Mountain Climbs

  • Pikes Peak – Summiting My 58th and Final 14er
    Pikes Peak is the 2nd most visited mountain in the world. I saved it for last because it has a road to the top so that some friends could climb with me and others could ride to the top to begin the celebration completing a 9-year mission to climb them all. We chose the Crags Trail, and then we had quite a party!
  • Windom Peak – 4 Tries and a Fantastic Summit!
    August 26, 2017 Windom Peak is one of the really fun Class 3 peaks in the Chicago Basin of the San Juan Range, accessed by the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge train and a long backpack to the basin. The summit is the most unusual of all Colorado’s 14ers and the views everywhere are exquisite. This one was a personal challenge of persistence for me as the San Juans get the first dibs on bad weather both from the west and the monsoons from the south.
  • Humboldt Peak – West Ridge – Sighting the Eclipse from a 14er!
    Humboldt Peak is a moderate 14er in the Sangre de Cristo Range that features a beautiful setting framed by the Crestones all the way to summit. We had the added attraction of climbing it on August 21, 2017 during the solar eclipse that hit 90% where we were.
  • San Luis Peak – via Creede and the South Ridge
    A shocking (literally hair-raising) story. We found this approach was the best. Even summiting at 10am we got hit by multiple electrical storm cells that arose with no warning and discharged into us right at summit! We ran and got sufficiently down before the discharges took the form of full lightning bolts.
  • El Diente – Climbing a hard Fourteener
    El Diente – A Hard Mountain in the San Juan Range El Diente is not often climbed and indeed it has its challenges. We liked the south ridge approach from the Kilpacker trailhead. From that direction the view of El Diente is impressive and the Kilpacker Basin is a feast for the eyes.
  • Mt. Daly – the “one with the stripe”
    Mt. Daly is on the other side of the saddle from Capitol Peak. It is one of the most visible mountains to those traveling between Aspen and Snowmass. While not a 14er, it is a named 13er with a fun Class 3 ridge-crest climb that is less frequently done. There is also not much written about the best way up, solved here in this story.
  • Wilson Peak – Southwest Ridge Second Try – Success!
    Wilson Peak is prominent in the Telluride area. We had to make two attempts, once from the Rock of Ages trailhead and once camping at Navajo Lake. This is a fun, challenging Class 3 mountain. Wilson Peak - First Try
  • Wilson Peak – Southwest Ridge – First Try
    Wilson Peak is prominent in the Telluride area. We had to make two attempts, once from the Rock of Ages trailhead and once camping at Navajo Lake. This is a fun, challenging Class 3 mountain.
  • K2 and Capitol Peak (“The King”)
    Capitol Peak is undoubtedly the standard bearer of all the fourteeners in Colorado. It features a very long boulder hike/climb to a sub-summit called K2 at 13,688’ followed by a knife-edge ridge crawl to the Capitol summit cap. The final push is a 550’ Class 4 climb to summit.
  • Mt. Elbert – My First Fourteener and Again in 2016
    Mt. Elbert at 14,440’ is the tallest in the State of Colorado, but one of the easiest to walk up. It is usually many hikers’ first tall peak. I first climbed it in 2002, loved it, but didn’t do a second 14er until 2009. Then in 2016 as prep for harder mountains I did it again.
  • Crestone Needle – A Hard Fourteener
    Crestone Needle is generally recognized as being in the top 5 in climbing difficulty of all the Colorado 14ers. It is characterized by sustained Class 3 rock climbing (for hours) although on rock that is unusually climber-friendly.
  • Emme Levy Crandall January 31, 2001 to August 27, 2015
    A Tribute to Emme, Our Australian Terrier, and Her Amazing Life Click the button below to view the story.
  • Crestone Peak … and a Self Rescue!
    “Crestone Peak, or “The Peak” as known among many climbers, is one of the “double-black diamond” 14ers for climbers. It and its companion fourteener, Crestone Needle were the last of all the fourteeners to be scaled back in the 1920’s. This remote and rugged mountain was once thought impossible to climb.”
  • Blanca Peak – Sacred Mountain of the Navajo
    with a 130-year old Eagle trap at summit …and close encounters with hungry bears.
  • Mountain Boy Peak Climb – Two Routes … You Choose.
    Difficulty:  Class 2 Exposure:  None Summit: 13,193’ Elevation Gain: 1800’ Roundtrip: 7 miles Trailhead: Independence Pass parking lot at 12,050’ Climbers: Route 1: Rick Crandall; Rick Peckham  July 11, 2015 Route 2: Rick Crandall, Shan Stuart & Emme the 14er Dog July 20, 2006 
  • Tabegauche Peak – A Bit More Than We Bargained for – and a Great Wine at Summit
    We went at this mountain from the closed Jennings Creek trailhead, avoiding the erosion causing the closure. Early-season climbing into snow – and finally discovering the “right way” to summit. Celebrating with Walter Hansel Pinot Noir at the Peak.
  • Flatiron and Superstition Mountain – Arizona
    Superstition Mountain – hidden gold, subterranean extra-terrestrials, Indian legends and a big day of bouldering and rock climbing. Fortunately no cactus jabs or rattlesnake strikes.
  • North Maroon Peak – Going Technical
    Climbing North Maroon with Andy Mishmash changes a dangerous climb into pure joy. This peak is notorious for casualties but with care watching for loose rock and someone experienced in route finding, North Maroon becomes one of the most beautiful fourteener climbs. The views on the way up and from summit are stunning
  • Mt. Eolus and N. Eolus – exposed rock climbing
    Mt. Eolus is a more challenging 14er in the San Juan Range accessible only by the 130 year old Denver & Rio Grande narrow-gauge train and then backpacking to the Chicago Basin. This mountain features a narrow, exposed “Catwalk” and some good Class 3 rock climbing.
  • Ellingwood Pt. via South Zapata Creek (non-standard route)
    To avoid the busy and rough Lake Como Road and the crowds at Lake Como camp-sites we followed an alternate route from South Zapata Lake. The route to summit was long, rocky, loose and cold on the shady side of the peak. We did get to see Big Horn Sheep for my 1st sighting.
  • Snowmass Mountain
    A challenging mountain summited with son Brett Crandall in a nearly 19 hour day from dark to dark.
  • Twining Peak – A High Thirteener near Aspen
    Twining Peak, 13,711’ near Aspen, Class 2 and dog-friendly. Also called Blue Peak, it is approached on a largely unmarked route that summits Blarney Peak first in order to access a saddle and ridge to Twining. Emme and Alfie, Australian Terriers made the summit with us.
  • Handies Peak in the San Juans – Southwest Slope from American Basin
    Starting in Lake City, a Colorado classic western town in the San Juan Range; Hiking, climbing from the American Basin, a caldera left over from the volcanic activity millions of years ago making for a picturesque and very snowy day.
  • Mt. Princeton, a 14er in the Collegiates
    As a birthday climb with balloons!
  • Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point: A Long Day
    These were two great mountains in the Sangre de Cristos. This was a 15 hour day including backpacking out to the trailhead. At the Kit Carson summit, the Crestones (Peak and Needle) hovered behind us as if to say: “Try me, we get even more difficult”