Backyard Summits 2019 Recap

Backyard Summits 2019 Recap

As 2018 was coming to a close, I thought back on the exploring that I had done throughout that year and came to a conclusion. While I had done a lot of cool stuff, I had also done entirely too much driving to get there.

I live in a location with an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, and that is a huge part of why I live here. I decided to come up with a project for 2019 that would underscore that quality of my chosen home, and at the same time make my recreational choices a bit more environmentally friendly. So I laid out a set of rules:

  1. At some point during each month throughout 2019, I would find my way from my front door to a named mountain summit without using a motor of any kind.
  2. Each of the 12 summits must be different.
  3. Any mode of self-powered transportation would be on the table – hiking, running, snowshoeing, skiing, cycling, anything that did not involve a gas or electric motor.
  4. To make the challenge a little bit more interesting and encourage me to get out of my comfort zone a bit, each summit would have to be one that I had not reached without motorized transport prior to 2019. This ruled out 4 or 5 summits that are very close to home.

The idea of spreading them out, one per month, would ensure that I would see a variety of conditions and modes of transportation.

Now 2019 has come to a close, and the project is complete, which means it’s time to run some numbers! These are the totals for the 12 activities that comprised this project.


Miles traveled:

  • Cycling – 309.77 miles
  • Skiing – 36.46 miles
  • Foot travel – 97.17 miles
  • Total – 443.4 miles


Mineral Peak
The view from Mineral Peak


Vertical feet climbed:

  • Cycling – 24,326 feet
  • Skiing – 12,209 feet
  • Running/Hiking – 26,063 feet
  • Total – 62,598 feet


Bonner Mountain
A cold, snowy October day on Bonner Mountain


Moving time:

  • Cycling – 26 hours, 57 minutes, 29 seconds
  • Skiing – 11:05:22
  • Running/Hiking – 24:16:57
  • Total – 62 hours, 19 minutes, 48 seconds


Blue Mountain
An uncharacteristically mild December on Blue Mountain


The summits:

  • January – Woody Mountain (bike-ski)
  • February – Stuart Peak (bike-ski)
  • March – Miller Peak (bike-hike)
  • April – Point Six (bike-ski)
  • May – Sheep Mountain (bike-run)
  • June – Mosquito Peak (bike-run)
  • July – Lolo Peak (bike-run)
  • August – Iris Point (bike)
  • September – Mineral Peak (bike)
  • October – Bonner Mountain (bike-hike)
  • November – Mitten Mountain (run)
  • December – Blue Mountain (bike-run)


Mosquito Peak
All smiles on a June group run to Mosquito Peak


The map:

Conglomerate Map


Miscellaneous stats:

  • Adventure buddies – 10
  • Bikes used – 3 (Orbea Terra, Cannondale Scalpel, Fixed-gear frankenbike)
  • Running shoes used – 4 (Saucony Peregrine, Hoka One One Torrent, Salomon Sense Ride, Saucony Razor Ice)
  • Pairs of skis used – 1 (Atomic Backland UL65)
  • Times I wished I brought snowshoes – 3
  • Times I brought snowshoes – 0
  • Lookout towers climbed – 2


Stuart Peak
A February whiteout on the Stuart Peak summit


Wishing everyone happy adventures in 2020! If you have the chance, I encourage you all to take some opportunities to make them self-powered!