Pikes Peak 07/05/08,
Elevation 14,110 ft
Gain 4200 ft
Round-trip length: 11.5 miles (took the car when descending)
Time 6:30am~1:00pm (2 hours wrong way, started on right trail at 8:30am)
Mt. Sherman 07/19/08
Elevation 14,036 ft
Gain 2100 ft
Round-trip length: about 6 miles
Longs Peak 07/26/08
Elevation 14,255 ft
Gain 5,100 ft
Round-trip length: 14 miles
6:00pm~8:00pm(07/25) New York Philharmonic concert at Vail. It’s my first time to Vail. Not impressed by its slopes in the near side yet, but I know Vail’s charm comes from all its mountains and Bowls at the far side, which can’t be seen from this point. The Vail village is upscale, elegant and dynamic, which is a nice place to hang out even in the summer. Let’s see what would happen here in the winter. Can’t wait anymore.
2:00am start at trailheard near the ranger station after driving from Vail through Boulder. I’m still missing the amphitheatre surrounded by vast trees, mountains and twilight sunshine, with Stravinsky’s great pieces. Now, I’m in Goblin woods with total darkness, with only a small dot from the headlight pointing to the tails in front.
5:00am Boulder field, about 6 miles from the trailhead. Lots lots of headlights down the road. As in the high point of the trail, we can see a long light-dragon behind us and wriggles down the mountain. It is still dark, but the clouds in east turn red across the sky as the sun is coming out. Other hills around us are surrounded by huge "lakes" expanding to the horizon, look like divine islands. As we know later, these are not lakes, but clouds in lower altitude. I can see a vague image of the keyhole at the other side of the Boulder field. Marching in the field is more difficult than what we thought. Some people camp here during the night, making this a base camp for the final ascend. We also unload some water and food, reserving for the back trip.
6:10am up to the Keyhole, only 1.6 miles from the peak. However, this final one mile is probably the longest mile in the world. This is the hole to the hell. The sun is out and shining at this time. The view is so fantastic, with hundreds of peaks arounds us, all cover by snow on the top, and many green and blue lakes down in the valley. we almost forget the danger immediate beside — we are right at the edge of a cliff. From now on, the trail is just a narrow path along the cliff. Some times we have to go out the cliff to bypass a big rock. Some times we take almost a verticl climb up the cliff. There is nothing quite like a steep 600′ climb at 13,000+ feet.
8:30am Peak. It’s an absolutely peace, quiet and beautiful place in the world. Gorgeous Rocky, the continental divide and Rocky National Park are all in sight. Now the question is, OMG, how can I get down?
4:00pm back, down to the ranger station again. Left the peak at 9:00am. Back to the keyhole at 12:00pm. Hailstones came in when we were in the Boulder field. Fourteen hours on the mountain, many times in ordeal.
Mt. Evans 08/03/08,
Elevation 14,264 ft
Gain 1,450 ft
Round-trip length: 2.4 miles
Details: about 20min wait during the ascend. Start to descend at 11:15am, back to parking lot at 12:15pm.
Grays Peak + Torreys Peak 08/23/08
Round-trip length: 8.25 miles
Elevation 14,270 ft
Torreys Peak (from Grays peak)
Elevation 14,267 ft
Mt. Elbert 09/28/08
Elevation 14,433 ft (The highest peak in Colorado, second in lower 48 states)
Gain 4,700 ft
Round-trip length: 9 miles
Time 9:10am ~ 12:45pm (reach the summit), 1:30pm~4:00pm (return from the peak to the trail head)
This is the last 14er for this season. It is also kind of my first solo ascend. Did it almost without any break from the foot all the way to the peak in 3.5 hours for a 4.5 mile long trip and 4,700 ft elevation gain. HOORAH. Experienced heavy snow falls at about 13,500 MSL.
Should start to train for ski now.