When: October 1st-2nd, 2014
Who: Andy and Caitlin
Highbridge Hills is home to one of the great disc golf destinations in the United States. Situated on over 500 acres this isolated complex houses 6 full courses and several additional alternate courses that use various teepads of the main courses (something like 120+ holes!). The area of Disc Golf is huge and the location is in one of the most beautiful spots in Wisconsin.
Caitlin and I were lucky to play two of the main courses there, Blueberry Hill and Granite Ridge, and get just a taste of this mecca of disc golf. We were in the area due to a wedding some of our best friends and since we were going to make the trek to Wisconsin anyways, we knew we had to visit. We spent one afternoon playing one course and one morning playing another course while camping out overnight at the complex.
Here are a few pictures from an awesome adventure. I have also included some more details to help any other people that may be planning a trek here as the details on this place are surprisingly lacking (considering it is a destination place).
We were greeted with an amazing full-rainbow on Hole #11 of Blueberry Hill on our first night (click image for full-size, basket is in bottom RH corner):
Blueberry Hills Disc Course:
We arrived to the complex after 4 hours of driving mostly country roads. We left Minneapolis after picking up Caitlin’s sister’s car in downpouring rain and we drove almost the whole time in that same rain. Miraculously it was only lightly raining when we pulled up to the seemingly abandoned course.
It was the middle of the week and it was raining so the lack of people around was not surprising. After reading every map on the wall in their unique clubhouse and realizing that the camping was in a different place, and still being unsure of what to do since we were told people would be there, we just decided that light was fading quickly and we were going to get at least a few holes completed.
We started on Blueberry Hill and after a few holes the rain lightened-up and eventually came to a halt. The views were limited but everything we did see was incredibly beautiful.
Hole # 8 played through some really cool forest into an open field and then back into the forest. Lots of variety!
After losing a disc in some really thick grass, soaking ourselves while looking for it and generally wasting a lot of precious time, we were greeted with an amazing full-rainbow on Hole #11:
The sunset continued:
We finished the round in the dark after getting confused on the course and playing a few holes of one of the other courses there. Afterwards we headed to the campground area for the night.
Granite Ridge Disc Golf Course:
We awoke Thursday morning to clouds but no rain. After a early breakfast we were on the course at 9am. Granite Ridge was my favorite of the two courses as it had quite the variety of terrain (everything from tight trees, to open fields, to doglegs, water hazards, and swamps).
Hole #7 Granite Ridge is a tricky bastard. It calls for water on the lefthand side and you can’t see this large pond hidden behind a small amount of brush. Aim right. Her disc is visible and looked like it landed right on the edge of the green; however it was <5 ft from hitting the lake.
Myself teeing off and smacking a tree on Hole #6. To provide a little context on the height of some of these amazing trees on the course:
We had pretty bad weather and luckily it cleared up enough for beautiful views of the surrounding Chequamegon National Forest. Hole #11 on Granite Ridge:
After about 3 hours of somewhat slow playing (at least 4 times looking for discs but found all of them!) we ended our round, ran into Mike and Jonathan at the clubhouse and headed on the rest of our adventure to the Lake Superior area.
We just had a taste of the courses on the property and while unlikley we will be in the area anytime soon I hope that I can come back and experience the rest of the course.
Read more on camping at Highbridge Hills, other logistics and a few more photos:Read More»
When: June 15th, 2014
In July 2014 our group of four was one of the last groups to ever get to play the Magic Meadows Disc Golf course located near Pine, Colorado. It may have been one of the most beautiful days of disc golf you could have asked for with perfect weather, flowers blooming in the fairways, thick green aspens, and plenty of throwing.
Tweak throwing through the Aspens on Hole #3. You have two options with tough alleys on either side:
Magic Meadows was built to be a private course that had open tee times and was to feature several courses on one of the most beautiful chunks of property along HWY 285. Unfortunately after opening there was some problems with the family that owns the land and the course was put into flux. Not wanting to deal with the on going issues and uncertainty the course founders decided it was time to close up-shop.
The course had many unique elements that are solely unique to the land it was located upon. This tee box was one of the highlights of the day (and there was a lot of highlights that day!):
Tight Tunnel shots were common:Read More»
Camping under the stars
Bouldering on Independence Pass
Hiking to the Base of the Maroon Bells
Disc Golfing at Colorado Mountain College in Carbondale
Caitlin and I packed a lot of activities into just a weekend. Below are the highlights.
We left Denver late and hit Kenosha Pass right during a beautiful sunset:
On the way up we had a delicious late night dinner at Eddyline Brewery.
We were planning on camping in the truck so we drove up FS 390 which has a ton of car-camping options and plenty of others were already out there. It was late on a friday but eventually we found a perfect level spot for the truck.The stars were amazing that night and I spent quite some time photographing them and the Milky Way:
Beaver ponds by our campsite the next morning:
Next morning we got up and drove up and over independence pass stopping at a bouldering area which was perfect for a short session on some easier blocks. After climbing we headed into Snowmass where we met up with the rest of Caitlin’s family.
The next day we had a beautiful hike up in the Maroon Bells area. It was my first time in this specific spot as we normally tend to stay away from the tourist parts of Colorado. Glad we went up there as it was totally worth it.
We hiked all the way to Crater Lake (tons of snow for June 22nd!). Jon and Laura:
Some some moose on the drive in:
Afterwards we went back to the condo and watched the devastating ending to the USA vs. Germany match. Everyone started heading home, however Caitlin and I stopped in Carbondale to sample the Colorado Mountain College Disc Golf course. We are quite glad we did as the views were amazing (courtesy deer in the background):
Lots of fun stuff in a short period of time.
When: Sat November 16th thru Tues November 19th, 2013
Where: Red Rocks Park just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada staying mainly at the Red Rocks Campground
What: A long weekend exploring and climbing in one incredible desert
Day #1: The Kraft Boulders:
An early Saturday morning arrival to Las Vegas had us out to the Kraft Boulders before mid-day and right as everyone else decided to show. Pulling into the parking lot we knew that it was going to be a busy day at the boulders which is understandable considering it’s proximity to the city, convenience of parking, and an simple access trail to the huge boulder field surrounding the base of the mountain. After checking out a few key boulders on our hike in we settled in at a isolated boulder in the Gateway Canyon section where we spent several hours exploring the area’s problems.
As the day quickly progress the shade quickly engulfed our location. We moved back around the bend to the main cluster and played around on many more boulders, met lots of people who were visiting like we were, and had Sasquatch occasionally bark at the roaming packs of pad-people. Additionally we encountered an large amount of an unique flower bush that I was lucky enough to document the many different species observed (link to picture).
Being in the desert this time of the year is a sensory overload. Direct sun with no breeze and it was 100 degrees, 10 mins later as the sun dips behind the peak you have to put on pants and a heavy jacket.
Day #2: Windy Peak Boulders:
Bumping down a dirt road for 20 mins is apparently all we needed to separate ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the previous day. After being around 50-70 climbers the day prior it was a relief to be the lone car parked at the trailhead for the Windy Peak boulders. A simple hike through amazing terrain found us at the Fish Head boulder. This 30 min hike was only slowed-down by the youngest dog in the group, Zion, as not having any idea what was causing all of that prickly pain.
Only a dog with the name of Beans would still be smiling during the process of ripping cactus thorns from his pads:
The Fish Head boulder is one of the most beautiful massive chunks of rock I have seen. Perched high on the hillside, it is easy to see from the parking lot and features a corridor of perfect climbs, perfect landings, and a great spot to hang-out in the sun.
Step inside the Fish Head boulder and one begins to see the true beauty. The climbing is a long wall of progressively taller problems ranging in the moderate grade. Overhanging these climbs is the upper mouth of the Fish head making for an impressive backdrop like none I have ever seen before.
The Starting Hold of Bait and Tackle, a perfect V1 with an incredible backdrop:
Chris sending Mas Mu (v6), a striking problem right in the middle of the corridor:
The winter days are short and we climbed as long and as late as our hunger allowed attempting to spend every possible minute absorbing this boulder-strewn valley.
Moving our way back to the car we stopped at the Sting boulder, moving again as the sun began to fade. We scoped the Le Cheval area for future missions and finished out the session in the moonless dark on the Warm-up boulder.
Hiking out the moon rose and lit the path through the thick and wild lands of the desert:
Day #3: Rest Day + Evening Session at Kraft + the Strip:
Monday morning we woke up pretty sore from the previous 2 full days of climbing, packed-up camp, and headed to a local Disc Golf course for some fun. Great little course that was perfect for stretching the muscles but not overly exerting yourself.
Just as the evening began to come upon us we headed back to the Kraft boulders, passing the crowds as they departed. A brief sunset singled as the last climbers left the area and we began our session. We climbed for 3 hours past sunset in solitude spending time on the Potato Chips boulder, the Warm-up Boulders, and the Barndoor boulder.
The Glow of Las Vegas as Chris sends the dynamic Dusty Coffee (v4) on the Barndoor boulder:
High-Fiving an awesome trip:
Three day’s climbing in the Red Rocks desert has really inspired me to make sure I come back and continue to explore.