Another great Colorado 14er weekend – this weekend Amy, Shannon and I headed up to Mt. Sherman, in Colorado’s Mosquito Range. We headed up Saturday evening and camped at the Fourmile Campground, just below the Southwest Ridge trailhead. Luckily the light rain stopped right as we got our fire going, and we enjoyed a great night cooking and hanging by the fire. Sunday, we woke up early and met a few more friends at the trailhead before heading up to the top. Hiking up Mt. Sherman wasn’t particularly strenous, and the views at saddle and on the top were great. GPS Track, recorded on Garmin Forerunner 310xt and uploaded to Strava: (Photos on Flickr)
This past weekend, I traveled with a good group of friends to Leadville, Colorado to camp at the base of and climb Mt. Massive, one of Colorado’s 14ers, and the 2nd highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. Driving to Leadville Our awesome camping group! Fun by the campfire as the sun sets View to Elbert, from our campsite at Half Moon Creek Campfire Starting out in the morning – very early! Making progress Summit ridge Lots of flowers Made it to the top! Route Description, from 14ers.com: Leave the parking area and begin hiking up the Colorado/Mt. Massive trail – Photo #1. Cross South Willow Creek (Photo #2) after 2 miles and continue another mile before crossing Willow Creek (Photo #3), at 11,000‘. Both of these crossings are fairly easy unless the rocks are submerged or icy. Continue northwest up a hill and to reach a trail junction at 11,300‘ – Photo #4. Turn left onto the Mt. Massive Trail. Hike approx. 1/4 mile up a hill and through some small clearings to reach 11,600‘ where the terrain flattens out and you can finally see portions of Massive ahead – Photo #5. Continue to 11,800‘, zigzag through willows and ascend Point 12,466‘ -Photo #6 and Photo #7. Reach easier ground near 12,400‘ where most of the remaining route is now in view to the west – Photo #8. With 2 miles remaining, the summit is still a long way off. Your next goal is to reach the saddle between “South Massive” and the summit ridge. Continue up the excellent trail as you gradually gain ground and eliminate distance – Photo #9. Keep hauling to reach the 13,900-foot saddle – Photo #10, Photo #11 and Photo #12. Turn right at the saddle and follow a small trail up toward the summit …
This month, I was featured in Boulder Lifestyle Magazine discussing some great Colorado 14ers to get you started on your first climb. Thanks to journalist Sandra Henderson for interviewing me for the article. Check out the article, starting on page 34!
As soon as I finished up my brief intro to Thailand in Koh Lanta, I immediately hopped on a boat and sped over to the climbers mecca of Thailand, Railay/Tonsai Beach. The Railay beach area is made of three different bays, with the beach in each bay having a unique character. West Railay is the ritzy beach, with lush resorts and infinity pools. East Railay is the mid-range beach, with the main boat dock and a handfull of restaurants. And Tonsai is the undeveloped, dirty, raw and rambunctious climbers beach – filled with backpackers on a mission to relax at the low key beach bars at night, and rock climb the surrounding soaring limestone cliffs all day. Given how built up the rest of the area feels, Tonsai is a breath of fresh air, a utopian climbers oasis, as yet still untouched by the resort and tourism development. To get from Koh Lanta to Tonsai, I took a big ferry across, and met a few friends along the way. I arrived at West Railay beach by boat, and immediately made my way over to Tonsai to check in at my own private bungalow for $4/night. Naturally, first stop in Tonsai was for food. And where else but Mama’s Chicken, the best chicken in the universe. Mama’s Chicken is a small shack along one of the main dirt paths into the jungle, and it’s where lots of people congregate at night. All the food, and fruit shakes, is amazing. And a perfect end to a solid day of travel at one of the beachside bars. During the day this place is a chillout spot and volleyball match grandstand, evening it’s a bar, and late night the deck turns into an impromptu hostel. Something for everyone, with cheap beer all around. Day …
This weekend I headed out with a large group of friends to The Gunks, one of the premier climbing areas in the east. We camped at the “multiple use area” campground, and climbed mainly in the Peterskill area. From TheMountainProject.com: The Gunks (short for Shawangunks) is one of the premier climbing areas in the country. Located near New Paltz, NY, the Gunks is about 85 miles from the NYC metropolitan area, making it a popular weekend destination. The rock is quartz conglomerate, solid rock with horizontal rather than vertical cracks. Climbing at the Gunks is characterized by roofs, jugs, traverses, big air, and sometimes “sporty” pro. The Gunks is famous for great one-to-three-pitch climbs of all levels of difficulty. You’ll find some of the best easy and moderate trad climbs in the country at the Gunks. There are a few bolted climbs at the Gunks, but no sport climbs. We had a great time, and here are a few photos. Photos: (Click here for full screen slideshow) Camping at the multi-use area was fairly easy, although finding it is not be best in the dark! Departing from NYC in the late afternoon on Friday, we finally made it up there in the dark. Using The Bistro/EMS gear shop as a landmark, we eventually found the campsite area, and had a fun time hiking in the dark for a bit down to the campground.
Another incredible climbing video from Black Diamond. Sonnie Trotter and Tommy Caldwell free climb the first ascent of The Shining. Interesting to see them drilling and bolting pitches, and how they handle the cameras while climbing. Also, holding together 5.13+ in a snowstorm is pretty amazing. Article from BD Black Diamond athletes Tommy Caldwell and Sonnie Trotter redpointed their multi-pitch project on Canada’s Mount Louis this past August. The main headwall (referred to as the Diamond Face) is a stacked beast with the following pitches: 5.12+, 5.12+/13-, 5.13+, 5.12-, 5.12+, 5.11+, 5.10, all of which they bolted on lead. Here is the video that Sonnie edited together for us that documents the challenges and adventures that come with tackling such a high-end endeavor in the Canadian Rockies. BD athletes Sonnie Trotter and Tommy Caldwell free climb first ascent of The Shining (IV 5.13+) in the Canadian Rockies from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.
Great video today from Adidas, of Sasha DiGiulian’s insanely hard first female ascent of Pur Imagination, in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. This is actually where I grew up climbing too – although definitely not doing routes like this.. Sasha DiGiulian. “Pure Imagination” 5.14d (9a). from Adidas Outdoor on Vimeo. Filmed and Edited by: 3SM Music by: Emancipator (www.emancipatormusic.com) On October 15th 2011, Adidas team athlete, Sasha DiGiulian became the first American women to climb the grade 9a (5.14d) with her historic ascent of “Pure Imagination” in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. Keith Ladzinski and Andy Mann (Three Strings Media) were there to capture her efforts and tell her story.
Mt. Massive pictures…. summary online soon.
In 2001, I climbed Colorado’s Mt. Massive for the first time. The blog post was originally made on my Geocities blog, but sadly never transferred over to my now-continuing database, started in 2002 on Blogger v1. Here are photos from our awesome climb up Mt. Massive! Photoset, on Flickr