Posts Tagged ‘“Indian Peaks Wilderness”’

Rock Climbing – Navajo Peak (Attempt), Indian Peaks Wilderness, CO

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Navajo Peak and Glacier From Airplane Gully

On Sunday, Doug and I drove up to the IPW to climb Navajo Peak. I was looking forward to the rock climb on Navajo Peak; a moderate route in a beautiful alpine setting. Also, there was the lure of Dicker’s Peck, a tower of rock standing in attention, just waiting to be climbed.

For a variety of reasons, we did not summit: Late start, poor health, poor route finding, bad weather, and crossing a boulder field while wearing crampons. I hyperextended my knee during the crampon bouldering section, and 6 weeks later, it’s still smarting.

We hiked back to the car in a downpour, which just cemented our mutual feelings of utter failure. We vowed to “get it” next time. (more…)

Snowshoe Hiking – Mount Saint Vrain (12,162 ft)

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

CMC Snowshoe Hike of Mount Saint Vrain
Rick, Clare, Mike, and Roger at the Trail Head
Photos courtesy: Rick Casey

On Saturday, I co-led a Colorado Mountain snowshoe/ski trip. Our destination was Mount Saint Vrain, a popular backcountry snowshoe/ski area in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. On a clear day a view from the top includes a multitude of beautiful peaks, such as Mt. Audubon, to the south, and Longs Peak, to the north.

Since it was the middle of winter, we merely wished for good weather. If we saw the summit, then it would just be a big bonus!

Our wish was not granted. Light snow showered us as we walked through the forested path. A hearty gust of wind intermittently caught us off guard. As we approached tree line, we took out the map to make sure we were headed in the right direction. (more…)

Mountaineering – Skywalker Couloir & Arapaho Traverse, IPW, CO

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Summit of South Arapaho
Kent, Clare, Doug, and Tilden on Summit of South Arapaho

The Arapaho Traverse
The Arapaho Traverse, Taken from South Arapaho

Topo Map for Skywalker Couloir and Arapaho Peaks
The Topo Map for Fourth of July Trailhead and the Arapaho Traverse

Doug tells me that he and Kent are planning to climb the Skywalker Couloir. Then he adds the phrase, “If you want to come, you’re welcome to join us”. Oh boy! It’s an offer I can’t refuse. This classic snow climb has been recommended to me by several other Colorado Mountain Club members, and when it’s “in”, it is a “must do”. Tilden is invited as well, so that makes a strong party of 4. Perfect!

Before the climb, I’m a little nervous. I haven’t done any snow climbing since Rainier’s Emmons Glacier route, almost a year ago. Furthermore, Rainier only had one short section that was steep; a 50 ft section which was probably around 40 degrees. We were at that crux in the middle of the night. I wasn’t sure how I’d do in daylight with full knowledge of what I was getting myself into! Plus, Skywalker has a much longer steep section than what I experienced before.

I contacted my friend Robert, who has done both climbs (Rainier and Skywalker) to find out what he thought of the cruxes of both routes. Robert described to me what it was like, comparing and contrasting each. It was his opinion that I would be fine and he said I should not hesitate.

So, I didn’t!