The Front Range is the first mountain range you see coming from the east. Technically, it contains 6 14ers, but I'm including Longs Peak in a separate RMNP gallery. I've climbed all 6 of those 14ers.
These two peaks are the highest points on the Continental Divide and are located just off of I-70.
A pair of mountain goats joined us on the summit of Grays
in August 1994; the second one is disappearing down the
When I did Grays and Torreys, I climbed Torreys' Kelso Ridge, a popular rock scramble that's much more challenging than the trail hike most people do. The following three photos scanned from 5x7's show the ridge in profile from the summit of Grays.
Here is the saddle between Torreys and Kelso Mountain. You can
also see part of the yak trail on the valley floor.
OK, now we are in the middle part of the ridge, which doesn't
look like much in this out-of-context photo.
Finally, here is the summit of Torreys.
In this extreme close-up, you can see all the hikers scattered on the
ridge between Grays and Torreys.
There are several Grizzly Peaks in Colorado. This one is a modest 13er on the Continental Divide between Loveland Pass and Torreys Peak. The ridge route makes for an all-season hike if you can stand the cold and the wind, and a little snowcover. The following photos are from an early April ascent in 1995.
This photo shows Grizzly Peak on the right, Torreys Peak in the front
left, and Grays Peak poking up above Torreys right shoulder.
That couloir system at the left edge of the photo is the upper
part of the "big-ol-strip-of-snow" to which Dawson refers in
his 14er guidebook.
This shows the so-called "twilight wedge" just before sunrise;
the Earth's shadow being cast against the sky. The sun has
already risen for the rosy area above the wedge.
These are the two closest 14ers to Denver, and in particular, Mount Evans is the high point of the Denver skyline. They are not always climbed together, but that's how I did it. Bierstadt was my first 14er.
This is a photo of the famous Sawtooth ridge, which you must
traverse to go between Bierstadt and Evans. It's an easier
climb than it looks, but does require some rock scrambling.
I took this photo not too far below the Sawtooth after
descending from Evans in August 1994. With a long lens, you
can take a similar photo from Guanella Pass.
OK, this isn't much of a mountain, and I didn't even climb it.
But, here is a tram tower on it's west slopes. June 1997.
While Pikes Peak is only the 31st highest mountain in Colorado, its tremendous rise of nearly 8000 feet from the town of Manitou Springs makes it a Giant amongst giants. It was the first 14er with a documented ascent (although other 14ers were undoubtedly climbed by natives before the Europeans showed up).
I hiked up Pikes the hard way, one day, up and down the Barr Trail. The hike is 11-13 miles each way (depending on which measurement you believe), with 7400 feet of elevation gain on the way up. However, the trail is excellent which helps a lot.
Here is a tremendous sunrise that I caught near treeline. (I
started my hike at 2am.)
Pikes can been seen from countless other mountain summits from up
to 100-120 miles away (my personal record is 90 miles
from the summit of Ellingwood Point). Here is a photo of this
ubiquitous summit from Mount Bross 65 miles away. February 2002.
I'm pretty sure that the ranges in the Lost Creek Wilderness (nicknamed the "Retirement Range" in toto), are all considered part of the Front Range, and Bison Peak is the monarch. It's only a little over 12400 feet, but it is the highest peak within a considerable radius. It makes a fabulous winter ascent.
Here is a view of the summit rocks from about a quarter-mile away
or so on my January 2002 ascent.
This is a close-up of the famous rock monolith on the plateau below
the summit. This view is broadside; see "Colorado's Lost Creek Wilderness"
by Roach & Roach for an edge-on view. Note my backpack and trekking poles
at the base of the rocks just right of center for scale.
Back to the mountaineering gallery
File last modified: 08 January 2005