Monday, October 8, 2012

Mackinac Island Tranquil Bluff (10/8/12)

Route Name: Tranquil Bluff Trail + others
(Manitou Trail > Tranquil Bluff Trail > British Landing Nature Center Trail > Lake Shore Rd > Forest Road > Partridge Trail > Crack-in-the-Island Trail > State Rd > British Landing Rd > Crooked Tree Rd > Juniper Trail > Cliffview Trail > Morning Snack Trail > Fort Holmes Rd > Watch-Your-Step Trail > Garrison Rd)
Distance: 8.17 mi.
Elevation Gain: 1,072 ft.
Start Time: 7:45am
End Time: 11:23am


It was the All Pastors Conference again that brought me up to Northern Michigan. Last year it gave me great opportunity to find some hiking at Boyne Mountain as well as a quick afternoon on Mackinac. This year several days were all at Mackinac Island. Conveniently, they gave us Monday morning as free time and encouraged all to take a "prayer walk". So I did. I had a breakfast in my room at Mission Point Resort and then headed out just as sunrise was hitting the island.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mt. Sherman, Mt. Sheridan, Gemini Peak (7/22/12)

Route Name: Sherman's Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek + Mt. Sheridan's Northeast Ridge + Gemini Peak
Start Elevation: 12,057 ft.
Sheridan Summit: 13,748 ft.
Sherman Summit: 14,036 ft.
Gemini Summit: 13,951 ft.
Distance: 7.503 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,993 ft.

Start Time: 6:47am
Sheridan Summit: 8:29am (10mins)
Sherman Summit: 9:45am (6mins)
Gemini Summit: 10:11am (1min)
Sherman Summit: 10:33am
End Time: 12:15pm
Duration: 5 hrs 28 mins


We met Ken, Cindy, Katelyn, Matthew at 5:50am at US285 and County Rd 18 just south of Fairplay. Our hiking group was Luke, myself, Dad, and David. We drove the road into Fourmile Creek which was incredibly bumpy. We made it up to the gate at 12000 ft. which was open for some reason. We were the first car parked up at the gate. Got our entire hiking group ready to roll and it was just past 6:45am to start. We were all winded to start, and I reasoned this must be because of our 12K starting elevation. The kids were all looking good and ready to roll.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

North Maroon Peak 2012

Route Name: Northeast Ridge
Start Elevation: 9,554 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,014 ft.
Distance: 8.713 mi.
Elevation Gain: 4,550 ft.

Start Time: 4:13am
North Maroon Trail Junction: 5:53am
Bottom First Gully: 7:39am
Top Second Gully: 9:01am
Summit Time: 9:56am (spent 16 mins)
  (42 mins stop at the chimney)
Top Second Gully: 11:34am
Bottom First Gully: 12:25pm
End Time: 2:33pm
Duration: 10 hrs 20 mins


We were up at 1:15am with a target of 1:30am to be on the road and we mostly were. This time we decided to do I-70 to Glenwood Springs thinking it would be a little safer than Independence Pass. This drive went well. We found cheap gas in Glenwood Springs and made our way to Aspen again. It was just after 4am when we hit the Bells parking lot. Again we protected the car from porcupines and got ready for the trail. It was 4:13am when we started and this time we made sure we were on the trail up to Crater Lake. The air was wonderfully warm this morning which gave us a very comfortable dark morning hike. Only took us an hour to reach the 1st junction today and then we were off on the Maroon-Snowmass trail. It was pretty great trail for the first half mile or so and then got steeper. As we neared the junction for North Maroon we were finally getting enough light to turn of the headlamps.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

North Star Mountain (7/19/12)

Route Name: Southeast Shoulder from Hoosier Pass
Start Elevation (Hoosier Pass): 11,542 ft.
Saddle Elevation: 12,108 ft.
Summit Elevation: 13,614 ft.
Distance: 8.554 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,222 ft.

Start Time: 10:24am
Saddle Time: 11:40am
Summit Time: 1:19pm
Saddle Time: 2:50pm
End Time: 3:27pm
Duration: 5 hrs 3 mins


Our ascent of North Star began as a simple family hike up the road west from Hoosier Pass. My brother David and I had packed just in case we'd go for the summit but weren't necessarily guaranteeing it. When we hit the saddle at the top of the loop hike the others were planning for lunch and the conditions were right for us to go for the summit so we set off.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maroon Peak (7/18/12)

Route Name: South Ridge
Start Elevation: 9,554 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,156 ft.
Distance: 11.971 mi.
Elevation Gain: 5,099 ft.

Start Time: 3:07am
South Maroon Trail Junction: 5:28am
Top East Slope: 8:06am
Summit Time: 10:36am
Top East Slope: 12:57pm
South Maroon Trail Junction: 3:00pm
End Time: 4:57pm
Duration: 13 hrs 50 mins


To begin this hike we drove over to Aspen and Maroon Lake last night from Frisco. We got in just before 11pm and setup sleeping stations in the Explorer. We also put out mothballs under the Explorer as recent reports had suggested this to keep the porcupines away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mt. Victoria, Mt. Royal (7/17/12)

Route Name: Mt. Royal trail
Start Elevation: 9,086 ft.
Victoria Elevation: 11,737 ft.
Distance: 5.359 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,637 ft.

Start Time: 9:03am
Junction Time: 10:37am
Summit Time: 11:24am
Junction Time: 11:56am
End Time: 12:53pm
Duration: 3 hrs 50 mins


Our condo was conveniently located on 2nd Avenue this year which meant the Mt. Royal trailhead was just a short walk up the street. We headed out around 9am this morning with all three of my boys geared up and ready. At the large open area just past the bike path there is a good trail leading to the northwest onto the slope of Royal. This evntually cuts up the hill into the trees and dumps out on the main Mt. Royal trail. Following this shortcut saves you from having to head a quarter-mile up the bike path to the true trailhead for Mt. Royal.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Wisconsin Century Ride (5/25/12)

Distance Total: 118 miles
Total Time: 11 hours 35 minutes
Start: 5:50am
Genoa City: 11:27am
Return: 6:25pm


We had a larger group this year riding four up to the border and back. Where we had just Matt, Ken, and I last year we added my Dad, Denny this year (who has done this trip probably more times than the rest of us combined). Denny and I got started from our house in Lombard and headed up to the Great Western where we met Matt and Ken just a few moments after 6am. The Great Western was in great condition this year where we had quite a bit of mushiness and standing water last year. We faced some head wind but made it through this section well.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mt. Elbert Winter Ascent (2/18/12)

Route Name: East Ridge
Start Elevation: 9,607 ft. (2WD TH)
Summit Elevation: 14,433 ft.
Elevation Gain: 4950 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 11.4 mi
Start Time: 6:16am
End Time: 4:10pm


We left at just past o-dark-500 this morning to head for Twin Lakes and the South Mt. Elbert trailhead. We arrived in the morning twilight of about 6am and proceeded to get our gear ready. Another pair of vehicles were in front of us in the parking lot with four guys also getting their gear in place. They were testing out their avalanche beacons which were obviously new to them. We also would later learn they had rented their snowshoes as well. They had the impression there would be plenty of avy terrain on Elbert today, but the recent beta we'd read said otherwise.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hoosier Ridge (2/17/12)

Route Name: East Ridge
Start Elevation: 11,539 ft. (Hoosier Pass)
Summit Elevation: 13,352 ft.
Elevation Gain: 2965 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 8.79 mi
Start Time: 9:30am
End Time: 4:07pm


We hit the trail from Hoosier Pass at 9:30am. The weather looked perfect for the day. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground at Hoosier Pass and so we started right away with snowshoes. The main trail heading east was well packed into the trees and so its possible snowshoes weren't entirely necessary, but we always like to have them. It was a clear trail to follow that led us out of the trees and into the shorter brush. We ascended mostly to the north of the crest of the ridge. At around 12000 we left the last of the brush and it was open meadow ahead of us. At this point there was also no clear trail anymore so we just navigated by sight to what seemed the high point of the ridge.

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