Archive for August, 2012

Rock Climbing, Hwy 285, Lover’s Leap

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Doug Leading Lovers Leap Crux
Doug Cruising the Crux

Clare Up High on Lover’s Leap

Doug and I climbed Lover’s Leap in the canyon Hwy 285 winds through, just outside of Morrison, CO. It was a fairly simple approach involving crossing a log bridge and then hiking a short steep bank up to the base of the crag. The approach takes about 10-15 minutes. (more…)

Pigeon and Turret Peaks, San Juan Mountains, Day 4

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Turret and Pigeon Peaks Panorama
One Last Look at Turret and Pigeon Peaks (Taken the night before!)

Ruby Lake at 8am
After bagging both Pigeon and Turret, we were all ready to hike out of Ruby Basin and back to civilization. We woke up rather early and broke camp. On our way hiking out, I got this amazing picture of Ruby Lake at 8am.

Georgia Crossing the Creek
We crossed a couple of streams on our way back to Needleton Station. Here’s Georgia traversing a log.

Climbergirls at Durango and Silverton Railroad Stop at Needleton
At Needleton Station, after descending for about 5 hours from Ruby Basin high meadow base camp.

Pigeon and Turret Peaks, San Juan Mountains, Day 3

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Pigeon Peak Summit Smiles and Sunshine
Our Centennial Celebration Climb for the CMC 100 year anniversary was a resounding success! Here we are soaking in the sun on the summit of Pigeon Peak (13,972 ft).
Front: Linda (Co-Leader), Clare (Trip Leader), Steve
Back: Nancy, Jeff, Georgia, and Erin (Leader In Training!).

Clare on the Summit of Turret Peak (13,835 ft)
On the Summit of Turret Peak (13,835 ft)

The San Juan mountains are so remote my cell phone was confused and thought we were in the Pacific Time Zone. As a result, my phone did not sound the alarm at 3:30am. We were supposed to leave base camp at 4am and instead Erin and I were dozing in sweet slumber.

Finally, my team decided they had waited long enough and (thankfully) came to wake us up. At 4:10, Erin and I jumped to action. We got dressed and grabbed some food and suddenly we were vertical…and moving forward. Since I was the trip leader, this was a particularly bad way to start summit day.

I apologized profusely to everybody and even showed them my stupid cell phone. I’m happy they woke me up instead of just going for the summit sans leader! I felt even worse because Erin didn’t get to eat breakfast and deprived of food, it really affected her hiking. At 4:15am I can’t eat much of anything except maybe fruit and pretzels, so it wasn’t a huge bother to me, food wise. (more…)

Pigeon and Turret Peaks, San Juan Mountains, Day 2

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Zoomed in Picture of Ruby Creek Basin Basecamp
Our Base Camp at Ruby Creek Basin Meadow

On Friday morning, we broke camp and hiked to the huge football field sized meadow at the base of Pigeon and Turret Peaks. The rain from the previous day had soaked everything. It was time for the morning shake and shove…First ya gotta shake it out, then you gotta shove it in the pack. We all made breakfast and talked excitedly about the day ahead of us.

I decided once we were settled in the meadow, we should scope out the first hour of our hike for the following morning. We’d be leaving at Oh-Dark-Thirty, so it would be super if we knew the first bit of the hike. So, soon after we were set up, a scouting trip ensued. I’m really happy we did the scouting because the way I had pictured going did not at all work out. Luckily, we figured out the proper way! (more…)

Pigeon and Turret Peaks, San Juan Mountains, Day 1

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Clare Riding the Rails
Clare the Trip Leader Ensuring All Aboard!

Big Smiles Aboard the Train
Erin Riding the Narrow Gauge

Tom On His Way to Ruby Creek Basin
Tom Leading the Pack into Ruby Lake Basin

As part of the CMC Centennial Celebration, I led a trip into Ruby Lake basin to climb Pigeon and Turret Peaks. Most people access these reclusive peaks by riding the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge train to the Needleton station which is the trailhead for Chicago Basin, Needle Creek Drainage, Ruby Lake Basin, and Noname Creek.

I was very excited to be taking Linda & Tom, Georgia, Jeffrey, Steve, Nancy, and Erin into this secluded and remote location. Steve was coming from the East Coast, but had spent several weeks in Estes Park acclimatizing. Jeffrey was coming from Telluride and participated in one of my trail runs as preparation. Erin had been hiking and climbing with me all summer. Everybody else had participated in the Tenmile Peak trip, so I knew we had what it takes to do the climb. The question was, would we prevail with weather and route finding?