Friday, January 2, 2015

I Climbed and Skied a 14er in Winter!

Near the Top of Quandry
It took me a little under five hours to climb the thing and then just over an hour to ski down. I had my GPS running the whole way up and my GoPro running the whole way down. I haven't had a chance to look through them all yet, but I did watch the first 15 minutes of the descent video and, wow, it looks way more interesting on video than it did when I was doing it! Of course in the moment I was only thinking about skiing the next turn.
A Few Minutes Farther Down
No guarantee when, if ever, I get the whole video or part of it uploaded. As you can see from a couple screen shots the video quality was really nice! Look at that blue sky!

Overall it was very achievable. The climbing what the draining part, five hours of hiking uphill with my skis and ski boots on my back was tiring, it was cold and windy, maybe 0°F to 10°F with winds of 20 to 40 mph. Similarly the skiing was on windy blown hard packed dry snow, which was not fun in the strictest sense. It was not terrible steep to keep to the ridge, I would say it was about a blue square difficulty. The big skiing challenge being terrible snow conditions (I hit rocks, landed in a tree well, and skated over plenty of snow) and the high altitude which makes me tired after only a couple turns. However, to set out to climb a big hill, and do it, then ski down it, and do that too, well, for me the value of that day was much greater than what I would have gained from a $150 lift ticket for one day of resort skiing.

I'm driving back to Dubuque today, from Denver. After three mountain attempts and one huge success I'm satisfied for this trip. 2015 is going to be a long and busy year, and I'm ready for it!

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