Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tiptop Peak 12,053
Morgan Peak 12,474
Santa Fe Peak 13,180
Sullivan Peak 13,194
~7 miles/~3,300 vertical
4 hours and 50 minutes
Jeff Valliere, Dave Hale, Scooby, Shep and Sierra

This came about at the last minute, as we really had no solid plans for the weekend. Dave was spending the weekend up in Keystone, so I quickly looked at the map and checked to see what was near Montezuma. I recalled Sarah T’s TR from last April, so I re-read it to get the scoop (thanks for the valuable info Sarah).

We decided that it would be best to set up a car shuttle to avoid having to walk back on the road with the dogs and left my car at the winter closure South of Montezuma and headed back to town in Dave’s truck. Both Dave and I are quite ready for spring and we were lamenting the -4 reading as we started up the hillside at 8:13am, what the ….?

We were both dressed a bit light and quickly stopped to add warmer mittens and face masks etc.A short distance up the road, before the first switchback even, we noticed a nice set of ski tracks heading straight up the hillside. Just what I was hoping for and we followed them straight up the fall line.

It was steep, but quite efficient.Despite a few lengthy stops for gear adjustments, we still passed treeline in an hour even and took a short break on Tiptop to take in the stunning scenery. Morgan looked far, but came up on us quickly, where we took yet another one of many picture breaks. It was a bluebird day with hardly any wind. The cornices along the ridge were some of the largest I have ever seen, quite impressive. We were careful to keep the dogs and ourselves far away, as a mishap in many places would have been a touch rough.

The trip up Santa Fe was a breeze, even with the several false summits. Our original plan was to continue on to Landslide, but both Dave and I were happy to call it a day after Sullivan and sneak home before ski traffic.

We dropped down a low angle gulley between Santa Fe and Sullivan (closer to Santa Fe below the Silver Ware(?) mine). Although there were some avy prone slopes nearby, and the lower part is in an avy chute, avalanche danger was quite low and we were careful with our route, mostly sticking to rocks and grass on the sides. I would not attempt this descent when the avalanche risk is higher.

The trip out was a breeze as we followed a welcome snowmobile track, then a longer than expected dirt road. What an incredible day to be out in the high country!


3/22/08 S. Boulder Peak

S. Boulder Peak
8 miles/3,000 vertical
1:15 up

Allison, Sierra and I went to the S. Mesa TH with no real plan, other than staying in the sun and avoiding steep, icy, snowy trails. Before we know it, we are heading up Shadow canyon just to see how far we could go before snow and ice became an issue. It never became an issue, as we could avoid the icy spots and before we knew it, we were on the summit, a bit surprised as we had no intention of heading up here. All in all a great day out with the wife and dog. Once back at the car, I saw Jesus, well not really, but it looked just like him, mostly naked too. I was a few hundred feet away and speculated that it was Anton Krupicka, but what would he be doing in Boulder? I just checked his blog and sure enough it was him, just as I suspected. Not too many guys out there that look like him. Although it was decent out yesterday, it was still only in the 40's and I was wearing pants, long shirt, jacket, wool beanie and gloves. Not sure I am ready for just shorts, maybe I'm just a wimp.