Category Archives: Runs

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’22.2%22N+106%C2%B010’46.8%22W/@38.722833,-106.1802182,19z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d38.7228317!4d-106.1796706

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:

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 ( Caltopo route:

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 ( Caltopo route:

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:

Leadville Marathon and Father’s Day

Saturday was the Leadville Marathon. The course normally climbs Mosquito Pass and returns to Leadville but due to the snow, the course was changed. At the start, the weather was awesome but the forecast called for showers in the afternoon – they never came. On the adjusted course, I finished about 30 minutes faster than I expected.

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Afterwards, Preston and I went to Deerhammer and played cards. The dogs assumed their positions.

Today, we walked bridge to bridge with the dogs and Preston practiced his climbing skills.

On Thursday we leave for Amsterdam and then Tanzania.

High Lonesome 100

On the first Friday in August, I ran the High Lonesome 100.  Since the course travels over 5 passes for a total of 23,000ft of climb, my goal was to finish in 35 hours.  The average elevation of the race is 10,433ft reaching a high point of over 13,000ft.   Over the past few months, I’ve hiked almost all of the course.  My race card is below.  The sections in yellow indicate that I can have a drop bag and light blue means that my crew can meet me.

It was a perfect morning and the forecast was for light rain in the afternoon.  My only worry was that Saturday was going to be hot.

Tracy and the dogs were there to see me off.

The race started at 6am sharp.

I came into the first aid station in 1:26 against a predicted 1:45.

A quick bite to eat and a coke and I’ve off for a 4,000ft climb up to the high point of the race on the shoulder of Mt. Antero.

The climb follows Little Browns Creek up a tight gulch to above treeline.  It then drops down a highly trafficked 4wd road that I hadn’t run before, nor do I want to again.  Since it was Friday, there was a lot of traffic, but it was an incredible 5 mile downhill.

I reached St. Elmo aid station, over 90 minutes ahead of schedule.  I now had to climb Law’s pass to Cottonwood where I’d meet Tracy.

A storm started rolling in so it got a little cold in the wind.  Once I cleared treeline, it started to rain.

I made it to Cottonwood 1:50 ahead of schedule and unfortunately, I beat Tracy there by 6 minutes.  A nice couple relayed my schedule to her and took the picture below of me.

I turned around and headed over Law’s pass back to St. Elmo.

Once in St. Elmo, I had to traverse about 6 miles of exposed ground above treeline.  I rolled into the halfway point at Hancock, 2 hours ahead of schedule.  Tracy was waiting with a kiss and I got to pick up Mike to pace me through the night.  Mike and Tina are in the picture below waiting for me to come into Hancock.

Once leaving Hancock, we had to climb Hancock Pass, descend into the Middle Fork, then climb 3,000ft to Chalk Creek Pass, and finally traverse the Monarch Crest into the store parking lot at Monarch Pass.  It was a tough night of climbs, but the weather held and we made it to the parking lot 3 hours ahead of schedule.  There I picked up Mark to take me the next 20 miles which are considerably more flat and at a lower elevation.

I had a very dedicated crew.  All of them turned up at 4:30am to meet me in a freezing parking lot.  From left to right, Mark, Danielle, Mike, and Tina.  I couldn’t have done it without them.

This section turned out to be the hardest for me since there are a lot of up and downs and the temperature climbed into the 80’s.  It doesn’t sound hot for a guy from Austin, but when the sun beats down on you on the dry Colorado Trail, you bake.   I met Tracy and the rest of the crew at Raspberry Gulch still an hour ahead of schedule.

Tracy took me home for the last 8 miles.

I crossed the finish line 70 minutes ahead of my plan.  A storm started blowing in and the wind was so strong it had knocked the sign down.

I was rewarded with another kiss.


Out of 100 starters, I finished in 43rd place.  It was my first 100 that I finished in the first half.  My Strava read out is below.  Since my watch was the longest battery setting the pace and moving time gets messed up.  The distance and elevation gain are close to accurate.

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Getting ready for the High Lonesome 100

It’s been a while since I updated the page.  I’ve been busy with a new house we bought and getting ready for my 100 mile race, The High Lonesome 100.

CW completed his hike around the Collegiate Peaks and Preston and I met him in Winfield and camped for the night.  We ended up playing some poker and hanging out with the dogs.

The next day, I sent Preston with CW over Hope Pass and I drove around to Twin Lakes to meet them.  Since they were turning off the CT onto a smaller trail, the dogs and I hiked up to meet them at the intersection.  It was a steep climb so the dogs were crashed out while I read waiting for them to arrive.

The next weekend, I went with a group doing a training run on the High Lonesome course.  It was a really fast group and I bonked in the heat so it had me worried about the race.  We went 22 miles and climbed 6k feet in 5 hours.

There were some serious runners in this race.

Brown Creek loop

Today I set out on the 16 mile Brown Creek Loop.  The loop follows Brown Creek and Little Brown Creek to their sources, essentially circling Mt. White.  I went counter clockwise climbing towards the headwaters of Little Brown Creek.  The trail is steep, climbing 4,500ft in the first 6 miles.  Just before tree line, a small meadow appeared with an incredible amount of flowers.


The trail wound higher to above tree line, maxing out around 13,000ft.  It was a beautiful day, a little wind, but sunny.

Once I got to the top, the trail followed a forest road to the edge of a lake.  It then was a very runable single track down.   I made the journey a little longer since I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.  After 17 miles and 4,500ft of climb, I’m happy to be heading to Whiskey Wednesday at Deerhammer Distillery.

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High Lonesome 2018 maps

I’ve been running and hiking different parts of the course and have found some of the trail intersections confusing.  To help out, I’ve been using some maps that I’ve created from Caleb’s GPX file.  I’ve linked to all the maps below plus I’ve added some info on a few apps that allows you to carry offline versions of the map on your phone.  If you need help, just email me at:

Link to the profile as a PDF:  HL_profile_2018_adj

Caltopo map if you want to create your own maps.

Geospatial course maps allow you to view your location on a PDF document on your mobile device without having a cell signal.

  • If you use the AllTrails app, I’ve created a customer map that can download by clicking the picture or link below.

Click here for the All Trails map

  • You can install the free Avenza app (iOS or Android) for viewing geospatial PDF course maps. Once you have the Avenza app installed, download and add any or all of the geospatial PDF course maps.  I’ve found that keeping the maps in a DropBox account is the easiest way to transfer to your device.  One recent change in the app is that the free version limits you to 2 active maps.  To make it easy, I’ve created multiple maps giving detail of the entire course.

This link will give you a NE,NW,SE,SW map for the different part of the course.  The advantage of using these is that they have a much higher resolution.

This link will give you an entire map of the course.  Note that you can use this to follow the general direction of the course, but it is not high enough resolution in most cases.