FKT: Nick Pedatella, Ryan Smith - Milner Pass - Berthoud Pass on the Continental Divide (CO) - 2020-09-04

Gender category
Male
Route variation
Standard point-to-point
Multi-sport
No
Style
Unsupported
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2d 5h 52m 24s
GPS track(s)
gps_file.gpx48.25 MB
Photos
Report

We (Nick Pedatella and Ryan Smith) started at Milners Pass and finished at Berthoud Pass generally following the Continental Divide, summiting 50 named peaks over 12,000ft along the way.

This route takes you through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness and James Peak Wilderness. Spectacular and challenging with plenty of class 3,4 and 5 ridgelines. There is no easy access anywhere along this route and so the most obvious choice of style was a single unsupported push from start to finish.

We made good progress throughout and all of our gear selection, logistics planning and scouting paid off immensely.

We made great progress early on through RMNP and made it to Lake of the Winds for a water refill and managed to traverse the tricky Isolation Peak traverse in the dark which is what we planned for. The first night was brutally windy with sustained 30mph winds which made for some challenging progress. The route from Isolation Peak to Buchannan Pass was a lot slower that we hoped for so we slipped behind schedule a bit there but nevertheless made it to our next water refill at Upper Coney Lake just below Paiute Peak.

Our main worry was making it through the extremely technical Indian Peaks section in the daytime, which we just managed to do, descending off the Arapahoes and making it to Quarter to 5 at sunset. We had to navigate the class 4 ridge line of Neva in the dark which was not ideal but we had planned for that so it was manageable.

Finally we had made it through all of the technical sections which was extremely challenging both physically and mentally. Although easy terrain the final 13 peaks were a lesson in humility. Our progress slowed quite a bit during this stretch due to being calorie deficient, but we managed to slowly slog our way to the finish at Berthoud Pass.

Altogether a serious and committing endeavor in all aspects. The water situation is certainly a significant part of the challenge and we did the final stretch from Lake Dorothy to the end with barely enough.

Altogether we spent a great summer scouting and planning this and so to finish it was fantastic.

The 50 peaks that we summited are:

1 Peak 12150
2 Mount Ida
3 Chief Cheley Peak
4 Cracktop
5 Sprague Mountain
6 Knobtop Mountain
7 Ptarmigan Point
8 Flatop Mountain
9 Hallet Peak
10 Otis Peak
11 Taylor Peak
12 Powell Peak
13 McHenrys Peak
14 Chiefs Head Peak
15 Mount Alice
16 Tanima Peak
17 The Cleaver
18 Isolation Peak
19 Ouzel Peak
20 Ogalalla Peak
21 Ooh La La
22 Point 12277
23 Red Deer Mountain
24 Sawtooth Mountain
25 Algonquin
26 Paiute Peak
27 Mount Toll
28 Pawnee Peak
29 Shoshoni Peak
30 Apache Peak
31 Navajo Peak
32 Arikaree Peak
33 Deshawa Peak
34 North Arapaho Peak
35 South Arapaho Peak
36 Quater to 5
37 Mount Neva
38 Mount Jasper
39 Peak 12695
40 Skyscraper Peak
41 Beacon
42 Sprint
43 Heartbeat
44 James
45 Mount Bancroft
46 Parry Peak
47 Mount Eva
48 Witter Peak
49 Mount Flora
50 Colorado Mines Peak