December 1, 2009

December 2009 Recap

The snow didn't really start falling until the end of the month, but December was a lot of fun. Andrea and I spent the first weekend of the month in Park City, Utah (Photos). A few days later, Andrea and Jenna both flew to Colorado and spent the rest of the month in Vail with me. Jenna had never really skied before (which you wouldn't believe if you saw her ski a few months, or even weeks, later). You also wouldn't believe that Andrea is from Tennessee when you watch her shred it. We skied A LOT! (Album 1 - Album 2 - Album 3)

Around Christmas I got my first day in the Beaver Creek backcountry and first day on my new AT gear. (Album 4). After Christmas, the snowpack started to get a little better, and we had some nice bluebird days in Vail (Album 5).

November 1, 2009

November 2009 Recap

The ski season in Colorado started off VERY slow this year. Still, I got some nice pre-season hike/ski days on the mountain. Made another trip to Tennessee, and a trip to Connecticut as well.

October 1, 2009

October 2009 Recap

October started off with what would end up being my last 14er summits for about 5 months. I got the idea that it would be a good idea to do Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton as a "day hike"... a 23 miles, 9,000+ vertical feet, 13 hour "day hike." I caught sunrise on that day from 13,000 feet, and watched an amazing sunset from Leadville while I was driving home. (Photos)

A week later I made a trip down to Tennessee and did a backpacking trip in the Great Smokies with Andrea. (Photos) We also found out that we are AWESOME at canoeing!

The latter half of October revolved around messing around messing around on the Front Range with Phoenix (Photos). We aborted an attempt at Pike's Peak, but did some hiking in Garden of the Gods, and kicked off the ski season at St. Mary's Glacier (Photos)... then went back a week later with an even bigger crew (Photos).

September 1, 2009

September 2009 Recap

September included two big 14er weekends with a trip to the Grand Canyon in the middle. Over Labor Day we headed back to the Maroon Bells to take a shot at North Maroon Peak. I thought N.Maroon was actually a much more fun hike than S.Maroon. The following day we were back in the Sangre de Cristos, and camped at Willow Lake. With a high camp, summitting Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point was a no-brainer! (Photos)

I flew down to Arizona and met up with my family and girlfriend for my sister's birthday in the middle of the month. We hiked down to the big ditch's Phantom Ranch via the S.Kaibob trail and ascended via the Bright Angel trail (all in a day's work!). After spending the night in Flagstaff, those of us that still had some juice left in our legs hiked up Humphrey's Peak, which at 12,637 feet, is the highest point in the state. (Photos)

I finished off the month by crossing 4 more 14ers off my list. Mt. Evans has a road that goes to the top, so I had been waiting until it was closed for the season so I could find some solitude at the summit. I hiked up via Chicago Lakes, and there was a surprising amount of snow, so it ended up being a long, tiring day. The following day I drove down to Lake City and hiked up Redcloud Peak, Sunshine Peak, and Handies Peak. The final stats on this weekend were 4 peaks, 13,000+ feet of vertical, 42 miles of hiking, and 6 hours of sleep. (Photos)

August 1, 2009

August 2009 Recap

In the beginning of August I got serious about climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado within the next year, and the frequency / intensity of my hiking really picked up. The month started off with an incredible weekend backpacking trip up to Lake Como, in the heart of the Sangre de Cristos, to climb Blanca Peak, Ellingwood Point, and Little Bear Peak. The latter of these three was my first class 4 climb. At some point I'll need to write a full trip report of that weekend; for now - here are the pictures.

The following weekend I made a couple daytrips to Mt. Yale and Snowmass Mountain (photos). Snowmass Lake and that whole area are among the most beautiful places I have ever been. I did that in a long, 20+ mile, 12 hour day, but had perfect weather throughout.

The final trip in September was back to Aspen to tag South Maroon Peak and Capitol Peak (photos). After getting Maroon peak on a Saturday, I drove to the Capitol ditch trailhead and hiked into Capitol Lake, where I spent the night, and then climbed the peak the following day. From K2 to the summit of Capitol was the most exposed scrambling and climbing I'd ever done.

July 1, 2009

July 2009 Recap

Climber a few of the easier 14ers in July - Quandary (saw some goats), another round on the Decalibron (during my sister's visit), Sherman (with my parents), and Huron (also with my parents). We also did a few hikes back in the Missouri Lakes area off Homestake Road (south of Minturn). That's one of my favorite day hike areas around here, and I'd love to get back there and do some backpacking.

June 1, 2009

June 2009 Recap

June 2009 started off with the Teva Mountains Games and ended with jump turns on a 48 degree couloir under a nasty overhanging cornice. These trips were my first experience with "real" ski mountaineering.

Trip Reports on 14ers and my photo albums:

La Plata: (Photos)

Harvard / Columbia: (Photos)

Missouri: (Photos)

Conundrum / Castle: (Photos)

Running at the Teva Mountain Games

Andrea on La Plata Peak's ridge

Ben and I with the Conundrum Couloir behind us, after we skied it

Climbing Conundrum Couloir