn't already done. It was a nice hike.
November 13: Juniper Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I headed for the hills. I originally hoped to climb Maggies Nipple since I hadn't done it before, but I found access to the public land blocked via two different routes. I found one public access route, but it was getting late and it appeared that there would be a lot of bushwhacking with snow on the ground, which wouldn't be appealing in the dark.
I then headed for Juniper Mountain, which I had climbed in winter a few times. There is a rough 4wd track to the top and I walked. I had forgotten how long the hike was though, so I didn't get back until really late.
November 12: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the evening I climbed Cedar Mountain.
November 11: Little Juniper Mountain/Lay Peak (Colorado)
I headed for Little Juniper Mountain in the late afternoon and climbed it. I reached the summit right after sunset. The mountain and views were more impressive than I expected. The best views were of the Juniper Gorge and Yampa River. I got back just after dark.
November 10: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
On my way home I hiked up Eagles Nest Rock and Peak 5750, reaching the top right after sunset.
November 9: Angel Slot (Utah)
Brandon, Brian, Tim, Amber, Kimberly, and I met in Hanksville and headed for the Angel Slot. It was a great canyon, and very deep and impressive. The downclimbs were a lot of fun as well.
November 8: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the morning and before work, I hiked Cedar Mountain.
November 7: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the morning and before work, I hiked Cedar Mountain with Logan (co-worker). The mountain was above the fog, which allowed for the most impressive views that I have seen from the mountain.
November 6: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
In the morning and before work, I hiked Cedar Mountain with Logan (co-worker).
November 5: Cedar Mountain/Loudy Simpson (Colorado)
Today I decided to climb in the morning rather than the evening so the mud and snow would be frozen. This turned out to be a good move since the mud and snow was indeed frozen.
November 3: Elephant Head/Riggs Hill (Colorado)
Kimberly, Shaylee, Kessler, and I headed for Elephant Head in Monument Canyon for some rock climbing. All of us were able to do the climb and it was a good one. We also spent some time viewing the bighorn sheep and counted at least 18 of them. It was an enjoyable hike back as well.
After climbing Elephant Head, we drove to Riggs Hill, climbed it, and did the loop hike. It was a nice day.
November 2: The Island (Colorado)
In the afternoon and evening I climbed The Island in Colorado National Monument, arriving at the summit just before sunset. It was a really good viewpoint and very scenic. It has one of the best views around. I really wish I had brought a camera, but alas, I did not. I headed back after sunset and got back just after dark.
November 1: Peak 5750 (Colorado)
On my way home I climbed Peak 5750, which is a great viewpoint. I did not climb Eagle Nest Rock since there were people smoking on the summit.
October 29: Haystack 3 Benchmark/Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
Work was cancelled because of the snowstorm (which hasn't hit here yet). First I headed up Haystack 3 Benchmark. It was a steep, but fairly short climb. I got some nice photos of the approaching storm.
I then headed to the trailhead for Peak 5750 and headed up. I climbed up Eagles Nest Rock along the way. The views were nice, but I didn't spend much time on top. I headed quickly back to the vehicle.
October 28: Lunch Loops (Colorado)
Today I hiked the some of the Lunch Loop Trails. I started on the Holey Bucket Trail; hiked that to the Holy Cross Trail; and then made a loop with the Clunker Trail, for a hike of about 3.5 miles. The trails were nice and very close to home.
Kessler, Parker, Richard, and I headed for and un-named butte in the Fisher Towers area. As far as I know it has no name, but is marked as elevatoin 4509 on the topo maps. Kim joined us as well, but she only hiked to the base.
Since the towers in the area get all of the attention, the buttes seem to be ignored. We parked on the Fisher Towers road and headed through the drainages and ridges to reach the base of the butte, while checking out Carsons Tower along the way. We then explored around to find some routes up the butte. We found an interesting cave/slot/joint jam that ascended to the first ledge. All of us took slightly different routes. I had my son belay me on my route since it involved jumping a gap with a 50 foot void below. It was easy, but risky without a rope.
Once we were on the first ledge we headed along the ledge to the west side and found another crack that ascended to the second ledge. We then followed that ledge to the summit block which was climbed by a committing and exposed but not that hard mini-pitch.
After enjoying the summit, we headed back down. We found an easier route down to the first ledge from which point we took our ascention route down. I managed to fill my pants with sand, dirt, and rocks on the crawl through the crack.
It was a nice little climb. After the climb, we headed back to the vehicles, exploring on slot along the way.
After eaching the vehicles, we checked out some of the routes and towers near the parking lot, but we did not have time to climb them.
October 25: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Late at night and not starting until 9:45 PM, I climbed Cedar Mountain. Surprisingly it felt warmer than that it was all day. It was a nice hike, but I almost hit a deer with the vehicle on the way back.
October 24: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
At night, I climbed Cedar Mountain. There wasn't as much snow as I thought there would be (maybe 1"). I waited until night so the cold would freeze all the mud since I was worried that it might be too muddy. This was a good move since all of the mud was indeed frozen. The views of the city lights were nice and it was a pleasant hike, but I wish I would have brought a hat and gloves since it was quite chilly with the wind.
October 20: Shaylees Birthday Canyon/Not Shaylees Birthday Canyon (Colorado)
Justin, Kimberly, and I canyoneered Shaylees Birthday Canyon and Not Shaylees Birthday Canyon. Both are short, but quite nice, especially if you combine them.
October 19: Mee Canyon (Colorado)
Justin, Kimberly, Shaylee, Kessler, and I hiked to the spectacular Mee Canyon Alcove. Since the upper road to the trailhead was closed, we had to walk the road from the lower trailhead.
The second half of the route is really interesting, with a lot of scrambling and some fun ledges. As always, the alcove was really spectacular.
October 17: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Justin, Logan, and I climbed Cedar Mountain while hiking the new hiking loop on Cedar Mountain. We got back right before dark.
October 16: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
Logan and I climbed Cedar Mountain at night by headlamp.
October 15: Black Mountain (Colorado)
Starting in the dark and at 8 PM, I hiked on Black Mountain, but I didn't reach the very summit since it was so late. The moon was really nice and almost full. I saw two racoons.
October 14: Muddy Mountain (Wyoming)
After work, I climbed Muddy Mountain from the west. I walked up the steep 4wd road to the summit. It was dark by the time I was finished.
October 13: Baldy Peak (Colorado)
In the afternoon and evening, I climbed Baldy Peak in the San Juan Mountains. I made a loop up Storm Gulch and down the Baldy Trail. There were quite a few hunters on the mountain (I wore orange), but I had the summit to myself. The views were really nice.
October 12: Dinosaur Trackway/Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail/Dead Horse Point (Utah)
Kim wanted to go to the Dinosaur Trackway and Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail for her birthday. Shaylee and I joined her. We did the short hikes to the Dinosaur Trackway and Dinosaur Trail and then headed for Dead Horse Point. We did a loop hike looking at various viewpoints before heading for home.
October 11: Rabbits Ear Mesa (Colorado)
Kim and I hiked Rabbits Ear Mesa east of Mack. It was a really nice hike with great views. It was a little cool, but very pleasant with lots of sunshine and blue skies.
October 10: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock (Colorado)
Shaylee and I climbed Eagles Nest Rock and Peak 5750 on an unusually cool day. We made a loop using a route that we hadn't used previously.
Before work, I climbed Cedar Mountain. It was pretty windy because of an approaching storm.
October 8: Lone Butte/Peak 7567 (Wyoming)
After work, I climbed Lone Butte and Peak 7567 Northeast of Baggs. It was after sunset before I climbed Lone Butte and after dark before I even started up Peak 7567. Peak 7567 was a bigger mountain than I expected. I had a pleasant hike/climb under the stars and by moonlight. The moon was ~2/3 full and was bright enough that I didn't need a headlamp. I heard lots of coyotes on the way up.
On the summit was a huge cairn. I rested a few minutes before making the ascent in the dark.
October 6: First Flatiron (Colorado)
Shaylee and I met Chad in Denver and we headed for the First Flatiron. We climbed Bakers Way and the North Arete. Chad led so I could stay close to Shaylee. It was a great climb, but chillier than expected.
On our way to Denver, Shaylee and I hiked the River Trail near Dotsero.
October 3: Red Mountain (Wyoming)
After work, I climbed Red Mountain (in the Sierra Madre); arriving on the summit just before sunset. It was a nice climb in cool weather. It was dark when I made it back to the trailhead.
October 2: Fan Rock/Peak 7180 (Colorado)
After work, Justin and I headed for Bible Back Mountain, but we found the planned route blocked by private land. We found an alternate route, but it was too late too make it to the summit from that route with the remaining daylight left.
We then headed for Fan Rock and Peak 7180. Fan Rock was technical, but we found a route up the south summit. We weren't sure which summit was the highest, but the north summit definitely would have been much more difficult. We also saw the a huge eagles nest over on the north summit.
After climbing Fan Rock, we headed for Peak 7180. The route was steep, but there were no problems. The views were really nice.
October 1: Fortification Rocks (Colorado)
After work, I climbed the highest of the Fortification Rocks. It was a little dicey since I was alone and it was nearly dark.
September 30: North Flat Top (Wyoming)
After work I climbed North Flat Top near Baggs Wyoming. A rough 4wd track reaches the summit, but of course I walked up. I reached the summit right after sunset. The views were nice and the weather was good, but with a chilly breeze.
September 29: Repeat Junior/La Boca Arch/Harolds Arch (Utah)
Taylor, Kimberly and I met near Cisco to head for Repeat Junior slot canyon. Because of the weather and extreme winds, we decided to do something pretty short. After finding the slot canyon trailhead, we headed down the wash to the head of the canyon. We saw one frog, which was strange since it seemed like we were a long way from water.
We found the rappel station and made the 190 foot rappel into the canyon. It was the longest rappel we had done in a long time.
After reaching the bottom of the canyon, we hiked a short way up to the falls and then hiked down canyon through the slot. It was a nice slot. We followed the canyon down past the narrows to explore around.
We then hiked up canyon and found a challenging slickrock exit. There was an easier one in the vicinity, but we wanted to try the more challenging one. At one point we had to made a human chain to get the last person (me) up. After that it was a walk back to the trailhead.
We then headed to La Boca Arch and checked it out. We then hiked around the bluffs and scrambled up to Harolds Arch. Both arches were neat.
September 28: Juanita Arch (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I headed for Juanita Arch whic his in Maverick Canyon. Crossing the Delores River was a little more challenging than expected and parts of the route were a bit tedious, but the arch was neat and larger than I expected.
September 26: Peak 6990 (Wyoming)
After work, I climbed Peak 6990 NW of Baggs Wyoming. It is a surprisingly beautiful and colorful peak. There were also lots of antelope and wild horses on the climb. The climb isn't technical, but it was more difficult than expected since the soils are collapsable. I reached the summit right at sunset and got back after dark.
September 22: Lunch Loops (Colorado)
After church, Kim and I hiked several of the Lunch Loop trails on a beautiful afternoon.
September 21: Echo Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I did a hike to Echo Canyon in Colorado National Monument. There weren'e as many birds as on previous trips. Perhaps they moved on for the season?
September 18: Flat Top Mountain (Wyoming)
After work I climbed Flat Top Mountain Northwest of Baggs. It was already after sunset before I started. I originally wanted to climb a few more peaks, but it was too dark. I saw lots of elk and some wild horses.
September 17: Deep Creek Rim/Wild Horse Butte/Little Wildhorse Butte (Wyoming)
After work, I headed for the Deep Creek Rim Northeast of Baggs. I walked up it before making a big loop hile of Wild Horse Butte and Little Wild Horse Butte. It took a little longer than I expected so it was well after dark before the hike was finished.
September 15: Jones Canyon Overlook/Sieber Canyon (Colorado)
Kim and I headed for the Jones Canyon Overlook since we hadn't done that hike yet. We got to a pretty nice overlook (not the main one and found a good place to eat lunch. It was discovered that we left one of the water bottles in the car so we didn't complete the hike to the main overlook. Instead we returned to the vehicle and drove to Sieber Canyon. We hiked down to the falls and then hiked upper Seiber Canyon, saving the lower canyon for another trip.
September 13: Bridger Peak/Vulcan Mountain (Wyoming)
After work (near Baggs Wyoming), I headed for Bridger Peak and Vulcan Mountain. I stopped short of the road to Bridger Peak so I could hike up. I then dropped down to a saddle and climbed Vulcan Mountain. It was a big chilly and there was some fresh snow around, but the skies were blue and it was a nice hike.
September 12: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
After work I did the long loop on Cedar Mountain, finishing after sunset.
September 10: Watson Island Trails (Colorado)
After a driving lesson, Shaylee and I did a short hike on the Watson Island Trails in Grand Junction.
September 9: Pleiadis Canyon/Haystack Mountain (Utah)
After getting a late start (intentionally so the water would be warmer), Kessler and I headed for Pleiadis Canyon in the La Sal Mountains since it had been on our list for a long time. Conditions were really good in the canyon and we finished it in just over two hours.
Since we finished the canyon so fast we decided to climb a peak. We drove up to Geyser Pass and climbed Haystack Mountain from there. There were a lot of cows around and one mother with a calf was pretty aggressive. We took a long detour around her. The climb was steep and with boulderhopping, but still easier than expected. The views were nice, but there was lots of haze in the air from forest fires.
September 8: Peak 5750 (Colorado)
In the morning, Kimberly and I hiked to the top of Eagle Nest Rock and Peak 5750. It was pleasantly cool and the views were great.
September 7: Botanical Garden Trails (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I walked the trails in and around the botanical gardens since we had never been there before. It was a nice walk.
September 3: Wildcat Trail (Colorado)
My dad and I hiked the Wildcat Trail in Unaweap Canyon. It was a nice hike and since we got an early start, it wasn't too hot. The trail was steeper than expected though.
September 1-2: Lower Black Box (Utah)
Kessler, my dad, and I started from the Lower Black Box Trailhead in the afternoon. We hiked down to the San Rafael River and camped. It was a pretty hike, but a bit warm. This was the first time that I would hike through the Lower Black Box since October 1981 at age 7.
After finding a route through the bushes, and one false start by going on a bench that was too high, we all hiked the north rim of the Lower Black Box before dropping into the canyon. It was a hot day, but the swimming was pleasant and inside the box itself it was a little chilly in places. There were several rock jams to climb through and some swimming, but no major obstacles. It was a really great hike.
After finishing the Lower Black Box we walked the old 4wd road back to the vehicle and then headed for home.
September 1: Connected Lakes (Colorado)
In the morning, Kim, Shaylee, my dad, and I hiked the Connected Lakes Trail around Grand Junction. We saw several birds. We turned back after it started getting really hot.
August 31: Peak 5750/Eagle Nest Rock/Big Dominguez Creek (Colorado)
In the morning, Shaylee, Kimberly, my dad, and I hiked to Eagle Nest Rock and Peak 5750. The views were great.
Later in the morning and continuing through the afternoon, my dad and I headed for Big Dominguez Creek. The lower part of the canyon had flowing water, but not above the confluence of Little and Big Dominguez. This was disappointing since we wanted to see the waterfalls. It was still a nice hike though. We hiked to the first three petroglyph panels before heading back.
August 30: Monument Canyon Trail (Colorado)
My dad and I hiked the Monument Canyon Trail, top to bottom. We got an early start which meant that it wouldn't be too hot. It was a great hike.
August 31: Lunch Loops (Colorado)
In the evening, my dad and I hiked several trails at the Lunch Loop area. The sunset was nice as well.
August 25-26: Snowmass Mountain (Colorado)
After leaving quite late, we started up on the trail in the evening towards Snowmass Lake. Since we got such a late start, we hiked as quickly as possible and tried to reach the lake, but we didn't reach it before it got dark. We found a nice camp short of the lake and not far from the creek.
In the morning, we left for the summit of Snowmass Mountain. Instead of climbing the standard route we headed for a notch on the ridge near North Snowmass before climbing the ridge to the main summit. We enjoyed the views from the summit and had a nice lunch. We headed down the standard route and had a few nice glissades before heading down the relentless scree to Snowmass Lake. The climb took a lot longer than expected and took us nine hours round trip from Snowmass Lake.
August 23: Devils Kitchen/Lemon Squeezers/No Thoroughfare Canyon (Colorado)
Before work, Kessler and I hiked to the Devils Kitchen. We then headed for the Lemon Squeezer Slots and explored around them. Finally, we hiked up to the first pool (nearly dry) in No Thoroughare Canyon before heading back home and then to work.
August 20: Elk Springs Ridge (Colorado)
I got off work really late, but I climbed the Elk Springs Ridge anyway. It was dark the entire time and there was no moon. The stars were nice though. I saw a glowing wildfire out in the distance.
August 19: Pinyon Ridge North (Colorado)
After work I climbed Pinyon Ridge North. The drive was more challenging than the hike since the maps don't resemble reality when it comes to the nearby roads. It was a challenge finding the correct driving route that has public access.
A faded 4wd road goes all the way to near the summit, but since I was there to hike the summit, I walked the last few miles to the top. The views were pretty nice, but it was quite hazy.
There were a lot of elk and antelope on both the drive in and the drive out.
August 18: Crag Crest (Colorado)
After getting a late start, Kessler, Kimberly, and I hiked up to the highpoint on the Crag Crest. Since the lower part of the loop was closed, we didn't make the loop hike. It was a beautiful trip. There were only a few mosquitoes and the weather was great.
August 17: Piñon Mesa (Colorado)
Kimberly and I headed for Piñon Mesa since it would be a lot cooler there than right around Grand Juction. To make the hike to the top of Piñon Mesa more of a hike, we started at the Turkey Flats Trailhead and hiked up from there.
We hiked up the Turkey Flats Trail to the road near Fruita Reservoir #1. We then walked up the trail to the Ridge Trail and then headed west to the junction of the Haypress Trail, which was followed to the Turkey Flats Trail and then to the trailhead.
Along the way we saw a few snakes and lots of turkeys near Turkey Flats.
August 16: Peak 5750/Eagles Nest Rock (Colorado)
Kimberly and I hiked to Eagles Nest Rock and Peak 5750 in the morning.
August 15: Gunny Loop Trail/Point 5424 (Colorado)
In the morning, Kessler, Kimberly, and I parked at the Little Flats Trailhead. We hiked the Gunny Loop and Gunnector before connecting back to the main Gunny Loop. We made a side trip to Point 5424 for the views before following the Gunny Loop down to Little Park Road.
August 14: Bullet Hole Cliffs (Colorado)
In the morning, Kessler and I climbed the largest boulder at the Bullet Hole Cliffs. We climbed all four routes. Unfortunately, we left one of Kessler's climbing shoes behind so he went with one bare foot!
August 13: Peak 5750/Eagles Nest Rock (Colorado)
In the morning, and before it got too hot, Kessler, Kimberly, and I hiked to Eagles Nest Rock and to Peak 5750 for the nice views.
August 12: Shaylee's Birthday Canyon/Not Shaylee's Birthday Canyon (Colorado)
Kessler and I headed for Shaylee's Birthday Canyon and Not Shaylee's Birthday Canyon for some canyoneering. We descended both canyons and had a good time. There was one pool in Not Shaylee's Birthday Canyon that we had to wade.
August 11: Blue Pools Wash (Utah)
Alone, I canyoneered Blue Pools Wash near Page. It was nice, but it was also hot since it was completely dry. It is usually wet.
August 10: Horseshoe Bend/Wahweap Toadstools/Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch (Arizona/Utah)
In the morning, I hiked to Horsehoe Bend for the really nice views of Glen Canyon. I then headed for the Wahweap Toadstools and hiked to them as well. The area has a lot of interesting rock pinnacles. It started to get really hot by the time I was done.
I then headed for Wire Pass and the Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin Gulch was nice and cool and was very wet so it must have flash flooded recently. I was able to make it down to the Middle Trail and back before it got dark. There were no swims, but there was a lot of wading.
August 9: Mule Canyon (Utah)
Shaylee and I hiked Mule Canyon, which has a lot of ruins. We hiked to the first three sets of ruins at which time Shaylee said it was too hot and wanted to return.
August 7: Elk Springs Ridge/Peak 7789 (Colorado)
At first I headed for Elk Springs Ridge and climbed it via the east ridge. After that I headed for Peak 6515 on the south rim of the Skull Creek Basin. I was unable to find a public access route to the peak since the state land has been leased to a private land owner (according to the sign at least).
After being unable to find a route up Peak 6515, I headed for the next closest peak that I had not climbed already and that happened to be Peak 7789. The road close to the peak was washed out, so short on time, I didn't make the summit, but I know which route to take next time.
August 6: Moose Head Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I originally planned to climb Peak 6515, but it was a hot day and I was afraid that it would be too hot, so I headed for Moose Head Mountain. It was a nice hike and since it wasn't as dark as it was last time (July 22) so views were better.
After work, I headed for Elk Springs Ridge and climbed it before heading to Coal Ridge (near Rangely). I was originally going to climb something else, but when I was looking at the maps, I noticed that I may have missed the true summit on my previous ascent of Coal Ridge (July 22). It was dark last time, but light this time, so I decided to climb the ridge again just to be sure.
I made my way up the mountain and discovered that sure enough, the point I had reached previously was not the true summit. I climbed the true summit before heading back down.
August 4: Amber Canyon/Miller Creek (Colorado)
A group of four of us (Amber, Doug, Joe, and me) headed for the Skull Creek Basin to do some canyoneering. Amber Canyon (the one west of Miller Creek) turned out to be a dud, but had a couple rappels and pretty sections. After completing Amber Canyon we climbed out to the west and headed cross country to Miller Creek. We climbed down from the rim until we could rappel in. Once again, it was a pretty and worthwhile canyon. It was full of mucky water and some log soup. After completing the canyon, we then follwed the west rim back to the vehicles. It started to our rain once we got back and we were glad that we weren't in the canyon when it began to rain. The road was very slick on the drive out.
August 3: Bullet Hole Cliff Band/Potholes (Colorado)
In the morning, Kessler and I headed for the Bullet Hole Cliff Band for some rock climbing. Once it got too hot (after three climbs) we headed for the potholes on the Little Delores River and did the short hike to the best pool. After having a good swim, we headed back.
August 2: Black Ridge (Colorado)
In the morning, Kim and I hiked the Black Ridge Trail and Black Ridge in Colorado National Monument. It was warm, but not extremely hot since we were done by early afternoon. It was a nice hike.
July 31: Moose Head Mountain (Colorado)
After work I climbed Moose Head Mountain. It rained hard just prior to me climbing it so the road was muddy. Climbing the mountain was a lot easier than expected since there was an old road to very near the summit. The old road wasn't on any maps. It was a pleasant hike to the top and I head many owls and coyotes. I got to the summit just after sunset and it was well after dark by the time I got back.
July 30: Peak 8180 (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Peak 8180 in NW Colorado via the east ridge. The brush was tedious at times, but the climb was still pleasant. After reaching the summit, I explored the large flat expanse on top and followed the rim for the views.
July 29: Elk Springs Ridge/Mellen Hill (Colorado)
After work, I hiked the Elk Springs Ridge via the pass to the east. Later and at sunset, I headed for Mellen Hill and hiked to the top of that.
July 28: Coke Ovens/Window Rock (Colorado)
In the evening and after it cooled off, Kim and I headed for Colorado National Monument. We hiked the trail to the Coke Ovens after sunset. We then hiked the Window Rock Loop Trail in the dark so we could see the city lights.
July 27: Ute Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee and I hiked down the Ute Canyon Trail and into Ute Canyon. We planned to hike up the canyon to the headwall, but there was a lot of mud and water from the recent storms. There was some bushwhacking as well. We decided to turn back and to hike down canyon instead. That part of the canyon was also filled with mud and water, so we retreated back to the trail and hiked back out.
July 26: East Fourmile Draw (Colorado)
After work I hiked East Fourmile Draw to see all of the pictographs and petroglyphs.
July 24: Mill Creek (Utah)
Shaylee, Kessler, and I headed for Mill Creek near Moab. It was a really hot day, but luckily Mill Creek has a lot of swimming holes. We hiked to the confluence of the two forks and then headed up the North Fork to the largest swimming hole. It was surprisingly crowded considering that it was mid-week. The pool wasn't as deep as it used to be since it seems that much of it has filled with sand.
After spending time at the pool, we hiked farther up canyon to the next two pools. They were much less crowded and we spent time at them before heading back. It was a nice hike and the water was welcome since the temperature was 103F.
July 22: Coal Ridge (Colorado)
After work, I hiked up Coal Ridge east of Rangely. It was after sunset so I didn't stick around the summit.
July 21: Crag Crest (Colorado)
Shaylee and I headed for the Crag Crest to escape the heat of Grand Junction. There were a lot of mosquitoes on the hike though, even on the summit. We started from the west side and headed back the same way. We decided not to complete the loop since it passes by so many lakes and since the mosquitoes were so bad. Surprisingly, we didn't see any marmots or pikas on the ridge. I had always seen them there before.
July 18: Calamity Ridge (Colorado)
After work, I hiked up the Calamity Ridge near Rangely. I waited until sunset because of the heat. There is an old jeep road to the summit, but I walked up.
July 17: Mellen Hill (Colorado)
I climbed Mellen Hill in the late evening. Since it was a hot day, I waited until after sunset.
July 16: Peak 6693 (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Peak 6693 southeast of Rangely. There were a lot of mosquitoes and gnats out! There is a rough jeep trail to the summit, but I walked up.
July 15: Shovetail BM (Colorado)
After work, I climbed the Shovetail BM from the east. It was a steep scramble, but wasn't that long. I had a really nice sunset.
July 14: Potholes (Colorado)
Shaylee and I headed for the Potholes at the Little Delores River. It's a short hike, but the swimming holes are great and a lot of fun. It's beautiful as well.
July 13: Peak 5750/Leon Peak (Colorado)
In the morning Kessler, Kimberly, and I headed for Peak 5750 near Colorado National Monument, before it got hot. The views were nice and it was getting warm by the time we reached the trailhead.
After that, they had to go to work and I headed for the Grand Mesa to climb Leon Peak, the highest point in Moffat County. It was a nice hike, but there were a lot of mosquitoes and it rained some. There were a lot of boulders to climb over, but it wasn't as bad as I expected, especially since I had read a lot about the boulders.
July 11: Mellen Hill (Colorado)
After work and at sunset, I walked up Mellen Hill. The sunset was especially beautiful tonight.
July 10: Banta Ridge (Colorado)
After work, I climbed the Banta Ridge near Rangely. I didn't start until after sunset, so it was dark on the descent. It was a nice hike, but I never did see any bantas.
July 9: Peak 6660 (Colorado)
After work, I headed for Peak 6660 in Moffat County. It was a nice and isolated summit, but there were too many biting gnats! I got back well after sunset.
July 7: Entrajo Canyon/Lower Courthouse Wash (Utah)
Taylor and I met in Moab to head for Entrajo Canyon (it's a good summer canyon because of the water). We started late morning, so the approach was hot, but not scorching. After the approach, we headed up canyon for some exploration before heading down canyon. There were several guided groups in the canyon, which slowed things down. We had to wait quite a bit at the final rappel.
After Entrajo Canyon we headed for Lower Courthouse Wash since I suggested that it had water and wouldn't be too bad. It turned out to be an absolutely miserable hike. There was no running water until the end, but there was lots of mud and the mosquitoes were the worst I have seen anywhere in the world. We made it to the end, but it wasn't pleasant.
July 6: Coal Creek Trail (Colorado)
Kimberly, Kessler, and I hiked the Coal Creek Trail below the rim of Grand Mesa. We hoped to find a waterfall I had seen photos of. We walked the pretty trail to Coal Creek Basin, but didn't reach the waterfall. We had to turn back there so Kim could make it to work. It was a nice hike.
July 3: Scwartzenkopt/Hollentorkopt (Germany)
The original plan was to climb Alpspitze, but the weather forecast was not good. Instead Kessler and I walked from Hammersbach to the summits of Scwartzenkopt/Hollentorkopt, which were lower. This turned out to be a good move because above Hollentorkopt everything was socked in with clouds. It only rained a little bit on the hike up though. We rode the lift down from near the summit of Hollentorkopt.
July 1-2: Zugspitze (Germany/Austria)
The weather forecast was bad and my feet were still very sore from Ortler, but Kessler and I decided to give Zugspitze a try to climb at least part way up anyway, especially since we already had a hut reservation at the Hoellentalangerhuette.
The weather was not promising. As soon as we boarded the bus, it began to hail and rain hard. We started up the trail in the rain and hail. By the time we reached the Hollentalklamm Gorge, it wasn't raining as much and since we were already soaked, we didn't have to worry so much about getting wet in the gorge!
The gorge was really impressive and spectacular as was the trail. There were tunnels and lots of waterfalls spilling down all over the place. There were also some huge snowbanks in the gorge at an elevation of only just over 1000 meters.
We eventually made our way out of the gorge and to the valley holding the Hoellentalangerhuette. We wore raincoats, but we still soaked anyway so we decided to dry our clothes out before doing some exploring around. In the evening, the weather cleared a big and we explored the upper valley to as high as the beginning of the via feratta route known as Brett.
We returned back to the hut there. There were alpine salamanders all over the place and some frogs as well. It was suprising to see so many cold blooded creatures in a place that was so cold. We also saw a chamois on the cliffs above Brett.
The weather forecast was bad again, so we decided not chance climbing the Hoellental Route. Instead we hiked around the mountain to a cable car station and rode the cable car the rest of the way to near the summit. We then made the final climb up the easy but exposed ladders and cables to the summit. We got lucky since the weather was partially clear at the summit. After we left the summit, everything clouded up again.
It was a good climb, but I still wish we would have been able to complete the Hoellental Route. Maybe some day.
June 30: Ambras Castle (Austria)
Kessler and I visited the Ambras Castle and we also hiked the nice trails around the castle, which included a nice forest and waterfall.
June 28-29: Ortler (Italy)
Andreas, Kessler, and I drove to the Ortler to start our climb. We decided the north ridge route since we weren't sure of the conditions and time commitments on the Hintergrat.
We hiked past the enormous north face (which had a monument on it dedicated to the climbers killed on the north face) and then hiked the trail to the Sayers Hut, which is set spectacularly right at the edge of a huge cliff. We then ate dinner and went to bed so we could get up early for the next day's climb.
We left early the next morning for the climb. It was more "exciting" than expected. There was a lot of rock climbing, which was tricky with boots and crampons and there was also a vertical ice traverse. There were also some really big crevasses to jump across. Still, the climb was enjoyable and we reached the summit without incident.
The descent didn't go as well for me. The mountaineering boots rubbed my feet raw and I was in a lot of pain during the descent. I had to move really slowly, perhaps to the annoyance of my climbing partners. The rock pitches were especially painful.
We reached the hut and ate lunch, but it was still a long and painful descent from there.
June 27: Cima Grande (Italy)
Kessler and I spent the previous day resting and travelling by bus and train to Toblach. This morning we met Andreas in the morning and drove to Cima Grande for the climb of one of the most famous peaks in the Alps. We climbed the south face. It was a pretty good climb, but it wasn't nearly as fun as First Sella Tower since it has a lot of loose rocks on the benches between the good pitches. The weather and views were fantastic though.
We reached the beautiful summit and enjoyed a good lunch. We took a different route down. It was not so fun and was rather loose and a bit dangerous.
June 25: Sass Pordoi/Piz Boè (Italy)
Kessler and I decided to head to Piz Boè today. We rode the cable car up to Sass Pordoi and headed for Piz Boè, mostly on the snow. The route to Piz Boè was a fairly easy rock scramble with fixed cables. Coming from the US, it was weird to have a restaurant and hut on the summit! We ate a fancy lunch before headed down the other side of the mountain to Pizes del Valun and Le Pointe. We only saw one person on this route. The couloir below Le Pointe was filled with snow and very steep, but there was a fixed rope in places.
After reaching the Grand Valacia we headed long a trail on a bench between the huge cliffs and circled around to the south side of the mountains. There were a lot of marmots in the meadows. We then took a steep trail down to the WWI monument (Ossario del Pordoi Kreigerdenkmal) where 8000 soldiers are buried from WWI and 800 from WWII. Sombering place. After visiting the monument, we walked back to the Passo Pordoi and took a bus back to Canazei.
June 24: First Sella Tower (Italy)
Kessler and I met Eitenne in Canazei and headed for the First Sella Tower. It was a really spectacular climb and the best we ended up doing in the Alps. The weather was beautiful as well.
The last pitch was the hardest and was really polished. I struggled on that one! Kessler found it easier. It was a great climb and the views were great too. The descent wasn't so bad either.
Strangely we saw a giant centipede at the base of the tower. I didn't think they lived up this high.
June 22-23: Catinaccio (Italy)
It was raining and the weather forecast called for a 100% chance of rain, but since we had a hut reservation we decided to hike anyway.
We took the cable car from Vigo di Fasso to Rifugio Ciampedie and walked, mostly in the rain to Rifugio Vaiolet. It was a really easy, gentle, and and pleasant walk (even in the rain) until the end which was steeper but still easy. The hut was in a spectacular setting.
Once at the hut we ate a fancy lunch with a strauben. We also brought our sleeping bags since we didn't know the huts would be so fancy.
In the late afternoon it began to clear and we walked towards Passo Principe. Since we had to be back for dinner, we didn't quite make it to the pass. It was a beautiful walk though and the clouds seem to play tag with the mountaintops.
After dinner, we decided to climb towards the Rifugio Re Alberto. We climbed until sunset and then returned to the Vaiolet.
Kessler and I left the hut in the morning and headed for the Passo delle Coronelle. The weather was much better than it was the day before. It was a pleasant hike and there were a lot of marmots playing in the meadows. Once we got to the pass though, the route became much more sketchy, especially since we regrettably didn't bring an ice axe (we should have). The route down the west side to the Refuio Fronza was pretty sketchy and the cables were buried in snow, but we made it down OK.
Unfortunately, we saw the aftermath of one climbing accident on the cliffs above the Refigio. It appeared to be a fatal accident.
The rest of the walk was beautiful and pleasant. Near the Rifugio Roda di Vael we climbed the Col de Ciampac (more of a hill than a mountain) and the Marare Ridge, but we weren't equipped to do the traverse across the crest of the ridge, which looked like an excellent climb.
The rest of the walk was a pretty gentle and beautiful walk to Rifugio Ciampedie where we then rode the cable car back to Vigo di Fassa.
June 16: Big Dominguez Canyon (Colorado)
In the afternoon, Shaylee and I hiked Big Dominguez Canyon from the top end. We saw a lot of ducks and since the elevation was relatively high, it wasn't too hot.
June 15: Zero Gravity (Utah)
Taylor and I met in Crescent Junction to go to Zero Gravity, a slot canyon in the San Rafael Swell. As usual, it was a great slot canyon. There was a lot of water in the canyon and lots of swimming. The approach hike was hot, but the water was pleasant once we were in the canyon.
Kimberly and I hike Echo Canyon in Colorado National Monument in the morning.
June 12: Dragon Trail/Canyon Pintado/Mellen Hill (Colorado)
In the morning, Shaylee and I headed for the Dragon Trail (a dirt road near Rangely). We hiked to all the rock art sites near the Dragon Trail. The most interesting panel was the Carrot Men, which panel is thousands of years old.
June 11: Harpers Corner (Colorado)
After work, Shaylee and I hiked Harpers Corner in Dinosaur National Monument.
Kessler and I had the day off so we headed for Greasewood Draw in the San Rafael Swell. We hadn'd done the canyon yet, which was a bonus. We did three mandatory rappels and downclimbed everything else, along with one 15 foot jump. Luckily the water was clear enough so we could see the bottom.
There was a lot of water in the canyon, but only a few of the pools were really cold.
It was a nice canyon. It was a little harder than expected, but we could have made it easier if we rappelled more of the drops instead of downclimbing.
June 9: Kannah Creek Trail (Colorado)
Shaylee and I hiked the Kannah Creek trail, which is on the lower slopes of the Grand Mesa. We made it a few mile up the trail, but the trail was eventually flooded out due to snowmelt, so we turned back.
June 8: Dry Fork (Utah)
I had to take Kessler to Vernal so he could take the ACT test, so I went hiking around Dry Fork and the McKonkie Ranch to view the petroglyphs. As usual, they were impressive.
June 6: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
June 5: Elk Springs Ridge/Mellen Hill (Colorado)
After work, I hiked up to the highest point on the Elk Ridge. I took the eastern route. After dinner, I also hiked up Mellen Hill to see the sunset.
June 4: Skull Creek Basin (Colorado)
After work, I explored on the western drainages of the Skull Creek Basin. There was some scrambling and one slot section, but I ran out of time before exploring the entire drainage.
June 3: Mellen Hill (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Mellen Hill near Rangely. The summit is quite impressive as are the views, but unfortunately there is a road to near the summit. I stopped well short of the summit and walked the road before making the final ascent. I was on top right around sunrise.
June 2: Echo Canyon (Colorado)
In the evening, Kessler and I hiked Echo Canyon in Colorado National Monument. The canyon was shaded so the temperatures were pleasant. There were lots of noisy frogs in the canyon and we saw many birds.
June 1: Peak 5750/Potholes (Colorado)
In the late morning, Kim, Shaylee, and I hiked to the summit of Eagle Nest Rock and Peak 5750. The views were really nice, but it was cloudy which means the photos weren't quite as good. It was still a great hike.
In the afternoon, Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I headed for the Potholes of the Little Delores River to do the short hike to the falls and to go swimming. We did go swimming, but the water was cold!
May 31: Dome BM (Colorado)
Kessler and I hiked up Dome BM east of Douglas Pass. There is a road to the top, but we stopped well short of the summit so we could walk to the top.
May 30: Skull Creek (Colorado)
In the evening, Kessler and I explored the Skull Creek drainage. The canyon was a bit narrow in places, but not a slot. There were several technical up and down climbs and some colorful hills.
May 29: Peak 6502 (Colorado)
In the evening, Kessler and I climbed Peak 6502 from the west and Horse Draw. It was steep in places, but a nice climb and scramble to an isolated peak.
May 28: Canyon Pintado (Colorado)
In the late evening, Kessler and I headed to Canyon Pintado for some short hikes. It rained most of the day so we didn't want to do a long hike. We hiked to Lookout Point, State Bridge Site, White Birds, and Kokepelli.
May 26: Big Dominguez Canyon (Colorado)
Justin, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I parked at Bridgeport and hiked up Big Dominguez Canyon. We found a perfect lunch spot and relaxed in the shade. We stopped at two of the biggest waterfalls and overlooked another. We saw three nice petroglyph panels, one of which was observed by binoculars.
May 25: Rattlesnake Arches (Colorado)
Justin, Kessler, and I hiked the Rattlesnake Arches loop. We took the climbers moki step route through Cedar Tree Arch and then hiked the loop around the arches, stopping at Centennial Arch to eat lunch. It was a nice hike.
May 22: East Fourmile Draw (Colorado)
It was a rainy day, but after work, Kessler and I hiked around East Fourmile Draw. There were many pictograph panels along the route. It was a nice hike.
May 19: Fairlyand Trail (Utah)
Kessler and I hiked the Fairlyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. We hiked from Sunrise Point down to Tower Bridge, enjoying the views and hoodoos. It was a nice hike. It snowed at times and was cold and windy. After we reached the trailhead, it really started snowing.
May 18: Birch Hollow (Utah)
Kessler and I met seven others near the Birch Hollow Trailhead. It rained hard the night before, so we were unable to spot a car at the Orderville Trailhead. The road was very slick, but we made our way by vehicle to the Birch Hollow Trailhead.
The drainage got really muddy as soon as we set foot in the drainage. The canyon also had a flow of 1-2 CFS. Although it was muddy, it was a very enjoyable romp through a really nice canyon. The last part of the canyon was best and had several neat rappels. Most people did the mini-slot in Orderville Canyon as well, which had flowing water.
Since there was a lot of mud around, we decided not to do the Wild Wind Hollow exit and instead walked the road back to the trailhead on the main road.
May 15: Raven Ridge (Colorado)
This time after work, I headed for the highest point on the Raven Ridge, west of Rangely. The road was a bit rough to get there, but I climbed to the summit via the west side of the peak. I was surprised to find a fence on the summit since this area seems so little visited.
May 14: Cross Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I headed for the south part of Cross Mountain, which is my favorite place in the area that I am working. I made the hike to the summit and went to the edge of the gorge for some spectacular views.
May 13: Raven Ridge North (Utah)
After work, I made an attempt to get to a peak near Box Canyon (NW Colorado), but it seemed to be blocked by private land. I headed for Raven Ridge North just inside Utah. It was a nice climb to the top and had nice views. I was at the summit right around sunset.
May 12: Ute Canyon Trail (Colorado)
Kimberly and I did a short hike to the mouth of Ute Canyon just after sunset.
May 11: Sneak Canyon/Baby Slot (Utah)
A group of six of us met in Green River to canyoneer Sneak Canyon and Baby Slot, which are side canyons of Three Canyon. We did Sneak Canyon first and used the climbers exit. WE got one rope stuck and Josh had to ascend the rope to unstick it. From the top of the exit we headed directly to Baby Slot and completed it before heading up Three Canyon and then Sneak Canyon to the exit. It was a nice trip.
May 10: Riggs Hill (Colorado)
In the evening, Kim and I did a loop hike over Riggs Hill. There were a lot of lowers out; more than I have ever seen in the area.
May 9: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
May 8: Elk Springs Ridge/Peak 6521 (Colorado)
After work, I parked at the highway and walked the 4wd road to the radio tower on Elk Springs Ridge. I then headed west without a trail along the ridge over several summits, including the highest one and returned via another old 4wd track. It was cold and windy.
On the way back to the hotel I stopped and climbed Peak 6521 south of Rangely. This one also had a 4wd track to the top, but I walked the last part for some exercise.
May 7: Lone Mountain (Colorado)
After work I climbed Lone Mountain. I arrived at the summit just before sunset. There were some nice views to be had, but my route was a little brushy.
May 6: MF Mountain/Peak 6860 (Colorado)
After work, I climbed MF Mountain and Peak 6860. I walked from the main road and followed a jeep trail for much of the way to MF Mountain before making the off trail hike to the summit. I saw one scorpion on the return. Peak 6860 had no trail and was a bit steep, but it wasn't a hard climb. As usual, the views were quite nice.
May 5: Eagle Nest Rock/Peak 5750 (Colorado)
Early in the morning, Kim and I hiked up Eagle Nest Rock and Peak 5750. The lighting and views were really nice with the early morning daylight.
May 3: Canyon Pintato (Colorado)
On the way back from work, I stopped in Canyon Pintato and did a few short hikes to the peroglyph and pictograph panels. I visited Cow Canyon and Kokepeli Panels. I also found another panel that wasn't on any maps and had no signs.
May 2: Spooky Mountain (Colorado)
After work, I climbed Spooky Mountain north of Rangely. It was around sunset. The views were great and I saw several deer. Not many people climb this one, but there was a huge carin on top. I never did see any ghosts.
April 29: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
April 27-28: North Fork Robbers Roost Canyon/Robbers Roost Canyon (Utah)
Kimberly and I drove down to Robbers Roost in order to do some backpacking and canyoneering. Insstead of taking the standard ways out of the canyon, we decided to do a longer route so we could camp in the canyon and do some exploring.
We didn't arrive at the White Roost Trailhead until mid-afternoon. We were lucky enough to catch a ride back to the North Fork Robbers Roost Trailhead.
We hiked down to the technical section of North Fork Robbers Roost and dropped down in. The backpacks were a pain at times, but the canyon is pretty easy, as far as technical canyons go.
We made it through the beautiful technical section of North Fork and then headed down through The Crack and into the main fork or Robbers Roost. We hiked down canyon to as far as the Middle Fork and set up camp. We spent the evening in Middle Fork, returning to camp well after dark.
We got up early and hiked down Robbers Roost Canyon to White Roost Canyon. It was an easy and beautiful walk. The only obstacles were a few muddy places. We then hiked up White Roost Canyon to the historic cattle trail, which we followed back up to the vehicle.
It was a great trip.
April 25: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
April 22: Cedar Mountain (Colorado)
After work (I was in the Craig area), I hiked the full loop on Cedar Mountain. It was a nice hike and I met an old friend at the trailhead. We did part of the hike together.
April 21: Trico Peak (Colorado)
Tom and I met at Red Mountain Pass early in the morning to climb Trico Peak in the San Juans. The snow was nice and hard for the climb up. We climbed up the east ridge of Trico. It was a bit more dicey than expected since the snow was blown into a knife edge with nearby cornices, but we made it to the summit. Our ice axes were definitely needed.
After enjoying the summit, we descended the north ridge until we could glissade into the basin. We then snowshoed through the basins and back to the pass. The snow got very soft by the end of the climb. It was a beatiful day.
April 20: Rough Canyon/Shaylee's Birthday Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I headed for Rough Canyon and Shaylee's Birthday Canyon (named several years ago on Shaylee's birthday) since that is what Shaylee picked to do today. The route through Rough Canyon was rougher than expected since there was a lot of water roaring down the canyon. We had never seen the canyon flowing. There was a lot of wading and the route took much longer than expected since we had to bypass a lot of obstacles that could have been done by hiking the streambed if the water wasn't flowing. We took about three times longer than expected to make it to Shaylee's Birthday Canyon and we were tired by the time we made it to the canyon. We found the route to the head of the canyon and rappelled in. The slot was short, but better than I remembered and the downclimbs were nice. After negotiating the slot, we walked back to Rough Canyon and hiked the jeep road back to the vehicle.
April 19: Old Gordon Trail (Colorado) In the evening, Kimberly and I hiked the Old Gordon Trail top to bottom. The beginning of the trail was very confusing and we got off track a little bit before finding the correct route. The rest of the hike went well and it was a beautiful hike.
April 18: Eagle Nest Rock/Peak 5750 (Colorado)
In the evening, Kimberly and I hiked to Eagle Nest Rock and Peak 5750 from the east. It was a nice hike and the views were fantastic.
April 16: Opal Hill (Colorado)
After school and work, Shaylee and I hiked to the summit of Opal Hill near Fruita and completed a loop hike.
April 14: Corcoran Point (Colorado)
Today I climbed Cocroran Point in the Book Cliffs. I started at the valley floor at the Tellerico Trail and followed the trail to the summit. I saw lots of signs of wild horses, but no wild horses. The views were great and it was a nice hike.
Erin and I met at Dewey Bridge and we drove in my vehicle to the Delores River Overlook before backtracking to the head of Bridge Canyon. We had planned to check out and to possibly descend the canyon. We hiked down canyon passing several minor falls along the way. There was one 60 foot waterfall which was tedious to bypass. The creek was flowing into the canyon.
Eventually we found ourselves at the top of a huge drop. I explored the ledges on the east side of the canyon before returning to the drop. The canyon looked interesting and narrow below, but since it was mid-day and since we could see if we had enough rope, we returned to the vehicle. Once at Dewey Bridge, we decided to hike to a nearby arch.
April 11: Canyon Pintato (Colorado)
On my way back from a project, I stopped at some of the places in Canyon Pintado to do some short hikes to some rock art. I stopped at the Camel Ridge, White Birds, and Waving hands sites.
April 10: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
April 8: Serpents Trail (Utah)
After work, Kim and I hiked the Serpents Trail.
April 7: Little Ruin Canyon (Utah)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I hiked the loop at Ruin Canyon in Hovenweep National Monument. It was a nice loop hike and the ruins were nice, but since the ruins are protected we couldn't get that close to them.
April 6: Summit Canyon (Colorado)
Shaylee, Kimberly, and I hiked Summit Canyon near Slick Rock Colorado. It was in an old guidebook we had that was decades old. Slick Rock had been abandoned and the mouth of the canyon was closed due to some mining contaminants. We hiked all the way around these before dropping down into the canyon. We foound a rugged way into the canyon and accessed the canyon that way.
The canyon looked like it hadn't been hiked in a very long time, but the hiking was easy and scenic.
April 5: Dinosaur Hill (Colorado)
Shaylee and I hiked the loop at Dinosaur Hill after school.
April 4: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
April 3: Riggs Hill (Colorado)
After work, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I hiked the loop on Riggs Hill.
April 2: Peak 5750 (Colorado)
After work, I did a quick climb to the summit of Peak 5750.
April 1: Ribbon Trail (Colorado)
After work, Kimberly and I hiked the Ribbon Trail, top to bottom. It was a beautiful hike, but it got dark before we reached the end. We did the remaining trail in the dark. It appeared that there might be some interesting slot canyons and caves along the way, so we will return when we have more time so we can check them out.
March 31: Laughing Lizard (Utah)
Chad and I climbed Laughing Lizard near the mouth of Little Spotted Wolf Canyon. I led the first pitch, Chad led the others. The climb was very intimidating and sandy for the grade. It was a beautiful climb, but the rock quality was rather poor.
March 30: Aguille du Gieant (Utah)
Chad and I climbed the Aguille du Gieant in the Sandstone Alps of the San Rafael Reef. We freesoloed the first half of the pitches and switched leads while we were roped. It was a great climb and very beautiful.
March 27: Dinosaur Hill (Colorado)
After work and school, Shaylee, Kimberly, and I hiked the loop at Dinosaur Hill near Fruita.
March 26: Bullet Hole Cliff Band (Colorado)
After work, Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly, and I headed for the Bullet Hole Cliff Band to do some rock climbing. Kessler, Shaylee, and I were able to climb the easiest route on Bullet Hole Rock, but only Kessler was able to climb more than that route.
After Bullet Hole Rock, we climbed up to the cliff bands and climbed some routes there. Kessler and I climbed the route to the left of Fingers. Shaylee attempted Fingers too, but it seemed stiff for a supposed 5.7. Kim and Shaylee attempted, but did not top out on the route to the left of Fingers.
Since the sun was down, we didn't have any more time to climb more than that.
March 23: Ute Canyon (Colorado)
Kim dropped Kessler and I at the top of the Ute Canyon Trail in Colorado National Monument. We hiked down the trail (part of it had fallen away due to a recent rock slide) and to the bottom of Ute Canyon. We then hiked down Ute Canyon to the Libert Cap Trail and hiked down to the vehicle. It was a beautiful hike, but not very challenging.
March 21: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
March 19 Mount Galbraith (Colorado):
I was in Denver for some classes and since class got out early today, I climbed Mount Galbraith from the NIghtbird Gulch Trail. This trail is the longer of the two routes and has more elevation gain, but I thought it would be a better route since more of it is south facing and would have less snow. I hiked up the Nighbird Gulch Trail to the junction of the Cedar Gulch Trail. To this point, there wasn't much snow. I then took the loop trail (with quite a bit of snow) to the southeast and climbed the southeast ridge of Mount Glabraith to the summit. There was snow, but it wasn't too difficult.
It was a nice hike.
March 17: Grand Valley Climbing/Peak 5750 (Colorado)
In the morning and before church, Kim and I did some climbing at the gym.
In the afternoon, Kim and I hiked Peak 5750 near Colorado National Monument from the Lunch Loop Trailhead. There were many trails to choose from and we did a loop of several trails.
March 16: Mack BM/Peak 5398 (Colorado)
Alone, I hiked the Mack Ridge Trail to the summit of Mack BM in western Mesa County. It was a nice viewpoint of the surrounding canyon county and the Colorado River. I then hiked down to the trailhead and up the Moore Fun Trail to the summit of Peak 5398, which had more nice views. These trails are more popular with mountain bikes than hikers, but there weren't that many mountain biked around and it was a nice hike.
March 11: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
March 9-10: The Needles (Utah)
Kimberly and I backpacked into The Needles in Canyonlands National Park. I have been to Canyonlands National Park many times, but this was the first time since the 1980's that I had visited Druid Arch and the first time since the 1990's that I have visited Chesler Park.
We got a late start from home and didn't start from the Elephant Hill Trailhead until 1:15 PM. With backpacks, we hiked to the campsite in Elephant Canyon known as EC-1 and then set up camp. We then did the entire Chesler Park/Joint Trail Loop and arrived back to camp right when it was getting really dark. It was a really beautiful loop and as always, the Joint Trail was really fun.
In the morning, we hiked up to Druid Arch and back. It had been raining a lot in the past few days and there was lots of water along the route. The creek was actually flowing for much of the time. The arch was impressive and the hike was a lot of fun.
We had a mix of sunny and cloudy skies throughout the past two days. It was cooler than normal as well, but the weather was still pleasant.
March 6: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
March 4: Hurricane Gorge (Utah)
Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly, and I went rock climbing at the Swimming Hole Rock in the Hurricane Gorge in SW Utah. We climbed Sophia Swing (5.8), Savannah Smiles (5.7), River Rock Reuben (5.8+), and Twin Power (5.7). It was a long time since we had all climbed together. Interestingly, Twin Power seemed like the hardest climb even though it was supposed to be the easiest. I came down 2/3 of the way up because I didn't like the move and didn't want to fall since my belayer weighed less than 1/2 of what I did.
March 3: Mollies Nipple (Utah)
Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly, and I climbed Mollies Nipple in Southwest Utah. We climbed it from the east, which was a long walk because the roads were too muddy to drive. It wasn't a hard hike, but there was lots of mud along the way. We found one petroglyph near the summit. There was some minor scrambling required to reach the summit as well. As expected, the views from the summit were fantastic.
February 24: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
February 23: Grand Mesa (Colorado)
This was another hopeful attempt on Crag Crest. We started at the county line trailhead and snowshoed to the overlook at 10,845 feet, but beyond that the trailbreaking was too audorous for us to make the summit. Even with snowshoes, the powder was more than belly deep!
February 22: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
February 19: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
February 16: Cholula (Mexico)
February 15: Cascada de Texolo (Mexico)
Kimberly and I hiked to the Cacada de Texolo, walking all the way from Xico and back on foot. We hiked all the trails to all of the falls as well. It was better than expected since I thought there would only be one waterfall.
February 14: Cañón de las Mariposas (Mexico)
Kim and I joined a group of six to go canyoning near Jalcomulco. Cañón de las Mariposas is located is Southeast Mexico near Jalcomulco in the Veracruz region. It is named for the Morpho butterflies that gather there. I actually went down to Mexico to get some dental work done, but because I had an infection, the work couldn't be done, so we headed to the Jalcomulco area instead. Supposedly the canyon was "recently discovered" and is off the beaten track. It was a great canyon, but the lighting for photos wasn't the best and my waterproof camera doesn't take the best photos. It was a neat canyon with some good narrows, crystal clear water, several jumps, and flow-stone and stalactites on a lot of the walls. There were no rappels, but several jumps and downclimbs. Jalcomulco is a hot place, so the water was really refreshing.
It was a great little trip.
February 11: Nevado del Toluca (Mexico)
It was my 4th night of no sleep and I felt terrible. I was just released from the hospital a week earlier due to a near fatal septic infection. Kimberly and I decided to head to Nevado del Toluca anyway. Since we were short on time, we went with a Mexican driver/guide. I had climbed the peak solo more than 26 years prior and was eager to see how things have changed on the mountain. We left Mexico City at 3 AM.
You can no longer drive to the crater, so we stopped north of the saddle between Humboldt and Anguila and hiked over the ridge and down to the crater lakes from there. We took a direct and very steep route up to the summit of Fraile. Since I didn't feel well, the climb up the scree slope seemed endless. Once on the ridge, there was some interesting scrambling and a little bit of ice. We reached the summit after four hours and I was exhausted. I had definitely not recovered from my hospital stay. The hike down was long as well.
It was a great climb, but I couldn't enjoy it due to my not feeling well.
February 10: Parque Nacional Disierto de los Leones (Mexico)
I wasn't feeling that great and didn't get any sleep the night before (I was also in the hospital for several days a week prior), but Kimberly and I headed to the Parque Nacional Disierto de los Leones to do some hiking. We hiked several trails though the hills and also explored the underground tunnels at the old monestary. We found several old ruins along some of the lesser used trails as well.
February 9: Bosque Chapultepec (Mexico)
Kim and I walked most of the urban trails at the Bosque Chapultepec. Of course we stopped by the zoo and Anthropological Musuem as well.
February 3: Riggs Hill (Colorado)
I had spent several days in the hospital so Kim and I wanted to see what I could still do. We hiked Riggs Hill in the evening. We took a different trail down than we usually did and it was quite muddy.
January 28: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
January 27: Riggs Hill (Colorado)
In the morning, Kimberly and I hiked a loop on Riggs Hill. We did it in the morning so the mud would be frozen. Conditions were good.
January 26: Grand Mesa (Colorado)
Kimberly and I planned to snowshoe and climb the Crag Crest, but the parking lot for the trailhead was not plowed. We tried an alternate route near Carp Lake, but the trailbreaking was too slow and we could see we couldn't make the summit. We returned to the trailhead and snowshoed down to (the frozen) Island Lake to check it out. We then drove to the County Line Trailhead and snowshoed a big loop including Point 10,820, which had great views. We didn't start until after 3:30 and did 4.5 miles by the time it was dark.
January 19-21: Fourmile Canyon/North Fork Ticaboo Canyon/East Fork Ticaboo Canyon/South Fork Ticaboo Canyon (Utah)
After suffering most of the week from jaw pain, the pain finally subsided Friday night, so my brother Mark, nephew Josh, wife Kim, and I met in Hansville for a three day backpack.
After shuttling the two 4x4s, we started near Mount Elsworth, climbed over the pass to Fourmile Creek and then to the benches between Fourmile and North Ticaboo Creek. Conditions were difficult because there were was much more snow than expected and also some ice and mud. The snow was over half way to our knees in places and the going was slow. Because of ice and water in Fourmile Creek, we decided to traverse the benches to the south instead, but this proved to be more difficult than expected.
We had a beautiful campsite on the rock benches.
Today we climbed into the North Fork of Ticaboo Creek and explored down it, explored the East Fork, and then camped near the shore of Lake Powell. Sadly though, one of the cliffs was blocking our view of the eclipse and we were too tired to walk up or down canyon at night to try and get a view. The going was much easier than the day before, with the only obstacles being a few dryfalls and lots of walking on granite boulders.
Today we hiked up the South Fork of Ticaboo Creek and then to the rim. The weather was cloudy, but only a few tiny rain drops or snowflakes fell. We ran out of time so we didn't get to explore the upper half of the south fork. It was a nice trip, but because of conditions on the first day, much more difficult than expected. I didn't get any photos of the hard part. Since the going was slower than expected, we didn't get to explore some of the things we wanted to, such as Peshliki Canyon and the upper South Fork before we ran out of time.
January 13: Riggs Hill/Connector Lakes/Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
After church Kim and I headed for Riggs Hill to do some hiking and to enjoy the views. We did the loop hike, but it was muddier than expected. After hiking Riggs Hill, we decided to check out the Connector Lakes Trails. We hiked a little there as well.
Before going to bed, we headed for Grand Valley Climbing and did some climbing there.
January 12: Hurst Bridge/Ernie Canyon/Peak 6220/San Rafael Reef (Utah)
Kim and I headed for the mouth of Ernie Canyon for our planned loop hike of Ernie Canyon and Iron Wash. We planned to do a lot of exploring over two days. We hiked up the canyon a ways until it opened up. We dropped our packs and headed for the hidden natural bridge known as Hurst Bridge. We didn't have a good map of the bridge location (we forgot it at home), so we hoped to find it anyway.
We hiked up the face of the San Rafael Reef, visiting many viewpoints along the way. We eventually found ourselves on top of the bridge. We then visited the bottom of the bridge before climbing to the top of the San Rafael Reef and heading back to the packs. We then hiked up Ernie Canyon and hiked to the old mine, seeing several petrified logs in the vicinity.
Once we were at the mine we searched for a decent campsite, but didn't find one. We decided to just head back to the vehicle in the dark. It was still a nice trip.
January 8: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
January 7: Grand Valley Climbing (Colorado)
January 5: Moab Grotto/Blue Hills/Dinosaur Trackway/Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail (Utah)
KIm and I headed for Moab to see some things we haven't seen before (which is getting increasingly rare). We started by looking for and finding the Moab Grotto, a hidden cave full of ancient pictorgraphs. We found the place and it was spectacular.
I climbed to the highest point in the Blue Hills for the views. We then headed for the Dinosaur Trackway, which is supposed to be the most spectacular dinosaur track display in the world. It was really neat. We then hiked the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail, which passes by several dinosaur bones. It was a nice trip and the weather was pretty good. It was overcast, but there was only a little snow on the ground.
Accumulated Totals for 2019:
Days that I went hiking or climbing: 230
Summits Climbed: 140
Summits Attempted: 146
Rock Towers/Technical Buttes Climbed: 10
Rock Towers/Technical Buttes Attempted: 10
Technical Rock or Ice Routes Climbed: 28
Technical Rock or Ice Routes Attempted: 31
Technical Canyons Completed: 26
Technical Canyons Attempted: 28
Overseas Climbs: 16
Goals for 2019:
Days to spend hiking or climbing: 150
Rock Towers: 5
Technical Rock or Ice Routes: 25
Technical Canyons: 20
Highest Elevation Reached
15,433 feet (4704 meters) on Nevado de Toluca (Mexico); February 11.
Highest Elevation Reached in USA
14,096 feet (4297 meters) on Snowmass Mountain (Colorado); August 26.
Highest Sleeping Altitude
11,390 feet (3472 meters) at Galena Mountain (Colorado); December 14-15.
Highest Sleeping Altitude in USA
11,390 feet (3472 meters) at Galena Mountain (Colorado); December 14-15.
Highest ascent in Morocco; 13,671 feet (4167 meters) on Jbel Toubkal.
Highest ascent in Germany and Austria; 9718 feet (2962 meters) on Zugpitze.
Highest ascent in Italy; 12,812 feet (3905 meters) on Ortler.
Highest February ascent; 15,433 feet (4704 meters) on Nevado del Toluca (Mexico). The previous February record was 14,343 feet (4372 meters) on February 10 2007 at La Plata Peak (Colorado).