Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby highpilgrim » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:23 am

Anyone know what happened here? The track stops on Peak 10...
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby pbakwin » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:33 am

Thanks everyone for your interest & support! This is a project I've worked on for years,
since realizing that this has to be the longest stretch of ridge over 13k in the country.
As mentioned, I tried last year, but only made it as far as Fletcher before pulling out
because I was simply too tired. I modified my plan slightly this year, using trekking
poles (which really help on this kind of terrian!) and backing off the pace a little in
the beginning. This year I made it to Democrat in 12 hours vs. 11 last year. That
seemed to work well as I felt quite a bit stronger at that point this year. My strategy
was to start in the evening, and get the generally easier south section done during
the night, thereby saving the harder stuff for daylight. Another improvement this
year was that my friend Buzz accompanied me from Democrat to Peak 10.

For some reason Buzz & I didn't do a great job on the route finding from Wheeler to
Drift. This was my 3rd time through there but it seemed particularly annoying this
time. It took us 3 hours to do that section, vs. 2.5 last year.

But the big problems came from Fletcher to Atlantic. The easy route on the east side
of the ridge that I had scouted a couple years ago was all steep snow. Buzz & I had
microspikes & poles, but weren't comfortable with the steepness of the snow. If we'd
had crampons & axes it would have been a cake walk. In retrospect we probably should
have just taken the time to kick really good steps, or we could have dropped lower to
less steep snow. But, I recalled reading somewhere that someone had traversed on the
west side of the ridge, so we decided to give that a go. It turned out to be extremely
bad & awful & dangerous. We traversed one rock rib & gully after another, negotiating
maybe a dozen tricky downclimbs into the gullys on extremely crappy rock. We muddled
thru, but what should have taken an hour took 3 and burned a ton of energy. This was
just a bad call, but we had to try something.

After the Atlantic fiasco I decided to end at Peak 10. I could have continued, but it would
have meant finishing at maybe 2AM, which I felt was asking too much of my most
excellent support crew & would be pushing the risk envelope for myself since I would be
doing some tricky terrain between Peaks 4 & 3 in the dark of my 2nd night out. Ending
at 10 made sense since I covered all 28 miles of the ridge that is 100% above 13,000.
Also, the traverse from Pacific to 10 was the only section of the ridge that I had never
done before, so now I feel a sense of completion there.

No, I'm not going to try this again! I hope someone will complete the entire traverse
down to Frisco. It's definitely doable, but requires a lot of planning, scouting and a
great deal of facility with the delicate art of walking on shitty rocks. I've had a really
good time with this over the years, many fun outings up there figuring stuff out.
Weds night on the ridge was amazing as I watched the thunderstorms popping off to
the east in the orange glow of the setting sun. Later, a thick fog blew in, and as I
ascended Sherman visibility dropped to 20 feet. Traversing to Gemini was surreal as
I could only follow the arrow on my GPS (I had all the summits waypointed).
If the fog had persisted much longer I would have been in trouble - it was extremely
disorienting. But, fortunately it cleared as I dropped down to the saddle between
Gemini & Dyer. Later I trapsed along the ridge high above the lights of Leadville
and Fairplay under the glow of the full moon. Incredible.

HUGE thanks to my support crew, Steph & Mike, and to Buzz, who signed up for
7 hours but got 14.

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby JimR » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:57 am

pbakwin wrote: It's definitely doable, but requires a lot of planning, scouting and a
great deal of facility with the delicate art of walking on shitty rocks.

And it also requires an absurd level of fitness and endurance.

Amazing accomplishment to get as far as you did. Wow. =D> =D>
I have more age than experience, more experience than knowledge, and more knowledge than wisdom.
Yet somehow I usually make it back to the car safely; and oftentimes, so do the people that I'm with.

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby screefieldstevie » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:05 am

Congrats man!!!!!! Was a little unnerved looking at the clouds forming over the 10mile while driving over Fremont yesterday...........What an accomplishment, only one I can dream of!!!!! :D
"Cause the Rocky Mountain Way Is better than the way we had" - Joe Walsh

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby Rich H » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:05 am

amazing Peter!!!


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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby Upwardlybound » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:22 am

Incredible! What a challenge and accomplishment nevertheless.
"He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to men, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth -- the Lord God Almighty is His name." Amos 4:13

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:45 am

Inspiring to say the least.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby big_red_pride » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:51 am

What an accomplishment Peter. You should be very proud of how far you made it! Again congrats and I'm sure I speak for a lot of people by saying we are glad you made it back safe! =D>

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby IHikeLikeAGirl » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:02 am

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Well done! =D>
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby 12ersRule » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:04 am

Very cool. Congrats on getting all the way to Peak 10, Peter. I had never considered the uniqueness of that area before, having a ridge that stayed above 13000 for that many miles. Thanks to your quest, I have a greater appreciation for that area.

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby Mountainspirit » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:43 pm

Congratulations Peter! Amazing feet - get it? Feet ](*,)

Truly an inspiring accomplishment! =D>
"I sang out from a mountain top, out to the valley down below
Because my cup doth overflow
With the beauty of the days gone by." - Van Morrison

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Re: Mosquito - Tenmile Traverse

Postby elkheart22 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:56 pm

That really is amazing. Job well done... =D>

Cheers, Tim
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me. --- Jimmy Buffett


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