Pre-trip jitters.

Solo backpacking. I’ve done solo trips, a few days here and a few days there- but 6 days solo in the backcountry is an entirely different animal. On top of the fact that it is solo, I’m also going Ultralight/lightweight- which by basic definition- is a base weight of about 10-20 lbs, sans food/water.

My pack’s base weight was about 15 lbs, before I added food and water- I ended up with a total- including a few luxuries( Flipflops, and a book) of 26.2lbs. Which is awesome for six days!

This will be a good testing ground for all my gear! The big pieces I’m testing are my Golite Jam 50, my new La Sportiva FC Eco 2.0 gtx boots, and an OR Centrifuge Jacket. Hopefully this new system will work better than my previous methods….of using whatever backpack is available-usually a much heavier mountaineering pack.

All of this being said- I’m a bit nervous- this is my first solo trip of this length- and I’ll be attempting 5 peaks around the Chicago Basin– a very remote area of Colorado- home to the most removed 14ers/centennials in the state. These peaks are not exactly easy, but not really hard- they range from Class 2+ to Class 4- which is doable.

I’m more worried that the weather will not cooperate, and either I’ll be stuck in my tent the entire time, or everything will get wet– which is no fun to try to dry everything. At this moment I have heavy rain forecasted though Thursday…. I’m hoping the mornings are at least somewhat dry!

I will no way of contacting the outside world, unless I’m on the summit of a peak– which I hear has spotty cell reception.

Despite these, and many other fears- I’m very excited to take the train from Silverton tomorrow and unplug myself for almost a week. It is rejuvenating for the mind, I plan on reading “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey and actually writing in a small notebook…with a PEN!

I’ll make sure to update when I get back- with lots of photos, and stories!

Hopefully it all goes smoothly.

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Clinton, McNamee, Traver….almost?

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As seems to be the the theme for 2014, weather. Rather than recount a rather uneventful (unsuccessful summit) hike, I’ve chosen to put up a few photos from it! Most of the day was sunny, however we bailed at a … Continue reading

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Mt. Harvard

Like many of my trips this year, it was fowled by weather… we were supposed to do the Harvard-Columbia Traverse….We ended up with Harvard- but It was #13 in my 30 by 30!

Three girls squished in a small truck cab- Myself, Ashely, and Rox- it was close quarters in a small 3 person bench seat.

We hiked in late on a Friday evening, after an incredible set of thunderstorms, and set up camp shortly after dark at 10,800′.

It was more dramatic- but this is part of it, incredible set of multiple storms!

It was more dramatic- but this is part of it, incredible set of multiple storms!

 

Do I know how to match or what?!

Do I know how to match or what?!

Waking up at 4am, we began to hike through the trees to the large basin between Harvard and Columbia. It was beautiful, slightly cool, but luckily not cloudy like the day before…or stormy… yet.

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Looking at Mt. Harvard. 

 

 

 

 

Rox consulting the map.

Rox consulting the map.

Ashley pausing for a break!

Ashley pausing for a break! Thrilled to be in the Mountains….I can only assumw

We made our way up the basin to the saddle, then along the face to the peak- and hung out there for a snack.

SUMMIT OF HARVARD 14,420' and #13 on my #30by30.

SUMMIT OF HARVARD 14,420′ and #13 on my #30by30.

At this point in the day, the clouds were slowly piling up- and it wasn’t until around 11 that they were beginning to look dark an ominous. we had made it across the scrambly ridge, and were about to descend into the basin on the otherside to climb Columbia.

Looking across to Columbia

Looking across to Columbia

 My first goat on a 14er, EVER.

My first goat on a 14er, EVER.

 

 

We looked at the clouds, and made the decision NOT to complete the traverse- however Ashley and myself decided not to hike back up and over Harvard- Rox decided not to follow us down a crazy steep scree slope. I must say it wasn’t one of my smartest decisions- but we made our way carefully down a steep, loose scree slope to a basin with a lake.

What we had just come down.

What we had just come down.

Looking into the basin from the bottom.

Looking into the basin from the bottom.

Ashley and I carefully picked our way through the talus field, and made our way back to camp, expecting Rox to be waiting for us– she was behind us.

Luckily it waited to rain until we had packed up camp and hiked out- but above us- on the mountain- it was raining/thundering.

We originally were going to hang out down at camp, but we decided not to climb back up and snag Columbia- but instead do a peak closer to Denver….and drive out to grab food.

We arrived in the lovely little town of Buena Vista- and went to Eddyline Brewing Company– and ATE SO MUCH FOOD!

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After eating we decided no peak the next day, everyone was beaten up, and tired. We decided to burn things, and relax at a campground in the area for an evening.

We bought wood, jiffy pop, and chocolate. A perfect combination, and made our way to a campground way out on a dirt country road– we got the last site.

Ashley practicing her Swahili while i warmed my toes!

Ashley practicing her Swahili while i warmed my toes!

We had quite the adventure tryign to get the jiffy pop to work….I finally managed to make it pop!

It popped!

It popped!

Despite it not going exactly as planned, we had a lot of fun!

 

Posted in (30 by 30)^2+13.1, Backpacking, Centennials, Fourteeners, Hiking, Trip Reports | Leave a comment