Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hot Springs NP Peak Trail

Peak Trail
Hot Springs National Park
Trailhead Elevation: 618 ft.
Summit Elevation: 1,041 ft.
Distance: 1.28 mi. (roundtrip) (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 476 ft. (my GPS)

Start Time: 1:30pm
Top Time: 1:48pm (26 mins on top)
End Time: 2:28pm

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pinnacle Mountain Family Hike + Double Traverse

Pinnacle Mountain (Little Rock)
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
East Trailhead Elevation: 302 ft.
Summit Elevation: 1,011 ft.

12/29 Family Hike/Traverse of Pinnacle:
Distance: 1.43 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 791 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 1:53pm
End Time: 4:00pm

12/29 Mark/David Trail-run on west and north sides
Distance: 1.46 mi. (my GPS) (signs said it was 2 miles)
Elevation Gain: 371 ft. (my GPS)

12/30 Mark/David Double Traverse Trail-run of Pinnacle
Distance: 2.38 mi. (my GPS) (probably should be more like 2.6/2.7mi)
Elevation Gain: 1339 ft. (my GPS)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Potawatomi Trail Dec 2015

Potawatomi Trail:
Pinckney State Recreation Area
Trailhead Elevation: 888 ft.
Distance: 10.98 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 1739 ft. (my GPS)

Hike In: 
  Start Time: 2:11pm
  End Time: 4:10pm
Hike Out:
  Start Time: 8:21am
  End Time: 9:37am

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Penosha Trail (Brighton)

Penosha Trail:
Brighton State Recreation Area
Trailhead Elevation: 921 ft.
Distance: 4.8 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 834 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 6:01pm
End Time: 6:49pm

Trip Report:

As I drove home from my Conference at Boyne in northern Michigan I was looking for another opportunity to explore Michigan's trails and get in a good trail-run. After some good research I found that the Brighton area would be perfect and conveniently close to US23. I settled on running the 5-mile Penosha Trail with the possibility of also running the Kahchin Trail. The trailhead area was easy to find at the Bishop Lake parking lot. This trail was similarly marked to other Michigan state park trails I've hiked/run with well signed trail junctions. I liked here that the Penosha Trail was bike free with other trails here at Brighton Rec for them.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Shingle Mill Pathway

Shingle Mill Pathway:
Trailhead Elevation: 11,794 ft.
Distance: 10.5 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 847 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 2:57pm
End Time: 4:46pm

Trip Report:
A Pastor's conference at Boyne Mountain brought me up to Northern Michigan and an afternoon window of free time gave me the opportunity to hunt for a trail run. I had run the bike trails at Boyne a couple times before and found them very difficult to follow. This time I was looking for something more. In doing research on trails in the area I came across the Shingle Mill Pathway. I was pleased to see it was well marked and even found a good GPX route to load on my phone as backup.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

North Country Trail Run - Marathon 2015

Start/Finish Line area pre-race
Even before I had run my first marathon in Chicago in October 2014 I had already signed up for my second. In hindsight I may call that a bit crazy, particularly after having been very humbled after finally running the Chicago marathon. In reading up on some of the finer trail races in Michigan I came across the North Country Run and was instantly impressed with everything I had heard. It seemed to be incredibly well organized and took very good care of the runners. I was also intrigued by the prospect of running the entire course on hills in the Manistee National Forest. I found out that sign-up was happening around the end of August (2014) which was only a few days away. I started following them on twitter to find out exactly when the sign-up opportunities opened and I quickly realize that this race was going to fill up fast! With some irony, the sign-up window opened as I was doing a trail-run on the Poto Trail at Pinckney and I pulled over, got out my smartphone, and did the sign-up right there on the trail.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Alpine Ridge & Tundra Communities Trails (RMNP)

Alpine Ridge Trail:
Trailhead Elevation: 11,794 ft.
Distance: 0.61 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 202 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 6:02pm
End Time: 6:14pm

Tundra Communities Trail:
Trailhead Elevation: 12,024 ft.
Distance: 1.15 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 225 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 6:34pm
End Time: 6:50pm

Mt. Democrat 2015

Almost back to Kite Lake on the return
Route Name: East Slopes
Trailhead Elevation: 12,024 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,148 ft.
Distance: 4.10 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 2168 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 10:41am
Summit: 11:41am (7 mins)
End Time: 12:28pm

Sunday, July 26, 2015

North Cottonwood Creek Backpacking

Route Name: North Cottonwood Creek Trail

Trailhead Elevation: 9,895 ft.
Camp Elevation: 10,160 ft.
Distance: 1.52 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 357 ft. (my GPS)

Start Time: 6:52pm
End Time: 7:15pm

Start Time: 9:39am
End Time: 10:00am

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Silver Creek-Colorado Trail

Route Name: Colorado Trail from Silver Creek Trailhead

Trailhead Elevation: 9,415 ft.
Saddle Elevation: 11,906 ft.
Distance: 6.64 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 2707 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 9:53am
Saddle Time: 11:41am (spent about 2 minutes there)
End Time: 1:15pm

Friday, July 24, 2015

Capitol Peak - 14ers Finisher

Route Name: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake

Trailhead Elevation: 9,479 ft.
Camp Elevation: 11,489 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,130 ft.
Distance: 17.56 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 5727 ft. (my GPS)

Capitol Creek Hike In:
Start Time: 6:15pm
End Time: 9:13pm

Capitol Peak Climb:
Left Camp: 4:24am
Capitol-Daly Saddle: 5:09am
K2 Summit: 7:35am
Capitol Summit: 9:40am (23 mins)
K2 Summit: 11:49am
Capitol-Daly Saddle: 2:05pm
Camp Return: 2:35pm

Capitol Creek Hike Out:
Start Time: 3:27pm
End Time: 7:17pm

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

North Maroon Peak 2015

Route Name: Northeast Ridge

Trailhead Elevation: 9,590 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,014 ft.
Distance: 9.08 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 4957 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 4:33am
NM Trail Jct: 6:07am
Bottom 1st Gully: 7:42am
Top 1st Gully: 8:16am
Bottom 2nd Gully: 8:22am
Top 2nd Gully: 9:26am
Summit: 10:38am (12 mins)
Top 2nd Gully: 12:07pm
Bottom 2nd Gully: 12:52pm
Top 1st Gully: 1:02pm
Bottom 1st Gully: 1:29pm
NM Trail Jct: 2:56pm
End Time: 4:12pm

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mt. Bierstadt, The Sawtooth, and Mt. Evans

Route Name: Bierstadt West Slopes to Bierstadt North Ridge to Sawtooth Ridge to Evans West Ridge

Trailhead Elevation: 11,669 ft.
Mt. Bierstadt Elev.: 14,060 ft.
The Sawtooth Elev.: 13,780 ft.
Mt. Evans Elev.: 14,264 ft.
"West Evans" Elev.: 14,256 ft.
Mt. Spalding Elev.: 13,842 ft.

Distance: 11.61 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 4400 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 5:54am
Bierstadt: 8:07am (8 mins on top)
Sawtooth: 10:24am (1 min on top)
Evans: 11:27am (14 mins on top)
West Evans: 11:58am (6 mins on top)
Spalding: 1:05pm (5 mins on top)
End Time: 3:45pm

Monday, June 22, 2015

Trails on the New River Gorge

Though I've driven though West Virginia on a couple of occasions, I'd never really stopped to see what this beautiful state has to offer.  That changed as our area churches put together a rafting trip in the New River Gorge.  We came down for a couple of days to raft and to enjoy other activities.  I used extra free time to piece together a couple of trail runs.  I had begun to do some research on what the trails look like in the area and had some ideas in mind.  In the end, time allowed me to explore the Canyon Rim Trail (there may be another name for it) and the Endless Wall Trail.  The Canyon Rim trail heads northwest out of the parking lot at Adventures on the Gorge resort.  There is no signage and the beginning of the trail is actually there frisbee golf course.  This makes the beginning a bit hard to follow, but a good common sense idea for a trail eventually will follow it out of the frisbee golf area.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Starved Rock State Park - River Trail

Route Name: River Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 624 ft.
Low Point: 453 ft.
Distance: 6.56 mi.
Elevation Gain: 1,549 ft. (GEarth estimate, seems high)
Start Time: 2:16pm
End Time: 6:40pm

Trip Report:

It had been many years since we'd made the trek down to Starved Rock.  The last time I could say I was there was in the fall of 2002 when Sarah and I began dating again.  It was one of our first big dates together.  For this time around, my boys and I happened to be staying with my parents in the Chicago area and were looking for something fun to do on a Saturday.  Being an outdoors family, looking for a good hiking day seemed to be the right choice.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pinckney Trail Half Marathon Race

This was a race I had been looking forward to for some time.  Every since I happened to "discover" the Poto trail and Pinckney Recreation Area I've been in love with it as my local wilderness playground.  Though my heart is usually out in the mountains of Colorado, it has helped to have a place like this so accessible and close to home.

Late last August I backpacked into Blind Lake and I ran the Half-M race course from my camp.  I quickly realized what a challenge it was going to be.  The elevation changes are constant with few extended flat stretches.  Some of the hills just take it out of you.  On that initial run, I ended up walking several sections.  Of course, having hiked about 8 miles with a pack the day before probably didn't help this effort.

Heading into 2015 I was watching the website ready for sign-ups as I knew this was one of my highlight races for this year.  I also looked into the Serious Series and decided that would be a great way to turn 2015 into a year of the trail races.  I signed up for all three of those races and to top it all off, I also got into the North Country Trail Marathon.  What a line-up for this year!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mt. Yale Winter Ascent

Hoarfrost on the rocks at the begin of the summit ridge
Route Name: Southwest Slopes from Denny Creek TH
Trailhead Elevation: 9,925 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,196 ft.
Distance: 8.87 mi.
Elevation Gain: 4,377 ft.
Start Time: 5:35am
Summit Time: 10:22am (20 minutes on top)
End Time: 3:30pm

Trip Report:

Basic Technical Info
As with any winter ascent, we had done a lot of homework on the snow and weather conditions before today arrived. We were pleased to find a number of recent Conditions Reports and Trip Reports that helped to paint a pretty good picture
of what to expect. The general word was that the trail below treeline was snowy but well packed.  Above treeline it was wind blown in parts.  Little to no avalanche danger.  Our weather report called for slight chance of flurries in the morning and temps just below freezing til afternoon.  Definitely all good news!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Snowshoeing Powerhound-Treeline Loop at Tennessee Pass

Route Name: Powderhound Loop & Treeline Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 10,430 ft.
High Elevation: 10,657 ft.
Hiking Total Distance: 2.82 mi.
Elevation Gain: 420 ft.

Trip Report:

What better way to spend our first day out in Colorado than finding a good place to snowshoe.  We wanted a good hike to help us begin to acclimate a bit before we did some skiing and mountain climbing the rest of the week.  We were also concerned about finding a place that still had enough snow.  It was April 6 and the lower elevations were getting all melted out.  We were staying just east of Buena Vista and there was no snow left in those areas.  

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