The 2015 Plan

Just like last year, I intended to show my routes here on some maps, but ran out of time.  So for now the best I can do is a general description of how I would like this to play out.  This is my aggressive plan and given all the snow and rain in the forecast it is very likely this will be delayed.

June 29: Start around 4:30 am and climb Windom, Sunlight, North Eolus, and Eolus.  Down to Needleton by 11:15am to catch train to Silverton.  Drive over Ophir Pass to the Kilpacker trailhead for the Wilsons.  Try to be started around 2:00pm to climb El Diente, Mt. Wilson, and Wilson Peak.  Likely will finish after dark.

June 30: After an hour drive to Ouray, drive up into Yankee Boy Basin, the start for Sneffels.  Try to be back down to Ouray by 4:00am.  From Ouray Kyle will drive us over Cinnamon pass, and I will climb Handies in the first light of the day.

From Handies it is a short drive to Redcloud and Sunshine.  Since I will be starting these in late morning I am concerned about the possibility of postholing, as there is still a lot of snow up there.  Once finished with Redcloud and Sunshine, I will continue to Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn for a late afternoon start.  There is even more snow between Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn so I will likely bring snowshoes to try to deal with all of the snow and the late start.  I hope to finish not long after dark.

Then it is finally time for a couple of hours rest as we drive to San Luis.

July 1:  After San Luis we head on to the nasty Lake Como road to climb Little Bear, Blanca, Ellingwood, and Lindsey.  Would love to finish before midnight. Then it is on to Culebra.

July 2: We drive to South Colony Lakes Trailhead for a relatively late start up the Crestones.  I usually prefer to go in the other direction, but the late start will necessitate climbing Crestone Needle first so that I am guaranteed to make the traverse in the light. The order would then be Crestone Needle, to Crestone Peak, to Kit Carson, to Challenger, to Humboldt. Hopefully I will finish around midnight.

July 3: Climb Pikes via Crags Trailhead.  It is likely we start before dark and finish after it is light.

Then a couple of hours rest as we drive toward Buena Vista to access the Sawatch Range.   The first Sawatch mountains climbed will be Antero, Shavano, and Tabeguache.

Then it is on to Mt. Princeton, which will likely be completed in the dark.

July 4:  I moved this day up this year because I want to hit it while I am a little fresher.  This is a big, scary day!  The idea is to climb all of the Elks (minus Castle Conundrum which are done separately).  I am not sure what direction to do the loop (there are pros and cons to each).  The problem is that it will take me at least 24 hours, and that guarantees something pretty nasty (Pyramid or Capitol) in the dark, which is not a happy prospect.  I am currently thinking about climbing Pyramid first, followed by South Maroon, North Maroon, then traversing to Snowmass, then on to Capitol.

July 5:  It will be a miracle if we are still on schedule after the Elks.  However, after Capitol we head to Castle and Conundrum, hoping for an early morning start that will yield nice conditions for a fast glissade back down.  Then we drive back over independence pass and try to finish Elbert and Massive before it gets dark.  In the night we do the long drive to Holy Cross, which will hopefully be climbed before the first morning light.

July 6:  A long day and night through the heart of the Sawatch.  Starting with Yale, Columbia and Harvard, then on to Oxford, Belford, and Missouri.  Then descend to Clohesy lake, and climb the confusing east side of Huron during the night.

July 7:  After Huron we climb La Plata, then drive to Leadville and ascend the west side of Sherman, then continue with the Lincoln Group.  Then it is on to Quandary.

July 8: We start the last day with Torreys and Grays, then Evans and Bierstadt.  And finally Finish off with Longs.  Since I have not scouted the faster route that descends the trough, I will just stick to the keyhole route and will stop the clock once I am 3000 feet below the summit.

If I was able to stick to this aggressive plan, the finishing time would be somewhere in the range of 10 days.