Saturday, February 27, 2010

Colorado Fun

So, aside from all these great snowshoeing trips we've been taking, we have also enjoyed some other winter activities. Over the last few weeks, we have both managed to get to Eldora to take skiing lessons, on separate occasions. Because there aren't a lot of adults taking group lessons during the week, Dan and I both managed to get a two hour private lesson. Very coo!

Also on separate occasions, we have both managed to ride our bikes to Chautauqua, hike Green Mountain, and bike home. I went today and had a ton of fun. I think I broke my ascent record--today I got from the Amphitheatre parking lot to the summit in 1:23.

Last Sunday we got a good 8 inches of snow. I skied out the front door and up the Cottonwood Trail. It was a gorgeous afternoon with awesome snow!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quandary in winter

Long day. Weather better than expected. Made it to plateau at 13,000' before turning around due to very high winds that literally knocked us to the ground.

Check out pics.

View Quandary 20-Feb-2010 in a larger map

Weather for today

Point Forecast: 4 Miles ENE Kokomo CO
39.4°N 106.1°W (Elev. 13674 ft)

Today: Snow. High near 12. Wind chill values as low as -16. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Quandary, here we come!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lookout Mtn Again

We did it! I can't believe it, but we did it! We parked at Wild Basin again, but this time we followed the Sandbeach Lake trail west for about 3 miles rather than heading north towards Meeker Park. We hiked and then snowshoed for about two and a quarter hours before heading off trail. There was a ton of snow -- up to two feet in parts. Despite the rough going, we got a lot of navigation practice here.

We followed a ridge and then headed north towards a gully. We headed up the gully (at times seeing the creek under the snow) following a northeasterly bearing, before circling around the back of Lookout Mountain. After 3½ hours off trail (plus 2¼ on trail) we finally got to the summit. There wasn't time to hang out long, as we were already at our turn back time. Fortunately, heading back downhill was much easier and much faster. We made it back to the car less than 2½ hours after leaving the summit.

The summit of Lookout Mountain

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lookout Mountain and Horsetooth

Fate was against us today. Our plan was to summit Lookout Mountain and Horsetooth by snowshoe. While we were up on the saddle we wanted to explore Meeker ridge a bit, then descend off trail and head back to the trailhead. But, as the saying goes, first, catch your hare.

How did things not go according to plan?
  1. We got a late start this morning since I was up late last night.
  2. We got our car stuck in a ditch on County Rd 113N a hundred yards from the trailhead.
  3. Two hours into our trip, Laurel says, "Did I give the camera back to you?"
  4. As we were retracing our steps to find the camera, Laurel says, "What happened to your other snowshoe?"

After a nice man in the neighborhood towed us out of our first crisis, we decided to park at the Sandbeach Lake TH instead and adjust our route accordingly. We lost and found the camera, and I found my missing snowshoe -- it had come right off my foot as we were hiking and I didn't even notice for 50 feet! We were spooked the rest of the day that items would start crawling out of our packs when we weren't looking.

We didn't get to summit anything today, but we got some good navigation practice and exercise (see our route). We also finally figured out that the tracks we have seen on recent hikes are indeed snowshoe hare -- we hadn't realized previously that their large hind feet land forward of their front feet as they hop, creating that characteristic pattern.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

IPW and ROMO map

This map shows every hiking, snowshoe, and skiing trip we have made to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forests, or Rocky Mountain National Park.

Had to do this to figure out where to go this weekend :)

View IPW + ROMO in a larger map