4 Pass Loop

There is no lack of adventure here in Colorado, and this was a run that had been on my radar for a while. Notorious for wildflowers, the 4 Pass Loop climbs four 12,000 ft passes in 28 miles with 8,000 ft of elevation gain in the Snowmass Wilderness area located just outside of Aspen. Checking this off my list, timing this as my last long adventure 2 weeks before lining up at the start of Leadville 100 seemed like a great idea to me, and I counted it as a triple victory for getting my friend and trail partner of the summer, Mike, to tag along with me.

After a false start the day before that resulted in perusing a farmer’s market in Aspen, eating pastries, drinking beer and relaxing, we woke up to a 4 am alarm on Sunday morning. Breaking down camp commenced after consuming the infamous black coffee and mighty oats followed by Tailwind Nutrition.


While I should have recapped this a while back, as a lot of the smaller details of the day have escaped me, it was your standard Courtney and Mike adventure. Two friends, that don’t agree nor see eye-to-eye about much, but somehow could run endless miles together on a trail while laughing and shaking their heads at one another. There aren’t any photos of me dripping blood so apparently I didn’t fall which is a win, but I did manage to pull my classic, “Courtney got a little behind on calories.” move.


“Maybe if I smile he won’t notice that I’m bonking”

Mike’s company did not disappoint as he hammed it up, delivered his standard Mike-isms (that always made me roll my eyes a little while appreciating being challenged) and ate Tailwind. Yes, ate, not drank. It’s kind of like eating a pixie stick if you’re curious about that experience.






Oh, and those wildflowers and views were pretty okay…




What I do remember about that day is that I learned to play on the trails, soak up the adventure and enjoy the moment instead of treating every run as a serious training run.




Thanks for teaching me how to play, Mike.



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