For a number of days now we’ve had an interesting weather event in Colorado. A high pressure moved across the state and is pulling warm wet air up from the southwest. Some days it feels like you’re sticking your head in an operating dish washer. This situation happens occasionally and brings welcome moisture, but the steamy days have gone on for about a week — a veritable monsoon. We’d love that in the winter, but what happened to our summer Colorado blue sky?
Despite doubts about the weather we tried a climb of 14er Castle Peak this past Friday, via a beautiful alpine area known as Cumberland Basin. It was a family trip, as we joined up with my brother Craig and one of his daughters. Craig was one of my main rock climbing and mountaineering partners back in the 1970s and even has his name on a few first ascents here and there, so it was good to get out with him even if we didn’t get the summit because of weather doubts. A few photos from the hike:
|The hike included at least a mile of wet willows. No better way to get quickly soaked then having sodden vegetation brushing against you like a sopping shower curtain. Check out the pants, totally soaked. This boot is the Scarpa ZG 40, a Gortex lined boot that I’ve found to be a bit hot and uncomfortable for summer day hikes, but is perfect for a wet expedition such as this. If you’re wondering, I wasn’t using my new Scarpa SL M3 (no Gortex) boots because they’re not broken in yet. They would have worked fine, though my feet would have probably ended up a bit damper.|
|Craig and family in upper Cumberland. The clouds lifted for a while, then came back heavy and inspired us to turn around. Sure enough, when we got back to the trailhead the clouds lifted again and showed we probably could have made the summit. Lightning was our biggest concern — didn’t hear one boomer. Oh well, best to be safe…|
|The crew at our highpoint. The flowers were beautiful and a Rocky Mountain High was had by all. Perhaps we’ll be together for another try next summer|
|Craig pilots CJ2A Jeep Rumble Bee down Pearl Pass road back to Crested Butte. Back when we were kids another flat fender Jeep was a part of our lives, so it was cool seeing the guy rowing through gears again. He mumbled something like “I want one.”|
Check back tomorrow for Part Two: Historic machinery at the Cumberland Mine.