Long's Peak, Part II


OK so the other day I told y'all about the impetus for our attempt on Long's Peak, and then I fell asleep. Lemme tell ya how the walk went. Walking to the top of Long's Peak takes time, lots of time. The most popular route is called the Keyhole Route, and it is the "easiest" way to go, containing the least "technical" sections and least "exposure" (refer to my previous post for the straight shootin' definitions of these terms). The downside is that it's just a damn long trail. Seven miles from trailhead to the summit means you're looking at a 14 mile walk with some scary stuff at the end, so yeah, it's going to take time. On top…

Continue Reading

Long's Peak, Part I


What started as a mild curiosity turned into a fascination, and then, a goal: Long's Peak. It's got a catchy name, it sounds distant and imposing, and it is. It's tall, it's beautiful, it's scary looking at times, and get this: Brenda & I summited the damned thing this past Tuesday. Standing 14,255 feet tall, Long's Peak is the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park and a very popular destination for hikers, but it's not the easiest "fourteener" to summit. Every recent year, some 15,000 people attempt to make the summit and about 9,000 succeed. Usually weather is the culprit for failed summit attempts, but many simply turn back after reaching one of the five obstacles…

Continue Reading

Pike's Peak Marathon


Listen up; I wanna tell ya about my friend from work. His name's Galen, and he just finished second in the Pike's Peak Marathon, and I'm really kinda flyin' high on his accomplishment. Yeah that's right, Pike's Peak Marathon. A full marathon, all 26.2 miles of it, only you run to the top of a fourteener and back down to the bottom. Roll that one around in your head a while and I'll wait. I ran competitively in high school and never ran more than ten miles in a stretch, but I've thought a lot about the marathon as my uncle used to be rather fast at them in the 70's, and I have always been impressed when friends…

Continue Reading

Top of Colorado


Today Brenda & I hiked to the top of Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in the state of Colorado. At 14,433' above sea level, it's second only to California's Mount Whitney (by about sixty feet) for tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Today, we stood on the top of Colorado, and it was a hell of a feeling. Our first "fourteener". Yeah! Now, Elbert is considered an "easy" fourteener. And it is, I guess. The thing is massive, so the approach ends up being fairly shallow the whole way. But you're still walking six miles across and 4,000' up, and then get to reverse and repeat the process to get back to the car. We were quite…

Continue Reading

St. Vrain's Mountain


Saturday, Brenda & I -- along with our friends Bryce and Leslie -- hiked to the top of St. Vrain's Mountain, a 12,000+ summit. It was amazing, the views great and the thin-air experience interesting. All in all, it was a good start in our training regimen... This all started with an email from my friend Bryce a couple weeks ago. The subject line read "Long's", and the message read "you in?"; the rest of the message was a forwarded email from Leslie who was talking about the campsite reservations she was making for an attempt on the Long's Peak summit in August. Ever since then, vague discussions about trying to hike to the summit of Colorado's most popular…

Continue Reading