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Cirque Series 2018 - Colorado USA

Arapahoe Basin edition

snow 30 °F

Ultra Races

Among the many ultra races I did this year, I tried my first race in the Cirque Series. Although it doesn't have the distance of an ultra run (27+ miles), it is a ridiculous challenge. The course is basically up and down the mountain at a ski resort. So in a little over 3 miles, there is a elevation gain of over 2,300 feet. Then once you're at the top, it's a little over 3 miles down and a drop of over 2,300 feet.

When we started it was about 45 degrees with some slight rain. At the top of the mountain it was around 30 with snow flurries in the air. It made for a very chilly run.

Pictures

At the start:
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Looking down part way through:
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At the top:
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Finishing downhill:
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the group:
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 12:13 Archived in USA Tagged colorado mountain run race denver cold challenge 2018 Comments (0)

Velorama 2018 - Colorado USA

bikes, beers, and bands

sunny 80 °F

It's Unique

The festival is a mix of music, biking, craft brews, food trucks, and local artists. --> https://www.veloramafestival.com/festival-experience/

A last minute decision had me checking out the action on the last of the three day event. Saw some live music and some incredibly talented bikers doing races and aerial tricks galore. Check out some of the photo evidence:

Pictures

See more of these and pictures from all the events that I attend on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - Events album.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 19:36 Archived in USA Tagged art colorado usa festival bike 2018 Comments (0)

Longs Peak 2018 - Colorado USA

14er number 8

sunny 50 °F

Longs Peak overview

I completed the Longs Peak hike/run on July 28th, 2018. It was the 8th 14,000+ foot elevation peak I've done since moving to Colorado. This excursion took me about 8 hours for the 18 mile round trip out and back hike that has about 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

The hike started around 5 am, where the parking lot was already packed and I had to park over a mile from the official starting trailhead. With such a long trek, there were many sections to this hike. The first was through some wooded sections (in the dark, so bring a headlamp) and then through some open fields. The trail is wide, well marked and mostly gently sloping up. After several miles of that, you reach the boulder field area. While mostly flat until the end, it's slow going as you have to make your way across huge rock piles. There's occasional markings, but you generally see the end point and head that direction. At the end of this section is the climb up and through the keyhole. It's windy and some tough bouldering climbing.
The third section involves walking on some narrow ledges and doing some minor bouldering. You then get to the trench area, which is a tough uphill bouldering climb with huge rocks and little rocks that can easy start sliding down. Once through that is another narrow ledge section and a final push up a very long and steep incline of a cliff face. There are hand and foot holds here naturally in the rock, but it is still challenging.

Recommend:

  • Go on a weekday to avoid crowds
  • Save energy, eat food and drink water often
  • Decide to turn back if you need to, because every section is tougher than the previous on the way up
  • Be prepared for high winds, slippery climbing conditions

Relive video of the hike

link: watch a video and map tour of my hike

Trip Map

Pictures

See this and all the 14er hike pictures on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - 14ers album.

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Previous 14er hikes:

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 15:13 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado mountain hike denver challenge 14er 2018 Comments (0)

Mt Bierstadt 2018 - Colorado USA

14er number 7

sunny 50 °F

Mt Bierstadt overview

I completed the Mt Bierstadt hike/run on July 14th, 2018. It was the 7th 14,000+ foot elevation peak I've done since moving to Colorado. This excursion took me about 2.5 hours for the 7 mile round trip out and back hike that has about 2,700 feet of elevation gain.

The hike started around 6 am, which was later than I normally start. And this is a popular route, since it's easy to get to, there is a well marked trail, and it's one of the lower options on the difficulty scale. So, all that meant that I had to park really far away and had to pass lots of people on the trail as I mostly ran up and down the entire way. It was not an overly exciting hike or route, so minimal picture taking.

Recommend:

  • Start early to get a spot in the lot and avoid the crowds
  • Make sure to have a local map or study the trail ahead of time
  • As always, bring water and snacks with you
  • Can view Mt Evans, and optionally reach it via the Sawtooth. But only attempt that if you have planned for it with time and supplies.

Relive video of the hike

link: watch a video and map tour of my hike

Trip Map

Pictures

See this and all the 14er hike pictures on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - 14ers album.

On the climb up:
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At the peak:
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Previous 14er hikes:

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 12:54 Archived in USA Tagged hiking colorado mountain sunrise hike denver 14er 2018 Comments (0)

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo 2018 - Colorado USA

Steamboat Springs, Colorado art and balloon festival

semi-overcast 55 °F

The 37th Annual

This past weekend I checked out the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat Springs. Apparently it's a big deal since all the hotels, resorts, and AirBnb rentals were booked the entire weekend. I ended up driving up there and back in the same day. So if interested in checking this (or other mountain town festivals) in the future, be sure to plan ahead and book early.

Well, I got up to the launch field around 6 am. Initially found a ski ramp on a hill for some pictures of the whole grounds. Then I moved around the lake to get pictures of the pilots doing their splash and dash and some sweet reflection images. I was surprised that it took 10-15 minutes to inflate each of those larger balloons, initially with huge industrial fans, and then from the fire/hot air. There was about 30 overall and one or two would launch every couple minutes over the course of an hour. The smallest one had a single pilot sitting in a chair, and not even a big basket.

For this day, they launched the balloons, floated over town a while, landed and collected them, and then launched a second time. I guess throughout the weekend, they have some competitions and do some glow in the dark night launches.

Pictures

See more of these and pictures from all the events that I attend on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - Events album.

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The balloon launch grounds.
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The splash and dash into the lake.
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The inflate and launch process.
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Balloons floating all over town.
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:30 Archived in USA Tagged art colorado sunrise usa festival 2018 Comments (0)

Mt Evans 2018 - Colorado, USA

14er hike on 2018-07-08

sunny 50 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Mt Evans overview

I completed the Mt Evans via Mt Spalding loop hike on July 8th, 2018. It was the 6th 14,000+ foot elevation peak I've done since moving to Colorado. This excursion took me about 2 hours for the 5 mile round trip out and back hike that has about 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

The hike started around 5 am, which was in the dark for about 30 minutes. Most of the hike is along a ridge to Mt Spalding, and then just below the ridge that runs to Mt Evans. There is a road that most people take, where you can drive within 100 feet of the top. So a few people were at the top ahead of me. I finished around 7 am.
This is a popular 14er, but most people drive and don't take the hike, which is a shame because of the extra views you get ... and the potential to cross paths with some mountain goats. The trail however is not very well marked on the backside of Mt Evans. You generally scramble over some rocks and make your own path and watch for cairns (rock piles) that generally show you the direction you should be heading. The entire trail loop is above treeline, so it's pretty much rock and small plants. On the way down it's mostly small loose rock to complete a loop, or you can backtrack the long way via Mt Spalding again. The parking lot was packed when I returned.

Recommend:

  • Start early to get a spot in the lot and avoid the crowds
  • Make sure to have a local map or study the trail ahead of time
  • As always, bring water and snacks with you
  • Between Spalding and Evans you can get a great view of the Mt Bierstadt 14er peak

Relive video of the hike

link: watch a video and map tour of my hike

Trip Map

Pictures

See this and all the 14er hike pictures on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - 14ers album.

Summit Lake at sunrise
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Mt Evans peak from the trail
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Looking toward Mt Bierstadt
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Mountain Goats
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Panoramic from Mt Spalding
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Elevation shot at the peak, looking towards the parking lot where people can take the easy way up and drive
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Previous 14er hikes:

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 13:25 Archived in USA Tagged nature hiking colorado mountain sunrise usa hike 14er 2018 Comments (0)

Quandary Peak 2018 - Colorado, USA

14er hike on 2018-07-07

sunny 50 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Quandary Peak overview

I completed the Quandary Peak hike on July 7th, 2018. It was the 5th 14,000+ foot elevation peak I've done since moving to Colorado. This excursion took me about 3 hours for the 7 mile round trip out and back hike that has about 3,500 feet of elevation gain.

The hike started around 5 am, which was in the dark for about 30 minutes. But it was worth it since I got to the peak and was the only one up there (after passing about 20 people on the way up). I finished around 8 am, and on the way done there was hundreds of people and the parking lots were extremely overflowing with parking along the surrounding roads. This is one of the most popular 14er climbs. The trail is well marked and besides the switchbacks, is generally straight up the ridge of the mountain to the peak. The trail had a mix of some forest, some open flat area, and ended with a rock pile climb, but with a pretty clear path. The views were fantastic up at the top.

Recommend:

  • Start early to get a spot in the lot and avoid the crowds
  • Can complete it with minimal planning since the trail is well marked
  • As always, bring water and snacks with you
  • At the peak, look south and see if you can recognize the Bross, Cameron, Lincoln, and Democrat 14er peaks

Relive video of the hike

link: watch a video and map tour of my hike

Trip Map

Pictures

See this and all the 14er hike pictures on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - 14ers album.

Sunrise on the hike up
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The top rocky push to the peak
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The summit and elevation shot
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A panoramic of the great view
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Previous 14er hikes:

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 13:04 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises nature colorado mountain usa hike 2018 Comments (0)

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