Two of my earliest and greatest partners on Capitol Peak's Knife Edge in 1994, Vern Garner (saintgrizzly here on SP) and Mark Anderson-
And in 2004, Mark joined Ellen and I for a climb of Jura Knob in the San Juans. We don't climb together as much as we used to due to various circumstances, but I suspect Mark will rejoin us more regularly in the future as circumstances permit. A wonderful partmer for sure.
One of our first climbs together was Mount Sneffels in 1982. OUr first outing together was to Ice Lake Basin near Silverton. What a story! But that's another thread.
Vern and I began climbing together in 1978. In the late 1990s, he moved to Montana. Here he is seen climbing with our group in 2002 up Mount Richtofen in the NW corner of Rocky Mountain National Park during a vacation.
Vern in 1991 on Tijeras Peak, an obscure but fantastic 13er in the Sangre De Cristos, south of the well known Crestone Peaks (background).
Jim Lierman was my third climbing partner. He started climbing with me in the 1990s. Circumstances have curtailed his climbing for the time being. On the far right is the lady who would later become my wife, Ms. Ellen. This is the day we met, on a climb of Mount Democrat's SE ridge. She would go on to be my greatest lifelong climbing partner and best friend, as well as my wonderful wife. I'm a lucky guy. As Mark says, she literally hiked into my life.
Jim descends from the fantastic Arapaho Peaks route, with me above directing fellow climbing partner Dave Beldus, pushing 70 at the time of this photo.
Jim preps his poles after scrambling down from Paiute Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness in 2004.
One of my most favorite pictures, Jim coaches his friend Paul out onto the ledge to begin the final ascent to the summit of Wetterhorn Peak. This was Paul's 2nd 14er! If anyone could get a beginner up and down a mountain safely, it's Jim. Ellen is on the right.
Since my three climbing partners have gone on to other areas and interests, Ellen has been my soul mate. She's seen here during an SP outing to Kit Carson in 2004.
Here we are in front of Capitol Peak, one of our favorite climbs.
SP member truchas climbed Pyramid Peak with us in 2008.
SP member PeakFreak climbed Mount Shasta with us in 2004, along with Mount Elbert and Mount Massive in Colorado in 2002.
Our hiking group, The Usual Suspects, joined with a bunch of SP folks for a climb of Marble Mountain in the Sangre De Cristos last year, for our most successful SP Gathering in Colorado yet.
Ellen on Capitol Peak's Knife Edge.
Long time SP member Fred Spicker and Vern Garner (saintgrizzly) descend Bishops Cap in Glacier National Park in 2004.
Moni Spicker, another long time member (married to Fred). We've climbed with them several times over the years.
2006 Winter SP Gathering hosted by long time member Alan Ellis.
Truchas and cruzit (Jackie Ellis) after a harrowing climb of Chimney Rock in the San Juans.
SP's ground floor members Alan and Jackie Ellis pose for their Christmas card on top of Marble Mountain at the 2009 SP gathering.
Last year's gathering on top of Marble Mountain in the Sangre De Cristos.
Organized by Alan Ellis, the first SP Gathering in Colorado was a small but nice success. This event is now a wonderful and very successful tradition.
2007 Colorado Summer Gathering
2008 Colorado Summer Gathering
2009 Colorado Summer Gathing
A good partner is worth more than gold.