Backcountry Skiing in Colorado

Skiing and Hiking in the Colorado Backcountry


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Divine Intervention on Holy Cross?

I normally do not write about failed attempts but I thought this adventure warranted a description anyhow.  At the very least it might serve to help others in their attempt at the same objective.

Holy Cross on a gorgeous June Day

Holy Cross on a gorgeous June Day

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Notch Top At Last

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.

Ptarmigan Cirque from Lake Helene. Notch Top Mountain is on the right.

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Harvard-Columbia Traverse

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′)

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High on Huron (14,003′) and Speedy Too!

Huron Shines in the Morning Sun

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


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Running up Antero (14,336′)

The Ridge, Final push to Antero’s Summit

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


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La Plata, Eric’s First 14er

La Plata… ain’t she a beaut?

It was another 1am departure as Eric Internicola and I left Denver to try and tackle La Plata Peak (14, 336′) on June 3rd.  This would mark my 32nd straight month skiing and for Eric, this would be his first attempt at both a 14er climb, let alone a ski descent.  Needless to say he was pretty pumped, but I could tell Eric was concerned about his fitness.  Eric would be the first to tell you he was moving slowly on our attempt at Notch Top which turned into a descent on Dragontail.  Although I think it was more the weather than Eric’s pace that led to a plan B descent, I know Eric did not want to keep us from summiting La Plata, and I was sure he was up for the challenge. Continue reading