Monday, March 21, 2016

Old Folks' Ascents

South Fork Hikers:

I've been hearing that some of our hikes could be more achievement oriented.  It does appear that some of us are getting on in years, but still want to act as if we haven't yet given up our health and strength. To do that, we may have the urge to attack some of those high  peaks now — better sooner than later.

If you're old and fit, let's get together for a few ascents up some fine peaks this summer.  If you're too young for the category, you're welcome to join us if you will be patient and helpful. If you wish to try out one or two of the early ones, you are welcome 9 a.m. Wed.

Here are some initial ideas for the program.

First, the targets and conditions:  Assuming that we won't hurry into the snow nor climb into clouds, we can choose 6 peaks of 14,000 or so.  If we're lucky, we could possibly ascend as many as 10.  The schedule below is one of hope for good weather.  We will not take hikes into areas of seriously threatening storms nor other dangerous conditions.

Sprightly Spring hikes in May & early June
As soon as the snow allows, we can plan on conditioning, assuming "normal" weather and snow melt.
I recommend at least two prep hikes per week to beat peak fatigue—once with group; one on your own.  
Running will help a lot.  
Spend some exertion time at altitude of 11,000' or more, moving vigorously.  
Trot up hills as you breathe vigorously.

Mid June:  a quickie up a 12,000 heavy breather such as Del Norte Peak or Pool Table Mountain
Followup the next week:  Sentinel or other nearby
Later June: a 13,000' peak such as Bennett Peak 
Early July: another 13,000': Baldy Cinco

Peak Attacks
1. 1 or 2  Then:   either Handies Peak or the two peaks Red Cloud and Sunshine (Probably an overnight in Lake City).  
2.  again July again:  Uncompahgre Peak or Wetterhorn  (weather here is touchy; (Have an overnight or very early start).
3.  July: Mt. Princeton or one of the Ute Peaks, e.g. Shavano, or Tabauache

4. August: Mt. Elbert (Colorado's tallest). We've had pleasant camping here on the night before. Cabins are nearby.

5+. One of our neighbors made it up 4 peaks in one day last summer, all of them clustered north of Fairplay and west of Alma.  
(He was about 83 or 84 then.)  That would be an overnight trip (maybe 2 nights).  
Sleeping campground is at 12,000'; bring a tent and warm sleeping bag and food (high clearance vehicle will make it!)
The peaks are Democrat, Cameron , Lincoln, and Bross ( Weather likely to keep us from all 4).

None of these peaks is dangerous in good weather. Likewise, none are perfectly safe. For example, Bross is a persistent seducer of descenders; don't go back to camp down the seductive rock-slides. If you understand the word "slide" you get the idea.
Please don't be a last-minute insistent hiker.  Be strong physically and ready to carry me down in case of slippage, as I enter my 81st year.

This is a first version of the program. Your comments and adjustments are welcome.  People just in off the prairies are welcome to the preparations.  Those who show up in early July with your slippers or tennys on might enjoy another group more than this program.

Questions/information:  Doug Knudson  719-873-5239

Agua Ramon hike

11 hikers stepped lively on a gentle gravel road from Agua Ramon village up to the cross we'll see again on Easter morning (6:15 a.m.), maybe a morning as spectacular as today's sunrise (1st picture)

We live in a colorful land, especially at sunrise.

San Jose Church--our starting point

The lucky eleven in front of Agua Ramon Mtn.

The Juniper berries are abundant and tasty.

The third of the Agua Ramon peaks

Artistic form of a pinyon pine

Bless the seekers of the cross. Rev. Benjamin Wiles was with
us and will be in the same place early Sunday morning.

Across the Rio Grande Valley—Del Norte Peak  + snow.

Next Monday, Eve will lead your hike (or snowshoe?), leaving the Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Silverthread Meeting

The March Silverthread Club Meeting is tomorrow night  (March 15), Potluck 6:30 PM, meeting  7 PM at the South Fork Community Center. Come and enjoy.

Elizabeth Baugh, President

Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge

Last Week:

A family  a foot

Handsome hikers

Alder Creek


San Juans from Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge

Year's flattest hike

Water for birds

wetland vegetation

Sangre de Cristos

Aves Aground

Cranes Aloft

We're still hiking every Monday Morning at 10:00 a.m.   We 
charge ahead at no charge to you.  Meet us at the S.Fork 
Visitor Center.  We're getting old, but hope you'll be patient
with us.
We will have a few big mountain climbs in late June or
early July.  Meanwhile, we'll stroll along in spring-time.
Info:  Doug Knudson 719-873-5239