05-06-16 – Jacque Peak
05-17-16 – Longs Peak – Keplinger’s Couloir
06-01-16 – Otis Peak
06-08-16 – South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak, Green Mountain
06-19-16 – Savage Peak – Savage Couloir
06-29-16 – Music Mountain
07-13-16 – Extra Credit – Mount Orton
Participants: Mat Ballay, Dillon Sarnelli
For most of the civilized world this year began on January 1 when the clock struck midnight. For the few and not so proud who call ourselves accountants, it kicked off on April 15th at closing time. I had a lot of catching up to do, so when the mountains called, I went. And when your go to climbing buddy has a few months to spare before moving and starting a new teaching job, well things set up very very nicely. Pardon the summary, but Mat and I went on such a tear since Kelso that I really didn’t get much time to sit and document any of it. I’ll keep this one to highlights, pictures, and a good sense of humor.
Peaks: Jupiter Mountain (13,830′), Windom Peak (14,082′), Sunlight Peak (14,059′), Mount Eolus (14,083′), North Eolus (14,039′) Dates: July 2-3 2016 Trailhead: Purgatory Flats (8,740′) Distance: ~ 40 miles Elevation Gain: ~ 11,000′ Time: 36 hours Group: Andrea Sansone, Andrew Hamilton, Charlie Nuttelman, Danielle Joy, Elizabeth Stevens, Dillon Sarnelli
My first trip into Chicago Basin was in the summer of 2013. Back then the objective was simple. Check off Colorado’s 4 most remote 14ers and make it safely back to the train in one piece. By all accounts the weekend was a success, but one thing was certain. I’d be back in the Wemi sooner than later. Over the years that followed I’ve made good on that promise, with each trip a constant reminder that the Weminuche, the granddaddy of all Colorado’s wildernesses, is hands down in a class all by itself.
Recently I had the privilege of sitting next to Elizabeth Stevens and Ryan Kushner at dinner during our annual reunion with the Jansen family. At the time Elizabeth mentioned she had 15 or so 14ers remaining and could use some partners as Ryan would be off in Pakistan for 2 months climbing something I can’t even try to pronounce. 🙂 Not being one to ever really turn down a Wemi trip, I gladly accepted the invitation.
Normally I try to stick to 2 criteria when writing a trip report: 1) Write about a peak that isn’t well traveled, and 2) if possible, try to keep it timely. Well, I guess I’m throwing protocol out the window on this one. 🙂
That said, if you’re still here, thanks for reading and at the very least you’ll like the pictures!
Mat and I scrambled up Kelso Ridge on Torreys at the end of April as a snow climb. It was a great day out in the hills on a new route for both of us and the first of 5 or so mountain outings we’d do this spring.
I’ll preface this TR by saying that as an accountant, tax season gave me a good ass kicking this year. I had a few more outings this winter than the norm, but in all reality, my last big day out was in January on KC with Natalie. I wouldn’t call Kelso Ridge a big day, but it sure was a fun day, an excellent mountain therapy session with a great partner, and an outing that helped me quickly remember why we do what we do out here.
Spanish Creek. For 48 hours it remained untouched this winter until a brave and unsuspecting foursome went to work during the wee hours of Christmas Eve. By noon we weren’t even approaching treeline. We never stood a chance. For the next 30 days Spanish Creek would remain untouched.
Peak: Kit Carson Peak (14,165′) Date: January 23, 2016 Trailhead: Spanish Creek (8,260′) Distance: ~11 miles Elevation Gain: ~ 6,000 ft. Participants: Natalie Moran, Dillon Sarnelli Time: 16 hours