Trip Reports

On this page I will post pictures, video and comments about each climb.  Come with me on an adventure to 14,000 ft!

Mt Sherman
14,036 ft

Sep 21 2013

I had the pleasure to go with two more people on their first 14er summit.  Maureen and Stacie both climbed to 14,036 ft and dedicated the climb to the kids that 14ers4Kids helps. All 12 of the kids are special needs children, they have a mountain to climb ever day.  Stacie said it best on her Facebook quote.... 
The climb was a challenge for Stacie 20 minutes from getting out of the Xterra, she zonked hard after starting with a really brisk pace.  "Hey, take it easy we are at 12,000 ft already!"  Once you zonk out its hard to recover, with the lack of oxygen and changing pressure on your body, the physical challenge of climbing above 12K can really take its toll.  Stacie didn't give up, she pushed thru the difficulties that altitude sickness can challenge you with, I've been there.  It really stinks to have the world spinning, your stomach feeling like you just rode in a stunt plane, it takes a lot to not give up, I am proud of you Stacie!

Maureen kept a steady pace and endured some really high winds like a champ, despite that and the fact that you can't see her face, the "whoo hooo" she give out on the ridge when she sees the summit will tell you that she was excited and ready to claim her first 14K summit!

The video takes you along the ridge to the summit, on the ridge we easily had 60 MPH winds at the summit it calmed down as it often does, because all the wind is rushing around the mountain below you.  We stayed for about an hour up there, the longest summit stay for me in a while, and I really enjoyed it.  

Congrats to Stacie and Maureen, and thanks for joining and climbing for a cause!

Pikes Peak
14,110 ft
Sep, 9 2013

My friend Jen had been talking about climbing a 14er with me ever since I have known her.  But you know how life is, we just hadn't made it happen.  

 We chatted on Thursday and she once again mentioned it, then I mentioned that I was planning Pikes on Saturday and invited her to come.  On such short notice I didn't think she would take me up on the offer, but to my surprise..she did! 

There are certainly easier 14ers for your first one, even doing the shorter route you still log about 14 miles and gain over 4,000 feet in elevation...but she was determined to make the summit of America's Mountain. 

Jen working the boulders!

Despite having a recent cold, fighting altitude sickness and struggling with the boulder-field at the top of the mountain, we made the summit, and as or more importantly back to the trail-head in just over 9 hours of hiking. (we did spend about 30 minutes at the summit)  

No fear!

It was only after we finished that she admitted to me that the boulder-field at the top of the mountain freaked her out.  I could tell at the time, but not once did she complain or admit it during the hike.  

What a trooper!  

She reports to me that she loved the experience and is planning her second 14er already, CONGRATS Jen and welcome to the 14er club!
A first! Not only was it Jen's first 14er summit, I saw another first (for me) in the mountains. A priest climbing the mountain in full length black clerical clothing (I am not sure what the term for that is) but, wow not something you normally see on a mountain peak.  It reminded me of the monks that we would run across while on my trek in the Himalayas in Nepal.  I wish I had snapped a picture, but that kinda felt awkward doing that, plus he was going up and we were going down by the time I thought of it, he was gone.

This marks my 5 (or 6th) time to summit Pikes Peak and it was great to be able to introduce my friend to the 14ers.  I always love sharing the experience with others, it helps remind me why I love to climb mountains!

Castle Peak
14,265 ft
Conundrum Peak
14,060 ft
Aug, 10 2013

I spent a lot of time alone and in thought on this trip.  It's a long drive to these peaks from home, going over Independence Pass alone in the dark at 3 AM is no fun. I could have really used a climbing partner for this one. I didn't drive up the 4X4 road as far as I had planned, but I did get off to an early start and had a great day with 2 awesome summits.  Check out the video from a full days worth of climbing condensed into 11 minutes.

Mount Sneffels
14,157 ft
July 20, 2013

The day began with a LONG drive into Yankee Boy Basin, and ended me laying in the middle of  the 4x4 road wondering if I would have to be carried out.  Another adventure started when I parked, and took off at 8:10, I forgot my map and directions and had a re-start at about 8:25.  The San Juan's are beautiful!

Taking in the views as I get higher and higher on the peak.  There were a few climbers higher than me and a couple coming down but for the most part it was a day of solitude on the mountain.  I love the quiet of climbing solo.

These high mountain signs are neat, the day was wonderful, cool mostly wind...PERFECT!

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Now the climbing really begins!

At the V notch above, I decided to take off my pack and leave it.  You can kinda see in the pic below that if you made a mistake in that V, well....its a long way down!  Crawling thru that V with my pack on just didn't feel comfortable. In the pic below the V is just to my right, you go up and thru that V and then its just a quick scramble up to the summit!  Sweet!

 Views from the summit are below, really awesome!  
The San Juan range is becoming my favorite! 

Summit shot!  Mt Sneffels, 14,157
On the way down, it is typically the place where most accidents/injury occurs...and yep, it happened.  On the high part of the 4x4 road about a mile from my car I caught a rock with the side of my foot.  That caused me to twist my knee just as I was about to step on that leg.  I crashed to the ground and let out a scream with my leg awkwardly twisted underneath me.  I thought, that was it!  I figured I would be carried off, but after a few moments I shook it off and slowly stood up and started walking.  I ended up making it back in pretty good shape.  Knee is still sore now a couple days later, but I really hope it will be ok.  I have had 2 years of back to back knee surgeries, I don't knee-d a third!

Summit Marmot. This guys lives up here!  One tough little critter.


  1. Dave you need to get some kind of hockey pads for those knees

  2. Hockey pads LOL! I need something, my knees have taken a beating over the past couple years.