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It’s a new year, and that means a new list of goals! I’ve always loved goal oriented lists, and I make them all the time. In fact, I make a list every day when I get to work of what I need to accomplish in the day. It helps me stay focused, and give me something to work towards. Every year, my ‘adventure’ goals stay mostly the same. Get outside more, explore, adventure, push yourself, do not procrastinate or waste time. Those are generic outdoor things that I wish to continue to improve on every year in my life. However, I also set specific goals of things I want to do in the coming year. Last year, it was simple; I wanted to hike the PCT and AT, and I came close to accomplishing that (I have roughly 440 miles of the AT left to complete). Through all the hiking last year, I feel as if I grew a lot, and challenged myself with distances I had never done before. This year, I plan to continue advancing, continue pushing myself, continue having new experiences, and continue doing things that I’m not completely comfortable with. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2014 (in order of when they will be attainable).

  1. Climb a winter 14er. Pikes Peak seems like the obvious choice here. It’s the only Front Range 14er I haven’t climbed, and the winter is a good time to go and get it. It also has a road to the top, which isn’t open in the winter, making the summit more enjoyable in the winter. Other 14ers I wouldn’t mind getting this winter are Culebra & Humboldt, both in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in South-central Colorado.
  2. Complete the Zion 100k. On April 10th, 2015, I will be running the Zion 100k trail race with my PCT friends Rice Krispies, Big Sauce, and Handy Andy (who upon finishing the PCT went out and set the JMT speed record in 3 days and 11 hours). It’s a good goal, and I hope to be able to complete all 62 miles. It will be great to reconnect with friends from the trail on a scenic, mini epic. It’ll also keep me running and hiking a lot this winter and early spring, which will hopefully put me in good shape for my next goal:
  3. Hike the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. This is the big one. I’ve been planning this for several months now, and began thinking about it when I first committed to do the PCT. If last year’s experiences taught me anything, it was not to wait to get out and pursue your dreams. Here are some notes on what I plan to do with it.  You can check out my gear list here.
    1. Take the San Juan Route – In the San Juan’s there are two routes. One does a half circle through the range, staying high up the majority of the time. The other cuts through/around the San Juan Mountains to the town of Creede. The Creede route is roughly 90 miles shorter, is lower in elevation, and much, much easier. But it skips the beauty of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. I don’t want to miss that, so I’m hoping to stay up high in the San Juan’s with some side trips to high peaks that I would like to summit.
    2. Nolan’s 14 route through the Sawatch Range in Colorado. My good friends Bearclaw and Dirtmonger told me about this route, which links fourteen mountains over 14k feet. It’s basically a ‘connect the dots’ from summit to summit. The Continental Divide Trail stays lower and to the west of the high peaks. The Colorado trail actually circles the peaks via its Collegiate East & West routes. Nolan’s 14 stays high the entire time, connecting the tallest summits. I’ll have a more in depth post about this route in the next few months.
    3. Wind River Range – I want to stay on the Divide here. Again, up high. The CDT stays lower, while the actual divide is up high through the range.
    4. Greater Yellowstone Arc – Again, I heard of this through Dirtmonger. When we got together last month, he detailed the route for me on the maps, and it looks amazing! More to come on this route in a future post.
  4. Finish the Appalachian Trail. This past year, I met up with my friend Scudz in Hanover, NH, after completing the PCT. We hiked all the way to Springer Mountain in GA. As such, I still have 440 miles left to complete. Many people rave about this northern section of the trail, making me very excited to hike it. Also, if I complete the CDT, this will mark the end of my triple crown of hiking (the AT, PCT, & CDT). I can’t think of a better way to end a triple crown than on Mount Katahdin!

That’s what I hope my 2015 looks like in regards to adventure and outdoor pursuits. I plan to hike these trails solo this year, and again, I will be blogging while out on the trails. I’ve also been active on Instagram, posting photos of smaller trips I’ve been on between epics.  You can see those here. Beyond 2015, here is my high level list of adventures I would like to have (inspired by fellow PCT 2014 thru-hiker, Brian “Mungo” Gass). In order of likelihood of realization (notice the more expensive trips are at the end, as I likely would need to save up a lot of money to do those trips.  Also, while I’m able, I’m going to focus on the trips that would be hard to do if I had a job that didn’t allow long breaks, a dog, or anything else that could hinder me taking several months at a time off):

  1. Climb all of the Centennials (100 highest peaks in Colorado, I’m currently at 50, half way there!)
  2. Hike the Sierra High Route ~200 mile mostly off trail route in the Sierras
  3. Thru-hike the Te Araroa trail – 1,800 mile trail in New Zealand
  4. Hike the Grand Enchantment Trail
  5. Hike the GR20 (Europe)
  6. The Great Divide Trail (Canada)
  7. Climbing/hiking trip out West – Inspired by the PCT, I want to climb Mount Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters, and Mt. Theilson.
  8. Hike the North Country Trail from the West end of the Border Route in MN to the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
  9. Climb all the 14ers in California
  10. Speed hike the Superior Trail
  11. Climb Pico de Orizaba in Mexico
  12. Tour du Mont Blanc (Europe)
  13. Hike the Oregon Coast Trail
  14. Climb Denali in Alaska
  15. Get to the highest point in each of the 50 states (It’s an absurd goal, and I’m currently at 8 state high points.  Most recently I ‘bagged’ Nebraska’s high point.  You can read about that here).

What are your goals for 2015 and beyond? I encourage you all to set some goals, both long term and short, that you can accomplish. It’s always positive to have something to strive towards 🙂

On a recent hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

On a recent hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.