Kit Carson and Columbia Point

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My Dad, his girlfriend Janet, Stu and I headed to Westcliffe the night of August 6 and stayed at the Mountain View Inn, our “basecamp” for climbing the Crestones, Kit Carson, and Humboldt (my final four fourteeners) on the 7th and the 8th. I would highly recommend this place, it was extremely well kept and relatively cheap. Stu and I woke up at 2:30am and piled our gear into our rental Jeep which we picked up in Salida the night before (I would also highly recommend a rental for the South Colony Lakes road if you have the money). We headed for the South Colony Lakes Jeep trail with the intention of getting as high as we could in the rental vehicle. We ended up being able to reach the upper TH and we were on the trail by 4:30am. We had two climbing days avaliable to us to summit the four peaks. Keep reading…

Longs Peak: Loft Route & Some Bonus 13ers

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With my hiking partner Stu on a vacation in Yellowstone, I found myself sitting in Boulder, bored and anxious to do some hiking. I was flipping through the Longs Peak section of Roach‘s book and noticed the “Longs Grand Slam” which collects Longs and its four surrounding thirteeners. I have always wanted to summit Longs via the Loft route and I figured I could get some thirteeners along the way. I left Boulder at 3:00am on Sunday and arrived at the Longs Peak Ranger Station at 3:45, the parking lot was completely full as expected, I parked along the road and left the trailhead at 4:00am. The trail to the Chasm Lake turnoff was heavily populated, I passed probably fifty people along the three mile hike to the turnoff. Keep reading…

Little Bear/Blanca Traverse & Ellingwood

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For about three months now Stu and I have been seriously considering a Grand Slam attempt on the Little Bear Group. We decided a week prior to the climb that this point in the summer seemed like a good time to go for it and our conflicting schedules dictated that it would have to be Monday the 16th. We departed Boulder at 10:00pm on Sunday the 15th and reached the Lake Como Road at 3:00am. We were able to drive to an elevation of 9,500 ft. (thanks to the 4-Runner), our official start time was 4:00am. The hike up the road revealed why exactly this is one of the nation‘s worst. Pretty amazing stuff. The hike to the trail turnoff was approximately three miles, we arrived at the cairned junction at 5:30am and began the southward ascent up Little Bear‘s west ridge. From the top of the west ridge the route cuts east across the ridgeline to the bottom of the hourglass. We basically stayed on or near the ridgecrest until we arrived at the hourglass. Keep reading…