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Category: Climbing

Castle & Conundrum

Friday & Saturday, August 14-15, 2015

I had originally planned to climb Castle and Conundrum Peaks last Sunday, but after getting a taste of altitude sickness for the first time on Saturday evening I had to cancel those plans and head home. Hoping that it was a one time thing, I decided to go back again this weekend and try again. I left after work on Friday afternoon and drove right to the trailhead with only one quick stop at Grind in Glenwood Springs for dinner. I wanted to camp lower on the Pearl Pass Road this time to try and prevent any issues with altitude sickness but found that all the designated sites were already taken when I drove by around 6:30pm. I kept driving up into Montezuma Basin hoping to find someplace lower to camp, but everything I passed was already occupied, even the spot I had setup camp at last weekend. Finally, I found a nice flat spot just below the Montezuma Mine at 12,300 and setup camp for the night. It was higher than I wanted to camp this time, but I really didn’t have any other options.

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The Dragon’s Back

Saturday & Sunday, July 25-26, 2015

This weekend Diane and I went on an overnight backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains to explore and photograph the area around Unnamed Peak 12968, which is unofficially known as the Dragon’s Back. I have wanted to visit this area for a few years and had planned to finally get there sometime this summer, so I’ve been waiting for the right weather forecast on a weekend when I was also free. With the wet and stormy weather we’ve been having around here lately, this proved to be a challenge. Finally, we had some drier air move into the area and this weekend looked like it would be mostly storm free and might still have good conditions for photography. It turned out to be a great weekend for this trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better sunset on Saturday evening!

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Red Mountain Pass Peaks

Friday – Sunday, July 10-12, 2015

June was a busy month for me that prevented me from spending much time outside and then I got sick over the long Independence Day weekend, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve been out hiking and camping and I really needed to get back into the mountains this weekend! Since I’m a little out of shape, I thought it would be a good idea to start out the season hiking a few easier peaks near Red Mountain Pass this weekend that I’ve thought about climbing for years. Diane and I left after work on Friday and drove through Ouray to one of our go-to campsites in Mineral Basin. We quickly setup camp at 11,600 feet elevation and were soon sleeping. I know that some people have trouble sleeping at higher elevations, but I almost always sleep well over 10,000 feet and this night was no exception.

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Silverton Wildflowers

Friday – Sunday, July 18-20, 2014

Diane and I decided to spend a relaxing weekend in the San Juan Mountains around Silverton camping, hiking, peak-bagging, driving high mountain passes and looking for wildflowers. We left after work on Friday and headed over Red Mountain Pass to the South Fork of Mineral Creek to look for a campsite. This used to be my go-to camping area near Silverton, but I couldn’t believe how many people were camped along here this weekend. It was ridiculous! As we were driving back out to find somewhere else to camp, Diane spotted a nice secluded campsite along the creek that no one was at, so we setup camp there since it was getting late. We didn’t have time to get anywhere else for sunset, so I just took a few photos over the South Fork of Mineral Creek behind out camp as the sun went down for the day.

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Otto’s Staircase

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After work I decided to get a little hike in and explore a new area of the Colorado National Monument. I wanted to check out Otto’s Staircase above Gold Star Canyon and try to reach the top of Monument Mesa via this route. Please excuse my poor pictures in this trip report, when I set out after work to explore this new trail I didn’t really plan on taking any photos or even creating a trip report so I didn’t carry my camera with me. All of these photos were taken and processed on my iPhone. I ended up really enjoying this climb and taking a few photos with my iPhone so I wanted to share a them. I’m sure I will return to hike this trail again to do even more exploring on Monument Mesa. I will be sure to bring my better camera next time!

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