Spring has been busy with a bunch of activities but just wanted to catch-up with some climbing updates and some other cool photos I may have taken.
Been spending a number of days up inThree Sisters park outside of Evergreen. I have been up to this park a number of times and there is just so many boulders to play on and the scenery never disappoints.
Here is a decent photo from a trip with Ben, Paige and Whitney (I spent more time nursing a hang-over then anything else). Here Whitney works on one of the larger blocks lying in this awesome pine forest:
A couple days were up at another section at Three Sisters where there is this awesome cave feature and a really clean, fun dyno block. Here Caitlin is in the cave:
Side perspective, great overhang and something unexpected in that area:
Here is the awesome dyno (well a photo of me on the launch holds, I was 6-10″ short):
We also had an awesome Friday Night climb session at the same place as the above photos with a big crew! Jake the redhead, Annie, Paige, Caitlin, myself and with a guest appearance from Terra made for a fun evening under beautiful spring weather. Here Jake crushes the Cave problem with speed:
Went to one of the best locations for a climbing competition held on the banks of the Boulder Reservoir. Battle at the Bubble was the comp and they had two of these amazing walls set-up outside with a big-screen projector and a huge amped-up crowd. Daniel Woods pulled together an insane finale move that sent the crowd into a frenzy that I cannot describe. Here is Angie Panye (2nd place) on one of the walls:
To wrap-up here is a cool photo I took of a storm passing through Denver from the top of the DU light-rail station:
“Through sight, the colors may be seen, but too much color blinds us.
Apprehending the tones of sound, too much sound might make us deaf, and too much flavor deadens taste.
When hunting for sport, and chasing for pleasure, the mind easily becomes perplexed.
He who collects treasures for himself more easily becomes anxious. The wise person fulfills his needs, rather than sensory temptations.”
– Ancient Taoism Saying
A Season in Review:
Evan Looking Over Steeps at Zuma – March 6th 2010:
Snow is something that I have a hard time describing in words. Of everything that I have ever done in my life when a deep powder day or an backcountry adventure happens, I am never feel the rush of emotions that I do then. The emotions of excited/stoked/nervous/giddy/terrified/anxious/happy is rarely as strong in anything else as I am when I am in there in the moment.
Due to the nature of snow being so dependent on the weather, when the mountains open-up and give us their glory it is truly a wonderful sight.
Skiing powder gives you a feeling of being connected to the elements in an absolute manner; a union where skier and snow are truly meant to be. Deep powder is the epitome of weather dependency and due to its scarcity one desires it more than anything else.
Evan Dropping into Steeps at Zuma – March 6th 2010:
Skiing aggressive lines makes you humble to the powers of mother nature. Putting yourself in situations where you are nervous is good for ones soul; it allows you to calculate a risk that too few in humanity due today. It allows you to understand your limitations and the limitations of mother nature. The beauty in these situations is that there is rarely a margin of error; you either pass or fail.
Trent at the Bottom of Big Chute, Zuma – March 6th 2010:
The sheer ecstasy that can come over one in the mountains in these situations is one to make you desire more than you need. Is one that leads to your vision being clouded and poor judgment being made…..
Unfortunately this winter season started as the worst season of snow that I can remember since I really started caring about powder days 6 years ago. This is precisely why I included the above Ancient Taoist Saying as a way to ground the experience as a way to help provide insight into how to” fulfill your needs” and not “your sensory temptations”.
Tweak About to Get Slapped with a Little Dose of Reality – Baby Notch, Zuma – March 6th, 2010
Tweak hidden somewhere in that powder cloud. After being swept over those small rocks he was luckily unharmed and able to enjoy the rest of the run:
Finding powder in January and February was a activity that lead us into several challenging situations. In early January we skied the popular mellow side-country at A-Basin called the Beavers (no photos) and encountered some of the most intense moments of poor snow-pack I have ever seen. A learning experience in that even the “safe” areas can be deadly. Large sluff slides were also a concern throughout the year as though they seem minor, they can easily turn on you.
Caitlin Checking her Equipment before the BC Action Begins – March 6th, 2010
Even building the backyard park at Trent’s house was a major challenge as the snow fall never accumulated enough to enjoy it as we had previously enjoyed it.
Trent Hitting his Backyard Park Moments before Ellie (the dog) took him out and my Flash (RIP)
Playing with the Light since the Flash is broken – Evan:
Being anxious was something that ran through all of our veins at one point during the winter. Struggling to be satisfied due to such a successful prior winter (evidence here, here, here, here), we had to accept the change and make the best of it.
“Temperatures will rise and fall. Winds will shift. Leaves will drop and buds will form. And with every transition new beginnings will be revealed.”
March things become much better:
Jay Slaying at the Bottom of Steeps, Zuma – March 6th, 2010
Andy (me) Checking out Cone 3 – March 6th, 2010
Several days not documented here completed a winter that had fulfilled my needs. It is almost time to transition to the next season in the Rocky Mountains and a time to day-dream about the past adventures.
Scott Trying to Find the Soft Stuff – March 13th, 2010:
Tweak About to go a lot bigger than he realizes (hehe) – March 6th, 2010:
Trent Hitting the First Zuma Line of the Year in Little Chute – March 6th, 2010:
Video of the Small Sluff-Slide that Tweak was in the Above Photos. I was taking photos and you can hear my camera clicks an align them with the video:
The Wilds of Mother Nature – Afternoon Windstorm Re-purposing the Powder:
Good times were had this season (and if these late April/May storms keep up may continue!). We were granted enough to be satisfied and as we transition into the next season, we will remember the good days and look forward to future adventures.
If you are following from some sort of feed all of my posts can be found here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
Date: March 20th, 2010
Accomplice: Caitlin (and the furry animals)
Location: The Denver Zoo
We decided to hit up the Denver Zoo the day after a 8-10″ snowstorm as in the morning the weather was absolutely beautiful. We arrived in the early afternoon and had a great time as it had been a long while since either of us had been there.
Let’s just say the weather was perfect, the animals were insanely active and the crowds were non-existent.
Numerous times throughout the day, Caitlin and I found ourselves in exhibits with only us and the animals (which may or may not be legal…). It much more enjoyable to see animals when they want to be outside instead of hiding in the corner from the hot sun and screaming kids.
The Male Brown Bear was Playing around and Real Happy:
And then we found out why he was so happy – Apparently licking the Urine of the Female Bear brings him much pleasure:
The Cheetahs were out running in their snow-covered pen:
Caitlin near the Monkey Area. Due to the Large amount of snow the monkeys were the only animals inside. But you can see how much snow there was in the early afternoon which was quickly melting off:
The Birds were Dive-bombing each other in Bird World as they fought for fish. We sat here for at least 15-20 mins watching them with only two other people coming through in that time.
Penguins were enjoying the cooler weather:
Amazingly the Red Panda was out and about running throughout his cage. Don’t believe I ever really seen him like this:
The Caged Beast: The Snow Leopard eying some tasty morsels:
Myself and Caitlin with the Polar Bears head just peeking through:
Obligatory Peacock Shot:
By the end of the day most of the snow had melted off and the Lions were out enjoying the last of the warm winter afternoon sun:
If you are following from a feed all updates can be found here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
To make up for my lameness in not posting any stoke all winter long, this post is all about the random days out and about with my camera. I also came-up with one of the most ridiculous names I could think of for a post just to commemorate this historic period in our lives.
Detailed trip reports of the more insane activities will follow, right now this is just the side-activities.
Roxborough State Park with Caitlin and Whitney (Jan 9th, 2010):
Ben Thought there was Something Funny Tasting in the Water (Jan 16th, 2010):
Scenics from the Biggest and Brightest Full-Moon of the Year (January 30th, 2010)(Summit County, CO):
Hiking Around Eldorado State Park with Caitlin and the Sister (Jan 18th, 2010):
Storm Blowing over Red Mountain – Awesome Time-lapse photos to follow – March 7th, 2010, 4:57pm:
Storm 30 mins later 5:33pm:
The Trees on the Side of My House After some Wet Snow- For some reason when they get the smallest amount of snow on them they can completely bend over and touch the ground (March 24th, 2010):
Anyways we had to find other activities to focus in on throughout the winter since the snow was so spotty. The only thing that I never got around to was climbing days out on the rock; I hit up the backyard wall a number of times but never got around to climbing in the snow (as in previous years).
More updates on there way including a Denver Zoo and the real report on Winter!!!
If you are following on a feed, all full updates can be found on my website here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
Well I jacked-up my main computer with a virus that makes Adolf Hitler seem like an adorable little kitten. Therefore I have been slacking on an insane scale with my website updates.
We have had some really nice days skiing in the last month or so (finally!) and here are a few quick ones to hold you over until I can get my ass in gear and get around 1,000 photos (about 5GB’s) uploaded and processed.
Deep turns at Montezuma by Trent (March 6th, 2010):
Jim Donovan taking a nice smooth entry (March 6th, 2010):
Caitlin cruising some nice turns (March 28th, 2010: ):
Beautiful Montezuma during a late afternoon windstorm (March 28th, 2010):
Well that’s it for the moment and more will be on the way.
If you are following from a feed here is the permalink: http://andylibrande.com/news/2010/03/quick-winter-teaser/
Happy Holidays and here is to the hope that this snow becomes strong for another awesome season. Thanks to everyone for the adventures over the past year and look forward to the crazy stuff that we will come-up with in 2010!
Just enjoying the snow as much as possible:
Where: Collegiate Peaks outside of Buena Vista Colorado. Specifically on the trail that headed North off of the top of Cottonwood Pass on the South Texas Creek trail.
When: 9/29/09- 10/1/09
Who: The old man and me
It had been a few years since me and my old man had gone backpacking together which has always been a favorite pastime for both of us since I was old enough to carry a pack. With short-notice and very quick planning we targeted a few days at the end of September that appeared would hold for weather and provide us with some good fall viewing potential.
Having backpacked pretty extensively in the Collegiate Peaks I picked a trail that we had not done and appeared to be unique as it started at the top of Cottonwood pass, wound all the way down to Texas Creek, and then looped around back to the top of cottonwood pass. With everything set we planned on doing three days with two over-nights on the trail.
After parking at the top of Cottonwood we started on the trail. Here is the official starting point of the trail with some glorious peaks in front of us. Our trail wound along the left side and eventually dropped into the valley where we would head down it and eventually come around back to the car.
Old battered wilderness sign:
The old man hiking on the first day:
View of the main peak that was above our campsite on a very beautiful first day. The valley was lined with beautiful peaks all around 13,000 ft in height:
The next day offered up some unique weather. Waking up to a light drizzle with the peaks completely covered by clouds:
The clouds lifted and revealed the snow they had left behind:
Me with one of the many beautiful peaks in the background:
The Old Man crossing the decent sized Texas Creek. We tried fly-fishing but the wind was so strong in the valley that we had to abandoned that activity:
Right after we crossed the river we realized that the trail we used to cross this massive valley dead-ended at an old cabin. At this point we decided to go off-trail with the intention to try to meet up with the existing trail by traversing up the side of the mountain. Well we never did traverse far enough to get to that trail and ended up heading up the side of the mountain following game trails.
Here is the old man on one of the many established game trails we followed up the side of the hill. The hike turned out to be steeper, longer, and harder then we initially expected. However the solidarity that we experienced was excellent:
For the vast majority of the hike up the hillside we could not see the valley below us or the mountain in front of us due to the dense forest. It was pretty wild hiking up on random game trails without being able to easily tell which direction or how far we needed to go. Additionally we saw numerous signs of wildlife for both predator and prey but unfortnautely did not see any actual wildlife. At one point we the trees parted enough to offer a beautiful view of Ice Mountain across the valley which is just shy of 14,000ft:
Finally after hours of steep climbing (approx 2,000 ft elevation gain and 3 hrs later), we reached the top of the ridgeline. Right before we crossed over I snapped this better view of Ice Mountain:
Once over the ridgeline we fought strong winds, exposed hillside, and the looming sunset to get back to the vehicle as quickly as possible. At this time our plans had changed to hike back to the car, drive down to lower elevation, set-up camp and then leave the next morning. This photo was taken at ~6:30pm as the evening glow started to take over as we hiked to the car:
The last of the sunlight with Taylor Reservoir on the left and the Maroon Bells in the distance on the right (7:00pm approx 1.5 miles to car at this point):
After the sun went down we finally hit the road and were able to ditch our packs and make the final mile slog to the car. Without the sun the temps dropped dramatically with only made it tougher since we were exhausted. After reaching the car we drove down the road and found an area to set-up camp where we finally got some food into our bellies.
The next morning we woke up to about 2-3 inches of snow and were glad that we hiked out the night before as there was probably upwards of 4-6 inches at the top of the pass.
The beautiful Mt. Princton (14,197 ft) the next morning as we were driving home:
The storm did not hit our area as hard as it hit the I-70 corridor. We drove home on beautiful dry roads while Summit County got a few inches. At this point we were heading into the South Park valley and the clouds are all north of us:
Overall a awesome few days spent with my Dad in the beautiful backcountry of Colorado.
Where: Montezuma, Colorado
Who: Trent, Tweak, Scott, Duncan, Evan, Caitlin (as the sole female), Ellie the dog, and myself.
An overnight car-camping trip in the Deer Creek Valley was an opportunity to see the valley when it is not covered in snow. Overall a really crazy thing to see how different it looks in the Summer and the Winter. Some of the amazing things I thought was how much snow fills into the valley (7-10 ft), how much water is in the valley (huge beaver dams), how lush the slopes that we ski are, and how much I don’t like Scott Miller (I kid…).
Another major goal was to work on our base-camp area since it has fallen into disrepair this past winter. We built a great firepit that should be way better then the weak set-up we had last year and then helped reinforce a major wind-block as to better protect one part of the base-camp area.
Besides that we caused a lot of havoc:
Fireworks over Zuma:
The Beaver Dams:
The hardest part about crossing the Beaver Dams is making sure you don’t spill your beer. Trent was successful at that but still managed to get wet:
Evan attempting to look cool:
Zuma in the Morning (Left to Right: Steeps, Washout, Cone 1, Cone2, Cone 3):
Baby Chute and Big Chute w/o Snow (mtn goats were wandering around the top earlier):
Ellie the Water Dog:
Click on the Snow Category to the right to see other adventures at Zuma.
Who: RAMBO, Brea, Caitlin, myself, and Andrew (who is one of Brea/Rambo’s friends that is brand-new to climbing but straight-up crushed it).
When: August 22nd-23rd, 2009
What: Camp Dick is an awesome alpine-type bouldering area with big blocks sitting all along a beautiful valley that backs up to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Located about 30 minutes outside of Lyons and about 1.5 hrs from my house in Denver it is an awesome place to visit and has some great camping. A decent sized river runs through the middle of the whole canyon and a 4×4 road and a hiking trail lead-up are on either side of the river.
I had been here once before a couple years ago for a short overnight trip and was glad to finally get back (photos on that trip here).
All of the free camping is up the 4×4 road and therefore we had to park our cars and hike in with crashpads and all of our camping gear; luckily it is only about 1/2-3/4 mile hike before you get to the first boulders and all of the free camping. The camping is also really awesome as you can get right down next to the river with some great flat spots.
The Bouldering: After setting-up camp we hike all the way to the fartherest boulder some 2.5 miles on a very rough 4×4 road in the heat of the day. Once we found the Alpen-Glow boulder we spend around 2 hours trying to find the Jumbotron boulder which according to the guidebook would be just uphill. We had no luck in finding that rock and with the sun starting to get low in the sky headed back to the Alpen-Glow boulder for an suprisingly amazing session.
The Alpen-Glow boulder is a beautiful 15 ft boulder in the middle of a open field right next to the trail. It has a mixture of easier problems to some good moderates.
Andrew working on one of the arete problems:
Brea cruising up:
Brea enjoying the top-out:
Caitlin making short-work of the problem:
Then we switched gears and started working on a harder arete that Rambo and Andrew sent. Some funky but cool looking movements on the rock. After both had sent the sun began to really set and the colors just went off. Rambo was ready for the twilight send.
Just one of several great shots as Rambo sent the boulder at 7:45pm that evening:
Shortly after it was pitch-black and the walk back to camp was a little challenging without flashlights, however Rambo gave us a sneak-peek of his new climbing clothing line due out later this year:
The next day we broke-camp and went to the Fingerbanger boulder and the Pyramid boulder (the best part about Camp Dick is that most of the boulders and individual problems appeared to be named by a bunch of perverted 15 yr olds, which fit our groups personality/lack of maturity just fine).
The campsite as viewed from the river:
Brea working on a very tricky problem on the Pyramid Boulder:
Caitlin working on the Pyramid Boulder:
Rambo working on a beautiful problem called “Treetop Flyer” that starts low following the crack to a high crack that ends up being quite the high-ball:
The afternoon rainstorms eventually came in and we hiked out a little wet:
Another solid trip.
When: August 1st-2nd, 2009
Who: Andy and Caitlin (plus failed attempts to meet up with roommate Andrew + others)
Hit up the insanely beautiful town of Crested Butte for a little adventure with Caitlin at the beginning of August. We couldn’t ask for a better weekend of hiking and camping. We made it just an overnight trip due to us not being able to leave earlier on Friday, but it was well worth the drive.
The drive out took a little longer then normal due to a couple bike races going on, however the 4.5 hour drive to this place beats sitting in record-breaking summer traffic on I-70, when the highest 24 hr period of traffic ever was set on August 2nd with 50,918 vehicles!!! (link to article here). Luckily for us the rest of Colorado has not found out about the beauty that lies outside of summit and eagle counties. Needless to say on the way home I cruised in the Civic across some of my favorite areas to see from a car in Colorado.
Enough with the talky, talk. Time for some pictures.
Mt. Crested Butte as viewed from Gothic Peak area on the Copper Lake Trail (where is the snow?):
Some Amazing random peaks around here at the edge of the Maroon Bell Wilderness (along the Copper Lake Trail):
Weird fern plants we found while cruising off the trail in the middle of some marsh:
Finishing up our hike into the Maroon Bells Wilderness:
So that night we were suppose to met-up with Andrew and crew and camp at their campsite. It was getting late and we couldn’t get a hold of them so I took the civic up the road hoping to run into them or their campsite. We kept driving up this dirt road expecting to find them since there was only a select few campsites however we were not having any such luck.
Expecting to find them “just around the next bend” I made the Honda Civic get up some pretty gnarly rocks and around some pretty good wash-outs. Still no luck and the worse part was that we only passed a few campsites and they were all full. Finally after about 45 minutes of slowly driving and about 8 miles up the road we realized that we just needed to find a good campsite. At a top of a big/steep hill we scouted the road ahead to make sure it was passable, headed down the slope, and right at the bottom was the perfect campsite just waiting for us.
We ended-up so far back that the next closest campers were another 1/2 mile up the road and tucked back into the forest. The next nearest group was well over a mile a way. Not bad for it being ~6:00pm on a Saturday night and a car-camping spot. Not to mention that the spot was perfect with us overlooking an awesome valley with a beautiful stream running through the middle of it.
View of the big dipper from our campsite:
The next morning after taking our time we headed-up a nearby hike and this is the valley we overlooked, quite the views considering this is the lesser visited area:
The hike was not the best trail in the world (due to us missing the original trail we wanted as it was improperly marked on the map) as this trail was pretty much just straight-uphill. We didn’t quite make it to the top as a big thunderstorm rolled-over us right as we were getting into the most exposed terrain. We high-tailed it down to some cover, left the established trail, and followed game trails through some awesome hillside meadows, marshes, aspen forests, and pine forests for about 2-3 miles back to our campsite.
After we got back to the campsite we hung-out at the creek and enjoyed some snacks and delicious beverages before heading back to Denver.
Heading down the dirt road in the civic, needless to say we were the only non-truck (not even subarus) along the entire 4wd part of the trail. People were giving me some strange looks:
On the way back we cruised all the way to Denver. Not a car in sight and we witness some incredible sunset action along the road.
Mt. Antero (14,269 ft) from the road. I was driving at least 75 MPH while I snapped the pic (one of my favorites from the trip) taken right as you are heading up to the Hwy 24/285 interchange:
As mentioned before, we crusied back via Hwy 285 (3 hrs 40mins), when I-70 broke the record for the busiest day ever and instead of seeing bumper to bumper traffic for 3 hrs we were looking at this: