Colorado Mountain Club Blog

Another day on the trail

Category: High Altitude

Capturing the Fall Colors of Colorado: Part 3 Scenic Drive

By Rod Martinez Fall Foliage Drives If you simply want to view the aspens and the mountains, here are a few drives I recommend. On the east slope, the Peak to Peak highway from Estes Park to Nederland on highways 7 and 72 affords many opportunities for real up-close and vista photos. This is a […]

CMC Trip #30701: Little Bear Peak via West Ridge and Southeast Face

Classic pre-dawn morning start. On the trail by 04:00 to climb the gully. The advantage of doing it this way is you do not have to look up at what you are climbing. By day, it is a miserable little gully, both up and down. But at night, it just feels like a steep ascent on sketchy dirt and rock. Crawling along the solid gully wall was the best way. Another reason for an early start is the weather. In our case, weather would be our friend all day long.

Denali Dispatch #14: Heading Down


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 #13: Success!


by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader 06-19-15 17k Camp We made it.From our exceptionally high and unplanned camp at 19,150′ just below the “Football Field” to the summit (20,320′) and down to the high camp on the Buttress Route, that was our Thursday.First, we’ve been blessed with an extended weather window that allowed our […]

Denali Dispatch #12: Bivy at 19,150′


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


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 #8: Rest Day


by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Sunday 2015 06-14 Camp 4 Change of plan. Or, should I say, “back to the original plan.” The National Weather Service is saying bad weather is moving in Tuesday. They use macro-forecasts for a wide area and then people interpret them for the mountain. Our weather guy, Chris, […]

Denali Dispatch #7: Decision Time


by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Saturday 06-13-2015 Camp 4 The big move happened today: getting all the gear and provisions up to 14,200′. We are now in position for a summit bid. However, our weather window is soon to close. Wednesday is looking problematic for a summit, and it will stay bad through […]