Sunday, August 18, 2013
Had originally intended to pace a friend at the Leaville Traill 100 this weekend, but things don’t always work out as planned. After injuring herself at work and not being able to race in Leadville, I suddenly had some free time, and decided to give “Operation Dark Snake” a go. Let me interject a little explanation here; “Operation Dark Snake” refers to the act of poaching an ascent of Culebra Peak, which lies on private lands in southern Colorado. According to 14ers.com, normally folks will pay a $100 fee to the owners of the Cielo Vista Ranch near St. Luis, CO for the pleasure of climbing this peak. However, directions are also available on the Internet for how to approach the peak from the N. Purgatory Creek TH, near Stonewall, CO; via an arduous ridge traversing journey that covers some 12+ miles one way.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
As Lisa and I said goodbye to each other at 9:15 PM Friday night in Winfield, I was trying to stay focused and not find a reason to get back in the truck to head back to town for drinks and the hotel. After watching her leave, I turned into the darkness and up the road toward West Winfield and Southwest Ridge of La Plata Peak. Midnight was when I finally reached the summit of La Plata; it had been snowing for the past couple of hours. That the clouds were now beginning to settle onto the summit, further reducing the already poor visibility, was a little unsettling to say the least. I was having some trouble locating my descent, down the Northwest Ridge towards Lake Creek TH. As some of you may recall from mountaineering and alpine climbing, that from the summit of a mountain, the way down can sometimes be very unobvious, much more so than when looking up at the mountain from its bottom. So, I started to descend in a downward, counter clockwise spiral from the summit and finally crossed the well trodden donkey path that serves as the normal route up the peak.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Saturday brought another day of rehearsing and research on the Nolan’s 14 course. After the storms of last weekend, and forecast for even more intense monsoonal moisture flow for this weekend, I was more than a little apprehensive about the weather forecast. That left me reconsidering my original plans of traversing Missouri Mtn. to Mt. Huron, and then across La Plata Peak, so I decided to leave off La Plata, thinking that taking another look at the ascent from Chlohesy Lake to Mt. Huron might be the most important research I could gain from the day. This was important to me because I am planning on doing this part of the course at night, and it is confusing enough during the day, so that was where I was going to place an emphasis on for whatever time the weather was going to allow. The east face of Missouri Mtn.