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
“Scree Hell”. We’ve all heard it. This mountain sets the bar so high, it’s how we measure every other scree descent in Colorado. It couldn’t be that bad, right? Yeah it is. I learned that back in 2012 on a 2 year blitzkrieg to finish the 14ers. It was a solo Sawatch slammer of a weekend that included the standard routes on Shav, Tab, Harvard and that infamous descent of Columbia. Four whole 14ers in one weekend. A feat only a noob could appreciate.
These days my main criteria seems to revolve around the path less traveled. And so three days into 2016, one day removed from the coldest New Year’s Day ascent of Massive ever recorded, and just 24 hours before tax season semi-hibernation, I found myself at the Harvard Lakes TH. I’ll be honest, until I did some homework, I didn’t even know Columbia had a southeast ridge. This probably has something to do with the fact that the ridge itself is almost 5 miles long and wraps around the entire Collegiate Peak Wilderness before reaching Columbia.
Peak: Mount Columbia (14,073′) Date: January 3, 2016 Trailhead: Harvard Lakes Distance: 12.5 miles (1/4 mile below TH) Elevation Gain: ~ 5,000 ft. Participants: K Bessler, Dillon Sarnelli Time: 12 hours
By the time I finish this trip report it’ll be calendar winter. TR’s on the .com have long since dropped off into hibernation. The forum posts almost seem intelligent and even respectful. Soon it will be Christmas and New Years and bowl games, oh my! Heck in 10 days it’ll be tax season, but who’s counting.
48 hours before the shortest day of the year, Brando, Kristine, Kona and I found ourselves in a small pull off just off Fremont Pass. The objective, bicentennial 13er Mount Arkansas. Unfortunately, there would be no blue snowflake for Kristine, but I think she still had a good time. 🙂