LONG POST ALERT!
This list is more for my records than anything, but I want to share with anyone who may be interested to see what I have planned for 2019, or maybe for someone who wants some ideas for their own.
It’s nearing the end of 2018 and I’ve been seeing all kinds of memes and posts on social media about how 2018 was nothing but a shit show, but honestly this was a really good year for me. After my failed attempt of the Colorado Trail last year, I really needed a good year, and I’m happy to say that my feet are FINALLY healed (which in and of itself would have made 2018 amazing). But there are so many other great things that happened this year that I want to tell you about, and so many things that I want to do next year!
First off, big things: I got married (on the side of Mt Evans, it was amazing in case you missed it!), I bought a new car (with AWD, yass), and I started a new job. Kyle is also starting a new job in Leadville this month, which if he ends up liking it, will make 2019 amazing because we’ll get to MOVE to Leadville! (Hooray for living above 10,000′!) We also visited friends in Phoenix, went on countless hikes (I say countless because I didn’t keep track), and fostered tons of dogs and puppies. I spent time with new and old friends, forming friendships that I’m hoping will last a lifetime. I got over my weirdness about hiking alone (and now I do it all the time!). And overall my heart just feels full; full of the things and people I love, and rid of the things and people that were making me miserable.
In March of this year, I posted on Facebook about the things I wanted to do in 2018. I definitely didn’t complete everything on the list, but I refuse to be upset about what I didn’t do, and just be thankful for what I did! And everything on the 2018 list that wasn’t finished can be done in 2019, or 2020, or sometime, eventually, maybe, for sure, but the important thing is that I do things that I like and that make me happy, and these are some of those things:
- 52 Hike Challenge
- This challenge is all the rage in the hiking community right now and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it but I’m going to do it until I can come up with something that I like better. It’s essentially just a goal of doing 52 hikes in one calendar year, which on average is one per week, a very attainable goal for someone who hikes often. I really like this idea because then instead of saying “get outside more” like I did for 2018, I can have a numerical goal to aim for. The reason I don’t like the “official” challenge, is that the rules for what constitutes a “hike” are super loose. Apparently even a walk around your neighborhood could be considered a “hike”. That may be acceptable for some people, but I’ve created my own set of rules for what I will count as a “hike”.
- My criteria for this challenge will be as follows. Most importantly, I am aiming to complete at least 52 hikes in 2019. A “hike”, for my purposes, will be any trail, of any length or difficulty, that is outside of town, and is not paved. The majority should be longer hikes that take a few hours to a day to complete. (I will still count shorter hikes, but will try to do mostly longer ones.) The hikes do not have to be one per week, as some weeks I may not get out at all, and other weeks I may go out a few times. (Any ideas how I should count multi-day backpacking trips? One hike for each day spent hiking? One hike for each trip, regardless of the number of days? I’m conflicted.)
- One big thing I want to do, which goes along with the 52 Hike Challenge, is document my hikes. That is, keep track of which I do, how long/hard they were, and blog about each of them. I’m really excited to see how many total hikes, miles, and elevation gain I can complete in one year!
- 10 new 14ers and 25 new 13ers
- This is a pretty lofty goal as 35 new peaks in a single year is quite a lot, at least for me. In 2018, I climbed 5 new 14ers and 12 new 13ers (not including the 5 or 6 repeats). My 2019 goal is more than double of what I did in 2018, but I have high hopes I will reach it!
- I haven’t picked out which mountains I am going to do yet, but I really want to get into some harder climbs. So far I’ve mostly done Class 1 & 2 routes, which are more hiking than climbing, and I haven’t done much Class 3, which is scrambling. (There are also Classes 4 & 5 which are vertical climbing, a little outside my comfort zone at this time. Maybe in 2020?) Longs Peak, a well-known and fairly difficult 14er, is on my wish list for 2019, as is the Sawtooth from Mt. Bierstadt. Both Class 3, both high exposure.
- There are 8 main mountain ranges in Colorado that have peaks over 13,000′. So far, I’ve climbed peaks in only 3 of them; Front, Tenmile, and Mosquito. I’m hoping to hit at least 1 peak in each of the remaining 5 in 2019; Elk, Gore, San Juan, Sangre de Cristo, and Sawatch.
- My main goals were listed above, but I have some smaller things on the “bucket list” as well!
- Hike to a hot springs. I’ve NEVER been and I’m dying to check it out!
- Finish the Poudre River Trail in Greeley. I only have a few sections left, but I’ve just been putting it off.
- Continue plugging away at the Colorado Trail (382 miles to go!). Kyle and I want to do a few short backpacking trips this summer, and what’s better than to chip away at my nemesis? One day I’ll finish it.