Christmas Eve 2010. Our Anglo-Australian friend Emily Kewley (on the left) joined us for the occasion. The reindeer candelabra is a souvenir from Martin’s trip to Helsinki in the summer.
Christmas Day 2010. On the left is Emily Kewley. Fran tore her ACL a few days earlier when skiing at Steamboat Springs (first ski run of the season, alas) and was hobbling around on crutches.
Gordon Laurens climbing Grace Falls in RMNP on a cold and windy January day.
Mike Walley hiking across Black Lake in RMNP on the way to climb the West Gully, January 2011; McHenry’s Peak in the background.
Rick at the Ouray Ice Park, March 2011
Rick hiking up to Billboard Peak at Silverton Mountain, March 2011
The view from Billboard Peak, Silverton Mountain, March 2011
Rick and the rest of our group about to start a descent at Silverton Mountain, March 2011
Storm Peak and the Grande Couloir (to the left of the peak). Silverton Mountain, March 2011. The previous day we hiked all the way up the couloir (1,500’ vertical) before descending. The colour and contrast in this image have been heavily Photoshopped so that you can see the ski tracks.
In May 2011 Kurt Mensch and I went on a backcountry ski trip to the Chicago Basin in the San Juans. This was a rematch from the previous year when my ski bindings disintegrated just as we arrived at camp. Access to the area is via the Durango-Silverton railway (or a very long hike from the highway).
Kurt Mensch on the ski in to Chicago Basin.
The peaks of Chicago Basin – Sunlight peeking out on the left, Windom in the centre and Jupiter on the right.
The peaks of Chicago Basin – Sunlight in the centre-left, Sunlight Spire in the centre and Windom on the right (in front of the sun)
Martin at Chicago Basin, May 2011
Kurt Mensch at the saddle between Sunlight and Sunlight Spire; Windom in the background
Kurt Mensch on Sunlight; Eolus in the background
Kurt Mensch skiing down to our camp in the Chicago Basin
We had one good day of skiing at Chicago Basin, but the next day the weather turned against us. We tried to climb Mt. Jupiter (a peak that’s long been on Kurt’s to-do list) but retreated in the face of high winds and white-out conditions. We got back to our camp early in the day, and rather than spending a cold and damp night our tent we decided to make a frantic hike out to the DSRR railway to see if we could catch the afternoon train back to Durango and comfortable hotel room (there’s only one train each day). Here’s a rain-soaked Kurt back at the DSRR stop, happy to have made it back in time for the train.
Rick hiking up Quandary Peak, May 2011
Rick descending Quandary Peak, May 2011. It had snowed a day or two earlier and we were treated to some of the best ski conditions of the season. 2011 was an La Nina year and the snowpack in Northern Colorado was more like mid-winter than late spring.
On my way to climb the Martha Couloir in RMNP with Mike Walley, May 2011
Martin climbing the Martha Couloir in RMNP, May 2011
Gordon Laurens and McHenry’s Peak, RMNP, June 2011. We were hoping to climb the Big Mac Couloir (snow-filled gully up the centre of the peak) but the weather was too warm and all the snow was turning to slush. After a rope-length of climbing we retreated and as a consolation prize we hiked the descent route on the other side of the peak.
Gordon Laurens wading through slushy snow on the way up McHenry’s Peak, RMNP; Long’s Peak in the background.
Kurt Mensch about to ski down SquareTop Mountain, June 2011. Gray’s Peak and Torrey’s Peak on the horizon on the left.
Martin, John Christie and Gordon Laurens on the way to Skywalker Couloir, Arapahoe Peak, June 2011
John Christie and Gordon Laurens on a rime-encrusted traverse between South and North Arapahoe peaks, June 2011
John Christie and Gordon Laurens on the traverse between South and North Arapahoe peaks, June 2012