Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Neahkahnie Mt, Oregon

Hiked up Neahkahnie Mt on the Oregon Coast with P, Clea, Tom, Jasper and baby Zan. It's a bit more than three miles round trip and Jasper (age 6) was a champ. We passed the easiest access to the summit and managed to get up by a bit of scrambling. Great views and a fantastic hike through some Oregon coastal Old Growth forest.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Mt. Richthofen in the Never Summer Range

Mt. Richthofen is the highest peak in the Never Summer Range. It is just south of Cameron pass on Hwy 14. Lake Agnes is a short one mile hike from the parking area and lies at the base of the impressive Nokhu Crags and Mt Richtoffen. We traversed the lake on the south side across the boulder fields shedded from Nokhu crags which tower above. The photo shows P on the traverse around the lake. Higher up, there were some snow fields that made progress easier, but they proved to be a bit scary for P who has not done any snow climbing before. We made it up onto the obvious ridge (above the pines at the end of the lake in the photo) unnecessarily crossing a steep bit of snow. We made it about as high as the base of the rightmost snowfield (that looks a bit like a duck with a hat) before turning back. The rock up the ridge is extremely loose and with Erdos climbing above and knocking the occasional rock down on top of us we decided to retreat.
It was a beautiful day and we plan to return soon to get to the top without the dog.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Climbed Sugarloaf below Medicine Bow peak with P and Erdos. It took about an hour to get to the top from the car (parked at the hairpin on 130). Sugarloaf is 11,300 ft. but the climb from the road must be less than 800 ft. Forgot the camera (again) but snarfed this photo off micksmtn. It shows the opposite side of the peak (North), while we scrambled up the South ridge. Lots of big loose rocks and there was still a lot of snow on Medicine Bow.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Twin Buttes and Hattie in the Pram

The Laramie Plains lakes are pothole lakes west of town. I dropped the pram into Twin Buttes on July 4 and fished for an hour or so catching nothing. It was midday (the only time I could get out) but still, based on last years fishing, it was rather unusual to have caught nothing. The water levels at Twin Buttes are low, but Lake Hattie is virtually disappearing! Fished Hattie on Sunday the 6th from about 7:30 'till noon. There were a few 4th of July campers along the shore but really, it was virtually abandoned compared to previous years. The gas prices ($4.00/gal), voracious mosquitoes, West Nile virus, and the low water levels are taking their toll. It was great. Not one jet ski in sight! It was challenging to find a place to launch the boat. The water level is another ten feet lower this year. After launching I rowed to the far side, trolling along the way. I ended up in an amazing caddis hatch, only to discover that while I had a spool with the floating line on it, I'd left the reel body for that spool in the truck. Oh well, I anchored and fished to rising fish all around me without any luck. My Goddard caddis would float on a long leader on the intermediate line I was fishing for a few minutes, and then it'd go under, I'd pull in and cast to another riser. Seeing the hatch, the rising fish and the wild mustangs coming down to the lake for a drink made the fishless trip far from boring. And then the wind came up. I was trolling off the far bank thinking I'd better head back toward the truck, when I hooked up with a good sized rainbow that nearly pulled the rod out of the boat and then jumped. I dropped the anchor and almost immediately, he broke me off in the weeds. As the wind picked up even further, I put on my rain jacket and life vest and motored back across the lake in some good winds across the oncoming waves getting splashed with spray.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Clark Peak

Climbed Clark Peak (12,951 ft.) near Cameron Pass in CO with Jeff VanBaalen. Cameron Pass is on HWY 14 south east of Walden CO. It's about an hours drive from our house on 230. We parked Jeff's RAV a short way up the 4WD Ruby Jewel Road and hiked up the road and the Jewel Lake trail to the lake, which was mostly still frozen over.
In the photo above, the trail goes through the meadow at the base of the leftmost peak and then up the grassy ramp into the cirque beyond where the lake is. We climbed up the slopes to the right to the summit of Clark Peak (the third to the right.) This stitched photo makes the actual summit look lower than its neighbours.
We ate some lunch at the lake and from there we headed more or less straight up for the summit. We crossed a boulder/scree field up to some gullies leading out of the cirque and then followed the steep grassy slopes to the top. Jeff, who swims 12 miles a week dashed up while I struggled with the altitude a bit. The views are spectacular. To the north along the same ridge line are South Rawah and North Rawah peaks. To the south the Never Summer Range with Nokhu Crags and Mt. Richthofen looking particulary impressive. In the distance tot he south east, Rocky Mt. National Park with Longs Peak visible. To the west, you look across North Park to the Zirkels. There were patchy cumulus but no thunderheads. We descended down the south ridge and across the face of the next peak (12,433 ft.) along the ridge and then back north to the Jewel Lake trail crossing a small creek in the meadow. All told, it took us about six hours and maybe six miles to the lake and another two up and along the ridge for an eight mile walk. With a higher 4wd vehicle and the fortitude to drive the rough road to the trailhead would have saved three miles of walking.