Monday, January 23, 2017

Colorado instead of Wyoming

Well, my hiking partner won't be able to go in August.  After a few moments of thought, I made another proposal to him: how about going in September?  And if we go in mid to late September, how about going somewhere where the fall colors will be a part of the experience?  For this, I'm thinking of course of the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop.

It's a little on the short side; probably three nights, although I know of plenty of people who have done it in less (I probably won't.)

But I'd like to add a smaller overnighter as an add-on while in the area.  So, I resurrected my old "Two Colorado Trips in one" map, and added two more potential hikes to it.  What I'm really thinking of most are the Four Pass Loop plus the Castles Route, in the nearby West Elks Wilderness.  The Blue Lakes I like, but I think it's both far enough away and big enough of a hike (including lots of elevation gain) so I'll probably do it as part of a different trip with something else in Colorado.  I also added the Holy Cross hike, but it has some of the same problems as Blue Lakes, so the Castles Route; an out and back, is the best one to add to the Four pass loop.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Possible 2017 alternates

While I am still planning on my 2017 Shortened Wind Rivers route (as documented in my last post, and this Caltopo) I've got a plan B and a plan C, depending on how things work out.  What this means is:

  • I've got a potential hiking partner; a friend here locally who's originally from out west himself, and who also likes backpacking a lot.  He's in a lot better shape than me, so if he comes along, he'll probably motivate me to push a little harder and not fall through on plans if I get tired or bored.  And I'm less likely to get bored at least with a friend along. 
  • But... his schedule is pretty iffy.  He's got a lot going on this summer (in fairness, so do I) and our schedules may not align.  We've talked about hiking together before (in the Sawtooths of Idaho, to be specific) and it didn't work out then either.  If I'm alone, I might be more likely to default to the Uintas again, because it's easy and there aren't nearly the wildlife issues that Wyoming has.
  • Even if he does come, I think he'll say that he thinks Utah is easier logistically than Wyoming.  In fact, he has said it exactly; and not just logistically, in every way it'd be easier.  If that's the case, I'll revive my older Uinta "epic loop" plan; shortened just a bit to make it fit in the time that I have to hike in.

  • The plan C is that I actually defer until September to go hiking, and that I go do Colorado's Maroon Bells 4-Pass Loop while the aspens are golden.  This is another great one to do solo, if I end up being solo, because of both wildlife issues and because of nearness to base-camps to launch from, as well as the not insubstantial fact that it's several hours closer to me than Utah or Wyoming would be either one.