Route: Collegiate Loop (CO)

Location
Colorado, US
Distance
166.9 mi
Vertical Gain
33400 ft
Description

The 160-mile Collegiate Loop is formed by the East and West Collegiate Peaks options of the Colorado Trail.  It was formed when the Collegiate West option was completed in 2012.

Comments

I began the unsupported FKT for Collegiate Peaks at 0401 Sunday, June 24th. I ran CCW. I am double checking my times. I either finished at 3 days even or 3 days 1 min. I have supporting Garmin connect, training peaks and Garmin Inreach. I forgot to turn on tracking on my Inreach the last morning and have approx 3 hours/12 miles missing. My Fenix 3/training peaks has continuous data to show that I didn't find other means to teleport. I was on track to finish closer to 2d21 hours but went off the rails. The many miles of scree paths the last day wrecked havoc on my feet. Amazing loop.

 

I start Monday, July 29 at 5:50 AM, finished Thursday, August 1 at 10:22 pm. Total elapsed time 3 days, 16 hours, 32 minutes.

Late snowpack and avalanche damage made the west loop particularly difficult this year. 

It felt bad from the first step. I tried to shuffle along anyway, but eventually pulled the plug at Cottonwood pass.

I will be starting an attempt for the female FKT on Thursday July 23rd around 4:30 am at the Willis Gulch trailhead going CCW.  

Link for my tracker:  share.garmin.com/sllygrl

I will also have watch data that I will load once my attempt is complete.  

Started at 4:37 on Thursday - finished at 10:54 on Saturday night.  66 hours and change.  Garmin got hacked this weekend too so I can't download my watch info, but the tracks are visible on the inreach website.

It was an amazing three days - so many highs, as well as a few lows.  I highly recommend this loop for anyone that loves to see pretty things.  

Planning for a 3rd go at unsupported next week. That's all I can say for now, as the 2 previous bailing weigh on me heavily. Will it be a "charm"?

Couldn't take time off work. Gonna have to let go of it, let the younger gals pursue stuff. :)

I'll be attempting to set a women's unsupported FKT on the Collegiate Loop starting tomorrow morning. I'll be live tracking with a SPOT Gen 3 (link is being provided to FKT Staff) and recording with a Suunto Watch. I'll post tracks to Strava following my attempt as well as taking pics along the way. 

Had to bail after knocking out about 50 miles yesterday. The wildfire smoke was brutal, and I woke up with a headache and a bunch of chest congestion. May give it another go in the next couple of weeks if the wind/fire situation changes, but it’s not looking good. 

After 3 unsuccessful tries, I just completed the loop! All 162 miles of it according to my Garmin - which is more than 160 official, but that's how it goes. It was fully unsupported (in fact, I even drove myself to the trailhead and then back home). I started at Princeton Trailhead (proper, by the sign near Young Life), and went CLOCKWISE.

Day 1 - start 3:24 am, went 47.4 miles to Hunt lake (7:30 pm)

Day 2 - start just before 4 am, went  (Garmin turned off when I was putting the pack on and hit the button, but it saved the data! I have 2 files/photos for that day, 32.33+7.26=39.6 miles total by 7:40 pm), camped at the Tejas creek 1.7 miles before the Tejas creek trailhead for Lake Ann pass.

Day 3 - start 3:55 am, went to Clear Creek reservoir 38.9 miles (by 7:30 pm).

Day 4 - start 4 am, back to Princeton trailhead for 36.2 miles! Ended at 6:11 pm

My Garmin did NOT save the first 2 files, which are the full first day and the biggest part of day 2! After Googling, I figured that due to my device being the cheapest on the market and with the smallest amount of memory, it overwrites the previous files if not downloaded in time. Looking back, same happened before: when I went backpacking for a few days or ran a few long days before recharging, it always missed the first file! Now that these were the longest 4 days stretch, it lost 2 days worth of movement! I am glad to have taken photos of the saved file on the watch, AND pictures at every possible place. I hope it suffices. I provided GPS tracks files of last 2 days and photos of watch daily mileage/steps, along with photoalbum and blog trip report.

I will be attempting to set the women's supported FKT on the Collegiate Loop starting tomorrow morning at 4:30am. I'll be live tracking with my Garmin inreach and recording with the COROS Apex watch. I'm very excited to be taking on this wild adventure! 

Link to tracker: share.garmin.com/ahughescollegiateloop 

Woohoo girl, about an hour left, and you got it! So thrilled, tracking you was such joy, I lived all those miles with you!