I’ve wanted to ride Mt Elbert, the tallest of Colorado’s 14ers, all summer and finally went for it today.  Beginning at Half Moon, the first few miles of trail are mostly climbing but with a few downhill sections to keep it fun.  From Lilly Ponds the climbing really gets going with a 4000′ uphill to the 14,433′ summit.  I wasn’t able to pedal much of that climb and pushed my bike more than I care to remember.

Here’s me on top of Mt Elbert with CO’s second highest peak in the background.

It was all rideable going down but rocky, lose and with plenty of hairpin turns.  Dodging loose toaster-sized rocks, it’s clear that the trail isn’t groomed for biking. I managed to stay upright the entire way but my hands needed a few shake-outs when my braking fingers started feeling crampy.  The riding was fun in a keep-your-speed-in-check, techy way but the slog up was enough to dissuade me from wanting to repeat it soon.

I happened to cross paths with a coworker on top and she volunteered to snap a photo as I started down. The lakes are 5200′ below.

Five years out, I still miss living a short pedal from Bike Doc.

Brown Snow Skiing

Despite a layer of Utah-colored dirt covering the snow, Allison, Anna, Rohan, Kevin, Tyler and I went out for a couple ski tours near Leadville. Skiing down red-brown snow feels kind of how I imagine it might feel to go skiing on a shag-carpet covered mountainside: skis don’t slide especially well but then you cross a patch of clean, white snow and then they suddenly rocket forward. Its a constant battle to stay balanced as you get thrown forwards then backwards then forwards again. Even with weird snow, skiing’s still better than a day spent doing just about anything else.