Archive for the 'Hiking' Category

The Desert

November was the perfect time to head down to the desert for a little bit of climbing.  It was my first time to The Creek and I had a great time exploring the area with a few friends and getting a little schooled on crack climbing.  I’m not new to crack climbing but these climbs were sustained.  It was a blast and I can’t wait to head down again for some more sweet, sweet crack.  Climbing, crack climbing.

Before I left I seemed to have misplaced my trusty old Canon SD400 point and shoot camera.  I typically take this camera with me when I am climbing because it is compact and reliable.  After searching around the house for a month I decided it was time to buy a new one.  I ended up choosing a Samsung HZ15W for the nice lens (24mm wide with 10x zoom) and simple features including manual settings for shooting panoramas.

Samsung HZ15W

So far I’m happy with the camera, I think it takes good shots and I am especially happy with the wide-angle lens.  When climbing I think the lens will let me capture much more of the climb than I was able to with the standard 28mm lens of my old point and shoot.  The camera is a little bit bulkier but the only complaint I have so far is the noise when shooting video and using the zoom lens.  The video quality is great (720p) but having the microphone mounted on the camera lets it pick up the lens noise.

I tested out the camera last weekend when my uncle Garth came to visit us in Colorado.  He hadn’t been to the Moab area of Utah, so we took a quick weekend trip to camp and do a bit of hiking.  We drove down through Castle Valley just outside of Moab and then camped at Beef Basin in Indian Creek.  The next day we did a hike in Canyonlands National Park to the Druid Arch rock formation.  Twelve miles later we were back at the car and in the morning headed back to Colorado.  Uncle Garth liked it so much he drove back to Moab the next day to visit Arches National Park.

Supercrack Whooo! Desert Aliens Druid Arch

Canyonlands Fisher Towers I Dropped Something Independence Monument

Hiking and Aid Climbing in January

The past few weeks the weather has been very nice here in Colorado, everywhere else seems to be freezing but we’ve had temps in the 70s! You know what that means: winter hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park! I added a backrest made from a Ridgerest and some hardboard to a plastic sled, drilled some holes in the back and used some bungee cords to hold down our lunch. I stuffed Benjamin into a sleeping bag and we took off to Dream Lake. The sled worked really well most of the time, although the sled would sometimes track off the trail when traversing a slope. Nymph Lake was frozen and we had some fun sliding around on the ice, made our way to Dream Lake and ate lunch. Fun family outing!

Yesterday afternoon I finally reached a meager goal, aid climbing Country Club Crack at Castle Rock in Boulder Canyon. It goes free at 5.11c, but I wanted some aid practice and the 170ft route was a perfect site for testing out my aid system. It took me 2 hours for the lead, I really need to get faster at aid before heading onto something bigger. I felt better at the top and things were starting to click, so more practice and I should be good to go.

The Transporter On Nymph Lake Family Photo Monika, the Boys and Dream Lake Clean Aid Country Club Crack

Flickr has the option to upload videos to the site, so I’ve uploaded a few videos that we took here at home and on our hike in RMNP to my Flickr page. The quality is much better than YouTube, and it will convert the videos directly from my camera just fine. Seems to be a great way to share videos with friends and family members, hope you like them!

Sliding on Nymph Lake Dogsled We Will Rock You! Iron Man!

Happy Halloween

We’ve had a few visitors over the past month, my Uncle Garth came to visit from Illinois and spent his time in Colorado hiking and taking pictures. You can see the pictures he took from his visit on his photo page. Monika’s sister and her two youngest boys also came to visit for a bit, we drove them around to see the sights and hike in the Park. Tonight was Halloween and the boys had a good time extorting our neighbors for candy, I carved up some pumpkins that we grew in our backyard for decorations.

Lunch in RMNP Emerald Lake Hiking in RMNP Surf's Up! Whoops! Too Much Candy Gaaaahh!

Fall is in the Air

The past few weeks have significantly cooled off here in Colorado and more leaves have been changing color each day. My uncle came to visit and I had a good time showing him some of the local scenery and hikes in the area, especially Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the hikes we did took us up to Chasm Lake, one of the prettiest areas in the park. Just this past weekend, Monika and I drove to Aspen for a getaway and we were able to get some good pictures of the Maroon Bells with full fall colors.

Longs Peak from Chasm Lake Longs Peak and Columbine Falls Triplets at Chasm Lake Maroon Lake Maroon Bells Maroon Bells

Over the past month we’ve been able to get out with the kids and have a bit of fun. We’ve been hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park a few times, visiting Alberta Falls and Emerald Lake. On a hot day in August we took the boys to Lyons to tube the South St. Vrain river. Samuel and Benjamin both loved running the mild rapids in the whitewater park and floating down the river.

Hiking Break Above the Falls Tubing in Lyons Extreme Tubing! Improvised Backpack Long Lake

Samuel has started kindergarten and doing well, he’s active in his class and likes recess. Benjamin is growing every day and imitates everything his brother does. We took the kids to a local farm attraction in Longmont for the day that had a zip line. Samuel waited patiently in line for his turn, then jumped on and flew down the line. When Benjamin saw that his brother had a good time he wanted to do it, too.

Old Man Batman No Likey John Deere Zip Line Zip Line Ride 'em Cowboy

RMNP in the Spring

This past month we’ve been getting out in Rocky Mountain National Park to do some hiking, snowshoeing and camping. Monika and I went on a hike to Mills Lake a few weeks ago, last weekend I spent a night camping at Jewel Lake, and today I tried using touring skis with my mountaineering boots as an alternative to snowshoes for ice climbing approaches. The uphill part went just fine, but the downhill part was difficult due to the lack of support with my boots. It was a beautiful day, though, and I was able to get a few panoramic shots of the Glacier Gorge region of the park.

View from Mills Lake

This is a view from Mills Lake, with the ice climb All Mixed Up on the right Pagoda is visible at the end of the gorge, and Longs Peak is barely visible at the center of the picture. I was able to cross over the middle, but temperatures will soon begin to melt the lake and make things a bit messier. The freeze-thaw cycle that comes every spring will help some of the higher elevation ice climbs form up and stabilize the snowpack to allow for safer avalanche conditions. more…

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