FKT: Timothy Nooney - South Grand Hogback Traverse (CO) - 2020-04-04

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Standard Point-Point
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Total time
10h 29m 19s

Photos on Strava.  Started with a friend. Received no aid or support. They turned around after 3 miles.

This version of the route is only possible because of the gun range closure in S. Canyon due to CO-VID 19...Be aware. [Can by bypassed.]
~ Wear Pants.

it feels good to put this project to rest. This has been on my mind for several years now. I'd like to acknowledge all the friends who helped me with logistics, specifically Jeff Stephens and Rich Brewis.

So with that, here is the write-up:

I started at Alkali Creek with Rich. Ran up jeep road until the cross. Started the never ending off-trail section. Found a ton of cairns and faint trail until mile 4. Rich turned back at 3.62 miles.

From there I quested off alone, holding the ridgeline as best as possible. I found it was most efficient to hold the true ridge rather than dip on either side. I experienced the most epic bushwacking of my life. 2 hours worth until I got on top of Horse Mountain. A little more bushwacking and heady descent got me to the South Canyon Road. I thought this was the last of my bushwacking because my plan indicated that it was trail or 4x4 road the rest of the way.

I slipped through the Gun Range and got some incredible views of S. Canyon. From there I started seeing tons of bear tracks. As I quested through towards the Red Mountain finish I started experiencing a ton of snow. 3 hours of post-holing often up to my hips in that section.

The GPX file on my watch suggested a left-hand turn, which I followed. This mistake cost me 1.5 hours of gnarly bushwacking and post-holing. Followed by several false summits before I hit Red Mountain road.

10:29:19. This was with a ton of stops to take photos and figure out where the heck I was going. From what I experienced this route could be casually done in about 6 hours or less in better conditions and with the route dialed.

Overall it was a great and brutal adventure.