Exploring the Neighborhood – Pagosa Peak

Over the weekend I jumped in the car and headed for the cabin in Pagosa. I didn’t know what the plan would be given the forecast. Didn’t care. Worst case scenario I’d sit in a hammock all weekend, beer in hand, and catch a few sunsets. If I’m being totally honest, I really just wanted to test the new hammock.🙂

Pagosa Peak is for all intents and purposes the southern gateway to the Weminuche Wilderness. It taunted me for all of 2015. I googled it a few times, but info was limited. Coming from Denver I had a hard time just figuring out the forest roads. Not to mention I wanted to hit it in winter and didn’t know whether or not that was even logistically possible. What could one see from up there I wondered?

Peak: Pagosa Peak (12,640′)
Where: Weminuche Wilderness
Participants: solo

  • August 7, 2016 – “Standard” route via the 2WD summer “trailhead” (8,700′): 11.5 miles, 4,000′ gain. (FYI – From the 4WD trailhead (10,170′): 3.5 miles, 2,500′ gain)
  • February 28, 2016 – From the winter road closure (8,200′), then standard route: 16.5 miles, 4,500′ gain.
Route Overview – winter and summer. (Click to Enlarge)

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A Dynamic Duo in the Indian Peaks Wilderness – by Doug

A nice write up by Doug on our scramble in the Indian Peaks Wilderness in July.

A Dynamic Duo in the IPW – by Doug

Peaks: Mount Neva (12,814′), Jasper Peak (12,923′)
Date: July 22, 2016
Trailhead: Fourth of July
Distance:  10.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,561 ft.
Participants: Doug H, Otina Fox, Dillon Sarnelli

May and June’s Greatest Hits – Jacque to Music, and Some Extra Credit

05-06-16 – Jacque Peak
05-17-16 – Longs Peak – Keplinger’s Couloir
06-01-16 – Otis Peak
06-08-16 – South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak, Green Mountain
06-19-16 – Savage Peak – Savage Couloir
06-29-16 – Music Mountain
07-13-16 – Extra Credit – Mount Orton

Participants: Mat Ballay, Dillon Sarnelli

For most of the civilized world this year began on January 1 when the clock struck midnight. For the few and not so proud who call ourselves accountants, it kicked off on April 15th at closing time.  I had a lot of catching up to do, so when the mountains called, I went. And when your go to climbing buddy has a few months to spare before moving and starting a new teaching job, well things set up very very nicely. Pardon the summary, but Mat and I went on such a tear since Kelso that I really didn’t get much time to sit and document any of it. I’ll keep this one to highlights, pictures, and a good sense of humor.

Continue reading May and June’s Greatest Hits – Jacque to Music, and Some Extra Credit

A Return to Chicago Basin

Peaks: Jupiter Mountain (13,830′), Windom Peak (14,082′), Sunlight Peak (14,059′), Mount Eolus (14,083′), North Eolus (14,039′)
Dates: July 2-3 2016
Trailhead: Purgatory Flats (8,740′)
Distance: ~ 40 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 11,000′
Time: 36 hours
Group: Andrea Sansone, Andrew Hamilton, Charlie Nuttelman, Danielle Joy, Elizabeth Stevens, Dillon Sarnelli

My first trip into Chicago Basin was in the summer of 2013. Back then the objective was simple. Check off Colorado’s 4 most remote 14ers and make it safely back to the train in one piece. By all accounts the weekend was a success, but one thing was certain. I’d be back in the Wemi sooner than later. Over the years that followed I’ve made good on that promise, with each trip a constant reminder that the Weminuche, the granddaddy of all Colorado’s wildernesses, is hands down in a class all by itself.

Recently I had the privilege of sitting next to Elizabeth Stevens and Ryan Kushner at dinner during our annual reunion with the Jansen family. At the time Elizabeth mentioned she had 15 or so 14ers remaining and could use some partners as Ryan would be off in Pakistan for 2 months climbing something I can’t even try to pronounce.🙂 Not being one to ever really turn down a Wemi trip, I gladly accepted the invitation.

Continue reading A Return to Chicago Basin