It's been a good year adventure-wise. It was a rare weekend when I didn't get out for a hike or overnight backpacking trip.
In all I explored:
6 National Parks
8 Wilderness areas
1. Tangen Tunnel (Flatirons)
Trip Date: February 18, 2017
Trip Report: tangen-tunnel-flatirons.html
A classic flatirons adventure with lots of bushwacking, a little scrambling, a natural spiral staircase, and guarantee that you won't see anybody else.
2. Fumbledeedum (Flatirons)
Trip Date: May 28, 2017
Trip report: fumbledeedum-flatirons.html
Another great, "off the beaten path" Flatirons adventure. Nearly 2000 linear feet of scrambling and lots of bushwacking (and poison ivy...)
3. Mummy Kill (RMNP, Colorado)
Trip Date: Sept 02, 2017
Trip Report: mummy-kill-rmnp-partial.html
Plan was to bag all the big peaks in the Mummy Range. Got spooked by clouds and bailed early. Still came out to 13.5 miles, elevation gain of 5000' and an elevation descent of 7500'. This was too much descent...
4. High Lonesome Loop (Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado)
Trip Date: Aug 12-13, 2017
Trip Report: high-lonesome-loop.html
The ease of this trip gave me too much confidence for doing the Pawnee-Buchanan Loop in 2 days...(see Trip 7 below)
In chronological order:
1. Fairview Peak (Boulder area, Colorado)
Trip Date: Jan 28, 2018
Trip Report: fairview-peak.html
For added fun, do what I did: Get a late start and leave your gloves and headlight at home.
2. Snowshoe Backpacking to Sky Pond (RMNP, Colorado)
Trip report: backpacking-to-sky-pond.html
My first backpacking trip in about 15 years. Looking back now, I can't believe that this is the trip I chose for my re-entry to the hobby. A few reasons: it was my first experience camping in the snow (overnight low temperature was in the low 20s), there were near gale force winds all night, it was at fairly high elevation (10,500') and I definitely screwed up the water/food ratio. I was pretty thirsty by the end of this trip...glad I had gatorade in the car.
In hindsight, I was overly cautious about not eating snow during the day. Eating snow at night is a bad idea due to risks from hypothermia. During the day, when you're expending lots of energy and the sun is out, I don't think its too important. These days, I'm constantly eating handfuls of fresh snow if I'm really warm.
3. Road Trip to Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
Day 2 of 4 (Driving): wyoming-road-trip-day-2-travel.html
Days 2-4 (GTNP): wyoming-road-trip-day-2-3-grand-teton-national-park.html
Day 4 (Driving): wyoming-road-trip-day-4-travel.html
4. Tie: Backpack to Thunder Lake/Backpack to Lawn Lake (RMNP, Colorado)
Lawn Lake: backpack-to-lawn-lake-rmnp.html
Thunder Lake: backpack-to-thunder-lake-rmnp.html
Both of these trips epitomize what is best about RMNP in the winter. If you snowshoe several miles in, you are guaranteed solitude. There's something special about being able to make first tracks in a place as beautiful as this to make it feel like your personal backyard.
The trip to Odessa Lake the previous week narrowly misses out. That said, I'll never forget melting snow for the next days drinking water by moonlight and accidentally letting it boil. I was drinking that "pine-needle tea" the whole next day.
5. Glacier National Park (Montana)
Day 1: glacier-national-park-road-trip-day-1.html
Day 2: glacier-national-park-road-trip-day-2.html
Day 3: glacier-national-park-going-to-the-sun-road-day-3.html
Day 4: glacier-national-park-avalanche-lake-day-4.html
Day 5: gnp-many-glacier-area.html
Days 6-7 (overnight backpacking trip, 38 total miles): glacier-overnight-backpack.html
Day 8: glacier-to-greater-yellowstone-day-8.html
Day 9: gnp-roadtrip-day-9-dubois-to-rawlins.html
It was cool seeing this bear:
6. Complete Solar Eclipse in the Wind River Range (Wyoming)
Trip Dates: Aug 19-23, 2017
Day 1: wind-river-range-eclipse-trip.html
Day 2: wind-river-eclipse-day-2.html
Days 3 and 4: wind-river-eclipse-day-3.html
Turns out a complete solar eclipse is 500x better than a 90% solar eclipse.
7. Pawnee-Buchanan Loop...attempt...(Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado)
Trip Report: pawnee-buchanan-loopattemptipw.html
This was as close to a screw up as I've had. Luckily it worked out ok.
8. Backpacking the Lost Creek Wilderness (Colorado)
Trip Date: Nov 10-12, 2017
3 days, 2 nights, 37 miles. This place is spectacular. Very different from other high elevation areas in the Front Range. Felt like "super flatirons" with less oxygen.
Trip Report: backpacking-the-lost-creek-wilderness.html
9. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)
Trip Report: great-sand-dunes-national-park.html
10. Utah Road Trip (Canyonlands NP, Monument Valley...)
Trip Dates: Dec 19-28, 2017
Days 1 and 2: utah-road-trip-days-1-and-2.html
Day 3: utah-road-trip-white-out-in-canyonlands-national-park-day-310.html
Day 4: utah-road-trip-clear-skies-but-still-trapped-in-canyonlands-day-410.html
Day 5: utah-road-trip-last-day-in-island-in-the-sky-day-510.html
Day 6: utah-road-trip-drive-to-monument-valley-day-610.html
Day 7: utah-road-trip-monument-valley-and-goosenecks-state-park-day-710.html
Day 8: utah-road-trip-natural-bridges-national-monument-day-810.html
Ran out of time for a backpacking trip so I did 21 miles the last day.
Day 8 and 9: utah-road-trip-needles-district-of-canyonlands-np-days-8-and-9-of-10.html