Sunday, July 6, 2008

Saturday, July 5th, 2008 Eva, Flora, Parry, Bancroft

Flora, Eva, Parry, Bancroft
~12 miles
~5,000 vertical
Jeff and Allison Valliere, Kevin Lund and Rick Canter (for part of the way) and Sierra

At the last moment, plans came together to meet up with good friend and fellow 14erworld member Rick Canter at Berthoud Pass for a bit of hiking. Allison, Kevin and I had plans to cruise the divide for a ways while Rick would play things by ear and use the day for acclimating.

We agreed that we would eventually go our separate ways and try to rendezvous later for the return trip as we started up Mines Peak at 8:00am. Rick warned us that he might be hurting having only been in Colorado for a day after arriving from Maryland, but… Rick was moving quite well all things considered and cruised along no problem as we chatted about all things related to mountains. I love talking with Rick and especially admire his passion for the mountains and ambition to make trips out here to Colorado every year on his own and climb as many peaks as he can fit in. Even though he lives on the East Coast, he is a Coloradan at heart.

Sadly, we parted ways with Rick near the top of Mines Peak as we set off for more distant peaks. We made the surprisingly distant (but very easy) summit of Flora around 9:40ish and took a 25 minute break. Eva looked further away than expected and the drop to the saddle was a little bit more significant, however turned out to be a very easy walk.

Once on Eva, Allison and Kevin announced that they were done for the day, but I was eyeing Parry and Bancroft. They said they would meander back as I ran over to tag the other summits. Made Parry in 20 minutes, then another 13 to Bancroft. I took a 5 minute break and eyed/seriously contemplated running over to James, but did not want to have my hiking mates waiting/worrying.

I gassed it pretty hard on the way back and got back to Flora in about 40 minutes where I again met up with Allison and Kevin. There were a few dark clouds building and I was hoping to catch Rick on the way down, so we jogged most of the way.

Unfortunately, we never caught Rick as he was long gone when we returned to the pass at 1:45. I talked to Rick later and he had made it up Flora, but called it a day there.

As an aside, that evening we got a terrible phone call from Dave informing us that Scooby had passed away. After 3 years of countless climbs and great times with Scooby, Shep, Dave and Emily, it struck us particularly hard as we have become very attached. Scooby was in all ways one of the best dogs I have ever come across and we all loved him. If it is this hard on us, I just can’t imagine how bad Dave and Emily feel. Rest in Peace Scooby, your presence in the mountains will always be felt and never fogotten.


Friday July 4th, 2008, Jasper Peak

Jasper Peak (12,923)
6.6 miles RT
2,860 vertical
Northeast Slopes from 4th of July TH
Jeff and Allison Valliere, Kevin Lund and Sierra

Had an awesome hike on the 4th of July from the 4th of July TH (this was not a novel idea we observed on the way out, as there were cars parked down the road for nearly a mile!).

Started around 7:15am and got a good parking spot at the TH. Cruised up the trail to the Jasper Lake turn, dropped a bit of elevation to cross the creek and found the short lived trail on the South side of Middle Boulder Creek. From the end of the trail, it was a short and simple bushwhack to tree line.

We followed Roach’s route description to the small lake and then the crashed plane.From the plane, we headed up the NE slopes to the ridge. We could have avoided snow all the way to the ridge, but opted to cross a few patches as it is relatively low angle, the snow was perfect for kicking steps and we had axes.

We were kind of wishing we had brought crampons and started an hour earlier as there are ample moderately angled snow climbing opportunities here.Once on the ridge, we could peer over toward Snow Lion, Snow Leopard and Gaiteraid.

I was secretly wishing we had opted for Snow Lion, but it would have required a bit more planning and a much earlier start on the day (there was a significant amount of rocks littering the route, some as big as kitchen stoves).From the saddle, it was a snow climb up the ridge, not too steep, but with snow it was enough to keep your attention and we were happy to have our ice axes just for peace of mind.

We made the summit around 10:45am at a very leisurely pace and lounged for quite some time.The descent back was a breeze and involved some top notch boot skiing. All too soon we were on the main trail passing the masses, a stark contrast after spending most of the day by ourselves, only seeing 2 others briefly on the summit.All in all an awesome way to spend the 4th, topped off by going to a friends house for the requisite top notch BBQ.