10 August 2011

Up and down: The account of recent summits, ridges, and valleys

The East Face of Mount Alice

The sunlight shows the way on Alice's Hourglass Ridge

Summit of Chiefs Head with Longs, Meeker and Pagoda behind me

Looking down at Blue Lake from Mt. Toll

On the East Ridge of Pawnee Peak

Megan glissading during the descent of Bill Weber Peak

Life has its shares of ups and downs. Lately I've encountered both in my personal life and running. When I'm going through a tough time, running in the mountains has brought stability, perspective, and the necessary processing to face the challenges that cross my path. Recently I've had the opportunity to explore some new peaks in RMNP and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I am constantly refreshed, inspired, and leveled by the mountain beauty that calls out to be explored. Life is better above the trees; growth occurs when I apply what I've seen and learned on the mountain and take that knowledge and experience to the valley.

July 27: Longs Peak (14,255) Keyhole Route, 3:41, 2:01 ascent. Recon mission to check if and how much snow in the trough. Totally clear, going to give the FKT of 3:35 a shot in the near future.

July 30: 1. Sawtooth Mtn (12,304) 2. Algonquin (12,574) 3. Buchanan Peak aka Bill Weber Peak (12,391) Started at Middle St. Vrain TH, ascended Buchanan Pass, up Sawtooth, ridge to Algonquin, ridge to Bill Weber, descend to Red Deer Lake (3 sweet glissades!), Buchanan Pass Trail.

August 1: 1. Mt. Notabon (12,706) 2. Mt. Audubon (13,223) Started at Mitchell Lake TH. Out and back via Mt. Audubon Trail.

August 3: 1. Pawnee Peak (12,943) 2. Mount Toll (12,979) Started at Long Lake TH. Up Pawnee Pass Trail, ridge to Pawnee Peak, ridge to Mount Toll, descend to Blue Lake, Mitchell Lake Trail to TH, brief paved section to Long Lake TH.

August 5: 1. Mount Alice (13,310) 2. Chiefs Head Peak (13,579) Started at Wild Basin TH. Up to Thunder Lake, ascend Boulder/Grand Pass, ridge to Alice, descend Hourglass Ridge, ridge up to Chiefs Head, descend back to the Chiefs Head/Alice col, cross country down to Thunder Lake, back to Wild Basin.

August 6: 1. Mascot Peak (13,435) 2. Mount Yale (14,196) Started at Avalanche Gulch TH. Up Avalanche Gulch, up Yale's east ridge, descend ridge to saddle and up Mascot Peak's north ridge, up to summit, back to Yale's east ridge, summit, descend to Denny Creek TH, road back to Avalanche Gulch TH.


  1. Some mountains are meant to be climbed; others are more pleasurable to run. I feel strongly that Longs is a runner's mountain.

    Good luck with the FKT and enjoy the time up high.

  2. Awesome. Look forward to chasing you around again next weekend.

  3. Sean- it all depends on who you talk to. :) Many climbers would strongly disagree. Longs has it all for most trail runners and climbers. Alongside the standard Keyhole route I've had fun days on the Cables Route and Trough in the winter. Just depends on what you're into, Longs is simply a great mountain!

    D-Bow- I'm predicting a great run from you! It will be fun to see how it all shakes out... see you soon!