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Tag: snow

Little Cone: The Other Cone

Friday & Saturday, September 11-12, 2020

After spending the end of last week on a road trip driving Across the Great Basin and Back, this weekend it was time to get back to hiking in the mountains of Colorado since the season will be ending for me very soon. After climbing Lone Cone a couple years back and Groundhog Mountain earlier this summer, I thought it was time to tackle Little Cone which is another isolated mountain that is located at the western edge of the western San Juan Mountains and sits just to the north of Middle and Dolores Peaks. Although this solitary 11er stands out when you are in the area, I don’t believe the summit sees too many visitors because access is tricky since this mountain is almost completely surrounded by private property. If it weren’t for just one narrow strip of public National Forest land, it would be impossible to climb this peak without permission from a landowner. Luckily that one little strip of land is all I needed to make it to the summit!

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Edge of the Weminuche: Whitehead Peak Loop

Weminuche Wanderings | Thirteeners Around the Deer Park Cirque
Saturday & Sunday, August 29-30, 2020

This weekend I was originally planning to leave right after work on Friday like I usually do, so I could climb three thirteeners along the edge of the Weminuche Wilderness near Silverton on Saturday morning and then head back home in the afternoon so I could prepare for an upcoming trip later in the week. However, after looking at the weather forecast for Saturday and seeing that it was supposed to rain and storm for most of the day, I shuffled my plans around a bit since the weather on Sunday morning was looking like a safer bet for hiking in the San Juan Mountains. Since I was now home on Saturday morning, Diane and I ended up going for a bike ride in the rain along the Colorado River near our home instead. It was one of the coolest days of the summer so far and was a nice way to start the day.

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Leap Day at Swasey’s Leap

Leap Day | Saturday & Sunday, February 29 – March 1, 2020

This year Leap Day (February 29th) happened to fall on a weekend, so I thought it would be fitting to finally get out to Swasey’s Leap in the San Rafael Swell to celebrate. Swasey’s Leap (sometimes spelled Swazys) is a narrow part of the canyon near the beginning of the Lower Black Box of the San Rafael River that is only about 14 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The lore associated with Swasey’s Leap is that back in the late 1800’s Sid and Charley Swasey made a wager about Sid’s horse jumping the narrow gap at the top of the canyon. Sid said his horse could make it while Charley wagered his herd of cattle that he couldn’t. In the end Sid made the leap and won the cattle from his brother. From then on, this spot has been known as Swasey’s Leap or Sid’s Leap. Later, a sheepherder named Paul Hansen built a bridge over the gap made of cottonwood logs and an old wagon box, but this old bridge collapsed and fell into the river sometime in 1997. While I have driven out to the end of the Swasey’s Leap Road once before, I never actually hiked out to Swasey’s Leap, so I was looking forward to finally checking it out this weekend!

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The Malpais: Badlands of New Mexico

El Malpais National Monument & El Morro National Monument
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Sunday, February 16, 2020

The last day of my 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico had finally arrived and although we technically had one more day left for the trip because of Presidents Day on Monday, we decided that we would rather drive home later this evening and have Monday off to rest and get ready to go back to work on Tuesday than stick around another day. After spending the night in Los Lunas we started driving west on historic Route 66 toward Grants so we could visit The Malpais (an extensive area of rough, barren lava flows) of New Mexico for the first time. We had started this week-long adventure along the old Route 66 at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona the previous weekend, and now we would be ending it just down the road from there in New Mexico.

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Celebrating 25 Years: Ouray Ice Festival 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Last year I wasn’t able to make it to the annual Ouray Ice Festival since I was busy exploring the Paria Plateau that weekend instead, but this year I made sure to spend a few hours at the festival on Saturday morning since it’s the 25th Anniversary of the event! I left home early on Saturday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast on my way out of town and arrived at the Ouray Ice Park just in time to watch the beginning of the Elite Mixed Climbing Competition. After watching a few of the ice climbers on the competition route from the bridge, I wandered around the vendor booths and then watched and photographed other climbers on the ice in the Uncompahgre Gorge. I left in the early afternoon and grabbed a Mocha Shake from Mouse’s before heading west into Utah for the remainder of the weekend.

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