June 20 – Elbert with a Loaded Backpack

“Better to be strong than pretty and useless.” -Lilith Saintcrow

Twin Lakes to 1/2 mile before Rock Creek
17 miles

The CDT skirts Mount Elbert, highest mountain over fourteen thousand feet in the Rockies. Most CDT hikers choose to climb the peak. With fully resupplied backpacks (5 days of food), we climbed to the top. It was a great day. I felt good, it did not storm, and we had lunch at the summit. Couldn’t get better than that.

Tonight I am camped with Drop n’ Roll, Strider, Love Note, Mountain Rat, Wired, and Silly Chili. It was good to eat dinner together and interesting watching what others are eating and cooking. AND this is the first night my shoes are not muddy and wet! Yaaaaaay!

Gear Love:
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack
Pros: very very comfortable, holds weight well, lots of pockets, very spacious, lightweight (1 pound 9 ounces)
Side pockets on hip belt could be moved forward a bit for easy access, a little too large capacity for my needs. I would like to try the smaller Gorilla pack















  1. Been enjoying your pics and updates. I’m in TX and your photos give me my daily dose of elevation and trail inspiration. Just traded in my old GG Mariposa for a new GG Gorilla. I definitely agree about the front pockets. I purchased a small add on pocket from GG a couple of years ago to use on my Mariposa before they redesigned it. I just use that little pouch on the front of my Gorilla too. Its an awesome pack!

  2. Beautiful photos of beautiful country!
    And some serious beard action going on there… =]

  3. The Beekeeper (aka Jan aka roaming angel in bright pink hat)

    Are the shoulder straps bothering you at all on the GG Mariposa? They seem to be spaced quite narrow at the neck.

  4. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the journey even more than before. See, no stretches required – just acclimatisation. Enjoy!

  5. Beautiful terrain; glad you are feeling well.

  6. Latest thoughts on the Skyscape x tent?

    • Love to give more thoughts other than it is easy to pitch, very lightweight, and roomy, but it has not been tested in high winds and driving rain. I will keep you posted!

      • Thanks so much. I’m an old guy looking to shave off some weight. Currently I’m using a Tarptent Rainbow. I’m very happy with it. I hike exclusively in the Sierras after the snow is mostly gone (if I have to have an ice axe or crampons, I’m on the wrong hike). Again – old guy. Love your comments.

        • Hello, Tarptent makes great tents. They are durable and safe. Glad you are out there hitting the trail! Have fun on your next adventure!

  7. Beautiful country, beautiful people, so healthy and ambitious. With all that quiet time walking mile after mile, you must have plenty of time to think about Ma Clare who misses you. She thinks about you and where you are, all day long. Glad for the pictures.

    • Actually I have thought about you quite often and with very positive and loving thoughts. Thank you for taking care of my husband while Grant and I are away!

  8. I really enjoy your photos! What camera are you using?

  9. Awesome! Is the climb up Mount Elbert technical at all?

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