Import a GPX file into your Garmin eTrex 20

Although it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of using a GPS, once I got one, I found them almost indispensable. This walkthrough is my basic workflow on getting a .gpx file into my eTrex 20.

As much as the eTrex is a great piece of hardware, it’s software onboard, as well as on my Mac is a little, well, rough. I won’t shy away from the fact that I was still trying to figure out how to use the darn thing, when I was lining up a few years ago to give the AZTR a go. Since then, I’ve gotten a bit better in making it work for me (rather than against). So enjoy the how-to, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to give the AZTR another go next year.

11/23/15 – 11/29/15

Mon Nov 23 2015 – Off

Looks like Monday is becoming me default, “off” day – work just needs to get taken care of, which is fine.

Tue Nov 24 2015 – Sunshine Canyon/Gold Hill up! Lefthand/Lee Hill down  (S)

Another wonderful ride up Sunshine Canyon/Gold Hill. I could write an entire love letter to this route. Came down view Lefthand, then bumped up Lee Hill. I would almost say that the start of this workout is Lee Hill, as Gold Hill is so long, you might as well save your matches for later. The turnoff to Lee Hill starts with an immediate, steep climb and then several false flats, until you rocket down the other side.

OSMP from Gold Hill

I’ve been avoiding this way for a while, as the construction on the downward side made the route a little less than ideal. Thankfully, that’s all been taken care of. For the three routes I’ve taken home after Gold Hill, Lee Hill seems the shortest, Olde Stage is the longest, and Lickskillet is the most difficult. All fantastic road routes.

I had an inkling of desire to go to the gym, afterwards, but that quickly dissipated after eating dinner. Tomorrow!

Wed Nov 25 2015 – Bouldering @ Movement, Sing Bike @ Movement

The bad weather seemed to be moving it, so I hit the gym. Had an OK bouldering sess, although I flailed on almost every V4 I thought I had wired, although made easy work on many of the V5’s I’ve been also working on. The rest of the session was fairly unfocused, until I started sessioning a V5 in the cave. I’m not strong enough to complete a V5 that goes up the middle of the cave proper, but this one quickly leaves the cave roof, the traverse the side of the cave, until pulling out onto the vertical wall on pockets. In that way, it becomes an endurance route more so than a power endurance route. After working it a few times, I was able to do everything in two segments, but couldn’t stitch it all together for a send – just too wasted after working on it for a little while. I’ll be happy to end it and it makes me feel that thee sorts of traverses are probably a great idea for me to do more of.

After bouldering, I did a two hour sess. on the spin bike, having the entire room alone, the lights off, the fan blowing, and some documentaries playing on my phone. It isn’t my ideal, but it’s a fine supplement when I need to do my thing, without too much outside stimuli.

After the spin bike, I attempted to do some campus training – but couldn’t make one move up the board – my upper body was just a bit too trashed. So, I switched to just doing a few sets of pullups and a few planks.

Thur Nov 26 2015 – Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fri Nov 27 2015 – Climbing @ Movement

Mob scene @ Movement. Totally mental breakdown for me (too many people). We left after just a few climbs, to find that we were boxed in on both sides of the car in the parking lot. Insult to injury. We almost never drive to the gym – but you know: it was 20 degrees out with freshly fallen snow, so we thought: what the Hell.

11/09/15 – 11/15/15

Woo boy. The difficulties of writing the things you do down, in order to keep some sort of history of said things.


And for what end? I’d like to say it’s so that I can use it to look back, and track progress and all that. I do it – or want to do it to keep myself committed to my goals of progressing. We all love a narrative.  We were there, now we’re here. And we’re much better, now!


Sometimes it works that way, other times, not so much. Many things have gotten in my way, mostly laziness; sometimes financial emergencies; or relationship issues; or I get sick for seemingly weeks.


Recently? I think I broke my foot! I honestly can’t tell if this is a broken bone, or a really bad sprain/strain. If it’s a broken bone, it’s one of those tiny bones that float around your foot, that you can’t really heal in any systemic way, so nothing to do about it anyways.


If it’s a sprain/strain, it’s a kind I’ve never had before. Partly because it’s on my left foot, and not my right. My poor right foot has seen countless sprains in my life, mostly due to skateboarding accidents. I’m used to feeling my right foot sprained, but my left foot, it’s aaaaaaaall new feels. But the pain doesn’t seem to be centralized in one area, which is bewildering to me. No real swelling – def. no discoloration.


So, how’d I do it? I fell on my head (mostly), and I guess my foot (a little bit) bouldering indoors. Missed the dyno. So lame! There goes my, “practice indoors because it’s safe” hypothesis.


My go-to for any injury is rest the thing that’s injured until said Thing doesn’t hurt as much. If that doesn’t do it in a few days, I usually just start again, because I will go insane just moping around.  I get all philosophical on the injury, too: “It’s either going to get better, or it won’t and I’ll die either way


So, I shall try again, to keep a weekly log of my tireless tasks at physical self improvement, starting this week, and ending at when it’s far too nice out to really find this minutiae important enough to make public.

Continue reading…

10/26/15 – 11/1/15

Monday, Oct 26 2015 – Bouldering @ Movement

Good boulder sess. today – very quick warmup of some V0’s and V1’s, which mutated into playing One Less Hold on some V1s until that got boring. Then I moved over to a V5 project I was working on a bit. Managed to send that problem. My issue was a fussy and reachy hold with bad feet. Try as I might, I could never find really great feet, so I just focused on getting the best grip on the key hold. Once I was able to do that, the rest of the problem was easy.

Moved on to the 45 degree overhanging wall to a V4. This wall is not one of my strengths, as I’m pretty heavy, and pretty weak. Good to work on your weaknesses, yeah? The problem starts off with a pretty easy traverse right with plenty of feet, then goes up on crimps. I wasn’t able to finish the problem, but made a lot more headway than I ever had, so that was a win. One of the problems was that I needed to be accurate with where I was initially catching the crimpy small holds, the other issue is that I had to pivot as much as I could, to make the reach as little as possible and have my body as much into the wall as I could. Still felt awkward, but I surprised myself enough, that if I had another fresh go, I could probably finish the last two moves. Sadly, I think the wall is being reset tomorrow. 

After that, tried another V5, this one almost on slab. It uses a corner as a hold for your left hand, then a pinch to your right. Then, you’re just left with pretty small chips for feet and hands, and a traverse to the right to finish it all up. I worked on this one a little but with another, stronger climber, but neither of us could figure it out, although since we were both of similar heights and ape indexes, we were both hoping to steal each other’s beta. Alas. 

I ended the two hours sess. with another bouldering game: This time picking some easy routes on the 45 degree overhanging wall, and purposely cutting my feet on every move. Very tiring, but I was able to fit a few sets in of doing that and left the gym pretty toasted. 

Talk @ Neptune Mountaineering Notes + Thanks

Thanks everyone who made the time to come over to Neptune Mountaineering and participate in my talk! I really appreciate everyone’s interest and support! Thank you Neptune Mountaineering for hosting the event!

GPS tracks of the routes I presented are available on my Strava Routes page:

Some of the routes/races I mentioned:

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The Funny-Named Weird Little Bike Shop That Changed My Life (for the better)

It was many things, to many, many people. Here’s what it meant to me:


Salvagetti + Happy Coffee: a bike drive thru to by coffee + bike parts, open early in the morning. Another master idea by Scott. I borrowed those beefy tires from one of the mechanics of Salvagetti to try to ride this beast of a machine on some of the more technical parts of the Colorado Trail, in hopes of bagging some 14ers. Long story short: unsuccessful trip in many regards (Trailer?!), but I learned a lot and vowed to try again. September, 2010

I think I was on a date. We had just visited The Denver Art Museum. Practically across the street, there’s a block of row houses converted into businesses. One was a bike shop, with a hand painted sign, illustrated with a bike, and an Italian flag.


It read, “Salvagetti“.

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9/21/15 – 9/28/15

Mon Sep 21 – Neighborhood Trails (s)

Quickie around the trails near my house. Funnily, I’ve never been to any of these trails, which is a little embarassing. Good tuneup for the rest of the week, I guess. 

A Nolans Descent

The summit of La Plata, my third fourteen thousand foot mountain for the day, still seemed impossibly far away. The storm system that had surprisingly reappeared just over my shoulder was now again not so quietly building up force. Thunder boomed. On any other day I would have called it.


I crawled upward, rather than descend downward. What I needed desperately to do was to text the only person I knew who was in the area: my girlfriend. The only way to do that was to top the summit and chance getting cell coverage. Finally there, I typed furiously with cold fingers, wind and snow burning my cheeks:

HELP. I AM NOT OK. Too weak to keep going and stuck in another storm. Going to walk back to the La Plata Trailhead. I should be able to make it.


Are you there?


If my SPOT Tracker stops moving, I may have just passed out for a bit. If you get this, please meet me... meet me wherever I'm found.

If the text got out, and if she herself had service (who knows where she was camped?) she may then be there to help me with my extraction. A gamble, but it was my best idea to avoid calling Search and Rescue. It was going to be a cold night waiting out whatever was about to come down without her help. I just had an ultralight bivvy – a plastic bag essentially, to nestle in. I brought no sleeping bag.

Sending the message, I turned around, and immediately felt lost on the descent. My Unsupported Nolans 14 attempt was over, but my night was only beginning.

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On Self-Powered Peak Bagging

finish_tour_14er.jpgShortly after finishing up 34 days of bagging some high peaks, self-powered. 

Since completing my own Tour 14er, where I rode to, then summited the 58 (by my count) Colorado mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, I’ve started to get a fair bit of correspondence from people telling me that they’re inspired by what I’ve (and others) have done. They think to themselves: Boy howdy: I own a bike and there’s a group of mountains nearby that have that siren-like song attracting me to climb them – why not use my bike to ride to all of those mountains, then summit: fair means and self-supported?

Then they ask me, “So well: what are the details? How do you pull this off?” 

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