Signal and South Signal Mountains

Peaks: South Signal Mountain (11,248′) – Rocky Mountain National Park, and Signal Mountain (11,262′) – Comanche Peak Wilderness
Date: December 27, 2014
Trailhead: Dunraven (7,800′) *
Approach: Bulwark Ridge Trail
Distance: ~12.5 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3,800 ft.
Participants: Sam Sala, Dillon Sarnelli
Time: 11 hours

*Note: Due to the September 2013 flooding, much of the area around the Dunraven TH is still closed. The Bulwark Ridge Trail is open. See the Poudre Wilderness site for more info. You are permitted to park at the Dunraven TH and hike up the road .3 miles to the Bulwark Ridge Trail #928/Signal Mountain Trail. You are also permitted to hike up the road to Cheley Camp to temporarily access the North Fork Trail #929. The Dunraven TH is still closed in most other directions.

Read more

An Island Among Giants: The Spearhead

Way back in 2011 I made my first trip into Glacier Gorge and like most folks who exit their vehicles at the trailhead, I was there to see something called Alberta Falls. Don’t get me wrong, Alberta Falls is great. Heck, I even took my family there later that summer, but let’s be serious now. Others may even go as far as the Loch or Mills Lake, also pretty spectacular in their own right. But for those willing to make the 5 mile trek deep into the heart of Glacier Gorge to where the upper plateau begins, that’s where the crown jewel of the park gets real. Names like Longs, Arrowhead, Pagoda, McHenrys, The Spearhead, Chiefs Head, to name a few, scatter the landscape. Believe it or not, but it actually took me 2 years to get past Alberta Falls, a December 2013 summit of Pagoda, and still one of my favorite days in the Park to date. Since then I’ve been itching to get back, which just so happens to bring us to this episode. 🙂

Read more

Keeping Copeland Interesting

Peak: Copeland Mountain (13,176′)
Date: November 1, 2014
Trailhead: Allenspark
Approach: Pear Lake
Distance:  16 miles
Elevation Gain:  5,100 ft.
Participants: Clay Wyatt, Dillon Sarnelli
Route Overview (click to enlarge).

Read more

Meandering the Divide: Bear Lake to Powell

Peaks of the Park: Flattop Mountain A (12,324′), Otis Peak (12,486′), Taylor Peak B (13,153′), Powell Peak (13,208′)
Date:  October 17, 2014
Trailhead:  Bear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park
Distance: 17.8 miles
Elevation Gain:  ~ 6,000 feet
Participants:  Solo mission
Time: 8 hours

On Friday morning I woke up late, rolled into the “office”, moved the mouse, and with a little help from a picture on my desk, made a game day decision to go outside. For those of you that don’t know me, my profession is accounting (taxes to cut to the chase) and October 15th while it’s no April 15th, can still be a huge pain in the @ss! A much needed break from the monotony was in order and Indian Summer was knocking on the door.

Read more

Traversing the Clouds in the Never Summer Mountains

Rocky Mountain National Park is a place I like to tell myself I know a lot about, but really I probably only know a lot about very little. Other than Wild Basin, most of the Park is still uncharted territory for me. It probably always will be given the expanse. Colorado affords us so many bad @ss opportunities that I’ve found it hard to focus on one area, and in doing so, I seem to always keep the door open to all the potential that this state has to offer. However, I think I can still have a favorite or 2 or 3 or 4 and on this trip, my first trip into the Park this summer, I remembered why Rocky Mountain National Park is still tops.

Read more