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Snow Wolf
Nederland, Colorado
Pilot.
Interests: My wife. My family. My dog. Wild places. Big mountains. Skiing. Backpacking. Mountain biking. Writing. Photography. Dreams.
Recent Activity
Hey all. I'm moving my blog to another site and will no longer be posting here. Elaine and I have a blog called Mountain Nomads at http://mountainnomads.typepad.com/ From here on out I'll be posting there. It's just a new phase in my life and I don't want to just be relegated to writing about ski stuff so much as the title "White Room" implies. There is more of an explanation here. We've intentionally made the name of the blog non-sport specific, unlike this one or my previous incarnation "offcamber.com." Who knows what our activity of choice will be down the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2012 at the white room
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July 26 - Taylor Lake to Durango - 26.1 miles, 1,785 feet climbing, 6,417 feet descending The last day on the trail. It's not a little bittersweet that I write these words. For certain, there are niceties in civilization that are appealing - a good burger, a soft bed, a shower. But I have found in past experiences where I go out for a month or longer into the wild, it is hard to come back. The "real" world seems silly, confusing, busy. The luxuries of society are nice for a week or so, but the wonderfulness of the trail... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at the white room
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July 25 - Black Rider Pass to Taylor Lake - 28 miles, 4,511 up, 4,488 feet down After yesterday's trials we didn't know what to expect today. All our clothes were wet, so we each started off in long johns, our Ibex wool top and wind gear. Our plan was to keep these layers on until we warmed up sufficiently to put back on the wet clothes. Our sleeping bags were also a bit wet too, and we started off the morning feeling a bit shelled. We climbed back up to the trail and immediately noticed the tracks of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2012 at the white room
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July 24 - Molas Pass to Black Rider Pass - 25 miles, 5,561 feet up, 4,688 feet down After a day of rest, we were up at 5 am, sneaking out of the campsite in silence to not wake our neighbors. This would be an eventful day. We headed west from Molas Lake in the crisp dawn air, ascending through low brush and timber before reaching Molas Pass. The route continued to head west from the pass, traversing large hillsides with a very tall bush-like plant closing us in. We saw many sheep and massive vistas to the valleys in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2012 at the white room
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July 23 - Snowdon Peak to Molas Pass - 1 miles, 350 feet up, 43 feet down Today was essentially a rest day, so we slept in till 7 am, quickly packed up and made the quick jaunt to Molas Lake campground where I am currently catching up on this journal and waiting for the campsite host to show up. It's 9:30 am already...these folks are slackers. Ha! Our plan for today is to set-up camp and head into Silverton to get food. We need to retrieve a rations packet we sent to this campsite as well nearly a month... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2012 at the white room
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July 22 - Stony Pass to base of Snowdon Peak - 20 miles, 3,002 feet up, 5,154 feet down Remember that whining sound from last night? As we emerged from a soggy, dew coated tarp, we quickly discovered what it was. On a distant hillside we saw hundreds of white specks, and as we listened closer, we realized the whining was actually sheep baahing. The sheep and their Basque herders have returned. We packed up camp and headed along the trail that winded around a mountainside to Stony Pass. Below us we saw a large white tent, more reminiscent of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2012 at the white room
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July 21 - Worm Lake to Stony Pass - 9 miles, 2,152 feet up, 1,890 feet down Today was the roughest day of the trip thus far for Elaine and I. Both of us are feeling very fatigued from the past five hard days, and essentially both our bodies broke down on the same day. I will say our alarm clock this morning was exceptional - a nearby pack of coyotes howling up a storm. Alas, that may have been the highlight of the morning. We noticed the fatigue right off the bat, on the first climb of the day.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2012 at the white room
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July 20 - Spring Creek Pass to Worm Lake - 22 miles, 4,744 feet up, 3,658 feet down. After hiking more than 100 miles the past four days, we both were feeling a bit groggy this morning. There is the physical side of it for sure, and the biggest thing right now is that we are constantly hungry. It's been building for awhile now, but it's become a significant issue since we've come to the highest elevation part of the trip. We are ravenous, and we are bottomless. I think we're struggling a little bit with the mental side as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2012 at the white room
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July 19 - San Luis Peak to Spring Creek Pass - 23 miles, 5,020 feet up, 6,601 feet down. This day started as well as a day can - with a morning dawn patrol climb up a 14er. We woke up in the dark, with just a sliver of orange rising over the horizon, and headed straight up the ridge that eventually ended at the summit of 14,014 foot San Luis Peak. This is living, indeed I believe things like this are what us humans were meant to do. It was a grand start. The sun rose brilliantly over the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2012 at the white room
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It's a day to celebrate... I managed to get Elaine her ring... Gave it to her at a beautiful place of icebergs... I'm thrilled to finally be able to get it for her... A great couple of days... A great life... A great wife! Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2012 at the white room
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July 18 - Cochetopa Park to San Luis Peak - 27 miles, 4,701 feet up, 1,985 feet down We're spending the night camped beneath 14,014 foot San Luis Peak. Needless to say, it was epic, royally awesome day. We were up again at 5 am, and it was good we were because we quickly entered to a potentially very hot area - the exposed, flat area known as Cochetopa Park. At 5 am though, it was 38° and simply perfect for hiking. This is officially cattle country, as the patties are fresh and steamy in the morning air. There was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2012 at the white room
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July 17 - Baldy Lake to Cochetopa Park - 23 miles, 3,173 feet up, 4,682 feet down Up once again at 5 am, this time prepping and tearing down camp in silence as we had neighbors by the lake. It was cold - it felt like autumn - this morning. As we hiked in the dark out of the Baldy Lake crater a fog rolled in and cocooned our morning walk. This is supposedly one of the less appealing parts of the Colorado Trail, but because of the fog it was simply wonderful. Alas, we didn't make great time this... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2012 at the white room
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July 16 - Green Creek Shelter to Baldy Lake - 26.5 miles, 3,950 feet up, 4,193 feet down The Green Creek Shelter sits on something called the Monarch Crest Trail, which is a very popular route with mountain bikers and moto-riders. While most of the Colorado Trail is closed to motorized use, we were now entering a long section of the route that was not. As most folks who know me can attest, I've never been the biggest fan of motos. I think they are loud, smelly, and don't really balance well with a wilderness experience. That said, last night... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2012 at the white room
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July 15 - North Creek to Green Creek Shelter - 17.5 miles, 3,809 feet up, 2,293 feet down I felt quite tired this morning after last night's storms, but there was no time to rest as we needed to at least get near Marshall Pass - a very high Continental Divide crossing - before the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in. The weather has completely shifted from a week ago...we've gone from drought to monsoon overnight. Immediately upon departing we headed through perhaps the most magnificent stand of aspen trees I've ever seen at a place called "Lape Meadow. This would be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2012 at the white room
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July 14 - Silver Prince Creek to North Creek - 24.8 miles, 3,629 feet up, 3,743 feet down I missed writing about this day completely last evening which should tell you a little bit about it. Harder days tend to preclude writing. We got up from Silver Creek Camp and hiked a fairly mellow section that popped out on a road above Princeton Hot Springs. Immediately we met cars...we were at another 14er trailhead and it was the weekend. We had a long road walk down, initially dirt, and then pavement. I guess permission to build trail in this section... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2012 at the white room
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July 13 - C.T. near Harvard to Silver Prince Creek - 23 miles, 4,000 feet up, 5,300 feet down I suppose if something were to go wrong, and I were the superstitious type, today would be the day. It's Friday the 13th and we're smack dab in the middle of the 13th segment of the trail. Well, I'm not superstitious but last night something almost did go very wrong. Just as we were settling into a blissful night of sleep, we heard a massive cracking and smashing, not more than 50 yards from the tarp. It was a tree slamming... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2012 at the white room
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July 12 - Mount Belford Base to C.T. below Princeton - 20 miles, 4,360 feet climbed, 4,977 feet down We woke up this morning with a ton of condensation on the tarp. It was a cold night, with frost everywhere and the little ponds frozen over. It's been months since I've seen that. We packed quickly and began the steep climb to the top of 14,203 foot Mount Belford. One again Elaine set the pace. There were a bunch of switchbacks right off the bat, and it was steep going, but even wearing a wool long sleeve shirt and a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2012 at the white room
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July 11 - Twin Lakes to Mount Belford Base - 15 miles, 5,456 feet up, 3,163 feet down Today was a hard day. When planning the trip, we had heard that a segment in this area was closed as a result of massive blow down last winter. There were a few options for detours - essentially a low route and a high route. The low route winded along a number of old roads in the Arkansas River Valley, while the high route went up over the infamous Hope Pass and into the higher terrain. What we elected to do would... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2012 at the white room
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July 10 - Holy Cross Wilderness to Twin Lakes - 25.8 miles, 4,413 feet up, 6,325 feet down We hit the trail a shade after 6 am. The trail broke out of the woods into a wide open mountainside, where we were greeted by the dramatic site of two majestic elk spriting straight down the hill in the dawn light. They are, in every way, superior moving creatures to ourselves. We descended a gradual trail for a long while, which made for an easy start to the day. We were passed in the opposite direction by a handful of runners... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2012 at the white room
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July 9 - Searle Pass to the Holy Cross Wilderness - 23.7 miles, 3,681 feet up, 4,134 feet down We decided to wake up at 5 am to catch up on miles lost on the Breckenridge day. Can we get to Twin Lakes in two days? We headed up Searle again at 5:30 am surrounded by fog. It was a most spectacular morning up there. We saw our first ever "white rainbow" and watched deep clouds in the valley below as the fog burned off. It was one of the most magical moments of my life, and it made us... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2012 at the white room
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July 8 - East Side of Wheeler Pass to Searle Pass - 17 miles, 3,907 feet up, 3,340 feet down Started this day of hiking with a bang - a wall straight up to the top of the 10-Mile Range. It's an amazing trail that tops out above timberline on a high alpine ridge. A horrid place to be in a lightning storm, but at 6 am it's delectable. Heading on the ridge north, Summit County drops away to the left. It was possible to look back and see our entire route from Georgia Pass, Lost Creek and beyond. I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2012 at the white room
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July 7 - Breckenridge to East Side of Wheeler Pass - 8 miles, 1,407 feet up, 400 feet down Barely any sleep last night. We packed up late and spent the morning looking for more blister stuff and a book. I settled on "Winter" by Rick Bass, found at a used bookstore. I've already read it, but at least I know I won't be stuck with a total dud for the next 20 some-odd days. By the time we went to the market, bookstore, Subway, etc. it was 1 pm. We ended up taking Stella up the free gondola to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2012 at the white room
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July 6 - Georgia Pass to Breckenridge - 24.6 miles, 3,510 feet up, 5,656 feet down It was a cold morning with a heavy mist and tons of condensation. We got cold last night, so we arose at 1 am to secure the tarp lower against the wind and mist. It was a gorgeous morning hike over the Continental Divide. Looking over to the mountains of Summit County was awe inspiring, and even more impressive was looking east to the rolling hills where we just came from. Up and over the divide, where we experienced our first trail magic -... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2012 at the white room
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July 5- Lost Creek Wilderness to Georgia Pass - 23 miles, 4,544 feet up, 3,386 feet down Today was a day where we would at last get to the Continental Divide. It started rough with Elaine's feet. Part of the issue is me though. I take her pain personally, which leads to stress. I need to work on that and just let her deal with pain...it's part of the deal when hiking 500 miles. We were passed early while still in camp by three old-timers who were clearly veterans of this game. I think we both made mental notes to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2012 at the white room