Archive for June, 2014

Mountaineering – Mounts Ouray and Chipeta

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Mt Chipeta, Pt 13472, and Mt. Ouray
Panorama taken on the side of Mount Ouray (13,971 ft).

Mount Ouray is to the far right of the frame, while a ridge leading to Mount Chipeta and Pt 13,472 stretches out in front. Fred and I decide to tackle Mount Ouray. Later, we make an attempt on Pt 13,472 but decide to turn around on the summit of Chipeta.

Mt Ouray - Not A Selfie
On the summit of Mount Ouray

Mount Ouray was named after Chief Ouray, leader of the Uncompahgre band of the Utes. According to Legends of America, he married Chipeta in 1859 and they were together until the Chief died in 1880.

Dandelions and Mt Ouray
The flowered fields on Mt Ouray’s South Side

Our Schedule
Carpool meetup – 4am
Depart Marshall Pass TH – 5:35am
Gain the Ridge – 6:35am
Mount Ouray Summit – 8:35am
Back to Ridge – 10am
Mount Chipeta Summit – 11:45am
Back to Ridge – 1:20pm
Back to Marshall Pass TH – 2pm


River Rafting – Brown’s Canyon, Buena Vista, CO

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Rafting Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River
Here we are manning the front of the boat, while our expert river guide, Curt, steers the back.

On Friday, Dennis and I decided to raft down the Arkansas River. In particular, we ran the Brown’s Canyon portion; 12 miles of mostly 3rd class rapids with two awesome 4th Class Rapids to cap it all off!

We decided to go with the Acquired Tastes Rafting guides because they had availability last minute AND they promised to include two awesome class 4 rapids; Seidels Suckhole and Twin Falls. Since we had done some pretty advanced rafting up in Canada, we were ready for adventure!

Our guide, Curt, was really mellow and made the whole trip a ton of fun. About 2/3 the way down the river, we stopped and had a very nice, ample sandwich buffet with chips and cookies, to boot! I was really happy that we had rented wetsuits with booties as the water was very cold and we were soaking wet the whole time!


Mountaineering – Mt. Hope (13,933 ft) via Hopeful Couloir and Quail Mountain

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Success on Mt. Hope
Summit Shot on Mt. Hope

Hopeful Couloir on Mt. Hope
Hopeful Couloir, our destination!

Summit Register on Quail Mountain
Happy Father’s Day to Dad…My summit registry entry on Top of Quail Mountain

Mt Hope from Quail Mountain
Hope Mountain from Near Summit of Quail Mountain

On Father’s Day, Fred and I set off to climb the Hopeful Couloir on Mt. Hope. It was on my list of desired snow climbs and I was happy Fred was there to join me. While we were out bagging peaks, Dennis was somewhere on the Colorado trail and tooling around Twin Lakes on his mountain bike. It was neat to be up high and wondering where he was over the course of our day.

Our Schedule:
Depart Camp: 4:30am
Nearing Treeline in Sheep Gulch: 5:30am
Hope Pass: 6:30am
Descent to 12,100 ft and donning crampons: 7:10am
Base of Hopeful Couloir: 7:40am
Top of Hopeful Couloir: 9:25am
Top of Mt. Hope: 9:50am
Descending Mt. Hope: 10:15am
Hope Pass: 11:30am
Quail Mountain Summit: 12:30pm
Back to Camp: 2:30pm


Camping – Sheep Gulch Trail Head

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Sheep Gulch Camp Spot
Roadside camping near beaver pond.

On Saturday, we drove out to the Sawatch mountains. We looked for easy camping near the Sheep Gulch Trail head and found it about 100 yards before the turn off.

Beaver Pond Across from Sheep Gulch
On the left hand side is a pullout which is right next to a large beaver pond. The beavers were active, so all night they were slapping the water. This, combined with a full moon, and a steady stream of traffic on the road all night, made for not so ideal sleeping conditions!


Mountaineering – Horseshoe Mountain (13,898 ft) via Boudoir Couloir

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Horseshoe Mountain
Horseshoe Mountain, a Mosquito Range Centennial

Horseshoe Mountain Lake
Beautiful Alpine Lake

Getting Closer to Boudoir Couloir
The Boudoir Couloir!

Smiles at the top of Boudoir Couloir
Snow Climbing is Fun!

Horseshoe Mountain Summit
Doug and I enjoying the summit of Horseshoe Mountain

The Roaches give Horseshoe Mountain’s Boudoir Couloir route a *Classic* rating. This fact, combined with the ease of access to the trailhead, straightforward approach (no stream crossings!), small amount of elevation gain (~2,350 ft!), and mellow angled climbing put this climb at the top of my list. We were looking for a half day’s worth of effort and this climb was perfect!

Also, thanks to Bill Middlebrook, of, for posting a condition report of Horseshoe while out on White Ridge. That report was super helpful!

The Schedule:
Departure from Denver: 4am
Departure from TH: 6:30am
Past the Lake: 7:20am
Start Climbing Boudoir Couloir: 8:10am
Finish Boudoir Couloir: 9:20am
Summit of Horseshoe Mountain: 9:30am
Start Glissade of Boudoir: 10am
Back at the TH:~12pm