LooseCrew-JeffO: Snow and hiking


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow and hiking

Saturday, I started the day by volunteering at a 5K/10K race. Many of the people I like but don't get to see very often were running.
Tania P did double-duty by volunteering, then at the last minute she stripped off her warm-up suit and joined the throngs. Very cool with her distance slow-twitch muscles that she still tried the 10K. This was her first recovery race after coming in 4th at Sunmart recently.
The temps were 10 degrees pre-race, but warmed up to the mid-20's afterwards.

Then I went to a fantastic Christmas party at Shawna's (thanx Mark and Shawna).

Then I drove up towards Jones Pass and crawled into the back to sleep. I was nodding off and barely got there in time - I was SOOOOO sleepy. Even though I feel fine, my nose is running and I sneeze so hard it's like I'm going to explode. So I took Nyquil and that plus one beer knocked me out.
I had never been up there. The Henderson mine is still in operation and it is huge. It has multiple parking lots and lots of buildings and runs shifts 24/7. There was too much noise to sleep outside.
The next morning, I figured I'd go hiking up to the pass, but there were tons of people arriving and the clincher was the snowmobiles getting off the trailer.
Okay, well, that's one of the reasons I went up there - to find out what kind of "situation" it was. I hate snowmobiles.

So I drove to Georgetown to eat breakfast at the Happy Cooker, then up to the Hermans Gulch trailhead.
Only I didn't head up Hermans Gulch. Instead, I went up to Watrous Gulch. I was scouting out new places, hoping to find good winter camping spots. I didn't find any.
The snow is in good condition, as far as avalanche danger goes, but that tends to vary greatly depending on what valley you're in. 100 miles away, the conditions could be lethal. Maybe even as close as higher up on the east-facing slopes of Watrous Gulch. I never trust snow, even though I love it so.
On the way back I lay down and watch the wind kick up snow-devils on the other side of the gulch and soaked in the scenery.

There was no wildlife except for chickadees.
Down in Denver, there are quite a few foxes. I've seen a couple that head out every evening hunting for rabbits, and people's pets. You can always tell their tracks because their hind feet tend to overlap their front tracks. Domestic dogs tend to have evenly spaced tracks. Most of the tracks I see in the 'hood are fox, not dog. In winter, people tend to keep their dogs indoors.

A fun weekend. I haven't been out for awhile.


At 7:20 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

Watrous Gulch sounds beautiful! I'm glad you had a good day out!



Post a Comment

<< Home