December to Remember

Rolling Mountain, Colorado
Looking towards Rolling Mountain in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

It’s been a fun December here in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, with roughly 120% of average snowfall so far and many powder days on the splitboard! Here’s a few snapshots from the last 6 days of splitboarding in a row.

Tom Kelly skis deep powder.
Tom Kelly skis deep powder.

Continue reading “December to Remember”

Making Turns Again

Skiing near the Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Skiing near the Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado – early December 2019.

This week Claudia and I have been getting out for some backcountry skiing/splitboarding action here in the San Juans. It’s been a slow start to the season, but there’s finally enough snow to make some turns. Sketchy avalanche conditions out there, as usual, so we’ll have to keep things low angled and tame for the foreseeable future.

Ice Skating on Ice Lakes

Colorado, Ice Lakes, San Juan Mountains, ice skate, ice skating, November

Ann and Collett ice skating on Ice Lake, San Juan Mountains, Colorado – November.

Colorado, Ice Lakes, San Juan Mountains, ice skate, ice skating, November

Collette ice skates on Ice Lake.

Yesterday I joined my friend Ann Driggers and her friend Collette to head up to Ice Lakes for a high altitude alpine ice skating session! Though I don’t have ice skates myself (and was quite jealous of them flying around on the turquoise ice), it was still super fun to just shuffle around on the ice in my boots and take photos of them. Ice skating seems like a great silver lining for low snow early winters like it has been in the San Juans so far.

Autumn in the Dolomites

Dolomites, Italy, Monte Civetta, November
Civetta Sunset : Prints Available

A spectacular sunset on Monte Civetta in the Dolomites, Italy.

In late October and early November, Claudia and I traveled to the Dolomites in northern Italy for two weeks of hiking amongst jagged peaks and golden larch trees. I’ve spent time the Dolomites in the summer and winter before but was excited to visit during the autumn when the larch trees turn yellow and orange. Continue reading >>

Valldemossa, Spain

Mallorca, Spain, Valldemossa, October
Cathedral in Valldemossa : Prints Available

Morning light on a cathedral in Valldemossa. Mallorca, Spain.

In mid-October we traveled to the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Spain, for a week of holiday with some of Claudia’s family. Though Mallorca is most known for its beaches, we opted to stay in Valldemossa, a quaint old village full of narrow cobblestoned streets nestled in a valley at the foot of the mountains. Continue reading >>

Autumn in the San Juans

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, Courthouse Mountain, Chimney Rock, autumn
Cimarron Light Show : Prints Available

Fantastic sunset light illuminates golden aspens, Chimney Rock, and Courthouse Mountain in the Cimarron Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

The fall colors in the San Juan Mountains have been beautiful this season, though the persistent clear blue skies have put somewhat of a damper on the photographic potential. But it’s always glorious to walk through colorful aspen groves regardless of the weather, and we did have a few short windows of more interesting skies and light to enjoy. See my favorite photos from this October in the northern San Juans near Ridgway and Ouray here: See the photos here >>

2 Weeks in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah

Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Utah, Escalante
Red Swirls : Prints Available

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

In the second half of September we spent two weeks in one of our favorite canyon areas of southern Utah – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. During our first week we hiked through five different slot canyons, some of which were the narrowest slot canyons I’ve ever hiked (or squeezed) through! After that we repeated two of our favorite backpack trips through Coyote Gulch and Death Hollow, each 3-day journeys through magnificent spring fed canyons. See all the photos here >>

Wind River Range West Side Trek

Bridger Wilderness, Dragon Head Peak, Mount Bonneville, Nylon Peak, Pronghorn Peak, Wind River Range, Wyoming
Blue Symmetry : Prints Available

Jagged peaks of the central Wind River Range reflect in a remote, high lake.

In early September I backpacked for 10 days in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. This was my fourth long backpack trip in these fantastic mountains, but this time I did a one-way shuttle trek along the western side of the range through the Bridger Wilderness starting from the Elkhart Park trailhead and ending at Big Sandy to the south. Along the way I was able to visit a number of remote basins that I’ve been wanting to see for many years, but are generally a bit too difficult to get to with a standard loop or out-and-back trip. Continue reading >>