Back In The Game!

The Sawtooth and Mount Evans, 14,264 feet. Mount Evans Wilderness Area, Colorado

Under normal circumstances a two-mile backpack would be laughable. After starting the summer with yet another meniscus surgery, it feels like I’m a new backapacker and hiker, seeing the world all over again. Marla insisted on carrying almost everything last weekend and I used trekking poles to get up and down the easy trail to Squaretop Lakes. We had a remarkable, warm, starry night up there; all crammed in a little tent (another story for another time). Marla and Abby climbed Squaretop Mountain the next morning and I hiked to the upper lake. I didn’t make that many photos and spent part of the time laying on my belly, watching an ermin bounding across the tundra while listening to the chirping pikas and marmots. It’s going to be a busy August, trying to make up for a month and a half of PT; but it’ll be worth it. Thanks to my wife for your love and patience ~ it feels great to be back in the game. Continue reading “Back In The Game!”

Evening On The James

The Indian Peaks of Colorado’s Front Range are spread out below Longs Peak

The third time was the charm for our last day of winter attempt to climb James Peak in the James Peak Wilderness Area. It’s actually a hike, but winter conditions make for a much more adventuresome outing. We had tried twice before this winter, and were slapped down hard by fierce winds each time. There’s a natural funnel in between James and neighboring Parry Peak that forces all of the western wind through a small gap, only to gather strength as it runs down Saint Mary’s Glacier (which is really a snowfield). This time around, temperatures were at least reasonable and gusts were only supposed to top out at 44 mph… a few blew Marla sideways, comic relief in adverse conditions. Our friend Marc joined us for our half-baked idea to be on top for sunset and moonrise of the over-hyped “supermoon.” Continue reading “Evening On The James”