Colorado Mountain Club Blog

Another day on the trail

Category: Adventure Travel

Denali Dispatch #14: Heading Down

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by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Friday 06-19-2015 Camp 4 (14,200′) Making the descent. Today was always going to be physically painful. Not necessarily as energy sapping, but hard on the body. We had one camp supplied at 17,200′ and then carried over a second camp. So, we had two camps worth of weight […]

Denali Dispatch #12: Bivy at 19,150′

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by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Wednesday 06-17-2015Camp “Extra” (19,150′)We just didn’t move fast enough to push all the way to the summit. We ended up using a running belay for almost all of the snow sections, as the runout of a fall would not have been pretty. So, that really slowed us down.However, […]

Denali Dispatch #10: Here We Go

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by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Tuesday 06-16-2015 Camp 5 (16,300′) Seven months ago, to the day, I became a father, twice over. I’ve been thinking of Connor and Kade and my wife, Kristina, a lot today. Tomorrow we head for the summit, and the fact that I’m here at all says everything about […]

Denali Dispatch #9: Gearing up for the Summit

by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Monday 06-15-2015 Camp 4 (14,200′) Sorry that I forgot to turn of the GPS tracking device, everyone. But I can inform you all that we had a successful day. We got up early (by Alaska standards, not Colorado) and were the first team on the fixed ropes heading […]

Denali Dispatch #2: Snowed In

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by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader So much for our potential early movement on the mountain. It started snowing around 10:45pm last night and didn’t stop until 7am. We’ve had low clouds and spotty snow all day. Visibility has made route finding difficult, and the foot of new snow has covered the track. Here’s […]

The Other Side of Fear

Heading up the steep north slopes of Vulcan Iliniza Sur (17,267’) with Jorge Nunez. December 18th, 2012.

As I write this, I am one week out from leaving Denver and heading to Anchorage, Alaska. From there, weather permitting, I’m one more day away from landing on the Kahiltna Glacier and beginning my 13,000 foot ascent (~7000’ to ~20,000’) up the highest mountain in North America. Also as I write this, there are […]

Common Effort of Will and Strength

Mount Rainier (14,410’) High Altitude Mountaineering School Graduation Team at Camp Schurman, July 2012. Photo courtesy of Vern Bass.

Many a mountaineer has mentioned at one time or another that mountaineering is ‘the kind of thing that is fun to talk about when you’re done.’ That is to say, the act of mountaineering, itself, is sometimes the farthest thing from fun. Yet, we do it. Maybe it’s that somehow the suffering creates the reward. […]

When Nobody’s Watching

Starting up Green Mountain (8,150’) outside of Boulder, CO, March 1st, 2015. Photo Courtesy of Jim Berryhill.

  My knee has heeled to the point where I can begin climbing, again, in the variable conditions you get when you leave the safe confines of the gym. When preparing for an expedition, gym work is important as it lets you focus on specific areas of physical improvement within a controlled environment. However, it […]

Glaciers are Hot

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By Chris Case For years, scientists have been studying and reporting on the accelerating rates of retreat of the world’s ice sheets (the largest glaciers), the decline of mountain glaciers big and small, and the subsequent rise in sea levels. Media reports have followed: retreating glaciers around the world (at the poles, in the Alps, […]

Six Years in the Making

Me, rappelling into the notch on the east ridge of Mount Bancroft (13,250’) August 30, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jim Berryhill.

“Am I ready? I’m putting in the hours… into planning, into training, into mental preparation. But am I ready?” This is a necessary thought. Certainly, it can be destructive if you let it fester into self-doubt; but without this thought, I would argue that you are lacking a critical reflex of self-assessment. Frankly, it goes […]

Mt. Elbert – East Ridge

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by CMC Trip Leader Bill Blazek This was a Colorado Mountain Club trip with 10 members. This exursion was training for the CMC’s 2015 Year of the Mountaineer expedition to Cerro de Aconcaqua, 22,841. Eight of the 10 are on the Aconcagua expedition, and the other two came along just for the “fun!” Everything went […]

Only Half Done

My wife, Kristina, repacking gear from pack to duffel in the parking lot of Mount Rainier (14,410’). July, 2012.

Another Quote from Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.” It’s been a busy two-to-three weeks for team Rocky Mountain Sourdoughs, as we prepare for Denali. The bulk of the team has been out on a few hut trips. I have yet to recover from my knee injury enough to join them. However, I have been […]