Leadville 2021

This is a list of things that I’ve learned over the years. Nothing is really important (except for good sole with good grip). I follow these ideas to make my trip a bit nicer but, in the end, please do what you want and enjoy the scenery. We will find a way to have a blast!


Hiking boots vs trail runners. Trail runners are lighter and embrace the rocks better (supple). You will get a better feel for the terrain but it’s harder on feet. Hiking boots offers a better protection for your ankles (and all around protection).

I normally bring both because I have them but now, I only use my trail runners.

Anyhow, a sole with good grip is the only important thing.

Special note:
Make sure that you have enough room for your toes. Your feet will swell and going downhill for 4-5 hours straight may cause painful blue toe nails.


2 pairs recommended : wear one and keep one in the backpack for quick exchange.

Avoid cotton. Merino wool blend is a good choice (low friction, wicking, quick dry and no smell).

Darn Tough is a good brand but a bit expensive ($25).

I normally just get some unknown brand from Academy for cheaper.


Protect from cold but loose for movement.

Special note: There is some rock scrambling on top of 14ers (hands and feet parts).


Avoid cotton. Consider synthetic sport boxer briefs: water wicking, protects inner thighs…


3 layers system: Synthetic base layer to wick away sweat. Middle layer: puffy, air pockets to isolate. Finally, wind breaker (with hood and rain proof) to keep middle layer’s warmth.


Need a good pair for the 14ers.

Beanie for the 14ers.
Baseball cap, rag.

Hiking poles

Optional, easier for legs while coming down (about %10-20 relief on the legs).

Head lamp/flashlights

Need it for early morning start (14ers) and when running out of time in the evening, although near full moon expected this year.


Need a boost for 14ers (carbs/salt): Trail mix with some salted nuts/sweet chocolate/dry fruits.

If we are not getting a early start (i.e. not doing a 14ers), we stop by the coffee shop and get some pastries to go.


Need a 2L container at least. May need extra liter in a side container for 14ers.


Big enough to fit beanie, gloves, mid layer, outer layer, food and water. I have a 22 liters and struggling a bit.

Other things (optional):

Sun tan lotion



Athletic tape/gauze


Pocket knife


Tissues (my nose goes wild! also, can serve as TP)

Small Purell bottle (for the TP eventuality)

Small trash bags (for the TP eventuality)