Best Summit Hikes: Denver to Vail Now Out!

Daruma doll in Colorado. What a creep!

Daruma approves of the finished product!

To order a copy of my new guidebook Best Summit Hikes: Denver to Vail please follow the link to Amazon! Only $9.99! And please feel free to leave feedback on Amazon – thanks, thanks, thanks!

Having a book published is a unique experience. For months or even years, it’s your raison d’être, a project that requires focus, creativity, and in my case, a lot of time outdoors. Then there’s the photography, the map making, the fact checking, and regulations. And finally, back and forth with editors, designers, and then… radio silence. Life goes on. When the finished product arrives at your door, it feels like an old friend that has gone out in the world made good for himself.

I’m very excited for this particular guidebook. It covers the wealth of hiking between Denver and Vail that can be found right off I-70. For busy people who want a great mountain experience, the hikes in this book are really incredible, many of which are way better that I imagined before I got out there and explored. Outside of one, uh, bad encounter with a porcupine, the entire process was really a blast.

If you’re curious about the creepy little doll in the image here, that’s a daruma. These little guys are big in Japan. Here’s how they work: when you buy the daruma doll, it has spooky, Little Orphan Annie-esque, blank white eyes. When you have a goal in mind, you fill in one eye. Then, you set the judgemental little creep in a place where its one-eyed gaze will stare at you, reminding you of the task at hand. You you finally complete the job, you fill in the other eye, having achieved your vision. Traditionally, you ceremonially burn the daruma after finishing your work… and invest in a new goal, a new daruma.

I got this daruma in Japan in 2013, which isn’t insignificant. It was on a hike of Mount Fuji that I determined to really write this guide book, a guide book I wish was out there and I would have loved to have had when I first moved to Colorado. Thankfully, my publisher Wilderness Press was on board with the idea and 3 years later, here we are.

I’ll be making the rounds with slideshows and presentations in the next few months, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, here’s a little sneak preview of some of the hikes in the book. I hope it helps inspire your mountain adventures! Oh, and as an added bonus, I worked with my publisher to ensure a low price – a mere $10 – by cutting out a color photo section. It was a tough call… but in the end, a good move. Here are some of those photos!

High on the west ridge of Atlantic Peak out of Mayflower Gulch.

High on the west ridge of Atlantic Peak out of Mayflower Gulch.

 

Along the Coon Hill to Ptarmigan Peak traverse in the Williams Fork Range.

Along the Coon Hill to Ptarmigan Peak traverse in the Williams Fork Range.

 

En route to Witter Peak.

En route to Witter Peak.

 

The rugged scramble up Valhalla Peak.

The rugged scramble up Valhalla Peak.

 

Looking into Dry Gulch from UN 12,805.

Looking into Dry Gulch from UN 12,805.

About James Dziezynski

James is a best-selling author and writer based out of Boulder, Colorado. His writings reflect his personal passions: adventure, science, exploration, philosophy, animal welfare and technology. When not spending time in the mountains, James volunteers at several animal rescue organizations and is a collector of classic video games.