Fun Climbs in Colorado
Posted by sibylle in books, films, photography (Friday January 19, 2007 at 8:20 pm)

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My forthcoming book about climbing in Colorado

Heidi Knapp of Sharp End Publishing designed the initial version of book covers which I’ll share here. That’s my son Tristan climbing in Eldorado Canyon at the upper right and Leo Paik’s daughters, Jaclyn and Kira climbing at Lumpy Ridge, at the bottom. At the time Jaclyn was 7, Kira was 9, and their 2-year old sister Erin accompanied them to the base of the climb – no mean feat, considering the 30 – 40 minute hike in to the Pear!

Leo’s friend led the route and belayed the two girls up the first pitch of this five-pitch route while Tristan patiently belayed me as I climbed up and down to shoot pictures of both girls. This climb, Gina’s Surprise, is an amazing easy 5.4 route up a huge dike on perfect granite surrounded by spectacular scenery.

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Erin Paik, 2, at the base of Gina’s Surprise

Seeing the title in print like that reminded me of a comment my late friend Charlie Fowler made,
“Of course, I only climb with family and friends. Guessing you may want to include my route “Family Values” above Telluride. Yeah the bouldering around here is endless, I’ll give you the tour, along with the family-friendly crags.”

I’ll miss Charlie, and unfortunately my book will not include his family-friendly crags near Telluride.

The book is due to come out in spring of 2007 and will include eight of Colorado’s climbing areas plus Vedauwoo, which although in Wyoming is actually a shorter drive from many Front Range towns than is Penitente or Unaweep.

I’ll post pictures of the other areas in future posts.

Skiing in Summit County
Posted by sibylle in skiing (Monday January 8, 2007 at 6:39 pm)

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View from our cabin

Yesterday we skied from Montezuma to Saints John, an old mining camp from the 1860s.We left Montezuma, at 10,300’, with an alpine start of just before 2:00 pm to head to Saints John, at 10,700’, and from there on to the Wild Irishman mine at 11,680’.

On our last tour, we’d managed a closer to noon start and returned near dark, but we figured we’d go faster this time – I had waxed my skis earlier and my friend already had skins mounted. Plus, days are getting longer so we must have extra time to get up and back.

I hadn’t counted on the bitter cold. I started up the hill with my thin gloves and parka, expecting to take it off as I warmed up. Not only did keep the parka, but I put on my thick gloves. At lunch (eating quick bites of a sandwich while standing in the trail), I put my fleece vest over the pile sweater.

After we passed Sts. John and headed toward the mine, we dropped into the shade (not surprising, considering it was near 4:00 pm) and it got even colder. I’d definitely not anticipated anything like these bitter temperatures and soon donned my friend’s fleece over my 2 sets of long underwear, fleece sweater, fleece vest, and under the parka.

Luckily my friend decided to turn back in sight of the mine instead of climbing the knoll beside it. He’d been urging me to climb the ridge or knoll to get a better view, but the reality of the sun setting behind the mountains influenced him to turn back. Every other trip we’d gone miles past the original goal, past the end of the road or trail to climb the nearest ridge and I expected no different on this trip.

We swiftly retraced our path, arriving at the parking lot right at 5:00. When I looked up the weather statistics, I found the following:

Mean Temperature -1 °F / -18 °C -
Max Temperature 5 °F / -15 °C - - ()
Min Temperature -7 °F / -21 °C

Next time I’m taking hand warmers.

Skiing Summit County and Vail
Posted by sibylle in skiing (Friday January 5, 2007 at 11:57 am)

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Tristan tuning my new Atomic skis

Ski season arrived with a blizzard in Summit County that covered our cabin’s windows. Tristan got a ski-tuning apron for Christmas (not from me!) and I asked him for some “ski tuning coupons” as my Christmas gift. Here Tristan is enthusiastically waxing my new Atomic skis so that we can ski Vail’s Blue Sky Basin and back bowls. We floated through knee to thigh-deep untracked powder all morning until burning legs forced us to break for lunch. Tristan made up a song:

How can we rest when the snow is calling?

How can we stop when the powder’s falling?
How can we ski when our thighs are burning?
How can we fall when our skis are turning?

(sung to the Midnight Oil tune “Beds are Burning“)
to describe our dilemma.

Christmas Day we drove to Vail from Silverthorne to enjoy the remaining powder from the big dump that closed DIA for several days. The next few days I worked at Keystone Ski School and was fortunate to take one of my students to Vail’s back bowls for two days of ski lessons. Can’t complain about those days at work!

Today, on my day off, I’m shoveling out from under last night’s blizzard. Once the sun peeks out I’ll post photos of the drifts covering our house. I’m also working on writing up the ski exercises that I’ve promised my students to help them ski powder and bumps with me. I’ll post those on a page of “ski exercises”.

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