View Full Version : CO backcountry Rondy

Jon S
08-01-2010, 08:53 PM
We had a good time, pics will follow from one of the great folks there or I will get some up tomorrow.
Patrick and Sawtooth hiked down on Thursday, got some rain as the ground was wet when we showed up Friday night.
Colohunter303 and I carpooled up and made it in in 1.5 hours, good to stretch the legs out and arrive just before another few hours of rain. I had to hike fast as a matter of pride to try and show up the 20 year old. Camp was nice, plenty of wide open spaces.

Talk2Much made it up earlier in the day and was a friendly face when we arrived.
Sat a.m. arrived to a respite from the watering of all the plants and we began the 4 mile walk up to a lake at 12,635 ft. Just got to fishing and seeing some trout chase the lines when the thunder rolled. First flash was about 8.5 seconds from the sound, next was 4 seconds, something about being above tree level and surrounded by water and rocks is magical/mystical/scary as all get out.
Hiked back the 4 miles in the rain and hail, good to get to use the raingear, had I not slipped while navigating/scrambling around the lake and stepped in up to mid calf, I would have been dry and happy, as it was Talk2much and I stopped and poured water out of boots.

The water was enough of a gullywasher for Patrick to donate 36 oz of elk loin to some needy animals, the creek rose about 8 inches and washed the meat down the river, quite a travesty for us, something is extremely lucky.

Back to camp to see another friendly face, Flamingo 7 made it up around noon or so, apparently took the opportunity to test out his tarp for napability during the rainstorm and was ready to welcome us upon our return.

Cleared up for a few hours, enough for Colohunter to catch 4 fish and me to just throw the line in the water and reel it back in.

We were surprised after dark by a mysterious poncho clad visitor. There was quite a moment of fear until the mask was removed to reveal the one and only Singleshot. He hiked in in the rain and dark to make a guest appearance.

The Jameson was passed, tales were told and eyelids were checked for holes. None were found as far as I know.

The hike out this morning was beautiful, freshly watered lawns, new rivers from the day before were visible, and good conversation made the miles clip on by.

Talk2much, Colohunter303, and I made it to the cars about the same time, shared a few more stories and headed homeward. The sprinkles began shortly after, we thought of Patrick and Sawtooth who were still up trying to dry out the 12 man. I know Sawtooth is back home, so assume all is well.

Great people, great weather, great times. Always love hanging with the Kifaru boys and telling tales and sipping whiskey.

08-02-2010, 07:32 AM
Great write-up, Jon! Last Thursday Patrick and I backpacked in early and got some things set up. The hike in is on a moderate trail taking you about four miles into a wilderness area. Set-up included our gathering place for the rondy, the 12-man and large stove. At about 11:00 AM talk2much arrived and we spent the day visiting an fishing the in the nearby stream, and we had a great supper...



Later in the day Jon S and colohunter303 arrived in camp and we had a great time sitting around the stove in the 12-man tipi.


Saturday morning we went for a day hike to a high lake about four miles up from camp. This lake sits at 12,650' and it's one of the most beautiful of such lakes anywhere. The hike up to the lake was sunny and warm, but the weather changed quickly, and we endured pounding rain and hail more than half the way back to camp.







Patrick even had a buddy of his show up. If that marmot only knew how many Mr. Smith has eaten...


We returned to camp and had a great evening. At around 5:30 PM two ladies showed up in camp lost, wet, and completely without gear whatsoever. With dark coming on around 8:30 PM these days, they were pretty worried. We gathered up some basic survival items, and I escorted them down the trail toward the trailhead and their vehicles. This was a perfect example of non-preparedness on their part. It also gave us a good chance to drive home to them WHAT they should take on hikes and WHY it should be taken. We all got the impression they'll take heed the next time. If they had spent the night out, they may not have made it home...ever.

Sunday morning was spent in camp.



...Flamingo 7 getting some expert pack fitting tips from the master...


...here's the gang


Don't let anyone tell you Crocs are for sissies...


See ya next year...


08-02-2010, 08:16 AM
Great looking area. It sure would be fun to to jet around to several of these rondys each summer.

08-02-2010, 08:18 AM
I was thinking about the rockies two weekends ago as I sat on a ridgeline in the cascades looking out over rank upon rank of thick and darkly timbered ridges. Boys, the rockies are "the marrow of the world". Don't ever let anyone tell you differently, and appreciate each and every day you spend there. I spent five days myself in that very same basin when I was younger and I fear I took it for granted at the time. Thanks for the pictorial trip down memory lane.

08-02-2010, 10:43 AM

It's a wonder we never saw one another back in there, and perhaps we did and it just passed. I'd like nothing more than to go back up there with you some time and nose around. That place is truly my Stomping Grounds. I first set foot in there around 1975 or so with a group of kids from church and a couple of gnarly adults. Many more rambles were done with my parents and friends. My first solo trek was in 1978, when I was 15. THAT trek is what made me a child of the wild. It's been a long and winding road since. I might mention that we saw a number of goats on both sides of the high basin during our day hike on Saturday. I spotted one lone goat, and Jon S and talk2much nailed the second group of 3 or 4. All of them very high and about a mile away and 2K feet higher than we were.

08-02-2010, 11:02 AM
Great write-up Jon. Thanks.

Superb additional words and photographs Sawtooth. Wonderful photos!

Makes me kick myself for not making the trip.

Nifty Crocs photo, by the way Sawtooth. I, too, would have brought my Crocs. Real backcountry hunters utilize Crocs.

08-02-2010, 04:00 PM
I sure do envy you guys! Iím in Montgomery, AL for four more weeks. This weekend the temp was 102 with a heat index of 115! I need to check my sanitty for playing golf. Why would anyone want to live here? No mountains, no trout and most of all, no elk. Beats me.

Itís probably a good thing you guys camped up on the ďcommand postĒ site; otherwise you might have been swept down the river with the elk meat!

Jone S is always good for some type of fashion statement. I like the floppy hat but it doesnít hold a candle to the yellow skirt!

08-02-2010, 06:32 PM

Great location, brilliant views, superb food and awesome people.

Thank you all.

Let's not forget Sawtooth's heroic effort in saving two lovely ladies lost in the wilderness. This is a true story and will only be get better when told on subsequent Rondi's.

Gonehuntn and I will be planning a November Rondi and we hope you all can attend.

Note. Colohunter303, I broke down and bought some crocs. Jon S, you should be a male calendar model. Sawtooth, you're my hero. Flamingo 7, your campfire stories are hilarious. Patrick, everyday a holiday and every meal a feast. Singleshot, thanks for the wise advice.

Jon S
08-02-2010, 06:55 PM
GoneHunt'n, sorry you never got to see the two working together, the tube/skirt really complements the hat.
Talk2Much, not sure that the worldwide sales would top 1 if I was the calendar model, my wife said she would buy one, but she loves me for more than just my pretty face. Not sure who else would want such a thing.
Great pics Saw, thanks again for a fun weekend. It made today much better.

08-03-2010, 05:20 AM
I'd like nothing more than to go back up there with you some time and nose around.

I really appreciate that, and it may just come to pass.

flamingo 7
08-07-2010, 04:17 PM
Iíve delayed posting anything until I actually completed my trek. The other attendies gave a pretty good write-up of events. I did make it in somewhat behind JonS, Talk2much and Colohunter303 who blew past me on the way out. However on climbing into the truck I realized Iíd left something behind.

Sooooo, after finishing off some business concerns, I made my way back up there yesterday and retrieved my Sunglasses, still where Iíd left them. A wonderful trip up and back. The CO Backcountry Rondy was a wonderful experience in an absolutely beautiful area. However the kicker is the folks around the fire. I think we could hold one of these in a subway stop in Camden NJ and still find it enjoyable. If youíve never attended one of the various events that appear on these boards, if youíre a lurker, grab your stuff and go.

My most gracious thanks to the folks who shared this spot with us, it is a treasure. To Patrick and Sawtooth who seemed to have packed in a prodigious amount of gear, enabling us to live and dine like kings; to JonS for kindly sharing his Jamisonís, and to Talk2much and Colohunter303 for their welcome comradeship; finally to Singleshot for his surprise arrival and lending a touch of class to our unruly mob. The conversations were memorable, the lessons learned valuable and the entire experience one that youíll look back on in years to come and grant it was time well spent.

Weidmanís Heil!

08-07-2010, 08:52 PM
How did Patrick and I miss seeng those hanging on the tree? :o It was very good having you in camp, F7. Was the creek back down when you went in the second time?

flamingo 7
08-09-2010, 08:21 AM
Creek's down, but the water is still quite "smoky", there has been a lot of water running down the trail in a couple of places.

08-09-2010, 09:19 AM
Quick note to talk2much...I dont think I will ever buy crocs. no offense to the people that so affectionately own them but i would rather walk around in soaked trail running shoes and wet merino wool socks (which i proved during this trip if ya'll remember).

-Patrick and Sawtooth- thanks so much for the amazing back country eats and for sharing your many years of back country wisdom.
-Jon- thanks for the great talks both on the trail and in the car. also the crazy amount of cardio hiking in and out with you. (in case ya'll dont know Jon hikes at about 20 mph whether uphill, downhill, or otherwise.
-Talk2much- always great to have a non croc wearing ally
-singleshot- Your determination to make it up even just for a night was inspiring and thanks for all of your wise advice.
-F7- You may just be one of the funniest people to share a campfire with not to mention the martini's.

Thanks to all that attended and for all of those that werent able to make it. plan on it next year because it is such a blast to hangout with these guys in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

08-10-2010, 12:06 PM
-Jon- thanks for the great talks both on the trail and in the car. also the crazy amount of cardio hiking in and out with you. (in case ya'll dont know Jon hikes at about 20 mph whether uphill, downhill, or otherwise.
colohunter303 --
You got that right! Try following his 36" inseam legs uphill through black- timber/deadfall with my 30" inseam legs 20 years his senior. But he's such good company and generally slows down to be kind to his elders.

Looks like you all really had a grand time. Seriously bummed to have missed it.


08-10-2010, 12:09 PM
My 34" inseam legs were definitely moving. I will say that was the first time in a long long time that I had my pace being pushed instead of slowed by the company i was hiking with.

Jon S
08-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Long legs do help, was showing this to my wife, whom many of you have met.
Her response was "If his five foot tall wife can keep up, all you fellas with an inseam longer than 26" can quit yer bi----in!"
The last 14er we hiked, I was slowing her down.
It was great fun seeing such good folks, spending time in a beautiful spot and testing out raingear in one great storm.

08-13-2010, 07:21 PM
All those trout came out of a creek near camp? That is a good looking batch of fish. Thanks for all the pics and stories to match. I have been incredibly busy this year with too much nonsense. Did take a hike last Wednesday and will post pics soon. Unfortunatly we have a fire going on up in the Olympics and a heat wave comming for the next two weeks. I hope they contain the durn thing.