Author Archive


The San Rafael Swell is a giant 3,000-square-mile dome-shaped uplift of sandstone, limestone and shale about 60 miles northwest of Moab, that little town in the desert everyone’s heard of. Over several million years, water has cut canyons and valleys out of the rock, giving lots of us a great playground. The Swell is also [...]


We have plenty of terrain over 10,000 feet in Colorado, which means there’s plenty of potential for altitude sickness. Visitors from the “flatlands,” or more accurately the lowlands, are sometimes reminded by dizziness that we do, in fact, have to drink more water at higher altitudes. Ask any mountain guide what you can do to [...]


  One late spring Saturday, my girlfriend and I had planned to be on the classic Direct East Face route on the First Flatiron before anyone else in the metro area. We got up early, drove up to Boulder in the dark, and as soon as we hit the Chautauqua Park parking lot, we hopped [...]

backpacking packing list

If you’re heading out on a first-time backpacking trip, here’s a backpacking packing list to help you out organize your gear. You might add a few things based on personal preference — for example, maybe you like to have a different spoon for stirring the pot other than the spoon you eat with, or you [...]

A bouldering wall in downtown Denver Posted By Brendan on
bouldering wall

I must have pedaled past this wall on the Cherry Creek bike path 200 times in the past five years, and every time, I thought, “I wonder if you could do some bouldering on that thing?” It looked like well-featured flagstone blocks, from what I could see at 12 mph anyway. If you live in [...]

Tips for tackling your first Colorado 14er Posted By Brendan on
first 14er

More than 500,000 people will attempt to hike to the summit of at least one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains this year — some already have, no doubt. As soon as all this pesky snow melts in June and July, lots of peaks on our high-country playground will be accessible to anyone with a pair of [...]

3 stout trail runs near Denver Posted By Brendan on
3 stout trail runs near Denver

If you’re a trail runner and you’re looking for the most punishment you can find within a short drive within 45 minutes of downtown Denver, these trails will deliver. Ranked in order of difficulty: 1. Mount Galbraith Loop, Mount Galbraith Park 4.2 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain This trail gains 1,000 feet in its first [...]

Buying Your First Backpacking Tent Posted By Brendan on
backpacking tent

When most of our high-country snow has melted in mid- or late June, it’s going to be a great time to get out and spend some nights under the stars. And if you want to get under the stars away from other people, hitting the trail and hiking a few miles to a campsite is [...]

Training Hike: Mount Morrison Posted By Brendan on
mount morrison

Where do you train? At the gym, on a treadmill? Maybe you’ve got a routine where you work out all week indoors for all that fun stuff you do in the mountains on the weekends. Well, it’s not such a bad idea to take it outside every once in a while, and get some elevation [...]


A few years ago, I managed to blow an entire $150 REI dividend on climbing guidebooks. It was one of the best investments I’ve ever made with that dividend. Guidebooks aren’t the most exciting piece of gear to buy (unless you’re me), but they are one of the most useful. Here are four that can [...]

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