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Coming In Second: Mount Massive

Friday – Saturday, July 6-7, 2018

This weekend I felt it was time for me to attempt my first 14er of the year since the snow had melted of early and the monsoon season hasn’t really picked up yet. After looking at my options I decided to go all out and try to hike to the summit of Mount Massive (14,421) on Saturday morning, which is the second highest peak in Colorado after Mount Elbert which I had already climbed two years ago. I spend Independence Day hiking in the La Sal Mountains to help prepare for the hike by getting a little acclimated to the elevation and making sure I was in good enough shape to give it a try. The hike in the La Sal Mountains went pretty well, although my legs were very sore for a few days afterwards which is very unusual for me. My legs certainly get tired after a big hike, but they’ve never been sore like this before. On Friday afternoon I considered cancelling the trip completely because the weather forecast was predicting early thunderstorms starting around 9:00am on Saturday morning, and even with a very early start I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to reach the summit and get down before they started. In the end, I decided to go anyway and see if I could squeeze the hike into the small window of good weather that was predicted. I figured that maybe I’d even be able to get some nice cloudy photos if the weather wasn’t good for hiking!

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Burro Pass Peaks

La Sal Mountains Peak Bagging | Manns Peak, Mount Tomasaki & Haystack Mountain
Independence Day | Wednesday, July 4, 2018

This year the Fourth of July fell right in the middle of the week and since Diane had to work one holiday this year she chose this one since we wouldn’t be able to plan a big weekend trip around it. I had the day off from work, so I decided to spend the holiday continuing my quest to climb all of the main peaks in the La Sal Mountains near Moab. Not only is the mountain range pretty close to home, but I was also hoping it wouldn’t be as busy as the mountains of Colorado can be during a holiday. I actually started my quest to hike all of the major peaks in the La Sal Mountains two years ago on the Fourth of July weekend with Mount Tukuhnikivatz. Then I continued with Mount Peale (12,721) later that same year. I guess I never made it back last year, so it was definitely time to return again! This time I was planning on hiking a few of the summits in the middle portion of the range near the headwaters of Mill Creek, starting with Manns Peak (12,272) and Mount Tomasaki (12,239) and then going from there depending on how I was feeling afterwards.

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Sleepy Cat Peak & The Devils Causeway

A Long Overdue Return to The Flat Tops
Friday – Sunday, June 22-24, 2018

Earlier this year while planning our Memorial Day weekend trip to Dinosaur National Monument, I was scrolling around a map online and it took off on me in the wrong direction and stopped near a mountain called Sleepy Cat Peak (10,853) in the Flat Tops of Colorado. I had never heard of this peak before, but with a name like that I knew we would have to climb it this summer! After looking online for a little bit more information about the peak I found out that it’s actually the 52nd most prominent peak in Colorado with 2,348 feet of prominence. Since this peak is not very high by Colorado standards, we figured it would make a good easy mountain to climb at the beginning of our season this summer to help us start getting back into shape again. Plus, it’s been at least eight years since the last time I visited the Flat Tops, so I’ve been long overdue for a return visit to this area.

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Dinosaur Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend | Thursday – Monday, May 24-28, 2018

After four years of going on our annual Maze Memorial Weekend trip we decided it was time to move that trip up into early April for cooler temperatures and less bugs, which meant that we needed to find somewhere else to explore over the Memorial Day weekend this year.  After some thought we settled on visiting Dinosaur National Monument because we hoped it would be a little cooler at this time of the year and I felt it was time to finally start getting to know this area of Utah and Colorado a little more intimately. Plus, there are a lot of places around Dinosaur that I’ve wanted to revisit and I was pretty sure that the park wouldn’t be too busy away from the main Dinosaur Bone Quarry. Little did we know that this weekend was going to be pretty warm all over the Colorado Plateau!

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From the Colorado River to the Henry Mountains

Friday – Sunday, May 4-6, 2018

This weekend Diane and I headed back to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area so we could hike to a few rock art sites that we didn’t have time to look for during our trip into The Maze last month. Then we spent the rest of the weekend exploring parts of North Wash and Cedar Point as we headed back toward the edge of the Henry Mountains south of Hanksville. We left after I got out of work on Friday afternoon and drove west into Utah, like we’ve done many times this year already. We stopped in Green River for dinner and fuel, which thankfully was not nearly as busy as the last time we tried to stop here! Then we continued south through Hanksville and followed North Wash into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Hite. I made a left turn onto the road that leads to the Flint Trail and followed it around Rock Canyon to Andy Miller Flats where we found a nice campsite for the night. It had been dark for a while by the time we found a spot to setup our camp, so we had to put up our tent with some help from the headlights on my Jeep. Once the tent was setup we crawled inside and went right to bed, and Diane tells me that I fell asleep very quickly this night.

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