LooseCrew-JeffO: Climbing with Banshees


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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Climbing with Banshees

Saturday, I drove to Montezuma. In Denver, the wind was raging from the east, which is backwards! In the mountains it was raging fropm the west-northwest like normal.
I had hoped for a day of fast travel, but with the winds raging like banshees, I switched gear at the trailhead. I had full winter gear with ice boots.
The footing was tricky. If I moved too fast I'd get into trouble when I post-holed. There wasn't a lot of post-holing, but just enough to get my attention. I didn't want the extra weight of snowshoes, especially up high on the ice where crampons and ice ax make more sense.
Below treeline, the wind was okay. In fact, the trees weren't blowing around. There was a wind shear-line that began about 100 feet above treeline. Above that line, the wind was possessed! The wind-chill was extreme. Today I have frost-nip on most of my fingers.
It was worth it! The views were fantastic. The air was clean and my sinuses didn't flare up.
The cornices were astounding! I never trust ridges. My rule is to never approach any drop-off on snow. I have to see grass or rocks poking through underfoot. So I sauntered up to a sturdy-looking rock and stood on it. Right next to it, I could see a bright channel that warned me that the rock was actually a point overhanging a cliff, but the cornice all around it hid the cliff. Nice thrill. Nice lateral view of the corniced ridge leading to Morgan Peak. Collier Mountain was the opposite direction behind me.
There was a grand view of Grays & Torreys, plus Argentine Pass. I'm struggling to set the course of a race, but the warm months are spent racing every weekend. Seems I never get a chance to lay eyes on the ground. It's currently under yards of snow, most places. Only the rockiest places are blown clear.


At 8:10 PM, Blogger Meghan said...


That ridge line is freaky. But in a cool way.

So, wait, this is going to be a running course in the summer time? I'm so in on that one!

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous John said...

Awesome pictures man, thanks for sharing. You are encouraging me to get off my fat ass.


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