Category: Climbing

Southwest Ridge | Saturday & Sunday, August 5-6, 2017

A view of Sayres Peak (13,738) at sunrise as I hiked to the summit of La Plata Peak.

Last fall during my drive to the trailhead for Mount Elbert (14,433), I got a nice view of La Plata Peak as I was descending Independence Pass shortly before sunset and thought to myself that I should make time to climb that peak soon. That thought has stuck around in the back of my mind for the last year and I finally decided to make it happen this weekend since I had good luck with Culebra Peak (14,047) last weekend.

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Whipple Mountain & Last Dollar Mountain
Independence Day | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Diane hikes through a hillside of lupine as we descend the Whipple Mountain Trail.

This year for Independence Day Diane and I woke up early and drove down to the west end of the Sneffels Range near Telluride to climb a couple of mountains just off the Last Dollar Road. We started out by hiking up the Whipple Trail to the summit of Whipple Mountain (11,922) which was about 1.5 miles in length with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. It was mostly up an easy trail lined with wildflowers and then the last section from the saddle to the summit was on a faint track through a forest where the mosquitoes were pretty terrible. We enjoyed the view from the summit over toward Wilson Peak, El Diente Peak, and Lizard Head for a little bit and then hiked back down to the trailhead.

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Friday – Sunday, June 30 – July 2, 2017

A view from near the summit of Dry Mountain over to Bald Mountain and Mount Nebo.

This weekend I was heading up to Salt Lake City to see Rise Against at the USANA Amphitheater on Saturday evening, but since I have a Colorado 14er scheduled to climb later this month I really need to make sure that I’m in shape for it by hiking in the mountains as much as I can this month. Before the trip I did a little research to see if there were any shorter hikes with a couple thousand feet of elevation gain in the Wasatch Mountains that I would be able to squeeze into the trip and I settled on climbing Dry Mountain (9,865) near Santaquin. This mountain wasn’t too far out of my way and it looked like I would also be able to camp near the trailhead the night before. Plus, there wasn’t much information about it online, so I figured the trail wouldn’t be crowded, either. Dry Mountain is one of the shorter peaks found along the Wasatch Front but the trail to it’s summit is just over two miles in length with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain, so it fit my needs perfectly. This peak comes in at #97 on Utah’s 100 Most Prominent Peaks List with 1,845 feet of prominence. Apparently, this mountain is also featured prominently in the movie Footloose, but since I’ve never seen it I can’t confirm.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

View from the summit of Mount Peale over Mount Tukuhnikivatz (12,482) in the La Sal Mountains.

Since Jared and I had cancelled our plans to hike to the summit of Mount Peale (12,721) at the end of the previous day, we didn’t bother waking up until the sun was up this morning. I asked him if he had any suggestions for hikes near Moab and after some thought he suggested that we give Mount Peale a chance since we were right near it. I was feeling better after a good night’s sleep so I figured it was worth a try, though I kind of had a feeling that we would probably bail partway up and not make it to the summit.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hesperus Mountain is an impressive sight over the Twin Lakes in the La Plata Mountains.

I had set my alarm for 5:00am this morning, but when it went off I looked outside and didn’t see any clouds, so I went back to sleep since I was still pretty tired from the previous day. I ended up waking up again just after 6:00am and realized that I might have enough time to make it over to the Dallas Divide to catch the sunrise. I quickly got ready and was soon driving through Ridgway on my way to the divide. I reached the parking area just in time and found that it was a pretty popular place this morning. I parked my Jeep, got out and took a few quick photos and then left a few minutes later. I didn’t stick around very long, maybe 10-15 minutes at the most. There were just too many people for me and the conditions weren’t anything special this morning.

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