Sharp End is just about to start shipping the new Colorado's Front Range Thirteeners book by Derek Wolfe. Derek has now penned three books for us ranging from a canyoneering guide to Moab, a hiking/scrambling/peak bagging guide to the Valley of Fire and now a guide to the Front Range's best Thirteeners. It's a diverse collection from an adventurer who does it all from caving to climbing to canyoneering. We've caught up with Derek to see how he can squeeze in all this adventure (he's climbed all of Colorado's peaks over 13,000 feet) with family life and writing:
Sharp End: You’re one of the busiest outdoor adventurers I’ve ever met, despite the fact that you’re a dad. Can you tell us a little about finding the time to keep exploring and how family fits in with that?
Derek: My wife, as an airline pilot, has a flexible schedule with plenty of
time off and I'm the stay-at-home dad. Whenever possible I bring the family and
we constantly spend most of our time off exploring/climbing various areas. My
3-year-old daughter had close to 40 nights of camping last year. When my wife
is at work, I also manage to get out rock climbing at single pitch crags. I owe
a lot to my rock climbing partners who allow me to bring my daughter as they
have tremendous patience and a great attitude.
Sharp End: You undertake so many sports. Every time we see you, you’re on your way to another adventure. Do you have a favorite activity? A favorite place?
Derek: Humm, My favorite is a tossup between cave survey/exploration and adventurous desert rock climbing/peak bagging. A few of my favorite places are Valley of Gods and Fisher Towers and when I need good rock, Indian Creek. As for a favorite cave, I like any cave that provides continuous amounts of virgin exploration.
Sharp End: Your Thirteener book is clearly based on your own experiences. Can you tell us which is your favorite peak in the book, as well as Colorado in general?
Derek: Finding a favorite is hard. My favorite 13ers in the Front Range are probably in Rocky Mountain National Park. They offer a variety of routes ranging from snow climbs to technical rock climbs on good rock. Plus the scenery is amazing.
Hands down my favorite 13ers in Colorado are in the San Juans. Some that come to mind are “S 4” and Mt. Emma. There are also a few notable ones in the Weminuche as well such as Peak 11, Jagged, Monitor and Animas. The nice thing about the Weminuche is the remote access along with some of the most inspiring scenery in the state.