May 24th, 2009
Last week, Patrick from Texas came up for a few days of alpine training in the San Juans. A few days of rock climbing in the Durango area were followed by a couple of mountain days to help establish a solid foundation of alpine skills. He’ll be joining us later this summer for an ascent of the Wham Ridge on Vestal Peak, and his eventual goal is to summit the Matterhorn in Europe. The San Juans are perfect for acquiring this type of skill base.
Mountain Conditions Update:
All shaded aspects are still holding their fair share of the remains of this winter’s snow. Great time of year to knock off a couloir route in the range. Many of the high country trails are still wet and muddy, so it will be another 2 – 3 weeks before hiking and backpacking is possible over passes like Trinity and Columbine. The dust layers from April’s storms are very prevalent however, so that should speed up the melting process. Have fun and be safe out there!
Rock Climbing in Durango
Snowdon Peak (5/21)
May 14th, 2009
Loyal client Valari W. recently completed, and successfully, summited the Moose’s Tooth in the Ruth Gorge/Denali National Park, via the Ham ‘n Eggs Couloir. She was led by our guide Chad Peele and the group experienced great weather, but “sporty” conditions on the route. Some of the ice pitches did not lend themselves well to protection, so very careful was required on the part of Chad to successfully and safely negotiate the route. The two enjoyed a bivy at the col before finishing the west ridge to the summit. Ham ‘n Eggs has recently become a fairly sought after route among alpinists, and we’ve successfully guided the route 2 times in the last 3 years, with one year getting shut down by weather. The ice climbing terrain in SW Colorado lends itself well to training for such a climb. Great work Valari and Chad!
Landing on the Root Canal with TAT.
1st pitch, a little mixed climbing.
Middle of the route, starting to gain some ground.
Looking out towards the Great Gorge.
Col camp and the West Ridge.