Thursday, October 23, 2014

Black Hills

I made a quick trip up to the Dakotas and stayed in Spearfish, SD.  They have some really nice trails available right from town and I found some time to do a bit of running.  The trails were not all that well marked, but I followed some of the Dakota 5-0 MTB course and since the trails straddle Tinton Road it was easy to use that a datum.  
 The terrain reminded me a bit of Flagstaff, but closer to the Campbell Mesa area.  

If ever in the area, check out the trails in Spearfish.  My first time there and I enjoyed the free recreation.  Another evening I got to explore the Lookout Mountain area as it was near the hotel.  No photos but a good bang for the buck as there are some really steep parts for running.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Columbus to Cumberland

I ran up La Plata Canyon and finally ventured into the Columbus Basin.  I had heard good things about the basin and had seen some photos.  There is an abandoned mine in the basin, with this old Fairbanks-Morse Boiler out in the open.    
 In the basin I spotted this little trail heading up Snowstorm Peak so I followed it.  

 I was amazed to see that it went on the eastern slope and from here it looked like it would take me to the backside of Cumberland Pass, or the "notch."  So I followed it.  
 It sure did, and it dropped me out on the bottom of this road.  The trail petered out at a mine vent and then it was a ridiculously steep descent straight down to the road.  What surprised me though was that someone left a climbers rope in place so I used that to climb down.  Once down, I explored a bit, but then ran up to the "notch."  The other side leads to a road that takes you to Kennebec Pass.
Before hitting Kennebec though I made the summit of Cumberland Peak.  
 If you look closely you can see the Colorado Trail from Kennebec below.  Once at Kennebec I contemplated running to Taylor Lake and then take another un-named trail down to La Plata Canyon but it started to snow so I flinched and ran down.  It turned into a light rain and then eventually disappeared once I got back to the start of the canyon.  Big day, 23 miles and tons of climbing.  Good route so close to home as well.  Soon enough I'll be skiing here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gibbs Peak, Part 2

The weather is just perfect right now in Durango.  Mid 70's and nothing but blue skies all week.  It has been difficult working so we decided to take Wednesday off and finish the job up on Gibbs Peak.  Jeni wanted to make the summit also so she came along.
We approached from the east side via La Plata Canyon just past Madden Campground.
 Jeni is a natural at mountaineering.  There was a bit of Class 3 climbing at the top and she handled it very well.  
 Turkey and cranberry sandwiches from Bread in town made for a great lunch at the summit.

The La Platas are a gem to have so close.  I lost my sunglasses on the way down so I had to go back Thursday and I was able to retrieve them.  Twist my arm, make me spend more time there.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gibbs Peak

Heavy winds came to Durango on Sunday so I headed to the La Platas for some shielding.  I ventured toward Gibbs Peak and found a ton of roads back there, all in some form of either old mining or logging.  I did not try to summit the peak as it was nice down low out of the wind, but it looks simple enough to do as I found the route,  I hope to make it back before the year ends.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Colors

I did an out and back run on Hermosa - got in 26.5 miles and much of it was in the aspens.  Fun time!

Friday, October 10, 2014

West Coast

A work trip brought me out to Los Angeles so I carved out some time for a run on the beach.  I hit it at low tide so it was pretty easy to run on - packed flat sand.

La Plata Fall Hike

Friday, October 03, 2014

No Place Like Home

Work had me head north to Telluride and Aspen early this week, and I spent the night in Aspen.  I had plans to get in a big adventure in the Roaring Fork Valley the next day, but the rain derailed those plans, so I just headed home.  I did get in a nice run though the first night - in the rain of course - on the AJAX Trail from town.  It's hard to find maps there and I think that is the plan, but for a quick 1 hour run this did the trick and the trail got pretty steep so it was a good workout.  

Back home things were much clearer as the La Platas have a way of deflecting storms to the north.  I headed up to Jones Creek the next day and it is amazing that the fall colors still are not in full bloom (err decay?).   

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I finally completed the Durango Mountain Resort to Telluride Mountain Resort ~50-mile adventure I had been working on the last few years.  My last attempt was to ski it which yielded a direct face-to-face with a mountain lion and then a snowstorm whiteout where I zig-zagged just trying to find the end of East Fork Trail.  This time was better with perfect autumn weather.

I hope to do it again with some route changes, and it may just be from Cascade instead as I spent too much time going up DMR and Cascade Road.  If I took Cascade Trail to Engine Creek things would move much faster.  The route took me over Rolling Pass and through Hope Lake which was awesome.  In the future thought if I can scout out the route through Grants/Swampy to Blixt and Wasatch that should be the most straight route.

Jeni ran a SAG Wagon for me and she hiked up with our daughter to Hope Lake from Trout Lake on the Lizard Head side.  I ran out of food and water on the way up to Rolling Pass and was fortunate enough to run into a nice family from here in town and get restocked.  Thanks!  They were doing the same as I had planned, heading up to Hope Lake for the first time.  I'd like to check that area out some more - wow it was beautiful!  Here are some photos!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coal Creek - Evening Run

Fall colors are exploding right now, mid to late next week should be perfect.  Last night I slipped out for a great run, Pass Creek, down Coal Creek.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Log Chutes

It's on the other side of town so I do not head there much anymore and this time of year it gets shade sooner than my side of town.  However it's still a great place for solitude from the masses.