Saturday, May 4, 2013

Trifecta in White

Colorado is synonymous with mountains.
And yesterday, 
after yet another spring snowstorm
earlier in the week,

             The Morning After the Storm 
                    Earlier in the Week

... the Front Range was draped
in a mantle of dazzling white.

Part of the Front Range of Colorado
The White Clad Mountains Tower 
Over the Foothills and the Metro Area

The Front Range, 
part of the Southern Rocky Mountains, 
rises 10,000 feet above the Great Plains.
It stretches from Casper, Wyoming in the north
to Pueblo, Colorado in the south.

Map of Colorado
The Front Range parallels Interstate 25 to the west or left.
I-25 runs north-south from the Wyoming border through Fort Collins
all the way south through Trinidad to the New Mexico border.

 The Front Range (in pink)

Panoramic View of the Front Range

Three majestic peaks anchor the skyline 
when you look at the Front Range
from the Denver Metro Area:
Longs Peak, Mount Evans, and Pikes Peak.

In the brilliant spring sunshine,
these three Fourteeners formed
the perfect trifecta in white.

 Longs Peak (to the north) 
Viewed from Aurora
Elevation: 14,259 feet / 4346 meters

Mount Evans (in the middle) 
Viewed from Aurora
Elevation:  14,265 feet / 4348 meters

Pikes Peak (to the south) 
Viewed from Aurora
Elevation:  14,115 feet / 4302 meters

Coloradans cherish the Front Range for its beauty
and for the recreation it provides year round.
Residents and visitors mountain bike, hike, climb,
and camp during the warmer months, 
and they ski, snowboard, and snowshoe
during the winter. 

Rocky Mountains
Looking West from Lookout Mountain, 
Golden, Colorado

Some Coloradans like to bag Fourteeners.
Fourteeners are mountains 
that exceed 14,000 feet or 4,270 meters in elevation.

Colorado has 53 Fourteeners,
although this number is open to debate.
For a mountain to be considered a Fourteener,
it has to have a unique summit 
rising more than 300 feet or 91.44 meters  
above its connecting saddle to a taller peak.

Fifty-three Fourteeners make the cut,
but traditionally one or two other peaks
have been counted despite their lack of rise.

I have stood on top of Pikes Peak and Mount Evans ~
but I haven't bagged them.
To bag a Fourteener 
you have to actually climb the mountain.

Riding to Pikes Peak 
on the Cog Railway doesn't count.

Fourteen Thousand Feet Above the Sea!

Nor does driving to the top of Mount Evans count.

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway 
Approaching the Summit

Longs Peak is never going to happen,
for this scaredy cat!
Nearly every year one or more people die
climbing Longs Peak.

Here is a very short video on climbing
Longs Peak using the Keyhole Route.
One look at this will show you 
why it will never happen for me.

I have bagged three:  
Mount Sherman (14,036 feet / 4,278 meters) 
Grays (14,278 feet / 4,352 meters)
and Torreys (14,275 feet / 4,351 meters).

Until, and if, things change,
I'll just enjoy the trifecta's beauty
with my eyes instead of my feet.




  1. great view of the mountains

    1. Thanks Adam! I hope that you are enjoying your weekend!

  2. Hey, you've bagged three more than I ever have (or ever will, LOL)!

    1. Hi Debra! I hope you are having a great weekend. I'm aiming for Quandary this summer, but I'm not sure if I'm fit enough yet! First the paddle board in Hawaii, and then (maybe) Quandary in Breckenridge. We'll see! Have a good one!

  3. Such great pics at your sea
    Although blah to the snow coming back to hang from a tree

    1. Hey Pat! Thanks for being such a faithful commenter! I'm so behind! But I'm not giving up! I hope that you are having a super weekend. I'll be rhyming at your blog before long! Take care!

  4. Amazing mountains! I've always been fascinated by Colorado and have listed it as a place I'd love to visit if we (hopefully) ever take a trip across the U.S.

    1. Hi Martha! I hope you and your husband do make it here! The mountains are breathtaking. But so are the Canadian Rockies. Banff, the Jasper Highway ~ so beautiful! Have a great week!

  5. Your mountains are certainly beautiful with their snowy peaks. Thank you for the geography lesson. I have never traveled in your area so I really enjoyed your pictures. It's so different than our small hills in western pennsylvania.

    1. Hi Peggy! Thank you for your kind words. It's certainly different here, but western Pennsylvania has its own beauty! Have a happy week!

  6. I'm thinking that if I get out of breath dragging the garbage can up my driveway.... bagging a 14er ain't gonna happen!!
    You have magnificent views! Wow!

    1. Hi Dreaming! You are so funny! The hardest part for me getting up a Fourteener is the skinny drop off places. I may have to stop and rest every step up, but so far I've been able to get there. My fear of heights is the problem. Guaranteed, when I make it up another, I'll blog about it! Have an awesome week. Maybe you could train Tucker and Gypsy to push the garbage can up your driveway! LOL

  7. They are beautiful! I used to see mountains every day. Now I see none. Sometimes, the clouds play tricks on my mind and look like them, until I remember where I am. I guess the mountains just never leave you.

    1. Hi Laeli! I know for a fact that the ocean never leaves you, and I'm quite sure, that if I left the mountains they would pull just as hard on my heart as the ocean does. Have a super week!

  8. Wow, what a view -- beautiful! I am also struck by the broad expanse, how there aren't endless high-rises blocking the natural landscape -- unheard of here :(

    1. Hi B&R! I've seen those high-rises in your area! It's amazing! But Sing is like a carefully tended garden, and your airport is my favorite in the world. I'm sure you have to get away once in a while to see some open spaces. We tend to take it for granted, because space and big skies are all around us. I hope you are feeling well as you enter the home stretch! Take care!

  9. Love that video of Longs Peak (and the maps of course)! Our friend Rey is visiting us next weekend - I will ask him which 14er he did last summer that he said was quite easy, and pass the info on to you. Hopefully it wasn't one you've done.

  10. Hi Terry! That video of the Keyhole Route makes my heart pound and my hands sweat! It would be great to hear which 14er Rey climbed. It wouldn't matter if I had climbed it before ~ I've actually done Mount Sherman twice, and my 83 year old friend Joanne has done Sherman 7 times! She started climbing 14ers to celebrate her 60th birthday and has goaded me up the three I have bagged. Have a great week, Terry!

  11. Not a bad way to enjoy them!!! What beautiful photos! I miss having the mountains closeby ~ glad you enjoy them!!!

    1. Hi Audrey! I hope that you have had a lovely weekend! I do do enjoy the mountains! Thank you for your kind words! Have a good one!

  12. I know I would love to bag a 14er and I know Jim would too. The rush, the exhaustion, the delight!

    This was most exhilerating especially the video!

    I just learned something ~~ the juxtaposition of Colorado. I had no idea it was below Wyoming and Nebraska. How embarrassing!


    1. Hi Ron!
      I bet you two would love to climb one!
      Hey, Sophie! Dogs climb them too!

      The first time I climbed Sherman, I lost my nerve quite high up and was clinging to a big boulder in a narrow spot. I was probably crying! This big dog ~ a golden retriever ~ wearing a bandana around its neck came up and was trying to push by me. I was begging it to go away. I was so pitiful! Then his owner came up and helped me through to a wider spot. I'll never forget that. Somehow I had zigged when I should have zagged, and I had gotten off the main trail. I practically crawled to the top ~ and wow! What a feeling!

      So what did I do? I went back a couple of years later and did it again. I keep trying to overcome my fear of heights. I've gotten better, but I can loose it easily!

      Don't feel embarrassed about the position of the states. After all, there are 48 lower states! Canada is so much easier!

      Have an awesome week!

  13. Colorado is VERY high on my travel bucket list :) I can't wait to visit someday!

    1. Hi Keith! You will love Colorado, and I hope you get to visit sooner rather than later! Have a good one!

  14. The mountains look glorious with their snow capped peaks. The photos look great! I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively in the States. Like New Zealand you have wonderful mountain ranges.

    1. Hi Paul! Thank you for your kind words about my photos! New Zealand is very high on my list of places to visit! It has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world! I'm glad that you got to see a lot of the US. Take care!

  15. Hi to a fellow Coloradan! I live at high altitude in Breckenridge but have often biked the paths in the area you photographed along the Front Range. We live in a Paradise, that's for sure. I've enjoyed visiting your blog and hope to read more posts from you. (It's snowing here today - big feathery flakes.)

  16. Hi Barb! I thought I had responded to this comment! Oops! Yes, we do live in Paradise! And I love Breck when the snow comes down. My husband's sister and her husband have a home in Breck, even though they live in India right now. That means that we get to visit Breck when they're in Colorado. Thanks for your kind words about my blog!


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