Summer is in full force in Colorado and we’ve been keeping busy as usual. A couple weekends ago I went on a training climb with our Rainier and Hood climbing team. We camped out up Herman gulch, accessed near Loveland ski area. It turned out to be quite a loud night with wind gusts between 50-60 mph and below freezing temps, making for a complete winter camping experience. None of us were expecting that but luckily I had my tent secured down with everything I had along, including ice-axes and shovels. The next day, we set out to climb Snoopy Colouir, a narrow strip of snow up to the ridge of Citadel. From there our plan was to do a traverse, short rap, and make our way over to another near by peak. Unfortunately, part of our team had concerns of avy danger, so we did not complete the climb. Nonetheless, it was good to get out with the Rainier team.
Speaking of Rainier, Linnea had to drop out of the trip as she discovered she has a turn lateral meniscus in her right knee. It could have been Little Bear, Mt. Lindsey, but I am pretty sure it was the boot camp work-outs she was doing at school. We’re hoping it will be somewhat recovered later this summer so we can continue our 14ers quest. Originally, we wanted to finish them this season but that is starting to look like a stretch.
School is out and summer break is here for Linnea. She finished off a busy semester and wrapped up a successful soccer season helping out coaching with the high-school girls teams.
Now, she is up in Alaska, living the high life. She’s there for about 2 weeks, with her parents, and Rima who is moving to Anchorage. Today, they went sea-kayaking out of Seward — just the two of them dropped off by a water taxi. I guess it wasn’t all fun and games at 6a when they had to demonstrate before setting off that they could do a wet exit and re-entry in the icy water, having to pull spray skirt and all. Luckily, they both have had lots of practice in Wa and passed, although they had to do it twice. They think the Russian guide just wanted to see them go under again. The highlight of the trip was seeing a Humpback whale and calf surface only 40 yards away. Linnea said it was more scary then running into a Grizzly b.c. they didn’t know where it was headed. It resurfaced 3 times. They also saw lots of other sea-life (close encounters with seals, sea-lions and otters fishing for herring).
After kayaking, they’re planning on camping out somewhere for the night and hiking the next day. They should have lots of time since it stay light out all night! At the end of the month, Linnea and her mom will be driving back to Washington. I really wish I could be in Alaska too, but hopefully with Rima in Anchorage, we will be making future visits. Our trip last year was probably one of my favorite vacations and will be re-posting those pics to the site soon.
Last update — a little while ago I bought a used mountain bike. I’ve been having a blast bombing around the trails in Golden and Front Range. I got a little above my head the other weekend up near Boulder on a steep narrow single track. I should have known I was in for it after going over the handle bars on the first turn. I ended up bailing later and turned back. It was encouraging though that even the riders with full uniforms still had to walk their bikes uphill. Tonight was the real excitement though. I was cruising the mesa top in the 95 degree heat when I came across a huge rattle snake in the middle of the trail. Well, I was on the downhill and going slightly too fast to go around or suddenly stop, so I rode right over it! Luckily, it didn’t pop up into the bike frame and with a whoop and a holler I was out of there!