Day 4: Columbine Pass

Grizzly Creek to Needleton (15 miles, +3,500/-5,000 feet). Today was our biggest day yet and we needed to be done by 3pm when we expected the train to arrive in Needleton. And just to make things a little more exciting, the weather forecast called for several inches of snow and 50 mile an hour winds…

Day 3: Sunlight Lake

Sunlight Lake day hike then Sunlight Creek to Grizzly Creek (14 miles +4,800/-4,700 feet). It was calm and very warm last night in our beautiful little Vallecito camp site.  Since we  were just doing a day hike up to Sunlight Lake and back and then had easy miles along the river later on, we slept…

Day 2: Up on the Divide

Highland Mary Lakes to Sunlight Creek (13 miles, +1,700/-4,600 feet). Although we camped on a bit of a slope last night, it was okay.  I only had to scooch back up hill inside my tent a couple of times. The wind also was not as bad as I thought it might be.  I could hear…

Day 1: Highland Mary Lakes

Elk Park to Highland Mary Lakes (10 miles, +4,000/-500 feet). When Ultrashuffle and I finished our High Sierra Trail yo-yo last year we immediately started talking about the next trip.  I love the Sierra and proposed a sequel, but Ultrashuffle was really drawn to the idea of a hike in Colorado.  So we decided to…

Sketchy at Best

Granite Park to Pine Creek Pass Trailhead (9 miles, +500/-4,300 feet). We left the storm doors open last night and also had a very light but persistent breeze flowing downhill through the screen doors.  The result was a bone dry tent when we awoke at 5am (yay!). As usual, we packed up and hit the…

Royce Lakes

French Lake to Granite Park (12 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). Half Cookie got cold last night so we closed the storm flaps on the tent.  While that did warm things up a few degrees, it also exacerbated condensation and we awoke to a very wet tent!  Not to worry though — out here it is pretty…

French Lake

Pine Creek Pass Trailhead to French Lake (9 miles, +4,300/-500 feet). Well, it’s time once again for my biannual trip with Half Cookie!  The grandparents always come down for our kids’ birthdays, and since that means we have built-in childcare we usually organize a trip before or after (thanks mom and dad!). Half Cookie really…

Spectacular Summit Peak

Guthook CDT mile 854.4 to Elwood Pass (mile 863.3) (8.9 miles, +1,300/-1,700 feet). Okay, I know I have said this before, but the scenery today might just have been the most spectacular I have ever seen. Now that I have built up your expectations, let me begin at the beginning! The altitude, sleep deprivation, and…

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Guthook CDT mile 844.6 to mile 854.4 (9.8 miles, +2,500/-1,800 feet). So I learned something last night: sometimes a site can be too slope-y! My sleeping pad kept sliding down the floor of my tent, and I kept sliding down my sleeping pad.  At one point I tied my pad to the tent, which helped a little,…

Surviving the Storm

Guthook CDT mile 829.4 to mile 844.6 (15.2 miles, +1,700/-2,300 feet). I slept surprisingly well last night.  In the past I have always looked for dead flat places to camp, but in a wet environment like this good drainage is key, and good drainage usually means a bit of a slope. Around 6am I jumped…

Welcome to the CDT!

Cumbres Pass (Guthook CDT mile 811.7) to mile 829.4 (17.7 miles, +3,800/-1,700 feet). I was very fortunate to learn recently that one of the people I work with (trailname: Vogue) is a thru-hiking machine!  He has done the AT, the CDT, the PCT (twice!), the CT, and even the GHT (Grand Himalayan Trail). So when…

Ten by Ten

PCT mile 228.0 to Whitewater Preserve (10 miles, +1,200/-1,900 feet). Thankfully, the wind died down last night around 8pm and it was calm and warm and not-too-uncomfortable in my sleeping-padless tent.  I slept well. BarnFinder and I packed up and got ready right after daybreak this morning.  I ate my last piece of pizza (it’s…