A Walk in the Clouds: Pagoda Mountain from Glacier Gorge

Above the clouds on the summit of Pagoda Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Pagoda Mountain sits at the southern end of Glacier Gorge in between two of Rocky Mountain National Park’s beasts: Longs Peak (14,255 ft.) and Chiefs Head Peak (13,579 ft.). With an elevation of 13,497 ft., Pagoda Mountain is the 7th highest ranked peak in The Park. It’s been said that Pagoda’s summit register (which we unfortunately couldn’t locate) may receive on average about 75 signatures a year, while its neighbor may receive that many visitors in one summer day.

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The Journey Above 14K: The Colorado 14ers

Mountains: All of the tall ones
Distance: A lot
Date: June 11, 2011 thru August 4, 2013
Route: Dillygoat Traverse

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dillon. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Colorado at the end of 2010. I like chicken, diet soda, beer, and greek yogurt. I’m an accountant, but still think taxes are evil. I didn’t find my mountain wife on top of one of these 14er’s, but am still holding out hope. AND I really hate my snowshoes. That’s probably all of the pertinent information you need on me.

I figured the best way to give you my perspective into this 14er journey would be to take you all along for the ride. Enjoy!

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No Walk in the Park: Meeker’s South Ridge from Wild Basin

Sunrise along the Sandbeach Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

“There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of the great human principle.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Peaks: Mount Meeker (13,911′), Meeker Ridge (13,860′) – Rocky Mountain National Park
Date Climbed: May 18, 2013
Trailhead: Copeland Lake (Sandbeach Lake Trail)
Route: South Ridge (ascent) / Meeker Ridge (descent)
Distance: ~ 13 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 5,600 ft.
Participants: Andrew Knox, Dillon Sarnelli
Time: ~ 13 hours

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Grays and Torreys From Loveland Pass

Sunrise from the summit of “Cupid” – December 29, 2012.

Peaks: Point 12,915, “Cupid” (13,117′), Grizzly Peak D (13,427′), Torreys Peak (14,267′), Grays Peak (14,270′)
Date Climbed: December 29, 2012
Trailhead: Loveland Pass
Distance: 12 miles
Elevation Gain: 6,300 ft.
Participants: Ben Shulman, Dillon Sarnelli
Time: 11 hours

On Friday night Shulman sent me a texter that said “KC and Challenger?”, to which I responded, “Grays and Torreys, it’s closer?”. Nine hours later he was shivering on my doorstep and we were moseying on over to Loveland Pass. At about 6:30 AM we exited the warm comforts of the jeep and headed for Point 12,915. This point is about a mile and 1,000 feet vertical from the pass and the remainder of the trek is along the Continental Divide.

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Timing is Everything: Rolling the Dice with Mother Nature

By Rob Jansen

Mountains: San Luis Peak (14,014′), Wetterhorn Peak (14,015′), Uncompahgre Peak (14,309′), El Diente Peak (14,159′)
Climbers: Dillon Sarnelli, Rob Jansen
Dates: July 4 – 6, 2012
Trip Totals: 50.5 miles, 17,300′ vertical

Note: Originally posted on 14ers.com. Most timestamps have been removed.

I ran the Leadville Trail Marathon on Saturday, June 30th. It hurt. A lot. In fact, now that I’ve had a few days to think about it, I’d say it was easily the most painful thing I’ve done in my life. That race and it’s quad-crushing hills left me battered heading into an abbreviated July 4th work week.

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