Monthly Archives: September 2011

Cold Mountain next

This friday our hiking meetup group (obsessive compulsive backpackers) is heading out for Cold Mountain (Jefferson N Forest), hiking in at night, departing Newport News at 1900, stopping in charlottesville for snacks then on to the trailhead.  About a 1 mile hike to the camp site.  Plan is for a day hike to Pleasant Mtn hike.  The hike out links up with the tree tunnel aka the ‘AT’ at around pig or hog something shelt and winds about 6 miles up over Cole (that’s right Cole mountain), nobody knows why the difference, the name on the USGS quad is cole mtn; and down to the parking lot.

Hiked this in Feb 10, had a summer pad and froze my ass off!  Also made a rookie mistake of leaving the cap on my water bottle, which froze solid.  However, I was smart enough to pour water into my pot the night before, although it froze I was able to just put it on the stove and thaw it out and make breakfast.

Anywho…I’ll be making biscuits in my bakepacker, with SAUSAGE!! (frozen turky patties!)

Greetings and welcome aboard!

Here we go!  Random thoughts on anything from how the AT sucks (looking for controversy here…), to good rock climbs, to mountaineering for old folks, to how to lighten my pack or cook biscuits at the campsite.  Let’s hit the trail!

The above banner photo is a pan-stitch from West Maroon Pass, 12,500′, Maroon Bells Wilderness (Aspen, Co), looking south.


Weminuche Wilderness July 2011

Here’s the link to our combined pix.

It went pretty good, like clockwork.  The original plan was do the maroon bells 4 pass loop, but due to Rangers reporting very deep snow on the passes, we had to opt out and find and alternative.  So I spent an intense week of looking for a functional alternative, since plane reservations had long been made.  After about 20 calls to various ranger districts, we settled on the Weminuche, approached via Creede, Co not the popular Durango entrance, with its fabled train ride.

We entered at the Rio Grande River reservoir, Rio Grande National Forest, had to ford the, what else, the fabled Rio Grande River itself.  I had read several trip reports about people turning around due to not wanting to ford the river, so I was pretty worried.  But in the end, it was done (see the photo link or the youtube post, search “thephilipreed”)

But god damn, it’s a long way to get up on the CD trail, unless your entering at wolf creek pass (way up on the great divide, trucken on down – the other side);  Geardog had this trucking CD and played it until we wanted to truck him out the window.

It was a loooooong ride from Denver to the trail head, what, about 7 hours?

I guess it wouldn’t have taken so long, but coming from sea level, we had to acclimatize at 10,600′ for a day or so, at black lake.  This was an absolute necessity.  About 6 miles to the black lake, another day up to the CD trail, so you need plenty of time to do this.  We made a loop out of it, it works great as a loop.  A good alternative, park at wolfcreek pass and do an out and back.

18 Sep 11 Work Sucks, need a major backpacking fix

It seems our little trip to the Weminche didn’t fully quinch my Colorado withdrawal.  Was about a few hours from booking a trip to Bellingham to hike with Rich (geardog) in the cascades or whatever, around Mt Baker, when work got in the way.

Push it to the first week in October?  Maybe, but I hate to hike all day in the rain.  I was thinking about this, geardog sends me photos of a great hike he was doing in the washington mountains, the sun is shining, massive wildflowers, green grass.  Then I thought,  geardog can just look out his window, check the 3 day forecast and grab his pack, no need to risk $700 on a round trip cross county flight.

So I ask him about meeting in Aspen for a redux on the 4 pass loop, check the aspen forecast, it’s frikken snowing!  God Damn, already?  Did they only have a 7 week hiking season this year?