Ok, so I know this is a blog about backcountry skiing. However, I figured any ski enthusiast wouldn’t hold it against me if I blogged about my latest excursion.
If you’ve every watched a ski movie (Warren Miller, TGR, etc) you’ve inevitably dreamed about taking a helicopter into the heart of the mountains and picking your line. It’s every skier’s dream and I’ve shared that dream with many for years. Due to some good fortune I was able to take a trip to Alaska and finally live that dream in early March. Hopefully this will give some insight to the whole experience. I hope I can convey just a little bit of the sheer joy I experienced in Alaska with Chugach Powder Guides. Continue reading →
I feel pretty lucky to be sitting here typing this trip report today. Yesterday, Jon Jay and I had a pretty scary experience on our tour of Mt. Yale.
Yale is a haul at 14,196 it begs an early start. I left Denver at 3am to meet up with Jon at the Silver Creek trailhead outside of Buena Vista. Jon had done some touring the day before and camped out that night with a few others while I opted to sleep in my warm bed and meet him in the morning.
We set off for the 10 mile round trip a little after 7am. Our start was a little later than planned, but we weren’t too worried since the Silver Creek bowl on Mt. Yale faces north, and we figured the snow would remain cool most of the day. The plan was to summit by noon, ski the bowl and be back to the trailhead by 3pm. Needless to say, things did not go as planned. Continue reading →
Early morning mist over Kit Carson and Crestone Peak
They’re called the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, or Sangres by us Coloradoans. The name is dramatic, (it means “Blood of Christ” Mountains) but so are these peaks. The Sangres impressively jut 8000 ft from the San Luis valley below, many of them rising to over 14,000 ft in elevation. I’ve flown over them many times on trips to Albuquerque from Denver. I’ve driven by them many times on my way to Pagosa Springs and Durango. Still, I’ve never had the chance to move through them, until now. Continue reading →
On June 2nd Eric and I set out from Denver at 1:30am. We met up in Boulder at 2am to transfer gear and make the drive to the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive was a familiar one, since this would be the 3rd time in over a year that we had attempted this line. Our hopes were high that this would be our day.
Ptarmigan Cirque from Lake Helene. Notch Top Mountain is on the right.
After an unsuccessful bid on Capitol Peak I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back into the high country and take down some mountains. I called my trusty partner David Gardner and he was up for an attempt on the long Harvard-Columbia Traverse.
Dave treks in the shadows as the sun overtakes Mt. Harvard (14,420′)
Dave Gardner and I had planned on continuing our assault on the Sawatch Range by attempting Mt. Princeton (14,197′) on July 14th, 2012. I was worried about Princeton’s infamous road (for good reason!) and was hoping we could take Dave’s Jeep to make things a little more manageable. Continue reading →
July 1st, 4:30am I was out of bed and in the car heading towards Chaffee county Rd 390. I’ve taken this trip several times before since 390 feeds would-be climbers into the popular Missouri Gulch. From here hikers can bag three 14ers, Belford, Oxford and of course Missouri. It had been almost a year to the day that Jon Jay and I skied Missouri but this time I had a different objective, Huron Peak. Continue reading →
Dave Gardner and I decided that June 16th would be a good day to knock off Mt. Antero (14,336′), another of the official 15 Sawatch 14ers. We decided to take Dave’s Jeep so we could drive up a good portion of the road and make the 15 mile trek into a more manageable 7 miles. Dave’s Jeep climbed like a champ and before long we were at about 11,000 ft crossing the creek. We decided we’d stop here and start hiking in order to get a 3,000 ft vertical ascent in, which some consider to be a condition of a true 14er summit. Continue reading →