I spent much of the winter and spring working on my new venture while managing to get into the hills from time-to-time. Bob and I backed out of the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse race in March due to the terrible blisters I suffered on our 22-mile training run to/from Friends Hut near Crested Butte the week before the race. Custom boot liners followed soon thereafter.
We did a few other ski outings, up St. Mary’s glacier in 60mph winds and up Torreys Peak’s flanks, in anticipation of an early-season climb of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Stormy weather changed that objective before we even got on the plane, so we headed to Crystal Mountain (near Mt. Rainier in Washington state) with good buddy Craig to take advantage of all the fresh snow and ski powder instead of post-hole up to our waists on Mt. Hood. It was the best Plan B trip I’ve had in a long time.
Soon thereafter, I was abruptly confronted by my 40th birthday. I decided it was time to get back in “Everest-type” shape, having slacked-off since my return last year, and resolved to climb 40 peaks in 40 weeks. The first outing, pictured above (more pictures available by clicking the picture and going to a brief slideshow), was a ski ascent & descent of James Peak (13,300′) with Ben, Esmond & Porter. It was a beautiful, splitter day and a great way to start off this quest. I followed this up with a solo climb of Mt. Bierstadt (14,060′) linked together with Mt. Evans (14,264′) via the Sawtooth Ridge. It was a full day and a lot of fun, particularly the interesting scrambling along the Sawtooth.
So, with this new mission in front of me, look for more posts and pictures on this blog as I work towards the 40 peak objective and build toward some tough and interesting challenges that are on my radar.