Category Archives: BV

Half Lonesome 2024 Details -Updated 7/1/24

Half Lonesome 2024 is over. 4 of us went the distance – 2 others went half or more if it. A few photos from the adventure.

We are 3 days away from Half Lonesome. We will use the legacy route. Everything is clear until we start coming down Antero. There will be some snow and several deep stream crossings. Laws Pass is wide open. The CDT is very muddy and still covered in snow in parts, but it’s manageable. Today, I took a picture of a snowfield in Mineral Basin so I could compare it to the same spot in 2023. Much less snow. Heather and I did the CDT from Tin Cup to Hancock on Sunday. The snow field remaining on the ridge above the tunnel trail is just a fun glissade down. We took the road back to St. Elmo and it is in good shape.



Gear – Spikes usually don’t do much when the snow is so soft, but poles are a necessity. I would also suggest gaiters to keep the snow out of your shoes.

Tracking – Please download the GPX just in case we get separated. I will have my in-reach in case anyone wants to track us.

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.

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 or a ride. The end of the run is at Hancock which is 15 miles from the start. The road is in decent shape. A normal vehicle can make it, but just plan on 30 minutes to do the last 5 miles. Heather will be riding with me in the morning to the start. Tracy will take Faye to Alpine and she will do the last 30 miles with us. Faye, Heather, and Jim will be picked up by Tracy at Hancock. I think Courtney and Jarod have crew so if they are meeting her in Hancock, maybe Mike can get a ride back with them.

Water/Food – There is plenty of water on the course, but I’d recommend filtering since a lot of it comes from beaver ponds. Plan on being out there for 16 hours so pack enough food to keep you going. You can always put a bag in my truck and Tracy will bring it to Alpine (mile 19). We will pass the St Elmo General store if you want an ice cream treat (bring cash).

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 some raging 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. Also, the divide still has snow and mud fields so be prepared.

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.

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: 12:45pm

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: 5:00pm

Hancock Coordinates: 38.639211, -106.361804 – 1 hour drive
Estimated time: 7:40pm

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.

The summer continues to be nice

Our exploring continues as the weeks go on. We’ve climbed Yale, Midland Hill, and done many hikes on the CT. I’ve also done several long runs on Brown’s Pass Loop and the CDT. Plus on the date of my cancelled 100 miler, my friend Matt and I did 50 miles on the course. Last week, our friends Berton and Lori rented an AirBnb in town and we did several hikes with them including climbing Mt. Antero.

Tracy’s rowing friend, Felipe and his girlfriend, visited. We made them get COVID tests before coming since we are both still very concerned with getting sick. We played poker one night and climbed Yale a couple days later.

There have been lots of animal sightings. Something as basic as a cat in the backyard to moose on the trail or a goat on the summit.

6 weeks of summer

The weather has been awesome and Tracy and I have been out exploring the trails and peaks. We took so many pictures, I created a gallery of them. We’ve climbed the Belford group, Yale, Princeton, and up to the CDT. I also did a new loop with our neighbor’s son-in-law.

The dogs get a couple long walks everyday. We are usually outside at sunrise and late afternoon. Here’s a few pictures of our view of Mt. Princeton at first light and then a gallery of the dogs.

Snow is melting

It’s a great time of year in BV. The weather is getting really warm and the snow is receding. Last week, I climbed the Buffalo peaks (13.2k) via a cross country route from the Tumble trail. There were a few snow fields to navigate and a vicious wind, but otherwise it was a straight forward climb.

I’ve also been busy around the house. I made another giant pot of corn chowder and filled the planters.

The dogs have been putting in a lot of miles on the trail and seem to be enjoying it here.

The snow finally melted enough that I could make it to the saddle on Mt. Yale. In a couple weeks, I’ll try for the summit on the East ridge. The last picture is Yale in the distance taken from further down the Colorado Trail.

On Saturday I did the Spirit Vertical Run DUO 14er Challenge – a virtual race put on by Spectrum in Austin. The goal was to climb 12,571 feet, which is the elevation gain from Buena Vista, CO to two Collegiate Peak summits (Mt Harvard and Mt Columbia), combined. It took me over 10 hours to do 11 repeats of a segment of Colorado Trail on Mt. Yale. I ended up climbing just over 12.6k in 30 miles (up and down). I got 2nd place.

Spring is here

The town is still dead, but the weather is awesome. Last week was supposed to be the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run, but it was cancelled. I decided to do one loop solo, unsupported. The weather was awesome and I only got lost once.

The only thing in town that has been challenging is the grocery store. On days when the weather has been borderline, I’ve cooked. I’d already made 6 gallons of chili and now we have 9 trays of veggie lasagna to fill up our new refrigerator. All the animals around us are also eating. The hummingbirds came the day after the feeder went up and Darby is always hungry.

The dogs have been walking 30+ miles a week and often get to swim in the afternoons. The last picture is from sunrise this morning. The full moon is setting over Mt Princeton. This picture of Princeton and the one above are 10 days apart, showing you how much snow has melted from the peaks.