A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sunrise

2019 14ers - Blanca - Colorado USA

more hiking up tall mountains

rain 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Blanca

This peak is part of potentially 4 that one could down in southern Colorado near the Great Sand Dunes. Again, this is a hike that I needed the 4Runner. There's 7 miles of road up to a lake to where the real hiking trail begins. I drove about 4 miles of the road before it got really rough - the truck could have handled it, but my off roading experience isn't quite up for that challenge yet. We camped out overnight in a protected pull off site and starting early the next day.

Even a 6 am start was tough going to cover the 3 miles of rough rock road, and then another 4 miles up what is basically a big pile of rocks. There were definite steep drops off some cliff faces, and exposure to high winds as we climbed up a ridge to the top. One section was pretty much boulder climbing and many minutes I just laid low and hung on to whatever rocks were closest.

The goal for the day was to also do Ellingwood, which shares part of the same approach, and there's a ridge connecting the too. However, we were exhausted, it looked even tougher to climb and we couldn't find where the path split off (remember that it's a pile of rocks with a rock path going up it and piles of cairn rocks to guide your way, so it's tough to spot which are the real rocks to follow). Later, we're glad we headed down early as we got a downpour of water for the last 2 or so miles of hiking. What a fun challenging hike, one of the toughest ones I've ever done.

Relive video of the hikes

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

One of the easier sections of the road to the trailhead. This is after we parked, and didn't see any vehicles after this point.
large_04e2cc40-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

Chasing the sun up the mountain
large_05b69700-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpeg

One of the many lakes we hiked by
large_05fe7570-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpeg

Climbing up Blanca's ridge, with Ellingwood in the background
large_0649af40-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpeg

Proof at the top
large_06958550-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

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 attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:24 Archived in USA Tagged me waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees snow nature hiking colorado lake sunrise sunsets usa rockies hike denver roadtrip 14er murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

2019 14ers - double take - Colorado USA

climbing the Gray-Torrey duo

sunny 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Gray's & Torrey's

These twin peaks are a somewhat close drive from Denver, but I heard horror stories of the road leading from the highway to the trailhead. If you don't have a high clearance 4WD, then it's another 3 miles each way before and after your hike. These are a couple easier hiking options, but I didn't ever want to add 6 or more miles of gravel road walking. Now that I have the 4Runner, Chris and I decided to knock these peaks off the to do list.

A semi early departure of about 5 am got us to the road. It certainly was rough, but did see some lower cars made it up part of the way. They must have some adventurous drivers. We got near the trailhead for parking and saw quite a few people had camped there over night. Good idea for future trips. The most used path up to either peak is straight forward and has a consistent up hill grind. There's also a Kelso Ridge route option that gets more into class 3 to 4 rock climbing, but we decided to wait on that for a future trip.

The most exciting part of the trip was on the way down. We had to cross a snow field. Previously hikers had crossed and worn down a path, enough so that we could slide down part of it but on a gradual descent section on the trail. We thought that was it, but next saw some people just off the trail, sliding straight down the mountain in a valley. What I came to learn was 'glissading'. Before I knew it, Chris jumped into the snow and started sliding down too. So I followed. It was slick, steep, and scary. We slid for several hundred feet, and then dropped off a ridge and onto an even steeper part. It took a few minutes to probably drop down 700-800 feet of elevation. Quite thrilling, and only ended up with some soaked pants and jackets.

Relive video of the hike

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

the moon is still out
large_c7a5a770-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpg

the sun is on the way
large_c75bf440-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpeg

view farther into the Rockies
large_c7feeb00-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

celebrate
large_c7c1baf0-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

at the top
large_c7809340-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpg

an easy section to walk/slide down
large_c6b74fd0-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

the steep section we glissaded down - you can't even make out the few little specks of people at the top or the path we slid down
large_c700b4e0-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

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 attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:18 Archived in USA Tagged me trees snow nature hiking colorado sunrise usa hike denver challenge 14er murktravels 2019 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:
large_2018-07-14_07_16_00.jpg

At the peak:
large_2018-07-14_07_16_35.jpg
large_2018-07-14_07_16_11.jpg
large_2018-07-14_07_16_47.jpg

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.

large_1e6ef300-8a29-11e8-8f6f-2118c4180975.png

The balloon launch grounds.
large_ee1be2d0-8a28-11e8-8f6f-2118c4180975.jpg

The splash and dash into the lake.
large_f8e8ee60-8a28-11e8-8f6f-2118c4180975.jpg

The inflate and launch process.
large_0c426450-8a29-11e8-8f6f-2118c4180975.jpg

Balloons floating all over town.
large_18939ee0-8a29-11e8-8f6f-2118c4180975.jpg

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
large_e350aa00-82eb-11e8-9488-476410a4b297.jpg

Mt Evans peak from the trail
large_e40972b0-82eb-11e8-af10-ddf52c289221.jpg

Looking toward Mt Bierstadt
large_f58c8580-82ec-11e8-af10-ddf52c289221.jpg

Mountain Goats
large_e2eedaf0-82eb-11e8-9488-476410a4b297.jpg

Panoramic from Mt Spalding
large_e1ebc2d0-82eb-11e8-9488-476410a4b297.jpg

Elevation shot at the peak, looking towards the parking lot where people can take the easy way up and drive
large_e1385150-82eb-11e8-9488-476410a4b297.jpg

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)

Democrat-Lincoln-Cameron-Bross 2017 - Colorado USA

Four 14ers in a day

sunny 45 °F

overview

For those up to the challenge, this is the easiest way to get multiple 14er peaks in one day. Once you make the steep climb up to one of them, then it's just a matter of partially dropping down and climbing back up via the saddles between the peaks, instead of going all the way back down and back up each time. I had previously gone up to the peak of Mt Democrat a few weeks earlier.

These were the first, second, third, and fourth 14ers I hiked. I completed this task on July 22nd, 2017. I started around 6 am and finished around 10am. I ran whatever parts I could.

Recommend:

  • There's a camping site at the trailhead to camp overnight before the climb
  • Be sure to have an off road vehicle with high clearance for the drive up to the trailhead
  • Eat and drink plenty on the way

Trip Map

Pictures

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

Trailhead:
9bbee430-0fa5-11e9-b9f6-ad82379bfedc.jpg

Mt Democrat:
9c5d9530-0fa5-11e9-b9f6-ad82379bfedc.jpg

Mt Lincoln:
9b51f190-0fa5-11e9-b9f6-ad82379bfedc.jpg

9c747890-0fa5-11e9-bcf8-910a9d31cd6b.jpg

Mt Cameron and Democrat:
9d121820-0fa5-11e9-9cdf-3fa04107b872.jpg

Mt Bross
9d1db0e0-0fa5-11e9-8e14-371ad1173e52.jpg

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 13:56 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado sunrise denver 14er 2017 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 6 of 6) Page [1]