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!

Lincoln Falls Ice

Lincoln Falls is an ice flow on the side of Mount Lincoln, a 14er located just south of Breckenridge, CO. It forms up fairly consistently each year due to the high elevation (11,800ft) and natural springs that feed the ice. Some friends and I climbed for a day there this weekend and enjoyed good temperatures in the 20s with little wind, unusual for this typically windy area.

Lincoln Falls Ice Lincoln Falls Ice Main Flow Chicken Screamer Test Main Flow

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

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