A Tradition Continues
Throughout the history of Summitpost there have been many regional gatherings that have spanned a variety of seasons and peaks. While most attendees are "local" to the region the event is held, the gatherings are open to all and will often have out of state visitors. They also have a variety of experience levels and are a great way to meet new partners, or introduce people to new aspects of our favorite sport/pastime.
The 2013 Colorado Winter Gathering started with a post in the Colorado Forum to garner interest, and ended up as a two-day festival of climbing, camping, food, libations, and most of all, camaraderie. New friends were made, old friends reunited, and of course, peaks were climbed!
Saturday January 19, 2013:
Climbs started at the Fourmile Trailhead, and surprisingly the road was drivable to only a few hundred yards short of the summer closure gate where a large ice floe blocked further passage. That ice was actually the most dangerous part of our climb! The route had limited snow, and we all left the snowshoes at the car.
We split up near a mine building as three of us headed up Sheridan and the rest continued on the road towards Sherman's even higher mines. They too left the road and headed directly up towards the ridge on a small snow strip.
Not much snow on either peak, but some loose rock. Both groups descended the peak's respective ridges towards the saddle before heading back down towards the road and the parking area.
It was chilly and windy, but then again, it was winter! It was a beautiful day for a climb, but don't take me word, see the pictures!
Sunday January 20, 2013:
North Twin Cone Peak
A smaller group met up on Sunday around 7:00 am at the Kenosha Pass trailhead. They booted up and bundled up, and happily agreed snowshoes would not be needed before striking out up North Twin Cone Road.
They could have driven further up the road to park as there was not much snow, but all welcomed the extra exercise instead. Within the first mile, large ice flows across the road made for interesting walking! Several additional ice flows were encountered en route.
The group continued climbing on the road, up through the switchbacks, until reaching the ridge line where the road descends. Here they left the roadbed and struck off through fresh, untracked snow. They periodically encountered a few human footprints here and there, but mostly encountered elk paths and even large bowls in the snow where the elk bed down at night.
Somehow they wandered onto the western ridge, which required hopping over large boulders and avoiding snowtraps. Eventually, gaining the smoother summit ridge and cruising to the top. After hanging out near the summit structure for a while enjoying the views and lunch, they headed back down the south ridge of the peak and regained the road to descend to the trucks.
It was as beautiful bluebird day for this right-sized group to enjoy a winter 12er.
Congrats to all on a successful weekend!