Archive for the 'Outside' Category


Seasonal Rock & Ice

Last weekend the Brutes and I had a nice weather window, so we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to do some ice climbing. We had several objectives in mind, with West Gully up near Black Lake the primary objective. It is a 450 foot, 5-pitch, WI4 ice climb that forms up pretty consistently in the fall, and even though this year the ice is pretty lean it was still in. Dan and I climbed the route in 4 pitches, him taking the crux pitch and me leading the enduro-slabs at the top of the route. The descent from the top turned out to be the hardest part, and we hiked out in the dark. You can read Jeff Fox’s account of the trip on his blog.

West Gully First Pitch of West Gully Dan Follows Enduro-Slabs West Gully Enduro-Slabs Black Lake Slabs

This weekend I was a bit iced-out, and the weather was going to be nice and sunny. We headed down into the South Platte to do a bit of crack climbing at Turkey Rocks. Turkey Rocks is known for great crack climbing, and it didn’t disappoint. I climbed a few routes to warm up, then we headed over to Dan’s project, a 5.11- crack climb called Whimsical Dreams. I scrambled up over the top, and rapped in from above to take some photos from above. It was a great day with good weather at a super-nice crag.

Turkey Rocks I Like Crack Jam Rest Sloper Whimsical Dreams

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

Alpine Rock

Climbing, climbing, climbing.  This past month has seen some vertical action and I finally got up into the  Park to do some alpine rock.  I had been climbing a lot in Boulder Canyon mostly to take advantage of the cooler weather there, but also to climb some more sport routes on granite.  If you find a shady area in the upper section of the canyon, it can be quite comfortable even when the temperatures in Boulder hit the 90s.  I did get to Eldorado Canyon once this month to climb Rewritten with Fabio, still one of my favorite routes there.

Mike and I went up to the Park on Wednesday evening to start BivyFest ‘08.  We had planned on bivying for three nights and climbing three alpine rock routes, but the weather was not cooperative.  We were able to bivy below and climb Spearhead, but bailed on the trip after that climb due to weather.  It’s gonna snow up there today!  We got a bit wet on the hike out, but luckily we were able to avoid the worst of it.

Animation 4th Pitch Belay Rewritten Spearhead Bivy Spearhead Spearhead

On our hike out from Spearhead, we saw a small herd of elk grazing above Black Lake.  After seeing several smaller elk, we spotted the big daddy of the group – right in the middle of the trail!  We snapped some pictures and waited for a while (as we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes), but he stood his ground in the middle of the trail.  Finally we made enough noise that he moved off to the side and we were able to quickly pass.  His horns looked sharp!

Bull Elk and Black Lake Roadblock Big Daddy

Summer Vacation

Our family wanted a little vacation this summer, preferably at the beach. We left Colorado last week and headed west, stopped in Arches National Park and Las Vegas, then ended up in San Diego. Las Vegas was hot, but comfortable as long as you stayed by the pool during the day and only ventured out at night. I lost a grand total of $4 in the Green Valley Ranch casino where we were staying. We visited the Hoover Dam, but didn’t stay long due to the 110+ temperatures. San Diego was more pleasant, and the sea breezes off the ocean help with the heat. The drive out and back was interesting, if it was cooler I would have stopped in Zion and scoped out some big walls!

Delicate Arch Eiffel Tower Replica Vegas, Baby Run Away! Pacific Beach Pier Gopher? La Jolla

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