Adventures @ the Back of the Pack

Posts tagged “The Colorado Trail Segments 4 & 5

The Colorado Trail: Segments 4 & 5

It’s well known that the goal for 2012 is to travel ALL of the Colorado Trail – the 500+ miles on the bike and the 146.9 (+) Wilderness miles on foot. Are you confused? If so, look into it. 

HINT: You CANNOT travel the entire Colorado Trail on a bike. You gotta take some detours. So, if you want to see it all, find some walking shoes and hang with us… at the Back of the Pack.


uh, The Madre said we shouldn’t hitchhike
but can we get a ride to the bar down in Bailey?

The Motivation : The Colorado Trail : The Wilderness Areas:

  • I’m a 220 lbs singlespeed freak (who is in treatment for obesity) and a dude that wants to see it all – from the Back of the Pack.  So, just riding the Colorado Trail is not good enough for me… yeah, I’m a SLOW dude that needs elastic waistbands. Seriously.
    • The Colorado Trail is ~ 485 miles. But only 338.1 miles of the CT are accessible via bike, i.e.,  legal for bike action. So there are 5 Bypasses? Yep, you gotta skip ~ 147 miles, like 30.29% of the CT if you’re rolling on 2 wheels.
  • So, my adventures are about The Colorado Trail – but really, the adventures are about Colorado – just not ‘The Trail’. It’s about the mountains AND the trails, the history, the isolation, the miners, the explorers, the tough dudes, the tougher dudettes, the lifestyle in the Wild West, the freedom…. the whatever.
  • Yeah, the whatever… because it is whatever you want it to be.
Phatpacking the CT, Trip #1:

So, to achieve all this phatpacking on the CT, a few weeks ago (May 17th) Prob-eee and I headed out towards Bailey Colorado. The basics: start at the start of Segment 4, end at the end of Segment 5. In other words: FS Rd 560 (Wellington Lake Rd) to Long Gulch to Kenosha Pass. Simple enough. 2 days phatpacking, 1 night in the woods.Ok, enough talk, enough rambling. Lets get to the details, the details that MOTIVATE YOU to read all this info that we (I) generate @ Back of the Pack.
Lessons learned, Global:
  • If it works for bikepacking it’ll work for phatpacking 
  • Judd needs 1L of water for 21 miles. Prob-eee needs 4 or more L of water
  • The Lt Col & Prob-eee have similar genetic composition.  What am I talking about? You don’t’ have a need to know. But… the score:
    • Judd 1.1 
    • Prob-eee 6.3
  • Gotta take the heat, just because. And if you don’t get it, you won’t get it.
Lessons Learned, phatpacking:
  • Don’t carry 10+ lbs of liquid nourishment. You’ll only ‘need’ like 1L / 2.2 lbs per 10 hours / 20 miles. I think. Maybe.
    • Seriously – have a strategy for H20. Don’t carry water just to carry water.
  • Seasonal streams are seasonal. Year round streams are seasonal, seriously. 
The Colorado Trail… Still Learning:
  • Seg 1 – 4 can be viewed as ‘the ascent’ into the mountains
  • The southern bike bypass could be a brutal 80 miles. An additional long day. (The northern bypass goes through Bailey & up HWY 285, 28.x miles) 
    • It may be too much to deal with early on in an end-to-end CT attempt. Maybe. 
    • We may take the 50/50 chance (of survival) on the northern route, through Bailey, again.
What’s Weird:
  • New Mexico is Greener than parts of Colorado.
    • Yeah, that’s weird. It is dry up near Bailey and Kenosha Pass. It’ll be a long dry hot dangerous summer up there.
The Route, The Data:

The GPS says….

Segment 4: 16.5 miles, ascent / descent = 3418 ft / 1454 ft, time = 8 hrs 26 min
Segment 5: 14.4 miles, ascent / descent = 1992 ft / 2225 ft, time = 8 hrs 21 min

AND, full disclosure. This data is for a Segment 4 & 5 phatpacking adventure. The data will be slightly different if you park a car (enter / exit) at the eastern trailhead of Segment 5. Get it?AND. The data and more details will be posted, in the future.


The Pics, Some of Them:
if you want to see all the pics, find me / find them on google+. Dude. Dudette. If you want commentary…. good luck. I don’t feel like commentary.

The Slide Show. Kinda Boring. But Tenacious D Rules:

This is how We Roll:

pack it in

chill it

consume it

pack it out

What’s next, the rest of 2012:

  • Lt Col’s Rehabilitation Trip – San Juan Mtns, Memorial Day weekend
    • just kickin’ it at high altitude
    • done – survived – a blog posting will follow
  • 24 Hrs in the Enchanted Forest – June 16th / 17th
  • Colorado Trail – Seg 9-10 12-13 – early July
  • CTR ITT – start July 25th / end 10 days later
  • Colorado Trail – Seg 18-21 – early August
  • 24 hrs in the Sage – August 18th / 19th
  • Tommy knocker – Sept 1st / 2nd
  • Colorado Trail – Seg 24 – mid September
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