Hiked Wingel after Shrine. Much better views. Fantastic area, I loved it.
A quick side trip after Shrine with Peakbug.
Quick trip after Shrine Mtn with rkymtn.
Climbed Shrine and Wingle after an early season snow the night before dusted the ridge in an inch or two of summer snow!
Meh. Good views of the Gores and Copper Mountain.
Cornices like a mofo in winter.
February 5-6 2016
Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly, and I set off to snowshoe up to Chucks Cabin (a backcountry cabin near Vail Pass). We got a much later start than planned. Also, upon reaching the trailhead, we found that we had forgotten the food bag and that it was left at home.
At 9:35 PM, Kimberly, Kessler, and Shaylee dawned headlamps and set off for Shrine Pass. I headed back towards Vail in order to buy food. Upon returning to the trailhead at Vail Pass, the snowcat operator was on the way to Shrine Pass. I asked for a ride and he kindly obliged. Luckily I reached the pass right at the same time as the rest of the family.
We then snowshoed to Chucks Cabin, reaching it at 11:05 PM.
We awoke to clear skies and -20F. Kimberly didn't feel well, and Shaylee had some big blisters, so Kessler and I headed up to the Wingle Ridge. It was a very sunny day, but once we reached the ridge it was very windy and cold. We trudged on over the two false summits and to the true summit of Wingle Ridge. Since it was cold and windy, we only spent a brief time on the summit before heading down. The views were great though.
Upon reaching Chucks Cabin, we packed up and all snowshoed down to the trailhead. Unfortunately, Shaylee ended up with some pretty big blisters.
January 16-17 2015
Kim, Kessler, Shaylee, and I set off for Walter's Cabin at Shrine Mountain. We started right as it got dark and we snowshoed by headlamp on a cloudy and starless night.
Some strong winds were in the forecast, so we were a little worried, but the wind wasn't bad most of the time. Since there isn't anything to look at in the dark, we made the three miles (with about 600 feet elevation gain) in an hour and nineteen minutes (a little slower than last time, but Kim has a heart problem and can't safely go too fast). It spit a little snow, but we had good conditions. We arrived at the cabin and cooked a late dinner before going to bed.
It was really windy in the morning, so I had planned to set off alone in order to climb Peak 11,977, which is the highest point on the Wingle Ridge. It had snowed about three inches and it was cloudy, with a temperature of 9F.
The sky began to clear and the wind died down, so Kim decided to join me for the climb (Kessler had a broken arm and a cast so we didn't want him to risk it and we didn't want Shaylee to be left all alone).
We started out with some snow and clouds, but the weather gradually cleared. It was a bit breezy at times, but was certainly not bad for almost 12,000 feet in January.
We climbed our way to the ridge and then headed south along it in order to reach the highest point. Kim was slightly disappointed with the two false summits since she thought the second one would be the top. Even so, we made our way rather expeditiously to the highest point and enjoyed the views. The skies were almost completely clear by the time we reached the summit.
The route down went rather quickly and at the cabin we packed up and headed for home.
April 26-27 2014
Kessler and I were thinking of climbing a 14er, but the weather forecast wasn't looking good. Kessler still wanted to practice with the ice axe somewhere, so we made a last minute reservation for Walters Cabin. We didn't leave the Vail Pass trailhead until 9 PM! Because it was late, we snowshoed quickly and reached the cabin at 10 PM.
In order to practice with the ice axe, we climbed the east face of Shrine Mountain directly. It was a good route for practicing with the ice axe. We were going to head directly for the Wingle Ridge, but sicne hte snow conditions were good, instead we glissaded down the steep east face before contouring around and climbing to the pass between Shrine Mountain and Wingle Ridge.
February 20-21 2009
Four year old Shaylee, six year old Kessler, Kim and I decided it was time for another winter getaway and since Walters Cabin near Shrine Pass (one of the 10th Mountain Division Hut) was free Friday night and since the kids were out of school Friday, we made a reservation. With the kids we decided to cheat again and use a hut instead of camp.
We left Vail Pass at 12:30 PM and headed towards Shrine Pass in snowshoes. Unfortunately it was cloudy and very windy with a windchill of 0F to -5F. It was much colder than our hut trip in January. The kids were bundled up well, but neither really liked the strong winds and we bribed them with candy and suckers into not stopping for many breaks since it was cold. We more or less went straight to the cabin with only a few short breaks, making the three miles on snowshoes in 2 hours 30 minutes. The cabin (11,223 feet elevation) was a welcome site after being outside in the cold.
It snowed four inches the night of the 20-21st, but quickly became calm and clear throughout the night. This allowed the temperature to drop and we woke up to a sunny but chilly -11F. The original plan was for Kessler and I to climb Shrine Mountain and Peak 11,977, but he was having a good time playing with his sister in the cabin and they decided to stay behind and play.
I set off for the Shrine Mountain Ridge alone. Breaking trail was harder and slower than I thought it would be since there wasn’t a trail broken after the little snowstorm and I couldn’t see the old tracks. It took over an hour and a half just to reach the saddle between Shrine Mountain and Point 11,931. Since the sun was shining brightly and with little wind, it warmed up very fast and I worked up a good sweat climbing to the saddle (I actually initially reached the ridge north of and above the saddle). After climbing Shrine Mountain, it looked like a fairly long way to Peak 11,977, so I didn’t take much time to dilly-dally. I climbed over the top of Point 11,931 and then followed the windblown ridgeline to Peak 11,977. The sky was perfectly blue and with great views with the Sawatch Range, including Elbert, Massive and especially Holy Cross; the Gore Range; the Tenmile Range and a number of other nice peaks as well. I shot dozens of photos before heading back down to Walters Cabin reaching it just in time for lunch.
After lunch we tidied up the cabin and headed back down to Shrine Pass and then back down the mountain to Vail Pass. It was a nice and sunny day and not nearly as cold as the day before (with only occasional breezes) so Kessler and Shaylee enjoyed talking to anyone they met along the way. We got several fantastic photos and a good time reaching Vail Pass after two hours from the cabin. It was a good trip.