July 27th, 2012
David has been hiking in the Weminuche for years. In fact this was his 9th trip to the area.
Day 1: David and I got dropped off in Cunningham Gulch and hiked up to the Highland Mary Lakes and camped near Verde Lake. A group passed us with two lamas and a baby which is not something you see everyday in the high country. That evening the fish were jumping like crazy in Verde Lake.
Day 2: The next day we walked over the Continental Divide and camped at the beautiful Kite Lake.
Day 3: From Kite Lake we hiked up and over Hunchback Pass(12,492′) and into the Vallecito creek drainage. Then headed west into Stormy Gulch to camp for the night. And as the name implies we got rained on that evening.
Day 4: It’s hard to beat the views in Stormy Gulch with Storm King, Silex and the Guardian to your south. We hike in between Silex and Storm King then in between Peak 8 and Peak 7 to camp at a lake on the south side of Peak 8 for the night.
Day 5: A high traverse then over Jagged pass, put us in the top of Noname Basin. We camped at 12,400′ with spectacular views of Monitor Peak, Peak 13 and Animas Mountain.
Day 6: A short day. We hiked to lower Noname.
Day 7: We hiked the rest of the way down Noname creek to the Animas River then followed the Animas south to Needleton to catch the afternoon train back to Durango.
It was great time hanging out with David! Although it’s hard to have a bad time when you are surrounded by and moving through that kind of terrain. Hope to see you soon David!
July 4th, 2012
Andy and Scott recently joined me on an 8 day Alpine Leadership course.
Day 1: We started out at X-rock where we rock climbed in addition to learning climbing technique, belaying, rappeling, basic anchors and traditional gear placement.
Day 2: We climbed Snowdon via the West Buttress and descended the Northeast Ridge to the Northwest Couloir. All in all a great day where we learned about the basics of short roping and the kiwi coil. That afternoon we drove up to Silverton and hiked into Ice Lake Basin.
Day 3: We woke early and learned about self arresting, and cramponing technique, before climbing Fuller and Vermillion.
Day 4: We started out the day by climbing Golden Horn. We then descended and learned about snow anchors, before heading back to camp and hiking out to the van. Lunch in Silverton, then driving up the pass to camp at the trail head for Vestal Basin.
Day 5: We hiked in to Vestal Basin and set up camp. Then learned about/practiced knot tying, and cravasse rescue techniques.
Day 6: We climbed Vestal Peak via the Wham Ridge. Then learned about navigation in the mountains.
Day 7: We hiked out to the van, and headed back to town to switch out some gear and take a shower.
Day 8: We drove up to Ouray and climbed an apline ridge just south of town called Lightline. Andy and Scott got to practice the skills they had learned throughout the week, anchors, short roping, belaying, rappeling to name a few.
Great trip guys! I hope to climb with you both again in the future!