Treks in 2017

Since I promised my wife I wouldn't try the AT again, I decided to keep my outings to under 2 weeks.  However, it's really tough not to stuff my backpack and just head out.

Currently, I've committed to an 8 day trek in Isle Royale National Park in May and a 5 day trek to the Chicago Basin area of Colorado in September.  I'm also tentatively planning to try the Collegiate Loop on the Colorado Trail in July.  However, the last time I was planning the Collegiate Loop, my wife decided she wanted to go on a non-backpacking vacation instead.

Below, I've added descriptions and links for Chicago Basin and Isle Royale.  The Collegiate Loop is still a future trip.

Chicago Basin

Chicago Basin is in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan National Forest.  The trailhead is near the Animus River, about 2/3 of the way north from Durango to Silverton, Colorado.  Most backpackers go there to climb the 3 (or 4) 14,000 foot peaks:  Windom, Sunlight, North Eolus and Eolus. 

I went in a group of five.  Three of us are in our sixties, and two were somewhat younger.  I think we planned to do Windom, the easiest.  It didn't end up that way.  One of our group did Windom and North Eolus.  The rest of us made do with trips to Twin Lakes and Columbine Pass.  The miles are short, but there is lots of uphill!  We were on the trail from 4-8 September 2017.

I'm working on blog texts, photos, and exact map routes, and will publish those when I get the set ready.  It should be a couple of days from now...  OK, I've drafted my daily posts, so I won't forget what happened.  So I'll first add links to my photos and videos on Google Photos:
The photos and videos are as usual slightly smaller, via Google's filters, to limit their size.  Please note I have not filtered any of them (except for a couple fingers in the picture and some out of focus shots).  I'll try to pick the best for individual posts.

This is a topo map from my Hikers Assistant app that shows most of our key waypoints.

Our itinerary was pretty simple.  Low mileage but lots of climbing.
  1. Needleton Flagstop to Camp:  5.51 miles, (8,271' to 10,846') 2,575' climb
  2. Camp to Twin Lakes & back:  4.34 miles, (10,846' to 12,587') 1,741' climb/descent
  3. Camp to Columbine Pass & back:  5.63 miles, (10,846' to 12,703')  1,857' climb/descent
  4. Close to camp for mountain goat viewing and fishing, negligible distance and climbs
  5. Camp to Needleton Flagstop:  5.51 miles, (10,846' to 8,271') 2,575' descent
Thus, we only hiked around  21.0 miles.  But we climbed over 6,173' and descended just as much. Ken (who hiked to Windom and North Eolus), had an additional 2 miles to Windom with an additional 1,450' climb and another 6.3 miles and 3,200' climb to North Eolus.  Personally, I found my limiting factor was getting out of breath on the climbs; it reduced my speed and required way too many short stops.  The leg muscles were not really stressed.

Here are my blog posts for each day:
That's about it for Chicago Basin!

Isle Royale

My current plan is to go solo 8 days and 7 nights.  I took it easy in 2014 because I hadn't backpacked in a long time.  This time, if I go alone, I want to push it and see as much of the island as I can.  Like 2014, I want to take the boat out of Copper Harbor.  It's just an excuse for a nice long boat ride!  The boat schedule gives you the option of 4, 5 or 8 day (or longer) trips.  In May, the stores aren't open, so no resupply is possible.  I guess you might carry 12 days or more of food, but I don't want to try that.  Here's the route I've worked up; it will be about 107 miles.

I'll link associated blogs here as they get written.  Note there's no cell on the island, so daily blogs will be posted at the end of the trip.

As you will see in the blogs, my loop ended up being abbreviated due to rain and storm blow down.  I only walked about 80 miles.  It was a lot colder and rainier than in 2014.

First, here's a link to my Isle Royale photos on Google Photos (where you can view a slideshow):

Collegiate Loop

The Collegiate Loop is about 161 miles long.  Assuming 16 miles per day, that would be 10 days.  I will need one resupply point.  Since half is the CDT and half is the CT, I'm not sure how fast I will hike at that altitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment