Kurt Mensch on a snowy February morning on our way to do some ice-climbing near Ouray, CO
Martin leading the top pitch of “Whorehouse Hoses” near Silverton, CO (February 2012)
Gordon Laurens on the way to Grace Falls, at the base of Notchtop Mountain, Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park (February 2012)
John Christie and Gordon Laurens near Grace Falls, Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park (February 2012)
Palmayra Peak, Telluride ski resort (March 2012). You’re allowed to hike up the right-hand skyline and ski down the gully that starts from the very top (13,319’).
Rick at Silverton ski area (March 2012)
Kurt Mensch on the way to Sayre’s Benchmark (13,758’), near La Plata Peak (April 2012)
Kurt Mensch at the summit of Sayre’s Benchmark (April 2012)
Kurt Mensch skiing down the “Grand Central Couloir” on Sayre’s Benchmark (April 2012)
Kurt Mensch returning from Sayre’s Benchmark (April 2012). The “Grand Central Couloir” descends from the col just to the right of the summit.
Martin and Paul Geddes at Whistler-Blackcomb (April 2012). We were there to do the Spearhead traverse, a multi-day backcountry trip that starts at the ski area boundary. Luckily the initial ascent is effort-free, thanks to the ski lifts.
Paul Geddes at the Blackcomb ski area boundary, about to start on the Spearhead traverse (April 2012)
Paul Geddes at the summit of Mt. Pattison (2,483m) on the Spearhead traverse (April 2012)
Camp at the Pattison-Tremor col on the Spearhead traverse (April 2012)
The Spearhead range from our camp the Pattison-Tremor col (April 2012). From left to right the prominent peaks are Macbeth, Iago, Fitzsimmons, Benvolio, Overlord and Fissile.
Paul Geddes at the Tremor-Shudder col, Spearhead traverse (April 2012)
Skiing across the Ripsaw glacier, Spearhead traverse (April 2012). Unfortunately clouds rolled in a short while later and for the rest of the trip we were in near-whiteout conditions.
On the second night of the Spearhead traverse we had the luxury of staying at an otherwise empty Himmelsbach hut. Here’s Paul Geddes leaving the hut in stormy conditions the next morning.
Martin enjoying some well-earned refreshment at Whistler ski area base after completing the Spearhead traverse (April 2012).
John Christie climbing “Queen’s Way” on Apache Peak (13,441’), May 2012
John Christie after skiing down “Queen’s Way” on Apache Peak (May 2012). Apache is the summit on the right of the photo. Queen’s Way is hidden from sight by the rocky buttress in front of the summit.
Kurt Mensch on North Apostle Peak after traversing over from Ice Mountain (13,951’), May 2012. We had just climbed the “Refrigerator Couloir”, the obvious snow-filled gully leading to the summit of Ice Mountain. Unfortunately 2011-2012 was a bad winter for snow and much of the snow had already melted from the gully, leaving patches of hard ice and unpleasant loose rubble.
Kevin Smith near the summit of “Lone Eagle”, Indian Peaks Wilderness (July 2012).
In July Fran completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at U of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus (thesis topic: "Modulation of Ionic Conductances at the Vestibular Type I Hair Cell Calyx Synapse"). Here are Fran and Martin after Fran's thesis defence.
Kurt Mensch en route to climb “Skye’s Sickle” (5.9) on Spearhead, Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park (August 2012). We were there on what turned out to be the last warm weekend of the summer and luckily we had the climb to ourselves.
Kurt Mensch near the summit of Spearhead after climbing “Syke’s Sickle” (August 2012). We had a memorable descent as one of my trail shoes had come untied from my harness halfway up the climb and tumbled hundreds of feet down the cliff. Fortunately I discovered it at the base of the cliff after hobbling down in one of my climbing shoes.
Kurt Mensch on the hike down to Black Lake, Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park (August 2012). In the background are McHenry’s Peak and Arrowhead.
In September Alex left for San Jose, CA to join the Santa Clara Aquamaids synchronized swimming team. Here she is with her “grandmother” Robynne, who she’s living with while she trains there.