Thomas climbing at the Palace

July 31, 2006 at 5:30 am

We went for a little sport climbing on Sunday at the Palace. This is an area about 15 miles up the Poudre Canyon with probably over 100 different sport climbs of a wide range of difficulties. It was really blazingly hot for most of the afternoon on Sunday, but after an hour or so, the clouds came out and the area cooled off quite a bit.

I am soooo out of climbing shape. That’s all I have to say about that.


Mtn Biking Hewlet Gulch

July 30, 2006 at 6:25 am

Spent Saturday afternoon exploring a new trail off the Poudre Canyon. It was sunny and pretty darn hot, but when you’re flying down a rocky trail at 20mph, the heat isn’t so bad. Plus, there were plenty of fun creek crossings, so everything stayed nice, wet and muddy!

Yep! That’s a picture of me (gasp)! We brought along the new little Kodak, and Mark had fun taking pictures a long the way.


Summit View

July 27, 2006 at 8:57 am

Looking Southwest off the summit of Gray’s Peak at the Sawatch Range. If the shot were a little more to the right (west) you would see A-Basin, Keystone, Dillion and Dillon Reservoir. We thought that was pretty cool.


Upper slopes of Grays Peak

July 26, 2006 at 7:30 am

This is a shot from the upper slopes of Grays. The trail was relatively easy, definately well defined. It switch-backed all the way up the face, and you can see little people all along the horizon if you view this large (click the image to get to flickr). I actually took this picture on our way down, just before 11am or so. There were plenty of people working their way up the mountain still, even though the clouds had started to move in a bit.

In the mountains during the summer, serious afternoon thunderstorms (heavy rain, wind, hail and much lightening) are very common. This day was after a frontal system had moved through, so an area of substinace and upper level dry air were preventing deep convection from occuring. Still, it made for some pretty clouds in the afternoon.


Climbing Gray’s Peak

July 25, 2006 at 7:12 pm

Last Saturday, Mark and I sucessfully climbed Gray’s Peak. At 14,270ft (or so) it is usually listed as the 9th tallest peak in Colorado. I thought about writing up a nice trip report for this one, but I have a problem. You see, nothing really exciting happend. Mark and I have been soooo lucky this summer to have trips blissfully free of drama. This is fun and happy for us, but boring for you, the readers!

So, here is the basic synopsis of the trip. We left Fort Collins at around 5:30pm on Friday night, and arrived at the trailhead around 8:00pm. As the trail and trailhead are on National Forest land, we simply found a flat(ish) spot, set the tent up, and headed to bed. Unfortunately, we were trying to sleep on a hillside at 11,300ft, and neither Mark nor I were very sucessful. Oh well. The next morning, we woke at 5:30am, and walked across the parking lot to the trail by 5:45 or so. We hiked the 3.5 miles to the summit (about 3,000ft elevation gain) slowly and carefully. We summited around 9:45. Pictures all around!! The option to continue on to Torrey’s summit was very tempting, but we all felt tired and the idea of “more up” just wasn’t appealing. We started down at around 10:30 am. Made it back to the parking lot by 12:30pm or so. I did not get sick or feel faint on the way down as I have on previous trips, though I did develop a pounding headache about a half mile out from the parking lot. Two advil, a cream soda, a hard-boiled egg, and half a bag of chex-mix later, and Mark and I were packed up, in the car and headed back down to home.

A beautiful hike, an incredible summit, a perfect weather kind of day, and I got some nice shots. You’ll see quite a few of them here, I think!


Sky Dancing

July 23, 2006 at 8:18 pm

Last Sunday, Mark and I headed to Vedauwoo for some fun sunny climbing, per the usual weekend plan. Unusually, however, there was a large bus parked in the middle of the entrance road when we got there. It turns out, last Sunday a Laramie theatre group were putting on an aerial ballet among the beautiful rock formations that make up Box Canyon.

Vertical Dance is a strange sort of tradition at Vedauwoo. The area was origially named and ‘created’ as a recreational area in the early 1920’s due to the efforts of a woman at the University of Wyoming; who used the natural ampitheatre to exhibit her plays and music. The tradition was rekindled in the late 1990s but, as the area had become famous more for it’s amazing climbing opportunities in the previous 30 years, the art performance was lifted off the ground and on to ropes! Each dancer had a rock harness, rock shoes, and kept themselves stationary on their (probably static) rope using a grigri! At the end of the performance, they all droppd the coiled extra rope and lowered themselves back to the ground.

Mark and I payed $13 to see the festivities last weekend. It was very nice. The performers were all talented dancers, but possibly a little nervous about being so far off the ground while performing. :-) I had the vague preminition that somebody had told the dancers just before the performance: “Oh, you’ll be totally fine. These anchors are bomber. Just don’t bounce around too much or anything…”

There were three or four “sections” to the performance. One guy in white that you can see at the top of the photo would come out between sections swing wide circles, doing front and back flips in the air, and then dissapear back into the crack. The three girls on the left went first, and spent their time doing choreographed arm and leg waving and small twirls on their ropes. The two barefoot girls hanging on the rope and pulley out in space mostly lifted each other up and down and slowly rotated in circles while holding on to each other’s arms and feet. And the couple on the right did similar work raising and lowering each other and a couple flips and swirls. It actually looked alot like a Wyoming rock-climber’s version of Cirque du Soleil. Pretty cool.


Wild Columbine Near the Trail

July 21, 2006 at 9:50 am

Well, I finally got all the pictures up from the Thayer Family Vacation (click here!) and also the pictures from our really beautiful hike up North and South Diamond Peaks near Cameron Pass (click here too!).

This is another shot from that hike. The wild columbine is the state flower of Colorado, but it’s also sometimes considered an endangered flower. Supposedly, it’s protected such that it’s illegal to pick wild-growing columbine. I had never seen as many bushes of this flower growing wild on one mountain as we saw on the Diamond Peaks. It was all over the place. And absolutely beautiful.


Summit Photo!

July 18, 2006 at 6:07 pm

Portrait of the family (the hubby, the dog and me) on the beautiful and flower-covered summit of North Diamond Peak. Too bad we never did get the dog to turn around and face the camera. I think she was getting tired.

I took a boat-load of fantastic photos from this hike, and I hope to be able to blog a good chunk of them. I will also add a gallery at some point, check back for a link when I get that done.

Rawahs, Colorado, July 2006.