Ice Climbing at Hidden Falls – 12.18.2011

Click for slideshowI went ice climbing with a group of people at Hidden Falls in southern-most Rocky Mountain National Park.  We had a group of seven that included good friends and regular climbing partners Bob and Laurie.  Laurie’s boyfriend, Steve, and his daughter, Hudson and Charles joined us as well.  We had several first or second time ice climbers in our group, so it was fun to get them some exposure and experience.

Hidden Falls was as crowded as I have ever seen it.  It must be due to the late forming La Niña and the poor snow/skiing conditions in the mountains, as there were several other parties there enjoying the ice.  So, we simply shared ropes and worked our way in where we could and got in a few good climbs each.  Above, and in the slideshow that the picture above links to, I’m having a little fun on a small mixed section of overhung rock below the primary ice flow.  It was a fun, relaxed day overall.  As we turn the page to 2012 though, the real training begins and you’ll see my adventures ramp up a bit as the departure to Nepal draws increasingly nearer.

Vail skiing/ice climbing – 11.24-27.2011

I spent the long, Thanksgiving weekend with Carla in Vail.  We enjoyed a terrific Thanksgiving meal at La Tour on Thanksgiving night and skied off all of the carbs on Friday.  There wasn’t a lot of terrain open, although last year was an exceptional early season snow year, so it was a bit disappointing.  Regardless, the terrain that was open had nice snow conditions, so we got after it.

We had another Thanksgiving dinner with good friends, Bob & Di, upon their arrival in Vail on Friday evening, which hit the spot after skiing all day.  We all headed out, along with another friend, Hudson, for more turns on Saturday.  Fortunately, Vail continued to open new terrain as it had snowed 3-5″ overnight so we had a really nice ski day on Saturday, followed by a soak in the hot tub and a terrific dinner at Terra Bistro, which was excellent.

On Sunday, we headed to the ice of East Vail and were rewarded with some terrific early season ice conditions.  We climbed the flows of “Firehouse Right” in anticipation of an imminent return to get on the infamous East Vail climbs “Rigid Designator” and “The Fang” once the ice comes in a little more.  All in all, it was another terrific weekend in the mountains!