We have been enjoying great snow here in Colorado since early November, and I have been spending a fair amount of time playing in it as my departure to the Himalayas creeps ever closer (only 16 weeks until we depart for Kathmandu)… crazy. At left, is a picture of my young climbing partner, Matt Moniz, pulling a back-flip (yes, intentionally) on Berthoud Pass only two days after Halloween. Matt, his dad, Mike, and I have been on a few early-season, backcountry outings on Berthoud Pass to climb up and ski down the likes of Russell Peak (12,300′) & Stanley Mountain (12,521′) as well as Colorado Mines Peak (12,497′) & Mount Flora (13,146′). Everyone is feeling strong at this point in the training cycle, so it is time to step things up and get our bodies ready for the challenges that await us on our expedition.
This past week, we experienced the arctic blast that blanketed much of the US, but we used the opportunity to do some conditioning (getting used to tough conditions – i.e. frigid temps, snow, wind, etc.) as well as some training. At least that’s what we tell ourselves to feel better (right, Bob Berger?). Ben and I headed out this past Saturday in below zero temps with our pups (Camden & Tank) to climb Bear Peak (8,461′) in Boulder. It’s not a terribly tough outing typically, but being a steep, snow-covered, 3,000′ climb to the summit in frigid temps, it more than met our needs for the day. We made quick work of it and retreated from the summit to the warmth of the Southern Sun brewery for some much-needed electrolyte replenishment (beer) and nourishment (buffalo burger). Another good day in the hills, even if my eyebrows completely frosted over (more pictures of the outing available by clicking either of the pictures above). This outing, combined with the other ones over the past month or two, puts my total summits at 30, which leaves 10 peaks to go with 16 weeks until departure. I think that will prove to be good training down the stretch as the Himalayas loom large on my horizon…
This weekend, Craig is coming to Colorado for some backcountry fun. He has recovered nicely from this summer’s incident on Mt. Jefferson and he will be joining Ben, Bob and me (and maybe the Monizes) to climb some ice, summit some peaks and ski some lines. More on that adventure to follow…
Jim, I loved the pics. The dogs shenanigans added much enjoyed laughs. Congrats on 30 peaks. You set your goal and are fulfilling your commitment. That takes discipline. You are the man.
Your sister from another mother – aka your sister-in-law
Good to hear Craig is doing well. 🙂 I enjoy your updates, as usual.