PDA

View Full Version : Coming to Co for backpacking, have ?'s


Buckru
04-20-2009, 10:46 AM
First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Buck Buchanan. I am the leader and TLCA bod rep for Toyota 4x4's of Texas. We are a relatively new club but have grown to 53 members since last August. I have met several of the Rising Sun folk at different TLCA events and camped with Nakman at Cruise Moab in 07. Myself and two others are heading to Co for a little time in the woods and could use some help with my trip planning.

Background- I am an experienced bp'er and have done 11 and 13 day trips with no resupply in Washington's Olympic Peninsula and the Absoroka Beartooths in Montana. The Montana trip had 3 days off trail. My gear is sound. However, one of the guys going has never bp'ed before. I have most of the community gear we will need such as stove, cookset and water filtration. Experience is not an issue.

I have been researching some trails but could use some help for what I'm looking for. The trip will be the second week of September 09. The itinerary is to fly in Friday night, catch a ride to the trail on Sat. and come out the following Friday. The Friday we come out will be spent at a great bar for food and adult beverages :D. Since we live at sea level (Houston) this won't allow much time to acclimatize. I was thinking we need to start a little lower and work up. Depending, we could start higher and move down in elevation. At some point, a day or two off where we could base camp for day hikes and do some fishing would be a HUGE plus, especially the fishing. I'd rather bring spinning gear than fly. A day and night above treeline would also be great

Most of this should be somewhat close to Denver. I don't want it to be a pain in the butt for Nakman, who has offered to give us a ride for gas, food and beer. It was the beer that did it.

Any and all help pointing me in the right direction would be great. If anyone wants to meet the Friday night we are in the bar, come on. I'll get exact dates a little later. If there is any additional info you need, just let me know.

Thanks,

Buck

Romer
04-20-2009, 11:06 AM
Welcome Buck. It was nice getting to Know you at Flat Nasty in 2006 and Moab in 2007.

Don't have any advice for you, just wanted everyone to know your a stand up guy, for a Texan :D

powderpig
04-20-2009, 11:07 AM
Did you not see HB 105.2006
In a nut shell it does not allow flat lander Texans to go and play in the mountains of Colorado:D


Just by a out of state fishing licence that will provide you any search and rescue for free if you happen to get lost. :lmao:;);)
Just teasing about the Texan thing Buck. If i am around It would be great to see you again.
Sorry I can not help much, hopefully some of the other members can.

nakman
04-20-2009, 11:11 AM
Hey Buck, glad to have you. And we have a lot of backpacking experts in the club here I'm sure someone will be able to give you guys some good suggestions.

Beater
04-20-2009, 11:12 AM
Reach out to me via email at john k henley at gmail dot com

powderpig
04-20-2009, 11:15 AM
Guess John does not want to give away any secret spots. becareful what you touch

Buckru
04-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Man, it didn't take long to feel the love.

It would be great to see yall again. Yall is Texan for "use guys".

I thought that hb was related to flatlanders moving to Co? Atleast we are heading home after the trip.

Out of state license is a must. I am a big proponent of staying on the right side of game wardens. Down here, they shoot ya and then strap antlers on your head and call it a legal shoot!

PM on the way John.

Buck

Uncle Ben
04-20-2009, 11:34 AM
Man, it didn't take long to feel the love.

It would be great to see yall again. Yall is Texan for "use guys".

I thought that hb was related to flatlanders moving to Co? Atleast we are heading home after the trip.

Out of state license is a must. I am a big proponent of staying on the right side of game wardens. Down here, they shoot ya and then strap antlers on your head and call it a legal shoot!

PM on the way John.

Buck


Interesting because up here we do the same thing except we tie a Kalifornian to you and throw ya both down a mine shaft. ;) :lmao:

Buckru
04-20-2009, 11:39 AM
Interesting because up here we do the same thing except we tie a Kalifornian to you and throw ya both down a mine shaft. ;) :lmao:

It only took six posts to know which 2 states not to mention to people when I visit.

Unforutnately, I'm big enough to be considered a wall hanger. :hill:

Uncle Ben
04-20-2009, 11:44 AM
It only took six posts to know which 2 states not to mention to people when I visit.

Unforutnately, I'm big enough to be considered a wall hanger. :hill:

It's all fun! Contrary to our big talk we love Texans and Kalifruities......cuz they taste like chicken! :hill:

wesintl
04-20-2009, 11:48 AM
IMHO. the best backpacking in the state is in the elk mtns. There is a loop that is phenomenal. conundrum hot spring. Otherwise giet Tim to drop you off in RMNP and go. I don't know what permits you need though.

ALt... depends on the shape your in. Many flat landers fly in to ski take the lift up and boom they are at 12k. Just go slower unless one of you don't deal with alt very well and need to acclimate.

Rezarf
04-20-2009, 12:03 PM
DO you know where you'd like to go? Or is that the question?

I would suggest RMNP too, you can loop and base camp all over. There is disperse camping anywhere in the park (without fires). There is also some amazing trail networks in the Arapahoe Natl' forrest and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. All three of these area's are within a few dozen miles of one another and about 2 hours from DIA.

Drew

Buckru
04-20-2009, 12:14 PM
I have some info on RMNP coming. I have read a bit about Indian Peaks Wilderness.

I was asking more so if anyone had anything they have done that resembled what we are looking to do. We will be on the trail for six nights and seven days. It would be great to have a base camp for one night, maybe two, any more and it's just camping.

Buck

Romer, you up for having a few beers or a nice glass of whiskey?

Uncle Ben
04-20-2009, 12:43 PM
I have some info on RMNP coming. I have read a bit about Indian Peaks Wilderness.

I was asking more so if anyone had anything they have done that resembled what we are looking to do. We will be on the trail for six nights and seven days. It would be great to have a base camp for one night, maybe two, any more and it's just camping.

Buck

Romer, you up for having a few beers or a nice glass of whiskey?

Check out the 4th of July Campground area in Indian Peaks. There is several trail heads there that head to some incredible areas. RMNP is a backpackers dream as there is so many directions and challenge levels up there you may never want to come back out! Also the Rawah to the north are incredible and a whole lot less crowded. Holly Cross Wilderness in central CO is another area that once your away from the mainstream travel areas you can disappear from the grid and fill that tarabite memory card in your camera quickly!

DaveInDenver
04-20-2009, 12:52 PM
Like Wes says, try and acclimate a little. I would spend a full day in Denver before going up and look for a trailhead at about 8,000' that doesn't climb a ton the first day or so. Skiers often enough have trouble, but they're not climbing with 45 lbs extra. Altitude will effect you for a couple of days!

Personally I would have Nakman drop you off at Buffalo Creek and walk SW on the Colorado Trail for a while. You might be able to make Breckenridge in about a week (might be better to start at Wellington Lake or Kenosha Pass now that I think about it, but Breck should be the destination I think), a nice stop point and easy to get back to Denver since there are commercial shuttle back to Denver if no one wants to pick you up. That would be sections 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you are feeling good and make Breck too fast, you could add section 7 and stop in Copper. It will be very quiet during the week through Lost Creek Wilderness, you'll likely have the trail all by yourself for 3 or 4 days.

It would super easy if you wanted to do the first two sections, the trail itself starts in suburban Denver, but walking section 1 requires a dull 6 miles to start. But the rest of 1 and all of 2 are nice walks, but would be busy on a weekend in the fall.

nakman
04-20-2009, 12:52 PM
Oooo.. see now you guys are touching on an area I've always wanted to explore. Arapaho Pass is definitely on my "list" for when Gavin is old enough for an overnighter trip. Buck check out http://www.thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/Hikes/ArapahoPass/ArPassHike.html

also http://www.protrails.com/area.php?areaID=5 for more Indian Peaks. I've thought the perfect trip would be to get dropped off on the West side like Silverthorne area, then walk back over to the East side and get picked up in Eldora. Anyone ever done that?

Buckru
04-22-2009, 01:42 PM
Indian Peaks Wilderness it is. It will start high and is probably an absolute lung buster for a flat lander but the sub alpine and a day on the cdt are too much to resist.

I am trip planning and will get that posted up when done. No matter what, day one will be no more than 3-4 miles and a short 2nd day as well. That should help get acclimated. I spoke to the Boulder Ranger district office and they have some info coming my way. If for some reason this won't work, 3-6 on Colorado Trail.

Appreciate all the help thus far.

Buck

Wish I could have made CM again this year. Yall have a great time.

pmccumber
04-24-2009, 06:31 PM
I do a 4 day backpacking trip every year in the Elks. The loop that I love in that area is just epic. Here is a cool youtube link where the guy captures the feel pretty well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK5pdxhlSpk

There is another one that I've done twice that I just love and it is close. It also involves a little wheelin' to get to the trailhead! Indian Peaks: Start at Coney Flats and hike over Buchanan Pass to Crater Lake and back over Pawnee Pass. That is typically a three day trip but if you throw in an adventure in RMNP you could make it a week. Or you could easily extend it by doing more in Indian Peaks for example by heading out over Arapahoe Pass and coming out 4th of July. Crater Lake is pretty sweet, as are Indian Peaks in general, but here is the iconic shot from Crater Lake:

http://image16.webshots.com/16/5/73/37/183557337SXYNnY_fs.jpg

All in all though, the Elks have so much color and grandeur that if all is equal, that is the shizzle.

Now if there is leaf-peeping, and it might be just a tad early for that, the hike that I did two falls ago from The Beckwiths through The Castles in (different area but close) The West Elks is stunning for Aspens and there just isn't anyone out there. Here are some shots from the west elks during turnover:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17173634@N00/1450904444/in/set-72157602180661622/

Corbet
04-24-2009, 10:25 PM
Many great places have been noted but I didn't see anyone mention weather. 2nd week of September could be great or could dump snow all over your trip. I plan a back up location if the high country is covered in white stuff.

Rezarf
04-25-2009, 10:31 PM
Or pack snowshoes, and cut your distances in half and you'd still have a blast!

Drew

Buckru
05-11-2009, 03:04 PM
All great info and I appreciate it.

A backup plan is a great idea. The previous mention of the Colorado trail will more than likely be our backup.

Flights are booked. Arrive Denver 2:35 pm on Friday Sept. 11th.
Depart Denver 4:10 pm Sat. Sept. 19th

Exactly where will backpack is getting narrowed down, but not set in stone.

Thanks again,

Buck

PS Friday night the 18th will be spent consuming massive amounts of calories. Would love to meet as many of yall as I can

nakman
05-11-2009, 05:51 PM
Sounds like a good plan Buck, we'll be here! And a perfect time of year to visit Colorado..

:camping:

nakman
09-22-2009, 11:22 AM
So Buck, did you find your missing camper? :confused:

jettaglxdriver
09-22-2009, 01:30 PM
Missing camper?

rover67
09-22-2009, 01:59 PM
what's up?

nakman
09-22-2009, 02:16 PM
He called me Friday and asked if I'd heard from Nicole.. nope, was I supposed to? Apparently she bailed on Monday after she'd had enough of the snow & rain, hitched a ride to Ned with some ATV guys... I presume she is all safe and sound back in Houston by now...

but really I'm just trying to bait Buck into posting some pics and trail report, I was envious of the route they took can't wait to see & hear more about it. I've got some pictures of the drop-off run that I'll post later.

60wag
09-22-2009, 02:34 PM
I was wondering how the trip went. Now I have to hear the details.

rover67
09-22-2009, 03:46 PM
Sounds interesting.. Bummer that she bailed.

let us knwo if yo hear more.

nakman
09-22-2009, 09:45 PM
Well ok here's what I know- Buck & company did stay with us, as planned. I coerced Marco & Bruce (60wag) to help me take them to the trailhead, for which they were paid a free breakfast & the first snow run of the year. :D We drove to 4th of July trailhead were we dropped off their rental car, then went back through Ned to peak to peak and in at Peaceful Valley.

Here's a few pictures of one of your tour guides, and the group at the start of Buchannan Pass, where they left us and began their journey.

nakman
09-22-2009, 09:49 PM
I was more than pleasantly suprised with the wheeling that day- it was anything but benign, in fact I popped in the back locker more than a few times. There were probably three very entertaining obstacles, one of them I had to "pop" up on a second attempt, which is always fun, especially with passengers. the wetness probably added to the wheeling fun, but the whole way up to the drop-off site was a blast.


At one point someone put a giant mud hole right in the middle of the trail, Bruce tried to stay the trail and drive through it, but ended up pretty stuck and had to winch out. The bummer was he backed into the bank on one of his attempts to give it another shot and dented the rear quarter & broke the tail lens.. just imagine what that would have looked like though with those multipliers on there.

the beaver pond crossing at the top was pretty neat, particularly since it was snowing pretty good at the time.

nakman
09-22-2009, 09:56 PM
The ride back down the other side was pretty long and bumpy, but no real obstacles.. and we were moving pretty quick too since Gavin had to be back for a soccer game. Then a discussion on the finer points of OBA, and we were back in Boulder by 2:00, and Gavin did made his 3:00 soccer practice, which ended up getting called off midway because of rain.. :rolleyes:

Beater
09-23-2009, 07:46 AM
"soccer practice called because of rain" that's a phrase I just don't comprehend...

jettaglxdriver
09-23-2009, 07:48 AM
I remember playing soccer in the snow and rain. The only thing that stopped us was lightning.

Then again we were not 5 years old.

Buckru
09-23-2009, 11:52 AM
I'll post some pics soon, but here's the trip report.

Tim was nice enough to put me and 3 people he never met up for a night. He even agreed to put together a team to help us drop off our car and wheel us to the Coney Flats trail head. Can't thank you enough Tim. We met Bruce and Marco at the Village breakfast joint in Boulder. The 4 Houstonians were sitting together when the waitress happily announced to all that she had a table of "Village Virgins". We received a round of applause and ate our last real meal for the next 7 days. Great place to loose your virginity, again.

After dropping off the car while it was snowing, we headed for the St. Verrain 4wd road. Tim did a great job of explaing that so I'll skip to the trail.

We packed in from Coney Flats to the junction of Buchanan Pass Trail, about 2 miles, in heavy falling snow. Well heavy for a flatlander anyway. By the time it quit we had 3-4 inches. FRICKEN AWESOME for some anyway. Then the storm came, lightning, hail, thunder cascading all around. FRICKEN AWESOME, for some anyway. Nicole pretty much lost her faculties and was afraid of the cold and what could come of the weather. The next morning, Patrick walked Nicole back to Coney Flats where she hitched a ride with an ATV back to the main campground while Greg and I day hiked to Red Deer Lake in the rain. We wouldn't know what happend to her for the next 6 days.

Our plans had to change since we burned a day getting Nicole back to "safety". Personally, I think she needed a good dose of vagina balm and to suck it up for another day but...

Day three took us up and over Buchanan Pass and the Continental Divide. Great views and a lung buster. Steep decent on the West side of the pass with looonnggg switchbacks. Once down in the valley, passed the Gourd Lake junction, we decided to pull up a little short and give our gear a chance to dry. No luck as it poured on us that afternoon and night. We could hear Elk bugling long into the evening. Nice bonus. I had been warned of the devastation by the pine bark beetle on this side of the divide but it didn't look as bad as you might think from high up looking down. Once you start walking the valley can you begin to get an idea of what's going on. It really is pretty sad. A good fire should help out. I would have done it myself but the fine might be a little stiff.

The original plan would have put us at Crater Lake on night 3 but it became clear we wouldn't get there at all. New plan was to make it to Caribou Lake with plenty of time to fish. So on day four we headed down the valey to the Arrapaho Pass trail junction were we found a killer place to camp. We were able to dry out our gear, fish the river a bit and eat the best dinner of our trip, fried black bean flaquities with fire roasted green chile sauce. IT ROCKED. Amazing how a great meal can lift your soggy spirits. It rained again, soooo much for completely dry gear.

Day five was up Arrapaho Valley. And I mean up the whole way. Absolutely spectacular though. The West side of the divide was far more enjoyable than the East. Much more lush, bigger trees, and golden colored Aspens. It's a pleasure walking through terrain like this with Autumn leaves falling around you. 5 miles later we made camp at Cayote Flats. Coyote Flats is a 100 yard by 100 yard grassy and marshy flat before the final headwall to Caribou Lake. A perfect campsite with views of peaks all along the Estern side of the valley. You can drop off of the flat for a great cooking spot next to the river and a small fire ring for a little ambience. While eating breakfast the next morning Greg starts yelling for me at camp. I take off running and make 10 steps before stopping and sucking wind, rest repeat, rest repeat. OK, now that I made the fifty yards, I'm treated to a bull Moose trotting away from our camp. Very cool.

Day six saw us heading UP the last mile to Carribou. Probably the most beautiful hike of the trip. Sub alpine with colorful flora. We hit Carribou Lake and before I even thought about setting up camp my rod and reel were assembled and I headed for the lake. Lake Carribou is clear, cold, sits at 11,100 feet. The native cuthroat were rising everywhere. I caught one about 14 inches (threw him on the bank for dinner) and several smaller fish. Patrick caught one about 13 inches and did the same. Then grandma came a knocking on my line. She was huge for a lake like this. I landed her and took some pics. 21-22 inches long and fat. Any fish that gets this big in this environment deserves to live. She swam off like nothing ever happened. Pan sauteed trout in evoo and butter with red skinned new potatos and veggies. Great meal. The wind was blowing hard and our first real day with no rain but the clear skies braught the cold. Definately the coldest night of the trip. A gooose down bag is a thing of beauty I tell ya.

7th and last day. We were definately slow to pack not wanting it to end. At the same time, thoughts of a cheeseburger, fries and a coke filled my mind. We were 4.5 miles from the car and our main obstacle between us and a cheeseburger was climbing up Arrapaho Pass at the Continental Divide. If you are leary of heights, this is not the trail for you. It swithcbacks a 70 degree scree slope. The trail at times is only 10 inches wide and has areas that angle down. On some of the switch back turns you have to climb up on your toes due to steepness. Once at the top, our highest point in the trip 11,900 or so, the views are worth the climb. You can see into RMNP, down the Arrapaho Valley, down Fourth of July Valley (may have the name wrong). We could see the road from here and cheeseburgers came back to mind. A few photo shots along the way and soon we were sitting in the car rambling toward Nederland.
Side note: The Fourth of July trail takes you into an area 3 miles from the TH to perfect camp sites in the valley next to small ponds and offer great day hikes from there. A moderate trip for kids but easy for adults.

What's up with the people of Nederland? The cheese burger at the 1st street Pub was excellent, but the hippies? It looked like a 20-60 something, no drive in life, "dude I can't live without my weed" type of community. Not that there's anything with that, but good lord. Get a damn job and you won't be scraping change to buy a beer. And if your scraping change, buy food. mmkay

Once in Boulder we had cell coverage. I called Tim to see if he heard from Nicole. Reason being, we left our bags with city clothes in them in Tim's shed. She was going to get a hold of Tim to arrange a time to pick up her belongings. Tim hadn't heard from her. She left no message on our cell's as she was instructed. We finally reached her. The atv took her to the main campground where she caught a ride with a couple to Boulder where they dropped her off at the bus stop. She caught a bus straight to the airport and flew home. Make that a big jug o vagina balm.


We had planned on partying in Denver the Friday night before we left. By the time we settled into a bar on 16th street and had a couple beers, we were ready for bed. We all got a well deserved nights sleep.

Sam's #3 for breakfast rocks. Great food.

Well, that's it for now. I'll post some pics later. I shot film and it's at the drugstore being developed as I type.

Bruce and Marco, we trully appreciate you pitching in and helping. Tim, what can I say? Twice now you have shown me great hospitality, here and at Cruise Moab. I truly appreciate it.

If any of you TLCA misfits make it to Houston, let me know.

Buck Buchanan
:cheers:

60wag
09-23-2009, 12:03 PM
I glad the bulk of the trip was fun. It sounds like you found what you were looking for once the weather cleared up. Too bad Nicole bolted for the airport so fast - a couple of days hanging out in Boulder would have made the storm a distant memory.

Bruce.

nakman
09-23-2009, 12:21 PM
Awesome report Buck! I know we were all envious and wishing we were hiking in with you guys, snow and all, hey maybe if you do this again we can get a little group put together to head out with you. What's funny is by Sunday the weather was beautiful down in the city, got hot again, I figured you would have dried out in no time. But that's how it is in these here parts... yeah Ned is a mecca for the hippie types, but I figured you'd have a good air about you after a week in the woods and would fit right in.. :lmao:

How close to Lake Granby were you? From the map it looked like you could have chucked a rock into it.. can't wait to see all the pictures!

Buckru
09-23-2009, 12:34 PM
The weather, it is what it is. Getting rain five days in a row sucks, but it doesn't suck as bad as being in the office. I'll take mountain vacations anyway I can get em.

We might have been as close as 4 miles to Grandby. Never saw it though. We were either in the valley or when we had views a mountain would be in the way. Damn mountains :hill:

Now that you mention it, the hippies may have thought I stunk. Ripe might be a little more descriptive.

Buck

After telling Laura about the trip, she wants to take the family out there. So we decide to take two weeks next summer, bring the family to camp and wheel. I also plan on a backpacking trip again late next summer. If you want to plan a trip together, I'm in.

rover67
09-23-2009, 01:34 PM
Sounds like the trip went well! Thanks for the report!

Glad we could help you guys out, it was fun. And thanks again for breakfast!

Romer
09-24-2009, 10:26 PM
Sounds like Fun Buck, sorry I missed you

nuclearlemon
09-24-2009, 10:43 PM
hahahaha...love the nederland description. if you ever come out when they have frozen dead guy days, you'll really get to see the people of nederland:lmao: