Winter Came Early to CO

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Click picture for more pictures from the weekend

Craig made it out last weekend (12/12-15) for some fun in Colorado’s early winter conditions.  The weather was determined not to cooperate, but we didn’t let that hold us back.  We went straight from the airport to some close-in ice in Clear Creek Canyon, where we met Bob, and had a full afternoon climbing ice.  We descended our route as the sun retreated behind the canyon wall – just ahead of the need for headlamps.  Craig and Bob did some more ice and mixed climbing on Friday, while some of us aspired toward a paycheck.  On Saturday, Ben and I were able to re-engage on the fun and after a few false starts made our way to Berthoud Pass to skin/ski a few laps to salvage what we could on a cold and blustery day.  We put in several good laps and a couple of thousand feet of vertical in a biting wind.  We retreated after a few hours to Murphy’s in Silverthorne and then on to Ben’s mountain retreat in the mountain metropolis of Heeney, CO.  On Sunday, 55+ mph winds kept us off of our intended climb and ski descent of James Peak, but we skied the beautiful Dry Gulch basin, which will require further exploration.

We had a lot of fun and it was great to see Craig back in his element and charging hard, as usual.  You can’t keep a good man down (or Craig, for that matter), so hopefully we’ll get him back out for some more mountain fun in early 2014.  Looking forward to his return trip already.

I am now back in much warmer Charleston, SC, for the holidays with my family.  I am grateful for what was an eventful 2013 and excited for what 2014 has in store.  I hope your 2013 was all that you could have hoped for and more, and that your 2014 exceeds all expectations.  Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all my best to you and yours for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

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