Half Lonesome 2023 Details -Updated 6/28/23

Reroute update: I wish we could do the 17 miles on the CDT, but I think it will be a little treacherous for legs that already have 33 miles and 10k of climb on them. The reroute puts us on the HL course for 39 miles. The extra 11 is an out and back to the beautiful Ptarmigan lakes via the southern pass. It also changes our end point from Hancock to Alpine. That will make car drops and pick-ups a lot easier. It also gives an easy bail-out at Mile 33. It’s just a 2 mile downhill to the Ptarmigan Trailhead.

Car Drop – If you are dropping a car at Alpine, do not park in the town itself. Pull off in one of the several pull outs on Chalk Creek road. Note that this is a big parking area for ATV trailers so make sure you park in a manner that you don’t get blocked in by some redneck. It’s ~6 miles back to the start on the same road.

Drop bag – If you want something at mile 19, you can leave it in my car at the start and Tracy will grab it and bring it to Alpine with her when she meets us in the morning.

New GPX link

Alpine Coordinates: 38.709844, -106.289312 -35min drive
Estimated time: 7:15pm

Additional bail-out point after a 2 mile downhill – Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead. 38.80365, -106.37473 It’s on CR306 (Main St.) – a few miles East of Cottonwood Pass. -35min drive

The new route is almost exactly the same distance and climb, however, the average elevation is slightly less

I added 15 minutes to the estimate simply because I have limited data on stringing these routes together.


Course condition– We are one week away from Half Lonesome. I ran the first 30 miles of the route this week and it’s mostly clear. We will have some snow while dropping into Cottonwood, but it’s manageable. I will head out to the North part of the CDT on Tuesday to mark the cross country section in the event we get separated. On Wednesday, I will go to Hancock to make sure the road is accessible and see how much snow is remaining on the ridge above the tunnel. We will have to traverse some soft snow fields. Spikes usually don’t do much when it’s so soft, but poles are a necessity. I would also suggest gaiters to keep the snow out of your shoes. Please download the GPX just in case we get separated. I will have my in-reach in case anyone wants to track us.

Car logistics – Note that I’m only coordinating Hancock to the start so if you need anything else, please coordinate it yourself. Since we start and finish at different spots, we need to do some car staging. I’ve talked to most of you and I think this is worked out. Please, let me know if this doesn’t work. It’s a pretty easy hitch back to the start, but much easier to have a car waiting. We have 8 confirmed and Heather (a HL OG) is working hard to get here.

1. Tracy will be picking me up at Hancock and I’ll have 2 open seats to the start.

2. Don/Larry will drop a car the night before and have 2 open seats to the start.

3. Matt will be picking up Gabe and have 2 open seats to the start.

Drop Bag – Tracy will be meeting me at mile 19 (Alpine) ~9:10am. She will stop by our car at the start line and grab any bags that you may want to access at Alpine. You can also stash your bags along the road the night before or the morning of. It’s about 8 miles from the start. Access is pretty rough after St. Elmo so it you need anything, plan on getting it before.

Call me with questions – the weather looks wonderful and it’s a big group this year. Expect to be in snow, but it’s better than sitting on a couch.


UPDATE 6/10/23:

Logistics – We start and finish at different spots but the start is on the same road as the finish so dropping a car at Hancock the day before is the easiest method if you don’t have someone picking you up. The end of the run is at Hancock which is 15 miles from the start. I have not been to Hancock this year, unless the road was recently graded it is in pretty dismal shape. A normal vehicle can make it, but just plan on 30 minutes to do the last 5 miles.

Water/Food – There is plenty of water on the course, but I’d recommend filtering since a lot of it comes from beaver ponds. This is an easy filter that your can either drink out of or filter into bottles. It’s available at a lot of places but REI has 20% off right now- here Plan on being out there for 15 hours so pack enough food to keep you going. We will pass the St Elmo General store if you want an ice cream treat.

Crew/Dropping – I’ve outlined a lot of spots for crew to meet you if you need food or need to bail. The easiest place is the turn into the town of Alpine. You are also 6.5 miles from the start if you want to just do the first part of the run.

Weather – You will get wet. It rains almost every afternoon and there are stream crossings. Depending on our altitude, there could be hail so I recommend a very good rain jacket, pants, gloves, and beanie in your pack. Last year, thunderstorms were threatening so we decided to deviate to a lower route and not chance being caught on the divide in a storm.

Lodging – If you are camping, there is plenty of BLM land in the Brown’s Creek area. You can just find a spot and set up. I was told that they were slowly moving to dedicated camp sites but I don’t think it’s been done yet. If you want a hotel or short term rental, you might be out of luck. If you find one, reserve it ASAP.


4th annual Half Lonesome. It will be on June 30th at 4am. Last year, there were only two of us since many thought 2 weeks out was too close to the race. This year, we will go 3 weeks out. It’s a little over 50 miles with 13.3k feet of climbing at an average elevation of 11k feet. The route follows the race route for the first 30 miles and then deviates to the CDT via a small cross country scramble. It then rejoins the race route at Tin Cup.

This is a “no drop” run, but if you feel that you can’t keep the split pace, there are many drop spots or places crew can meet you. I’ve projected the splits on the last 3 years and the whole route will take 15 hours or so. The drive time estimates are based on starting in BV.

Intersection of Chalk Creek Dr and Co rd 290 for a 4am start on Friday the 30th Start:  38°43’22.2″N 106°10’46.8″W – 25min drive


Bail out point 1 : Raspberry Coordinates: 38.689344, -106.170766– 30min drive
Estimated time: 5:05am

Easy meeting point for crew Alpine Coordinates: 38.709844, -106.289312 -35min drive
Estimated time: 9:10am

Bail out point 2 : Cottonwood Coordinates: 38.764577, -106.336511 – 45min drive
Estimated time: 12:25pm

Bail out point 3 : Tin Cup Coordinates: 38.6923, -106.4142 (note that this road is awful so the person will need to walk 4 miles to St Elmo – 45min drive to St Elmo)
Estimated time: 4:30pm

Hancock AS Coordinates: 38.639211, -106.361804 – 1 hour drive
Estimated time: 7:00pm

Sawatch Ascent

This Sunday, I ran a new race. The race starts above Mt Princeton resort and follows the Colorado Trail for 9 miles. The course turns West and circles Mt White and returns to the start. Click here for pictures of the course

After 18 miles, I reached the high point where I jumped in the air for a picture. Unfortunately, my hamstring cramped and I spent the next 5 minutes walking it off.

Run options

Here are a few options for a long run, starting from easiest to hardest. This is a casual event so we will stick together and enjoy the scenery.

Monarch Loop – unless we would want to hike 3 miles on Hwy 50, we’d need to stage a car. Follows the HL route from Lost Wonder hut to Fooses but stays on the CT the whole way. Estimate 7 hours. Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/HSE94

Browns Pass loop – Not a lot of runable areas for normal people on this route. Park at Denny creek, climb Yale, drop down the East ridge, hike to Brown’s pass, back to Denny. Estimate 8.5 hours. I’ve done this route many times (https://www.strava.com/activities/5858478624) Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/QRSJ

Hancock loop – giant loop on a portion of the CDT that is not in the race. There is 9 miles of forest roads that will have some traffic. Little cross country and since the Hancock road sucks, I’d recommend we start by the Pomeroy turn-off. Estimate 10 hours. I did this in July (https://www.strava.com/activities/5613543128). Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/PA52

Raspberry to Ptarmigan – Follows the HL route from Raspberry. At Cottonwood, we climb Grassy Gulch and drop down to Hwy 306 at Ptarmigan. Easiest to have a crew for this one, but staging would work. Lots of climbing. Estimate 10.5 hours. Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/m/FE6Q4

Back in Austin

Typical pose for the long car rides to and from Colorado.

Tracy is taking advantage of her new boat on the lake.

We’ve been making a lot of feasts.

The snow was crazy. We ended up losing power and water for about two days each. We had a minor pipe issue but nothing compared to a lot of the people in Texas. I went for a run the day the snow started to melt. It was wild to see ice floating in the creek.

We also volunteered at a vaccination center.

Off to Mexico

We had planned a 50th birthday trip for Tracy’s triplet brothers and me. Unfortunately, everyone bailed except us. We were a little concerned, but we usually just stay at the resort and have limited interaction with people. The resort employees took great precautions, but a lot of the guests seems to be unconcerned. Our routine was a run on the beach every morning, breakfast and swimming at the quiet pool, and dinner at 6pm so no one was in the restaurant. Flying wasn’t bad, but we took full precautions.

Here’s a few pictures from our 10 days there.

Couple Preston updates…. He’s back at school and rescued a dog named Jasper. We had some friends that visited the beach near Preston and ended up meeting him at the dog park. She referred to this picture of Preston and her daughter as “masked awkwardness”

Summer is ending

Over the last 7 weeks we’ve been really busy. We’ve had several visitors and done many adventures. We’ve explored new trails and set personal records on others. The weather is getting chilly and we are starting the process of packing for Austin.

Monte, a new friend stayed nextdoor at the Surf Hotel for a week. He needed a break from Louisiana and seemed to enjoy his time in BV. He managed to make it to the saddle on Yale his first day here.

Preston surprised us on Labor Day. We had no idea he was coming, but he managed to show up on the worst 2 days of the summer. The day he arrived was thick with smoke and the following day, we got a foot of snow.

We’ve also had some lazy days around the house. The dogs have had the best summer- they walk 30+ miles a week but also relax in front of the TV with us.

I did a little more trim painting but left the project of painting the doors until the spring. We also had a mystery vegetable start growing next to the door. It turned out to be a squash and we assumed that it came from seeds in the compost.

Our neighbors came over on Thursday night and we sat of the deck and listened to the concert happening in the park. The sunset was gorgeous only to be followed with a full moon.