Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Ten Mile Traverse.

This wasn't something that was super on my must do list, but my wife signed up the ride the Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, and asked if I wanted to go, so why not?  I found a few trip reports, all the way from the way faster than I can go one by Anton Krupicka to a more human pace here.  
Looking at these and others (including this one by Steve Knapp), I thought a reasonable time for me would be 6-8 hours, which happened to work out perfectly with the time Katie thought she'd be finishing up.  
My idea of completing the traverse was more in line with Anton's; thus I would start in Frisco and end in Breckenridge, rather than finishing at an arbitrary point part way down the mountain.  It should be mentioned the traverse is not named for its length, but rather the mountain range.  My total distance was 20.51 miles.
Katie took the drive out, and the range stood beautifully before us as we dropped down to Frisco.  She dropped me off at the Royal Trailhead, easy to get to.  Take exit 201, and head east into town.  It's immediately on your right.  I took a few minutes to get ready, and then started out on the paved trail at an easy run.  
I took a right onto the Royal Mountain trail, and then followed the signs.  I passed a few people on the way up, and encountered a phenomenon I'd only ever experienced while riding a bike.  I kept catching up to a guy who'd see me get close and then take off, only to slow down due to an unsustainable pace to have me catch up again.  Interesting.  
It's steep, but the trail levels out.  You need to cut back north to visit the true summit of Royal.
Royal Mountain, 10502 feet.  
Looking forward.
I decided that rather than loose the elevation back down the trail to the junction with the trail up toward Peak 1, I would bushwhack up.  That worked out pretty well as the forest was open and it didn't take me long to rejoin the trail.
There were several abandoned mines in the area, and this cabin above Royal Mountain must've housed someone who worked there. 
I finally broke tree line and was able to see the way forward.  It still looked like there was some distance to go to Peak 1.  I could see a few people ahead of me as I got closer. 
This small rocky point is Mount Victoria, 11785 feet.  It's just a small detour from the trail, and provides a good view.  Shortly after 12000 feet is broken.  You'll be above that mark for the rest of the traverse. 
Looking down to I70, nearly 4000 feet below me now.
I finally hit the top of Peak 1 and met the people I was following up.  One unknown I still had was the snow conditions ahead.  Things looked ok from the east, but the hardest parts of the traverse are on the west of the ridge.  They said they'd approached from the west and things looked good to go.
I stopped for a quick snack and a look around.
Looking back down the ridge to Dillon Reservoir. I was getting occasional whiffs of forest fire smoke, here it was quite visible.  I think it adds to the view. 
I looked ahead to Peak 2 aka Tenmile Peak.  Peaks 1 through 4 hold the technical difficulties, or so I was told, while things would get alot easier after that.
I passed the two I met on Peak 1 before Peak 2, and saw them again briefly at that summit for the last time.
Back to Peak 1 from Peak 2.
Peak 3.  The terrain would take a step up in difficulty here.
It's easiest to pass the difficulties on the right or west side.  I'd read class 3-4.  I didn't think anything exceeded class three.  And despite the advice to keep to that side, I felt like I spent more time on the left or east side of the ridge in total. 
That being said, passing the more difficult places was definitely easier on the right side of the ridge.  This rock feature is nicknamed "The Dragon" for obvious reasons. 
Honestly, the movement wasn't too bad.  I'd say second class with occasional third class moves, here approaching Peak 3. 
Looking to Peak 4 from 3.  The traverse started with some easier and faster to move on second class.  I felt the ridge from the low point to the summit was the most fun and solid climbing of the day, definitely third class on bomber rock. 
From Peak 4 back. 
And looking forward.  How the terrain changes!  Peak 5 is the highest, closest rounded bump.  I was now able to start running, and felt pretty good over all.
I met the Colorado Trail for a short stint between Peaks 5 and 6, and happened upon Dave, who was through hiking the trail with his dog Kiefer.  He said they were on day five.  We talked a bit, and I wished them well. 
One of the ski lifts near the ridge line.
I definitely felt like I was dragging up Peak 6, but felt pretty good moving on the flats and downhills.  I could see Peak 8 looming ahead of me, and was somewhat happy to know that Peak 7 was nothing more than a single closed contour loop enroute to the ranked summit. 
Looking back. 
Looking forward to Peak 9.  The run down was fun, and the climb wasn't too bad.  Rather than take a direct route to the summit, I cut right to meet the more mellow ridge, going out of the way slightly for what looked like an easier way to the top.  I didn't think it was too bad.  Many of the trip reports I've read talked about this summit being one of the least favorite.  It does mark the first foray above 13000 feet and there are a few false summits.
From Peak 9 to Peak 10.  It looked like there were a few people over there... Little did I know! 
Descending to the saddle between the two was ok, for a change there was some looser rock and talus.  Ahead of me looked like a pile of Never Summeresque talus.  I know others have contoured around and taken the old mining road up, but I decided to just go for it.  It was mostly stable with a few loose blocs here and there.
I was a little surprised to reach the summit and find a lot of people up there.  As it turns out, the snow field visible in the photo from Peak 9 is the Fourth of July Bowl, and it is a local tradition to ski or board it on the Fourth of July. 
The summit of Peak 10.
From here down, it would be easy going as I'd stay on the road the entire way.  First I had to negotiate a short stretch on slippery packed snow with the bowl on my left.  I was able to speed up once I got to solid ground. 
The Briar Rose mine, right at 13000 feet.  According to this book, silver was the primary extract.
I was able to move pretty quickly on the road, though it was rocky in places.  There were still a few skiers and snowboarders heading up the road, one of whom complimented me on having strong ankles.  A perfect epitaph for a tombstone.
I probably should've ran some of the ski runs or lift areas, but I wasn't sure where they end up, and I did know where the road ended.  It would've been shorter and likely more enjoyable. 
Down a lift to town.
All the ski runs end in town, which is where I wanted to be.  It seemed to take a long time, but I finally hit pavement and stopped my GPS track.  Now I just had to find the elementary school and go there to meet Katie.
As it turns out, I was pretty close, and it was a few more blocks of jogging to meet her.  We hung out at the race for a bit, and I made the drive home.  Katie and her friend got 8th place, and it took me 8:41:06, a bit longer than I hoped.  Ah well!
I thought this was a fun day.  It would be even more fun to extend it all the way down south through Quandary Peak.  Despite reading about the technical difficulties, I felt the maximum was third class, and the longest and best stretch is the section between Peak 3 and Peak 4.  After Peak 4, it's pretty easy movement on tundra.  I've also read cutting east/left to meet the road up to Peak 10 rather than take the direct route up the talus; I didn't feel the talus was that bad.  The only other concern might be having enough water to drink, the same with any extended ridge traverse.  I was able to mine some snow to supplement what I brought.
Link to hike map/GPX on Caltopo.
The Ten Mile Traverse:
Royal Mountain, 10502 feet: 2.15 miles, 1386 foot gain.  Segment :44, total :44.
Mount Victoria, 11785 feet: 3.6 miles, 2669 foot gain.  Segment :45, total 1:29
Peak 1, 12805 feet: 4.5 miles, 3689 foot gain.  Segment :43, total 2:12
Peak 2/Tenmile Peak, 12933 feet: 5.05 miles, 3817 foot gain.  Third class.  Segment :31, total 2:43. 
Peak 3, 12676 feet: 5.7 miles, 3560 foot gain.  Third class.  Segment :44, total 3:27.
Peak 4, 12866 feet: 6.25 miles, 3750 foot gain.  Third class.  Segment :37, total 4:04.
Peak 5, 12855 feet: 6.95 miles, 3739 foot gain.  Segment :18, total 4:24.
Peak 6, 12573 feet: 8.7 miles, 3457 foot gain.  Segment :34, total 4:58
Peak 7, 12665 feet: 10.05 miles, 3549 foot gain.  Segment :34, total 5:32.
Peak 8, 12987 feet: 10.5 miles, 3871 foot gain.  Segment :16, total 5:48.
Peak 9, 13195 feet: 12.35 miles, 4079 foot gain.  Segment :44, total 6:32.
Peak 10, 13633 feet: 13.05 miles, 4517 foot gain.  Segment :41, total 7:18
End, 9633 feet: 20.51 miles, 517 foot gain.  Segment 1:23, total 8:41.
In total this day covered 20.51 miles with 7525 feet of elevation gain.  There is some third class, but it comes early.  There are plenty of bail routes back down into Breck if bad weather strikes or you aren't feeling so hot.  Like last time, I'd say the biggest difficulty is the extended time above treeline.  Strenuous+.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bear Lake to Milner Pass to Bear Lake.

If memory serves me correctly, Dan and I discussed doing the Continental Divide traverse as described in Fosters book in 2013, shortly after we met.  It sounded like a pretty big day hiking wise.  While doable with two people, it would require both to drive to Bear Lake to drop a car, then to drive to Milner Pass, then to drive back to Milner Pass to pick up the car upon completion of the hike.  And then back home, or to where ever to collapse in a heap of tired.
Of course, the years in between have sort of redefined "big day" to both of us.  As usual, over the winter when I can't get out as much, I start mapping on Caltopo.  "What if?" "How far can I really go in a day?" "Could I connect all these peaks together?"
While long, it didn't look too crazy, with mileage in the low 30's and an elevation gain of around 9000 feet.  Well, maybe that's a little crazy!
I started out from Bear Lake just after 6am.  There were a few other cars in the parking lot, and a few people getting ready for hikes.  As I thought, I encountered snow on the trail from the Dream Lake lookout up to around treeline, then a large patch above treeline below the final climb to the summit of Flattop. 
Snow on the trail, easy to navigate without traction, and able to hold full body weight.
I made the summit of Flattop in 1:30, a new pr.  I was moving well thus far, but there was still a good distance to go.  I stuck to the Tonahutu Trail as it started to drop on the west side before cutting off across Bighorn Flats. 
Going over there.  Way over there.
While the climb up Flattop is a few thousand feet, the climb from Sprague Pass up to Sprague Mountain marked the first major climb in my mind.  It's about 1000 feet of gain in a mile, and most of that is above 12000 feet.
Sprague Mountain.
North from the summit of Sprague.
I was just under three hours in and feeling good, with approximately one quarter of the mileage under my belt.  I knew there wasn't much technical terrain in front of me, with the worst being between Chief Cheley and Mount Ida, but I wouldn't be back below 12000 feet for real until nearly 2.5 miles past Mount Ida.
Longs and points south from Sprague. 
Above the Onahu basin.
Mount Eleanor comes and goes fairly quickly, with a short but avoidable scramble to reach the top.  I was the last registered ascent from last year.  Staying up on the ridge from here on brought pretty easy terrain, with a little talus hopping near the high point SE of Chief Cheley.
Another few hundred feet of gain, and I was on ranked peak 12820/Liberty Point, between Chief Cheley and Cracktop.  I stayed on top and followed the ridge to Chief Cheley Peak.  It's on talus with just a touch of scrambling to reach the summit.
And then, down.  I was still feeling good, but this mile was my slowest of the day in each direction.  I think it was a combination of the loss/gain, terrain (class 2 but rocky and a little loose), and elevation.
Mount Ida from the saddle. 
Looking down to the gorgeous Gorge Lakes basin.  Highest Lake was still largely encased in ice, with the others largely melted.
As I approached the summit of Ida, I heard some voices and called out so I wouldn't startle them.  Due to poor planning, I had run out of water on Chief Cheley.  Since these guys had come up from Milner Pass, I asked if they encountered any ambient water near where we were on that side.  I had a filter and tablets, but just needed something to filter or tablet!
They said no.  For the first time in my hiking life, I became that guy and asked if I could have some water if they had some to spare.  I hate that guy!  My main concern was not hydration, as I knew I'd have all I could drink in several miles, but nutrition.  I'd need some moisture to get those bars down.
They were able to help out with about a third of a liter.  Enough to keep me going.  To Sean and Zion, thank you so, so much.  It will never be forgotten.
Bighorn on the other side of Mount Ida.
The trail high up isn't very distinct, and I also dropped down in search of a puddle I could tap into.  I was able to find water off trail in about 20 minutes, and filled up a liter or so.  Just enough to keep me going until the more available water in the Milner Pass area.
I ran most of the downhill, passing several people going up.  It seemed like it was too late to be heading up above treeline, but the weather forecast was great, and here I was about to do the same.
Arriving at Milner Pass was a bit of a shock.  Lots of cars and people, and yes I did get asked to take a photo for a family in front of the Continental Divide sign, and did so happily. 
Selfie at the sign.
I used the restroom, disposed of empty food wrappers, stretched, and was back enroute to Bear Lake.
I encountered a family on the way back up I saw on the way down.  "Didn't we see you coming down?"
"Yes, but I'm being motivated today, though I'm regretting that now."
"Well, I'm sure you'll make it."
"Thank you," I said.  I should've told them were I was going back to!
Beauty on the Mount Ida trail.
But the beauty was deceptive.  It was super windy, enough that I was getting blown uphill off the trail at times.  While the weather looked good, I could see it was raining to the west of me, in the area of the Never Summers.  Of course, since it was so windy, the rain was blowing almost sideways and hitting me.  I put on the rain jacket.
And then came the graupel.  I got cold quickly.  I passed one of the people I saw going up when I was going down and asked if she would give me a ride back to the east side.  She said yes.  I said I was going to continue to the summit and see if it got better.  She asked if I wanted to just go back with her.
I almost said yes.  I was quite cold, and despite my plan to easily hike this side, I was now running to keep warm.  We parted ways and I continued on, finding a rock outcrop soon after which allowed me to get out of the weather and put on the tights I had with me.  I was able to warm up quickly and continue, but this marked the start of a fairly hard period.  I was pretty down on the situation and got into a bad/sad/upset/negative mood that lasted all the way to the second summit of Sprague Mountain.
Inkwell Lake melting out.
The view south from 12820.
The weather had cleared, and I was not precipitated upon again.  The wind even dropped a little.  However, my mood did not improve, and the idea of trying to move quickly did not appeal at all.  As I was finding, the downhills on the way back generally tended to be steeper and/or rockier, and therefore more of a challenge to actually run. 
A slight variance on the route on the way back had me find this bone.  No other remnants were seen in the area.  It seemed like a strange place to find a single bone, above 12400 feet.  Obviously it got there somehow.
I was thinking highly unpositive thoughts while slogging back up Sprague Mountain.  The expletives were flowing free from my mouth, and I am not normally one to use them.  My cursing became so creative I established combinations so futuristic they have never been heard by human ears before, and won't be first linked in writing for at least another 50 years.  I will refrain from publishing them here, but when you hear them in 2067, I was the originator. 
Why was I here?  What was the point?  Again, I was feeling no joy, only misery.  When I got back home, I was going to write a strongly worded letter to the management (which I suppose is myself; the letter must have been lost in the mail).
But the tides turned at last.
The second summit of Sprague Mountain, with Hayden Spire prominent.
I'd been signing into the few registers I found (Sprague, Eleanor, and 12820) with my out time, and now I added my back time to the final one.  I had about eight miles to go, and it would be pretty easy relatively speaking, with no major gain.  I ran out of water again, but I knew I could fill up at Eureka Ditch.  And I'd spend a whole mile and a half below 12k as I met the low point on Bighorn Flats.
As I climbed the Flattop Trail early in the morning, I found myself excited to run down it.  It was rocky and technical.  Of course it occurred to me it would be fun to run it back, as long as I still felt like running, that is!
I've been finding Elk parts on Bighorn Flats for a few years, and finally found the skull this time.  Sprague Mountain in the background.
Back on the trail I felt like I was flying.  I jogged much of the stretch from the time I met the Tonahutu trail up until the final climb back up Flattop.  I ate a snack as I started to head down, and then picked the pace up.  I was determined to beat my time up the peak, and set a goal of an hour to do so.
Sunlight on Longs from the Emerald Lake overlook.
I had to stop a few times to take some clothing off, as things warmed up.  And I wasn't so motivated to move quickly through the rocky parts.  But I was able to put a good effort in, and finally rejoined the Fern Lake Trail, then the Bierstadt Lake Trail.  I was almost there!
I didn't see anyone until I got back to Bear Lake, which was still teeming with tourists.  I wonder how I must look to them, wild eyed, dried salt and sweat on my face, nose red from rubbing.  Was it clear that I'd been out for the entire day?
I told myself that I needed to tell someone what I'd been up to, and decided I'd talk to a ranger when I arrived, if one were still there.  To my disappointment, they'd already left for the day and I quickly became another one of the many people at the trail head.  I was successful in the descent, logging 1:06.  It certainly could've been faster, but after this day, I was satisfied with that. 
Now I finally felt it- the elation of a long day spent in the mountains.  The original planning months ago, and the final planning the week before.  The training and getting stronger as time went on.  Encountering some tough times during the day and persevering.  The setting a difficult goal, and meeting it.  Over the day I experienced the entire range of human emotion, and it wasn't always positive, but back at the car I felt happy.
Link to hike map/GPX on Caltopo.
Bear Lake to Milner Pass to Bear Lake (distances as part of the hike):
Flattop Mountain, 12324 feet: 4.1 miles, 2874 foot gain.
Sprague Mountain, 12713 feet: 8.4 miles, 3263 foot gain.
Mount Eleanor, 12380 feet: 9.6 miles, 2930 foot gain.
12820/Liberty Point: 11.2 miles, 3370 foot gain.
Chief Cheley Peak, 12804 feet: 11.5 miles, 3354 foot gain.
Mount Ida, 12900 feet: 12 miles, 3450 foot gain.
Milner Pass, 10759 feet: 16.9 miles, 1309 foot gain.
Mount Ida: 21.9 miles, 2141 foot gain (from Milner Pass).
Chief Cheley Peak: 22.4 miles, 2045 foot gain.
12820/Liberty Point: 22.7 miles, 2061 foot gain.
Mount Eleanor: 24.3 miles, 1621 foot gain.
Sprague Mountain: 25.5 miles, 1954 foot gain.
Flattop Mountain: 29.9 miles, 1565 foot gain.
Bear Lake, 9450 feet: 34.39 miles, 1309 foot loss.
As a whole, this day covered 34.39 miles with 9503 feet of elevation gain.  It took me 13 hours, 11 minutes, and 43 seconds.  It certainly could've been faster, and it would be fun to try again.  There is some easy scrambling between 12820 and Mount Ida, but the main difficulty is the extended time above treeline.  Strenuous+.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pennock Peak, Signal Mountains, 10582, Lookout Mountain, Crystal Mountain, and 10720.

As the race I signed up for nears, my goal has been to move up in elevation somewhat.  I also like doing loops.  There are some people that can run laps of Mount Sanitas for eight hours straight, but I am not one of them.  
I've spent some time mapping routes over the winter, things that would give me distance, gain, and some new peaks to visit or favorites to revisit.  This day checked all three of those categories, and I set out from the Dunraven th at a brisk pace, soon reeled in by the initial climb up the hill to Camp Cheley.  On the other side, I set out at a run.  
While it has more small ups and downs than it used to, the North Fork Trail is pretty easy to move quickly on.  I was able to keep a high pace into RMNP and beyond, to where I turned right on the Stormy Peaks Trail, and things got steeper.
I took a photo, but it didn't come out well, but to find the trail that's on the USFS topo to Signal Mountain, look for a National Forest sign and one of those signs usually used to post information on, to my memory, the only signs you'll come across.  Look behind, and find a thin trail.  It's not easy to follow, and I definitely got off it and started going the wrong way before correcting east.  I was able to pick it up higher up, and found it to be in better shape and more distinct.
As I neared Pennock Peak, I left the trail and made for the summit. 
Pennock Peak, aka point 11058 on your topo.  Right on the border, this is a ranked but seldom visited peak in RMNP.
I descended and was able to pick the trail up for a short while.  It's indistinct in this area, and I lost it again, bushwhacking until I reached treeline west of South Signal Mountain.  That was a quick hump, and I was soon running down to meet the trail to Signal Mountain.  
Looking south from Signal Mountain, 11,262 feet, and my highest point of the day.
I continued on the trail north, seeing the first and only person I'd see all day.  I gave her a high five.  I was feeling the psyche and I was happy to share one second of this day in beautiful scenery with a total stranger.  
The "trail" north from Signal Mountain.  Look on the lower left side of the photo.
While I knew the snow wouldn't be an issue, as it was pretty melted on my last visit to the area, I (for some reason) hadn't thought about the dead fall.  RMNP's trails are well maintained, but the National Forest?  Not so much.  No fault of their own; there is a lot of ground to cover and I'm sure not enough people to do the work. 
A sign of things to come.  
I reached an intersection of sorts and found this weathered marker.
While supplying no information, the trail behind went the general way I wanted to go, so I followed.  On the topo, this trail goes up over point 10584 before cutting SE to 10582.  I didn't find a trail here, but started up anyway, hoping I'd bump into it.
However, there was a trail heading south and downhill from the saddle.  After going up a bit and bushwhacking, I dropped down thinking this trail was probably what I wanted to be on.  Since I didn't follow it all the way, I can't say definitively, but I did find a trail below me, and movement got a little quicker, though there was lots of dead fall on this trail.  
Cougar sighting!  Well, I'm sure about one of you will get that joke.  There was nothing to write with in the register, and I didn't have anything, so I left it as is.  
The summit of 10582.
I picked the trail up again, and headed toward Lookout Mountain.
It was reassuring to find these markers, because it meant I was going the right way!
Lookout Mountain has a signed trail going to it that eventually disappears.  I did find a few cairns here and there, but eventually gave up trying to follow and just went uphill until I couldn't anymore.  True to name, Lookout Mountain offers a great view.
From the summit, 10626 feet.  
Looking to the last peak of the day, 10720.
I dropped east off the summit.  I was now running pretty low on water, and was thinking about skipping the unranked Crystal Mountain.  But it looked close, and there was a water source in the valley south of it, so I planned to visit the summit, duck down to refill, then take the trail in this valley back up before heading south to 10720.  It was a little more elevation gain, but at this point in the day that didn't really matter.
It was a short bushwhack before finding the remnants of an old jeep road, which I jogged down.  I cut off that and went for the summit from the saddle, before finding the trail there.
Crystal Mountain Trail.  
Once again, this summit provided a nice view of the area.
This old license plate was stuck in a tree near the base of the rocky summit.
I headed back along the old road and made sure I was well past some signed private property before beginning the descent to the creek.  All went as planned, and in a short time I was drinking some deliciously cold and refreshing water.
The trail here was pretty steep and loose, so I did the best I could.  As things flattened out, I headed south.  Here's where the fun began.  The ridge was generally too rocky to stay on, and it was bushwhacky otherwise.  So I stayed near the ridge, which seemed to work ok.
More!  Little did I know...  
The summit of 10720.  Not often visited, and a great old register.
Almost seven years between the first and second sign in.
It's funny how you get to know these people.  I've never met Bob, Luke (or Buster), or Mike, but have seen their names over and over in registers, so much that I feel like they are not just people I know, but friends.  
A good view back west as well.
I decided to do a descending contour to find the trail to my west.  The bushwhacking felt easier on this side, perhaps because I had the assist of gravity.  I headed NW until I bumped into the trail.
This one was nice, downhill and at a moderate grade.  I was running and making great time.
But!  And somehow, there's always a but, I was looking at the USGS topo, and knew I'd want to take a right at an intersection somewhere to follow the Indian Trail (Pack) down along the creek, as it looked like if I stayed on the trail I was on, it would take me too far down and east to go where I wanted.
A beautiful meadow where the trail became a little indistinct.
And where I also looked at the GPS app on my phone to discover I had somehow missed the intersection I wanted and was now heading down the trail I didn't want to head down.  I simply cut west, knowing I'd eventually hit the creek and the trail.  And eventually I hit the creek.  To find no sign of a trail anywhere near it!  Argh!
I decided it was best just to head down here rather than go back, and the going was difficult.  The drop was steep, downed trees were plenty, and things were all around slippery due to the water.  The going was not fun, yet my mood remained on the good side.
Eventually, and it felt like forever, I determined I had descended enough and was past the steepest part, and escaped east.  I was bushwhacking for a very short time when I found a trail, and followed it.  
I was gloriously somewhere again!
So this sign was actually down a bit, but marked the start of the final climb SW up to and over Bulwark Ridge.  And as final climbs go, it was a good one, gaining nearly 1000 feet in 9/10ths of a mile.  I got to the top, emptied my shoes, and ran the final downhill back to the road, and then down to the parking.
Loop complete!  And I felt good, and was happy with my pace, and other good things.  After my last pretty terrible mentally outing, it felt good to feel good again.  I got in the car and drove back to Estes, and then back down to home.
This was certainly a fun loop, and as the trails get cleared of dead fall, it'll be even better.  Save for the indistinct Signal Mountain Trail and peak 10720, there is minimal bushwhacking, and I found it a pleasant run.
Link to hike map/GPX on Caltopo.  The way I went is in red, with the ways I should've went in blue.
Pennock Peak, Signal Mountains, 10582, Lookout Mountain, Crystal Mountain, and 10720 (distances as part of the hike):
Pennock Peak, 11058 feet: 10.8 miles, 3258 foot gain.  Second class.
South Signal Mountain, 11248 feet: 12.5 miles, 3448 foot gain.  Second class.
Signal Mountain, 11262 feet: 13.3 miles, 3462 foot gain.  Second class.
10582: 17.5 miles, 2782 foot gain.  Second class.
Lookout Mountain, 10626 feet: 19.2 miles, 2826 foot gain.  Second class.
Crystal Mountain, 9949 feet: 21.3 miles, 2149 foot gain.  Second class.
10720: 25.35 miles, 2920 foot gain.  Second class.
As a whole, this day covered 32.4 miles with 7805 feet of elevation gain.  It took me 12:23 car to car.  Strenuous+.