charlie groll.

Colorado 2018

First Stop: Rocky Mountain National Park

View of the Rockies
Me, sitting on a stone wall, overlooking the Rocky Mountains
Me and Josh, standing in front of a small sign that says

We made it to 12,000ft

I'll never forget the drive up into RMNP. It was pretty cloudy as Josh drove higher and higher until, as if written into a John Muir novel, we suddenly popped out above the clouds. The views speak for themselves.

First Night of Camping

The sunset view from our very legal camping spot.

The sunset view from our very legal camping spot.

Climbing in Clear Creek Canyon

The view from ~100ft up, overlooking Clear Creek, Rt 6, and the Tunnel 5 parking lot.
Josh taking a drink of water, in the shade, I believe at the top of the final pitch ~220ft above the ground.

We decided to try our hand at multi-pitch for the first time on Tortoise Scute.

Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir in Leadville, CO

Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir in Leadville, CO

Mt. Elbert

View from the trail to Mt. Elbert looking out through a gap in the trees at the Sawatch Range
View of the rocky trail, almost at the summit
Panorama view from the summit
Me and Josh at the summit
Ultra-wide panorama of Josh on the trail back down from the summit

Mt. Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado (and second in the continental U.S., after Mt Whitney) at 14,440 feet.

Link to activity

Mt. Harvard

Josh posing with a sign indicating our entry to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Josh eating breakfast on a rock, surrounded by the waters of Bear Lake
Panoramic view of the Rockies looking back down the trail we were hiking up to get to Mt. Harvard
Epic shot of me in the medium distance, center-left framed, looking out from the summit

We wasted no time – right after getting down from Mt. Elbert, we headed over to the Collegiate Peaks in San Isabel National Forest to spend the night in preparation for the next day, where we would summit Mt. Harvard.

At 14,421 feet, Mt. Harvard is the third-tallest summit in Colorado (fourth in the continental U.S.).

Activity file

Spending the Night at a Farm

The chicken that tried to fight me
Our two tents on a lush, green farm with the sun setting in the background

I may or my not have gotten into a fight/chased by a chicken.

Also, this is where I discovered that I ~like~ love cherries.

Colorado National Monument

Fresh asphalt in the foreground and tan rock formations taking up most of the background
A view of the mesas of Colorado National Monument from the side of the road
Me, in the midground, standing on a cliff face with rock formations in the background.
Me, in the midground, laying seductively on a cliff face with rock formations in the background.
Animatronic dinosaurs at a museum - the carnivore has ripped the herbivore's head off.
Sunrise from our campsite; gravel road in the foreground and mountains in the background.

It was so hot on the Fourth of July that we drove in, saw the park, and then went into town to see two movies and visit a dinosaur museum.

Blue Lakes and Mt. Sneffels

Panorama of the Uncompahgre National Forest, cliffs, and trail we were taking
Me (with backpack) and Josh at one of the Blue Lakes, on our way to find a place to camp for the night.
Selfie of me in front of a waterfall
Wild flowers overlooking a Blue Lake, a ridge line rising above.
Me, on a cliff, overlooking a Blue Lake and the towering ridgeline above
Me, in my raincoat, peaking out of my tent while trying to boil water in the rain/hail - my face is jokingly distraught.
The upper Blue Lake below the towering Sneffels Range ridge line.
Water and grass in the foreground, rising mountains in the background.
Water and grass with wildflowers in the foreground, rising mountains in the background.
Me and Josh sitting atop the summit with the summit log (ammo can)
View of the Rockies from the summit
Josh hiking towards the camera and summit with the Rockies in the background

On our way to climb Mt. Sneffels, we hiked up to the Blue Lakes. At altitude, the weather can get dangerous very quickly... hail and thunderstorms are real worries just about every afternoon, without much warning. You can see how excited I am for this weather change while trying to make dinner.

Mt. Sneffels rises to 14,158 feet in Uncompahgre National Forest. Our other two peaks were on pretty easy terrain, but Sneffels consists of some (relatively easy) class 3 terrain, taking us scrambling over rocks of all sizes and wayfinding quite a bit.

Activity file

Fun fact: a middle-aged man tried following us and we had ✨ no clue ✨ where we were going. We told him as much, and he eventually gave up trying to follow.